WHERE TO FIND US

Most of our gigs are held at:

Frenchay Village Hall

Beckspool Road

Frenchay

Bristol

BS16 1NU

 

Three or four times a year, we hold events at:

Christ Church

Downend Road

Downend

Bristol

BS16 5UE

 

 

HISTORY

Downend Folk Club was formed in early-2014 and aims to bring high-quality live folk, roots and acoustic music to venues in and around the Downend area. We host great concerts every month.

The club is the brainchild of Ant Miles who drew together a group of like-minded individuals to drive the club. Within a week of the first meeting of this new committee, Downend Folk Club had attracted a large following on Facebook, had a website up and running and, most importantly, had the first two concerts in the diary!

Our first event was in April 2014 when Bright Season played at our launch night on Easter Saturday.

The club was soon able to announce a gig with Bella Hardy in the May of 2014, and just a couple of weeks later, Bella was crowned Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, which was a massive boost for the club. Some great coverage followed in local magazines, especially Downend Voice.

And this was quickly followed up in late-March 2014 when it was announced that Jim Moray would be the new club's Patron.

Gigs by stars such as Jim, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar and The India Electric Company were soon added, while the club also featured up-and-coming artists like Ange Hardy, Jess Vincent and Gren Bartley on its programme, along with Downend-bred Jennifer Crook's trio.

From July 2014, the club added local-based support acts to the evening, and 16-year old Gloucester-based singer-songwriter Emi McDade was announced as the first one.

Quickly, the club began to make a name for itself as a top venue for folk music, attracting top names like Lucy Ward, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, O'Hooley & Tidow, Jackie Oates and many more, as well as featuring some great up-and-coming acts.

 

WHO'S WHO?

Jim Moray - Patron

Jim Moray is one of the most consistently inventive musicians working in English traditional music today. Winner of five BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, after five ground-breaking albums he now finds himself at the forefront of a new folk revival in the UK, and hailed as a pivotal influence by a new generation of folk musicians. As part of his Patronage, Jim will help to promote the club both locally and nationally, and will be playing a concert here in December. You may also bump into him at some of our other events from time-to-time! We are thrilled to have an artist with such a great reputation associated with the club, and we're very excited about the prospect of working with him to bring great live folk, roots and acoustic music to the Downend area. Pop on over to www.jimmoray.co.uk to find out more.

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Ant Miles - Chairman

A passionate lover of folk and acoustic music, Ant had the idea for Downend Folk Club in early-2014 after deciding to stop moaning about the lack of great live folk gigs in the area and do something about it. Ant, whose favourite artists include Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin and Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar amongst many, many others, is married to Laura and has two young boys, who are frequently subjected to their dad's taste in music and usually take it on the chin most admirably. In his day job(s), Ant runs Fancourt Music, a live music booking agency representing the likes of Jim Moray, Lady Maisery, Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater and Three Cane Whale, does music workshops in residential care homes for a charity called Musica and, in his spare time (ha!) plays in a folk band, Road Not Taken.

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Alan Cole - Vice-Chairman

Usually seen hiding behind the camera at gigs and festivals, Alan initially got involved in the folk scene in 2007 through his interest in photography. Until then, music had never been a significant feature in what he did in his spare time but several years later, as well as photographing many of the top folk artists, bands and festivals, Alan has formerly been involved in the running of Bristol Folk Festival, but now focuses his attentions on Downend Folk Club, and very lucky we are to have him!

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Gaynor Woolley - Secretary

Growing up in the sixties with the emergence of all the wonderful singer-songwriters has left Gaynor with a innate love of music. Still a big fan of James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, Leonard Cohen, Gaynor leans more towards folk these days, but not necessarily traditional. She loves the electric, foot stomping of Jamie Smith's Mabon and Shooglenifty. The real buzz for Gaynor, though, is 'live' music; the interaction, mistakes and all.  Apart from that, Gaynor is a crafter: knitting, sewing, card making!

