Jackie Oates duo on Friday 16 February

Since appearing as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2003, singer and fiddle-player Jackie Oates has performed extensively at festivals and venues across the country and beyond, in a solo capacity and with her band. A founder member of Northumbrian group and Mercury nominated Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, Jackie is now a permanent member of the folk super-group The Imagined Village, as well as touring in her own right.

Jackie has several albums, including ‘The Spy Glass and the Herringbone‘, which contains lesser known but life-affirming songs from the English tradition and was released in 2015. In researching her 2013 album, ‘Lullabies’, Jackie invited submissions over the internet and the collected songs are housed at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House in London, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Poor Robin

Tickets £11 (£8 members). Reserve by emailing via the contact page. Bring your own drinks. Teas and coffee available in the kitchen. Please double park to allow as many cars in the carpark as possible.

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.

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.

Akabella showcase on Friday 5 February

Akabella at Strangers HallThe showcase guests at the song session on Friday 5 February will be Norwich-based harmony group AkabellaThe group was started by Susan Bell, has been running for a couple of years in its present form with eight members and has performed at many local venues. 

Akabella aim for variety and like to sing songs in three- or four-part harmony, with arrangements by Susan and others in the group. Their material is eclectic, drawn from the British folk tradition as well as Eastern Europe, Spain, Sweden and Africa – not to mention the occasional pop classic.  

Akabella will perform two sets during the song session. Other singers and musicians are also very welcome. There is no charge, but there will be a raffle to help with expenses. Bring your own drinks – tea and coffee available in the kitchen.

The Wilsons on Friday 22 January

Outside the Sage Prom RehearsalsOn Friday 22 January, we welcome superstar harmony quintet The Wilsons, lately collaborators with Sting on ‘The Last Ship’ project. If you like gloriously powerful vocal harmony, then look no further. Tom, Chris, Steve, Ken and Mike sing traditional and traditionally oriented songs with understanding, joy and good humour. They shared a close friendship with Peter Bellamy and cite him as a major influence. He commented: ‘The Northern Wilsonia – a vocal orchestra’.

Tickets £13 (£10 club members) are SOLD OUT. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.

Carolyn Robson and Moira Craig on Friday 2 October, with a harmony workshop on Saturday 3 October

Carolyn Robson and Moira CraigOn Friday 2 October we welcome two of Britain’s foremost acapella singers, Carolyn Robson and Moira Craig, who hail from Northumberland and Scotland respectively and whose repertoire reflects their Northern roots. Both performed for some years as part of the renowned harmony trio, Craig: Morgan: Robson, appearing at all the major festivals as performers and inspirational workshop leaders.

Carolyn Robson is a traditional folk song and dance specialist who has three solo albums and was featured on Kathryn Tickell’s CD ‘The Northumberland Collection’. Moira Craig is from a family of singers and musicians based in East Kilbride near Glasgow and is known for her superb interpretations of Scottish, Irish and English songs and ballads. She has a solo album, as well as three albums with Craig: Morgan: Robson and can also be heard on the ‘Pastimes’ albums.

Tickets for the concert on Friday 2 October can be reserved via the form on our contact page, £10 (£7 members). Bring a bottle or enjoy a choice of teas or coffee from the kitchen.

Carolyn Robson and Moira Craig will be hosting a harmony singing workshop from 1.30 to 4.30 pm on Saturday 3 October at Hayman’s Lodge in Catton Park, Oak Lane NR6 7DB, just off the ringroad in Norwich. Open to all abilities – a great opportunity to try singing for the first time in a supportive atmosphere – and it’s only £5. (Book spaces via our contact form.) Bring cold drinks. There will be tea and coffee available.

The Teacups Trio on Friday 19 June and harmony workshop on Saturday 20 June

TeacupsAlex Cumming, Kate Locksley, Rosie Calvert and Will Finn met whilst studying on the Folk Degree at the University of Newcastle and formed The Teacups in 2010. It’s an age-old format – a quartet of singers: two men, two women – performing an age-old collection of songs. But The Teacups are new, they’re young, and after the success of their debut album, ‘One For The Pot’ which reveled in the vibrancy of youth, and all that heartache, or confusion, or euphoria, that goes with it, the band take significant steps forward with their brand new album ‘Of Labour and Love’, an offering which represents a maturity in material matched only by its maturity in sound. And the best way to get that across to the listeners? Through unadorned, gutsy singing, where arrangements add the intrigue.

