Folk Club Dates for 2017

Entry Fee for a Guest Night:£7.00 *EXCEPT WHERE NOTED
Entry Fee on a Singers Night: Singers £1.50
Non Singers £2.50
Doors will open at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.

We welcome floor spots, and especially want to encourage new acts to our “singers’ nights”, where they can be assured of a warm welcome and an attentive and appreciative audience. All acoustic music, contemporary or traditional, is welcomed. The folk club runs on 1st & 3rd Sundays of every month, (except May) Doors open in the function room of The Royal Oak at 7.30


Sunday 1st January – Singers Night

bernard_hoskin_publicity_photoSunday 15th January – Bernard Hoskin

Bernard Hoskin is a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist from Cambridge whose distinctive and original sound is based upon English songwriting and world music rhythms as well as the more common folk, country and blues styles. An experienced performer, he accompanies himself on 6 and 12 string guitars and mandolin playing a mixture of original and traditional songs and covers.  He has opened up for many of the big names of the folk scene including Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy, Harvey Andrews, John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee.  He has produced eleven CDs and a Rock and Reel magazine review wrote of “his fine tradition of crafting accessible, mellow acoustic folk with occasionally well-placed African pop flavours …reminiscent of the work of Ralph McTell, Paul Heaton, Johnny Clegg and the later work of Paul Simon.”

Sunday 5th February – Singers Night

Sunday 19th February – Mischief Afoot

An exciting mixture of English, Irish and original folk music, performed with life and passion. Mischief Afoot are a folk trio based in the Cotwolds. The line-up consists of Becky Dellow on fiddle, John Davis on recorder and bodhran, and Jeff Gillett on guitar, mandola, mandolin, English concertina and vocals. Jeff and Becky, having played together in various groups for over two decades, have a musical understanding that can seem telepathic. But John, having played with them for only five years or so, is so firmly on the same wavelength that you wouldn’t recognise him as a newcomer. They set out to entertain an audience with music for the heart, mind and feet and with songs to make them laugh, cry and sing along. They play a mixture of English, Irish and American folk songs and tunes, as well as self-penned compositions and the instrumental work can be dazzling, inventive, sensitive, playful or downright mischievous!

Sunday 5th March – Singers Night

chartistsSunday 19th March – The Chartists Folk Band

The Chartists are a group of musicians from the Blackwood area who first got together in 1979 to perform a musical adaptation of the Chartist Movement’s ill-fated march on Newport’s Westgate hotel in November 1839.  Wynford Jones, a singer-songwriter from Tredegar, was awakened to the fervour of that uprising through reading local history and was moved to compose a set of songs on the subject. Along with fellow musicians, Geri Thomas and Geoff Cripps from the Islwyn Folk Club, the Chartists project was initiated culminating in a narrative / song cycle which received critical acclaim and led to the release of ‘The Chartists’ LP in 1982. The band played together for over ten years with various members dropping in and out at different times, touring and playing concerts and festivals in Wales and England. In 1987 they released their second LP, Cause for Complaint, which dealt with life in the South Wales valleys after the 1984 miner’s strike. This album led to its release  on the Hypertension record label in Germany and subsequent concert tours. The band played their final gig in August 1990 and went their separate ways. Twenty one years later three of the original members of the band (Wynford, Geri and Laurence Eddy) re-formed to ‘Rise Again’ with a re-work of the original Chartists album recorded in a more acoustic format. The Chartists line-up may be ‘scaled down’ but the songs are still rousing and a powerful reminder of the past.

hungrytownSunday April 2nd – Hungrytown

This popular duo from the US make a welcome return to the club. After more than a decade of world-wide touring and three album releases, Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson–otherwise known as the folk duo Hungrytown–have earned a reputation for the quality and authenticity of their songwriting: “It’s great to hear an act eschew sentimentality in favor of honesty and to prove that you don’t have to go raiding the memory of others to find the stuff that really good songs are made of,” writes Jedd Beaudoin of Popmatters. Lyricist Rebecca Hall is credited with compositions “that sound as timeless as any traditional songs” (Northern Sky, UK) while producer/multi-instrumentalist/husband Ken Anderson is lauded for his “remarkable affinity for instrumental embellishment” (No Depression) and for crafting Hungrytown’s “gorgeous vocal harmonies” (Folk and Roots, UK). Hungrytown’s introduction to folk music came when a close friend–who died young due to a tragic misdiagnosis–entrusted to them her collection of 1960s folk albums and her guitar (which has since been featured on all of their albums). Inspired by the grit and true-to-life experiences she heard in these traditional ballads, Hall was inspired to write the lyrics that later became her first songs, aided by Anderson’s flair for musical arrangement. Soon afterwards, Hall released two solo albums, Sings! (1999) and Sunday Afternoon (2002), both produced by Anderson. In the winter of 2003, the duo quit their boring desk jobs, moved to the green hills of Vermont, and decided to pursue a full-time career as touring musicians.

