Song session showcase with Shorelark on Friday 21 October

shorelark-2016-001-landscapeAt the song session on Friday 21 October we look forward to a special showcase by Shorelark, a new young folk duo who were finalists at New Roots this year. Shorelark comprise singer-songwriter and guitarist Georgia Morgan Turner and recorder-player and English folk multi-instrumentalist Finn Collinson. Their meticulous arrangements make great use of unusual instrumentation, inspired by the duo’s wide influences, which range from Brazilian music to Baroque recorder works.

With a combined age of just 32, Georgia and Finn are experienced beyond their years and between them have enjoyed solo performances at the Barbican Hall (Georgia) and Cadogan Hall, London (Finn). They have also appeared at FolkEast Festival, Cecil Sharp House and Aldeburgh Festival.

Georgia and Finn will perform two sets within the song session, which is free. All singers, musicians and listeners are welcome to come along. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.

Andy Irvine on Friday 30 September


Photo by Brian Hartigan

Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, with a voice that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as ‘a tradition in himself’. Musician, singer, and songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his 45-year career. From Sweeney’s Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s and then from Patrick Street to Andy Irvine & Dónal Lunny’s Mozaik, Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.

‘As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour with a show and a travelling lifestyle that reflect his lifelong influence’, Woody Guthrie.

To quote the Irish Times, ‘Often copied, never equalled’, his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dances and a compelling cannon of his own self-penned songs.

This event is now SOLD OUT.

Song sessions every Friday between guest nights. Free entry. All welcome, whether to sing, play or listen.

Songman from WarHorse, Bob Fox, on Friday 9 September

Bob Fox SongmanTwice nominated as Best Folk Singer in the BBC Folk Awards, Bob Fox has long been a favourite on the live circuit. Bob played the role of SONGMAN in The National Theatre’s multi-award-winning West End production of WarHorse 2011–13 and subsequently in the highly acclaimed and record-breaking UK, Ireland and South Africa touring version which ended in February 2015. Since then Bob has returned to the concert platform and now presents an ‘Evening with the War Horse Songman’ show.

Join Bob as he performs the songs from WarHorse in their full versions, linked by snippets of the story, with additional material from the BBC Radio Ballad of The Great War and favourites from his own personal repertoire.

Tickets £13 (£10 members) can be reserved via the contact form on this site. Please bring your own drinks – teas and coffee are available in the kitchen. Doors open at 7.30 pm.

Song session showcase with The Lion’s Share on Friday 29 July

IMG_6278On Friday 29 July we look forward to welcoming New Roots finalists 2016 The Lion’s Share as showcase guests within the song session. This London-based folk duo grew out of the UCLU Folk and World Music Society and is made up of Tom Blackburn, a Nic Jones-esque guitarist, who has had the pleasure of supporting such acts as Martin Carthy, and Jimmy Grayburn, a frailing and finger-picking banjo player.  Together, with driving vocals and tight harmonies, they sing stories of love, betrayal and homelessness, respecting the tradition while adding their own personal touch. The Lion’s Share will perform two sets within the session.

All listeners, singers and musicians are also welcome to join the song session, which starts at 8 pm. There is no charge. Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffee available in the kitchen.

Mick Ryan and Paul Downes on Friday 8 July

Mick Ryan and Paul DownesOn Friday 8 July we welcome Mick Ryan and Paul Downes. Mick Ryan is well known on the folk scene as a fine singer of traditional and original songs. He was described by Folk Roots as ‘definitely the most underrated singer in the country’. Having written both comic and serious material for the very popular band Crows in the 1980s, he has since written for radio and developed a series of highly successful folk musicals: ‘A Tollpuddle Man’ (with Graham Moore); ‘A Day’s Work’; ‘The Voyage’; ‘Tanks for the Memory’ and, recently, ‘The Navvy’s Wife’; ’The Pauper’s Path’ and the centennial revival of ‘A Day’s Work’.

Mick is joined by the consummately skilled and expressive Paul Downes, who has a sensitive, yet fun approach to live performances which puts him among the most respected artists on the British acoustic music scene today. He has been introduced (to his embarrassment) as one of the greatest acoustic guitarist in the world, but considers himself a singer of songs rather than a guitar technician. Paul has a rich musical background that has progressed through working with Phil Beer, The Arizona Smoke Revue, Pete Seeger, The Joyce Gang and Maggie Boyle.

Tickets available by reservation via our contact form, £10 (£7 members). Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffee available in the kitchen.

Ange Hardy on Friday 24 June

Ange HardyNominated at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and celebrated by The Telegraph as ‘one of Britain’s top folk musicians’, Ange Hardy has grabbed the attention of the traditional folk music world by writing new material and embracing modern technologies whilst maintaining a traditional feel.