This summer the group will be performing as a trio, as Alex is currently suffering from ill-health and is not able to travel back to the UK from the USA, where he has settled since his marriage last summer. The trio incarnation of The Teacups has already successfully appeared at Chippenham Folk Festival and we look forward to welcoming them to Norwich. Tickets £10 (£7 non-members), can be reserved by sending an email via our contact page. Bring a bottle, or enjoy a tea or coffee from the kitchen.

From 10 till noon on Saturday 20 JuneThe Teacups Trio will be leading a harmony workshop in the hall at the Christ Church Centre. All abilities and ages are welcome to come along and join the fun. Tickets £5, can be reserved via the contact page.

Barrie and Ingrid Temple on Friday 13 March

TemplesBarrie and Ingrid are harmony singers from Newcastle upon Tyne. Although they sing mostly unaccompanied, Barrie also adds concertina or guitar accompaniment to some of their songs. They have been singing together for nearly 40 years and have performed throughout the UK and abroad, at folk clubs and festivals.

Barrie and Ingrid’s singing is mainly traditional with both serious and humorous content. They also perform lots of Barrie’s own songs, which are written in the traditional style. The couple are well respected for their unique style of close harmony singing and their original arrangements. Barrie’s own songs are now being sung and recorded by other folk performers, both here and abroad. Pulling Hard Against the Stream

Tickets £10 (£7 members) can be reserved by emailing us via our contact page. Bring a bottle or two, or enjoy a cuppa from the kitchen.

Damien Barber and Mike Wilson on Friday 6 February

DM_Bar_300_dpiOn Friday 6 February, we welcome back two of the finest exponents of traditional song in the United Kingdom – Damien Barber and Mike Wilson. It is difficult to accept that these relatively young men have a combined 40+ years’ experience of performing at folk venues.

Raised in Norfolk and heavily influenced by such earlier Norfolk singers as Walter Pardon and Peter Bellamy, Damien is a stylish and distinctive singer, either unaccompanied or using guitar or concertina. Though he has lived for a long time in West Yorkshire he retains a strong East Anglian identity.

Mike Wilson is the youngest member of the Wilson Family, the powerful Teesside singing siblings who have raised the rafters at many a festival or folk club event. Mike’s musical heritage is emphatically that of the North East – rural and industrial folk song, both traditional and modern.

Damien and Mike have a rich shared repertoire of traditional songs plus the work of modern folk writers such as Bellamy, Ewan MacColl and Mike Waterson.

Tickets are £10 (£7 club members), but are SOLD OUT. Bring a bottle or enjoy a cuppa from the kitchen.

Roger 2fOn Friday 30 January the showcase guest at our song session will be singer, guitar player and melodeon virtuoso, Roger Gamble – a veteran performer of over 50 years in his own right. Now in his 83rd year, Roger maintains a keen sense of mischief, his voice still carries an edge and his playing has a quality that can move.

Roger’s repertoire is a virtual conducted tour of the time he has spent singing and playing in East Anglia’s folk clubs and pubs. From the folk revival of the 50s and 60s on to Dylan and the great singer-songwriters, through delta blues and with an occasional nod to the world of rock, he has amassed a treasure chest of material which is still developing.

There is no charge on the door, but there will be a raffle. Bring drinks of your choice, or make a tea or coffee in the kitchen.

Anne Lister and Mary McLaughlin (Anonyma) on Friday 16 January

Mary and AnneOn Friday 16 January we welcome Anne Lister and Mary McLaughlin, who first performed together as Anonyma in the 1980s, after meeting at Broadstairs Folk Week. They toured extensively in the UK, the US and Ireland, and released the album ‘Burnt Feathers’ to critical acclaim, building a solid reputation for their original arrangements of a wide range of material, from Anne’s compositions to traditional British and Irish songs as well as the occasional song by Sting or Elvis Costello.

After five years they both had other projects and opportunities to follow, and Mary’s career took her to California. She has now returned to live and work in Limerick, and Anne and Mary are setting out on a comeback tour.

Tickets are available on the door, £10 (£7 members) and can be reserved via the form on our contact page. Bring your own drinks – teas and coffee available in the kitchen.