Photo by Elly Lucas www.ellylucas.co.uk
Award winning trio Said The Maiden are Jess Distill, Hannah Elizabeth and Kathy Pilkinton, three friends who discovered a mutual love of folk music when they reunited several years after spending their school years together in Hertfordshire. After tentatively performing a few songs at their local Redbourn Folk Club, the group soon gained a great deal of interest on the local and national folk circuit, securing major support and headline slots at folk clubs and festivals around the country.
Said the Maiden have also opened for many great artists including The Full English, The Fisherman’s Friends, Jim Moray, Megson, Martin Carthy, Clannad, Cara Dillon, False Lights and Fairport Convention. They were also honoured to join legendary fiddler the late Dave Swarbrick on a successful UK solo tour in the spring of 2014, and released their debut album ‘A Curious Tale’ in June of the same year. In 2016, the group went on to release their EP ‘Of Maids And Mariners’, which was met with critical acclaim across the folk community and in 2017 the trio won the Folking Awards ‘Rising Star’ prize.
“Rising doyennes of the folk scene … I can hear why Said The Maiden have already made themselves a healthy reputation, and I can also sense a strong measure of untapped potential.” (David Kidman, FATEA Magazine)
Tickets £11 (£8 club members) can be reserved by emailing us via the form on the contact page. Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffee available in the kitchen.
On Friday 27 October the song session theme will be Halloween. Tenuous connections to the theme are equally welcome.
Photo: Elly Lucas
The James Brothers come from the lands down under – Australia and New Zealand to be precise; lands in which the traditional songs and tunes of the British Isles have evolved their own unique characteristics. And it’s these songs and tunes, and several of their own making, that The James Brothers have united to play.
Sydney-born James Fagan is best known as one half of Nancy Kerr & James Fagan (musically and maritally), but also spotted playing guitar and bouzouki in The Cara Dillon Band, the live circus that is Bellowhead and with his parents and sister as The Fagans, where his folk career began.
Jamie McClennan is a Kiwi who found himself in a duo with Scotland’s BBC-award-winning Emily Smith (whom he also married) having chosen not to follow his first bandmates to Ireland, where they formed the much celebrated Gráda.Jamie has been sighted on fiddle, whistle and guitar next to the likes of Sharon Shannon, Beth Nielson Chapman, Jerry Douglas and his mum.
Tickets £11 (£8 club members) can be reserved by emailing via our contact page. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.
On Friday 13 January we welcome the first guests of 2017, Moore Moss Rutter. A series of remarkable gigs has heightened the sense of anticipation around the reunion of Jack Rutter (Seth Lakeman Band), Tom Moore (False Lights) and Archie Churchill-Moss (Beyond the Marches) in the trio that won them the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. The intervening years have seen them play with some of the biggest and best acts in English folk music, and now they reconvene to release the follow-up to their much acclaimed debut album.
Widely regarded as three of the best players of traditional folk amongst a precociously gifted generation, their music features ancient traditional material from Britain as well as newly composed tunes and songs, and focuses on their own movements from the countryside to large cities, and the contrasts that come into play.
Tickets £11 (club members £8) can be reserved via the form on our contact page. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.
Lady Maisery, who were nominated for the ‘Horizon’ BBC Folk Award 2012 and for ‘Best Debut’ at the Spiral Awards 2012, comprise Hannah James (Kerfuffle, duo with Sam Sweeney), Hazel Askew (The Askew Sisters, The Artisans) and Rowan Rheingans (Fidola). The trio explore vocal harmony through fresh interpretations of songs and ballads, and each member is also an accomplished instrumentalist, together creating a rich tapestry of fiddle, banjo, harp, concertina, accordion and foot percussion.
Lady Maisery are also one of the foremost English proponents of traditional mouth music, or ‘diddling’, a form of singing without words. Over the last five years, the trio have released two critically acclaimed albums (five stars in the Financial Times, Album of the Week in The Independent), made many appearances on national radio and toured widely, performing sell-out shows across the UK and Europe. Lady Maisery’s third album is to be released in autumn 2016.
