Martyn Wyndham-Read has been involved with folk music for over 40 years. In his late teens he left his mother’s farm in Sussex and headed off, with his guitar, to Australia where he worked on a sheep station in South Australia. It was while he was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands at Emu Springs and he became captivated by these songs and the need to know more of them and where they came from grew.
Martyn headed off to Melbourne and became part of the folk song revival there and throughout Australia during the early1960s. Based back in the UK, he has toured worldwide, performing a variety of traditional and contemporary songs. Martyn is accompanied by box player Iris Bishop.
Tickets £11 (£8 club members) can be reserved via the email link on our contacts page. Bring your own drinks. Coffee and teas available in the kitchen.
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.
Over the last three years they have built a reputation on the UK folk scene for arresting and moving performances. The songs themselves are always given centre stage but they are brought to life with sensitive musical arrangements and stunning vocals. There is an integrity that shines through their performances and a common thread of political struggle, resistance and justice.
Jimmy and Sid have been heavily influenced by the songs and singers of East Anglia, where they both grew up, but their music also reflects the diversity of voices within the folk world. Shallow Brown/Jackie Tar
Tickets £11 (£8 members) will be available on the door. All our events start at 8 pm. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.
The showcase guests at the song session on Friday 27 January will be Norfolk trio Tin River: Skip Shipley (melodeons and vocals), Mim Barnes (whistles and vocals) and Marya Parker (guitar and vocals). Tin River specialise in instrumentals, three-part harmonies and accompanied songs from various traditions and with diverse treatments. The trio has built a solid reputation in the East, having appeared at every FolkEast Festival, as well as folk clubs, fairs and pub music venues.
This is a free event. Bring songs, tunes and your own drinks.
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.
On 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.
On 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.