Sunday 16th April – Singers Night

folklawSunday 7th May – Folklaw

Exhilarating songs and music that guarantees to get your feet tapping, your face smiling and your festival-feet jumping! Acrobatic fiddling and earthy vocals are interwoven with distinctive vocal harmonies, mandola and guitars, as FolkLaw deliver a subtle reflective social commentary within a patchwork of inspirational songs and melodies. FolkLaw are well known for their crowd-surfing fiddle antics, engaging on-stage banter, and an energized stage performance is guaranteed. In the words of Banbury Folk Festival “One of the most exciting acts to grace the stage”!


Sunday 21st May – Singers Night

jez_loweSunday 4th June – Jez Lowe

With last year’s announcement of a double nomination in the 2015 BBC Folk Awards (Folksinger of the Year and Best New Song), Jez Lowe has leapt into his third decade as a song-writing troubadour, on the back of a new and much acclaimed album – his nineteenth – entitled THE BALLAD BEYOND. The year ahead will see him in front of audiences right across the UK, as well as in Canada, Australia, Spain and Denmark, not only solo or with his long-standing backing band Bad Pennies, but in new musical company, on new musical journeys. It took the release of the compilation CD entitled “HEADS UP – 18 Essential Jez Lowe Songs”, in 2012 for the acoustic/folk world to be jolted into realising that this North East of England-based singer-songwriter is rapidly gaining ground as the most “covered” songwriter on the UK circuit. Over the last couple of decades, the likes of Fairport Convention, The Dubliners, The Unthanks, Wizz Jones, The McCalmans, Mary Black, The Duhks, Bob Fox, The Young Uns, Enda Kenny, Cherish The Ladies, Tom McConville, The Clancys and scores more, have queued up to adopt his songs for their own repertoires. No wonder no less than Richard Thompson has called him “The best singer songwriter to come out of the UK for a long time”, and personally invited him to play at Thompson’s Meltdown Festival at London’s South Bank Centre in 2010. Jez Lowe’s contributions to the on-going BBC series The Radio Ballads has cemented this reputation, with a Sony Radio Award among the many accolades coming its way. Half of the fifteen songs on the new album THE BALLAD BEYOND are Radio Ballads songs recorded by their composer for the first time, revealing not only the breadth of the radio series itself, but also that of the writing and subject matter that Jez has striven to reach.

Sunday 18th June – Singers Night

Sunday 2nd July – Singers Night

ange-hardy-and-lucas-drinkwaterSunday 16th July – Ange Hardy and Lucas Drinkwater

Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater have been stunning audiences all over the country and have rapidly gained a reputation as a phenomenon on the indie and folk music circuit. If you’ve not heard them perform live yet then don’t miss this opportunity – you’re in for an absolute treat. You don’t get called “one of the country’s top folk musicians” by the Telegraph or invited to launch your new album live on BBC Radio 2 by delivering anything less than exceptional levels of entertainment. Since she burst onto the scene in 2013 Ange Hardy has racked up an impressive array of awards including a nomination at last year’s BBC Ra­­dio 2 Folk Awards and winning three consecutive FATEA awards: Female Vocalist of the Year (2013), Album of the Year (2014) and The Tradition Award (2015). Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater formed as a duo for the 14-night tour that accompanied the multi-award winning “Esteesee”, an album of original music based on the life and work of the 18th century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. That album, written and produced by Ange, also featured Steve Knightley, Patsy Reid and Archie Churchill-Moss amongst it’s cast of 11 top folk musicians. The duo launched their debut duo album “Findings” live on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe in September 2016 which shot straight to number 1 in the Amazon Folk Download Charts. Ange and Lukas perform live with a staggering array of ever-changing instruments and equipment: a 27-string harp, 4 different guitars, a double bass, an array of traditional whistles, an Indian shruti box, two loop pedals, a stomp box and anything else they’ve decided to bring with them to keep their sound engineer on his toes. It’s Ange’s innovative and spellbinding use of loop pedals to build layers of vocal harmony live from the stage that have gained her the most attention as a live performer – the dexterity of timing and skill required to harmonise with herself is almost as impressive as her ability to seemingly never perform the same set list twice.

Sunday August 6th – Singers Night

Sunday August 20th – Misfit Pearl

Corn fed Kentucky raised singer songwriter & raconteur Jane Pearl is a rare thing. A genuine wordsmith [when she can remember them] drawing from all four marriages and using all four chords to bring you heartfelt, humorous, well crafted wry vignettes on modern life through the medium of Americana that drips from her kitchen table dropping to the floor and saddling up on an epic quest across the Forests of Dean [her present home] into the ears of any ‘free miner’, hobo or chartered accountant passing through the West Gloucestershire badlands. Jane has spent nearly a decade knitting and crocheting two band members to add finesse and groove to what she describes as a “might fine trio”, multi-instrumentalist Lyndon Webb on guitars and purveyor of an original 1980s ponytail and Thad Kelly on bass & owner of two shopping scooters. Odd indeed. Jane was Americana years before the term was coined. She is the real Deal.