Alongside a staggering list of other accolades, Ange was awarded FATEA Magazine’s ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ in 2013, ‘Album of the Year’ in 2014 and ‘The Tradition Award’ in 2015.

As a solo artist, Ange performs with a 27-string Salvi Harp, three different guitars, a variety of low whistles, a bodhrán drum, a tambourine and an Indian shruti box. Her innovative and subtle use of live looping to build layers of vocal harmonies makes Ange Hardy one of the most diverse solo-artists you’re likely to encounter.

Tickets are £11 (£8 members) and can be reserved by emailing via our contact page. Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffee available in the kitchen.

Showcase with Sophie Crawford on Friday 20 May

Sophie2On Friday 20 May the showcase guest at the song session will be New Roots finalist 2016, Sophie Crawford. Accordionist and singer Sophie performs a blend of traditional and original music grounded in the English folk tradition. She spent a year playing the Song Woman in the West End production of War Horse (2015) and writes and performs music for the touring theatre company Troupe. Having collaborated and recorded with a number of musicians, this is her first solo summer. She launches her EP in summer 2016.

Sophie, who was one of our favourite performers at New Roots this year, will perform a couple of sets during the song session. Other singers and musicians are welcome to join the session, as are listeners! There is no charge for song sessions, but there will be a raffle. Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffee will be available in the kitchen.

Peta Webb and Ken Hall on Friday 6 May

PKMAINImage002On Friday 6 May we welcome the very accomplished unaccompanied singers, Peta Webb and Ken Hall. Peta’s & Ken’s singing is rooted in the oral tradition, their style absorbed over the years by listening to and singing alongside traditional singers in England and Ireland. In 2015 they celebrated twenty-five years at their Musical Traditions Club, London, providing a platform for unaccompanied traditional singers.

Long admired as solo singers, their coming together to explore duet singing sparked off a new creativity. They have a rich, distinctive sound, based on Irish and British traditions of unison singing and the harmonising of  American brother duets. The diversity of their material, from England, Ireland and America, celebrates the essential links between these cultures.

Reserve tickets £10 (£7 club members) by emailing via our contact page. Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffee available in the kitchen. Also do let us know if you would like to do a floor spot.

Dovetail Trio on Friday 8 April

TheDovetailTrio_Promo2015Presenting England’s traditional songs with a bold and fresh approach, The Dovetail Trio explores familiar narratives with infectious energy and a passion for musical heritage. This exciting new group comprises the considerable vocal and musical talents of Jamie Roberts, Rosie Hood and Matt Quinn.

Barnsley’s Jamie Roberts is renowned for his narrative singing and driving guitar rhythms. In 2007 he joined folk quartet Kerfuffle with Hannah James and Sam Sweeney, and in 2013 was a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee with duo Gilmore & Roberts (our guests in Norwich in 2010).

Rosie Hood‘s pure voice, linked with her keen eye on the history of the songs, particularly those of her native Wiltshire, brought her to our attention at New Roots in 2011. As support act, Rosie ably stepped in to rescue a night for us after the guest’s no-show due to illness. Since then she has performed at a number of the country’s leading festivals and folk clubs, and opened for the Cecil Sharp Project. During 2015, Rosie was a BBC Performing Arts Fellow with EFDSS.

Multi-instrumentalist Matt Quinn has been playing the melodeon, mandolin and fiddle, and singing his way around the English folk scene for the last seven years in various bands including Dogan & the Boombox Karavan, The Mighty Quinns and the Eliza Carthy Ceilidh Band.

This event will start at 8 pm. Tickets can be reserved by emailing via the contact page on this site, £10 (£7 club members). Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffees available in the kitchen.

The Askew Sisters on Friday 18 March

2014-duo-01On Friday 18 March the club is very pleased to welcome back Emily and Hazel Askew – winners of Best Traditional Album in the Spiral Earth Awards 2015. The sisters play rhythmic foot-stomping tunes on fiddle and melodeon, and deliver powerful interpretations of songs and ballads, revealing an infectious enjoyment and love of English folk music.

‘The breezy robustness of their musicianship is demonstrated in the joyous way the two parts switch around, colluding and colliding during the course of a tune set, adeptly maintaining listener interest while keeping feet tapping … infectious pumping energy characterises their performance’, fRoots magazine.

Tickets £10 (£7 club members) can be reserved by emailing via our contact page. Bring your own drinks. Coffee and tea available in the kitchen. Please note the start time will be 8 pm and end time 11 pm, as with all future club events and regular song sessions.