Tickets £12 (£9 club members). A very few tickets are still available, so please use the email form to contact us if you would like to come along. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.
On 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.
Steve Turner is known as a pioneer of highly sophisticated English concertina song accompaniments, stretching the boundaries of traditional forms, with one of the best voices in the business. He is a multi-instrumentalist, who also accompanies himself on the cittern and plays mandolin and banjo.
In the F/Roots August/September 2014 edition Nancy Kerr in her “Rocket Launcher” interview when asked “what was the best gig you ever saw?” answered “the best spot I’ve seen recently was Steve Turner – total intensive musical focus and a vast serious repertoire”.
In support will be Isobel, Lydia and Ellie Barber – a string trio from the village of Thorpe in the Peak District. They began learning classical violin at the age of 5, and started playing folk music together after first participating in Folkworks Summer Schools a few years ago. With a particular love for Scottish folk music, the Barber Sisters have been influenced by bands such as RANT, and enjoy playing arrangements of original and traditional tunes on fiddle and viola. They were one of the 10 acts shortlisted for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2015 and were also finalists at New Roots 2015.
Tickets can be reserved via the contact form on our website: £10 (£7 for club members). Bring a bottle or enjoy a tea or coffee from the kitchen.
The showcase guest at the song session on Friday 5 June will be New Roots finalist 2015, Hannah Cumming. Hannah is 23, has been fiddling for 12 years and within the last two years has started singing along to her fiddle accompaniment. She has a passion for traditional English folk songs as well as acoustic and popular music. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Seth Lakeman, Nancy Kerr and Jackie Oates, Hannah creates unique arrangements to suit each song, embracing the original in her own sweetly haunting style.
Singers and musicians are invited to join the song session, and listeners are equally welcome. Entry is free. Bring a bottle, or enjoy a tea or coffee from the kitchen.
The regular Friday song sessions are currently being held downstairs in the main hall. There is no charge and all are welcome, whether to sing, play or listen.
Two-time BBC Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar released their debut album, The Queen’s Lover with Fellside in 2012. Numerous tours followed, as the duo developed and honed their stagecraft, becoming one of the most sought-after young acts on the English folk scene. ‘The press coverage and folk club reports have been glowing and rightly so’ (R2 Magazine). In January 2013, the pair picked up the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award.
After recording their second album in the November of 2013, again with Fellside, Russell and Algar received the Horizon Award for best breakthrough act at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The second album, The Call, was then released in July, receiving 5 Stars in fRoots, 4 Stars in both R2 Magazine and The Telegraph and a host of other brilliant reviews, Bright Young Folk describing it as an ‘outstanding show of maturity’ with ‘enormous promise’. In the last year, both Greg and Ciaran have been touring with Mick Ryan’s folk opera, A Day’s Work. They were also nominated in the Best Duo category in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015. YouTube clip: Davy
Tickets £10 (£7 members) can be reserved by emailing us via the contact page. Bring a bottle or two, or enjoy a cuppa from the kitchen.
We welcome folk trio Teyr as showcase guests at the song session on Friday 24 October. Forged amongst the hustle and bustle of North London’s folk scene, Teyr (‘3’ in the Cornish language) are a trio of players who showcase the many sounds of the British Isles.
With roots running from Ireland to Wales to Cornwall, James Gavin (guitar and fiddle), Dominic Henderson (uilleann pipes) and Tommie Black-Roff (accordion) capture the hybridity of contemporary life within traditional music, injecting it with a shot of youth. Having met on the Trad music scene through late night sessions, each performer holds an intuitive sense of folk music, evident in their deft new arrangements of fiery tunes and songs as well as original material.
There is no charge, but we will have a raffle. Listeners, other singers and tune-players all welcome. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.