dont-tell-johnnySunday September 3rd – Don’t Tell Johnny

Don’t Tell Johnny’ is a local band from the nearby border town Chepstow with a growing reputation and strong local following. Their music combines touching, emotional vocals and harmonies, beautiful finger picked guitar and soaring fiddle lines to evoke a range of memorable moods and feelings. Very proud of their local heritage, the band have received widespread acclaim for some of their original material, including The Severn Princess (about the last Ferry across the Severn), Caitlin’s Daughter (Dylan Thomas) and Myn Mawr (about the landscape of Snowdonia), all included on their debut album ‘Better Late Than Never’ – a locally produced collection of songs. If you have not heard of them before, this promises to be an evening full of entertaining and quality music, interspersed with some amusing stories and light banter.


Sunday September 17thSingers Night

colum-sandsSunday October 1st – Colum Sands

Colum Sands has performed in over thirty countries around the world, confirming the universal appeal for the songs and stories with which he observes the minute and often humorous details of life.  A member of the internationally renowned Sands Family from County Down, Colum established his reputation as a songwriter with the release of his first solo album, Unapproved Road in 1981. Songs like Whatever you say, say nothing, and Almost every Circumstance were soon in the repertoire of artists from Billy Connolly to Maddy Prior and June Tabor. His work in radio and studio production earned him the Living Tradition Award for services to Folk and Traditional Music. Colum has also produced countless albums for traditional singers and songwriters, he also produced four tracks on the Sound Neighbours CD released by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, an album which was short listed for a Grammy Nomination.  In 2012, Colum took time out from touring and his weekly radio programme to write and record his ninth album, Turn the Corner.  The album was released during the  2013  Fiddler’s Green International Festival and since then many of the ten original songs including   “Annie I owe you”, “Lazy Hill”,  “The Glassmaker’s Hand” “Two Angry Dogs” and the title track, have become firm favourites with audiences around the world.

Sunday October 15thSingers Night

Sunday November 5th – Edwina Hayes

Edwina’s beautifully written songs, charming stage presence and voice of an angel have won her a reputation as a true natural talent of gentle folk-Americana. She has opened numerous shows for Jools Holland and Van Morrison as well as her own gigs playing stages everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to The Royal Albert Hall. The title track of her album Pour Me A Drink was covered by Nanci Griffith who calls her ‘the sweetest voice in England’ and her cover of the Randy Newman song Feels Like Home was featured in the Cameron Diaz film My Sister’s Keeper and has since had over eight million plays on You Tube.

As well as her own gigs playing stages everywhere from Glastonbury to The Royal Albert Hall, Edwina is often invited to guest on studio albums and support major artists on tour. As well as touring extensively with Jools, Van and Nanci Griffith, Edwina has also toured with artists ranging from Loudon Wainwright and Roger McGuinn to KT Tunstall and Gretchen Peters. Edwina was born in Dublin and grew up in Preston, Lancashire before moving to the East coast of Yorkshire as a teenager, where she has been based ever since. Dividing her time between the UK and America, Edwina’s second home is Nashville where she is much loved as a songwriter and artist.

Having signed with Warner Chappell Publishing and with an eclectic range of influences from Bob Dylan and Carole King to Van Morrison and Gillian Welch, Edwina released her debut album ‘Out On My Own’ on Warner Brothers to critical acclaim. Produced by Clive Gregson and Nick Drake producer John Wood, the record featured Dr Hook’s Dennis Locorriere as a guest vocalist and became a favourite on Michael Parkinson’s BBC Radio Show.

Edwina released her second album ‘Pour Me A Drink’ independently to great success. Much more stripped down and acoustic, Nanci Griffith covered the title track and Edwina’s version of Feels Like Home was played in full in the major motion picture ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ starring Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin. Edwina followed in the same style with her third release ‘Good Things Happen Over Coffee’ and touring constantly continues to attract wonderful reviews and fans worldwide.


Sunday November 19thSingers Night

whiskey-riverSunday December 3rd – Whiskey River

Great to dance to, Whiskey River is a Blues Rocking Louisiana USA-styled outfit… yet based on the Welsh Border, UK. Retro Rock ‘n’ Roll, Southern-style Swamp Zydeco Blues, Rocking Cajun Country with whiskey-tinged smoky vocals;  alright! Aidan Sheehan with his Clarence Jr. Martin Cajun accordion and Seydel Blues harmonicas plus Martin Blake on a beautiful white Gretsch and a custom Swamptone Telecaster B-bender guitar. Add heartfelt harmony vocals and you’re right there, back on the Bayou boys. Their swamp-rocking rhythms are augmented by Dave Wood (wild “Psy-de-co” fiddle) and a driving rhythm section featuring Dennis Schiavon (aka Revillos’ bassist “Vince Santini”).  A stomping good night!!


Sunday December 17th – Christmas Singers Night Party