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Ken Hobbs - Treasurer

Ken is our finance guru... his interest in folk music is growing, as is his CD collection... but he's been roped in as he is Ant's father-in-law! Ken is married to Julie and has two grown-up daughters and four grandchildren. He also does a flippin' fantastic Sunday roast. 

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Rich Harris

Rich is far, far too cool to have a bio on a website. As you can tell from the flat cap.

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Steve Johnson

Steve's interest in folk music began in his teens as a regular at the Troubadour Folk Club in Clifton. His musical taste is eclectic, as he loves the jigs and reels and a bit of the ‘pure stuff’ but is always looking for something new, and the ‘rush’ of new young folk artists in recent years is something that Steve says he finds "thrilling". Steve is eager to encourage a new venture, such as Downend Folk Club, that provides a stage for folk new and old. Steve plays a variety of instruments ("badly!") and plays in a ceilidh band by the name of Cannon Fodder ("the members of which are very good, covering up my mistakes!").

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Jill Williams

Jill was born and brought up in Lancashire, and was introduced to Folk Music in the basements of Manchester in the seventies... although all she I can remember is 'The Wild Rover' and  a song about a Grace Darling on the high seas! Work brought Jill to Bristol and here she has stayed. Jill is our raffle queen, and loves doing it for the club as it brings her into contact with everyone...  "I've found that we have some amazingly generous  and funny people with a passion for music!"

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PAST GIGS

Here's a list of all the gigs and events we've ever held:

April 2014

Bright Season

May 2014

Bella Hardy

June 2014

Ange Hardy

July 2014

Gren Bartley (support from Emi McDade)

August 2014

Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar (support from Geoff Pugh)

September 2014

India Electric Co. (support from Road Not Taken)

October 2014

Jennifer Crook Trio (support from Mike Weaver)

November 2014

Jess Vincent Trio (support from Black Sheep Harmony)

December 2014

Jim Moray (support from Katherine Priddy)

January 2015

Kelly Oliver (support from The Portraits)

February 2015

Jo May's Spoon For Dotty

Maz O'Connor (support from The Black Feathers)

March 2015

Local Showcase - Road Not Taken, Edd Donovan, Steffan Lewis & Rachel Foster, Noey McElwee, Susie Dobson, Geoff Pugh, Mangotsfield Kitchen Project

Lucy Ward (support from Felix M-B)

April 2015

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (support from Kirsty Bromley)

May 2015

Ruth Notman (support from Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith)

June 2015

O'Hooley & Tidow (support from Robert Lane)

July 2015

Jackie Oates with Mike Cosgrave (support from Kim Lowings & The Greenwood)

August 2015

Chris Cleverley (support from Noey McElwee)

September 2015

Sam Carter (support from Said The Maiden)

October 2015

Ewan McLennan (support from Nibs van der Spuy)

November 2015

The Young'uns (support from The Roaring Trowmen)

December 2015

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker (support from Emi McDade)

January 2016

Tobias ben Jacob & Lukas Drinkwater (support from Ian Roland with Simon Yapp)

February 2016

Gilmore & Roberts (support from Susie Dobson with Joe Futak)

March 2016

Luke Jackson (support from Hannah Cumming)

April 2016

Mairearad & Anna (support from Steffan Lewis & Rachel Foster)

May 2016

Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith (support from Kitty Macfarlane)

June 2016

Kirsty Bromley & Lucy Wise with Simon Dumpleton (support from Steve Pledger)

July 2016

Sunjay (support from Lara Conley)

August 2016

Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley (support from Road Not Taken)

Claudia Schwab & Friends (support from Susie Dobson with Joe Brydon)

September 2016

Leveret (support from The Hut People)

October 2016

Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater (support from Mike Weaver)

 November 2016

Lady Maisery (support from Ashland)

December 2016

Belshazzar's Feast (support from The Ninetree Stumblers)

January 2017

Moore Moss Rutter (support from Harri Endersby)

February 2017

Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman (support from Ollie King)

March 2017

Chris Sherburn, Denny Bartley & Emily Sanders (support from Niamh Boadle)