We're proud to feature an artist who spent many of her formative years in Downend as our headline act for October.

JENNIFER CROOK, who has earned a reputation as an outstanding harp player as well as an acclaimed singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist, lived in Downend between the ages of nine and 17. She attended Downend School and still has family in the area.

“Carnforth Station’ is Jennifer’s third solo release and features her trio, who will join her on stage this month. The trio is made up of Jennifer, cellist BETH PORTER and multi-instrumentalist MIKE COSGRAVE.

Jennifer, whose career has taken her from the BBC Young Tradition Award to touring with Snow Patrol, wrote many of the songs for ‘Carnforth Station’ on the lever harp and much of her musical history (elements of traditional Irish, bluegrass and alternative country), finds its way into this collection of songs which explore life’s journeys and transitions... moving on, letting go, joy, loss and hope.

On returning to familiar surroundings of Downend, Jennifer said: “I’m really excited to be back in Downend, and it’s great news that there’s a folk club now. I lived in Downend when I was younger and went to Downend School. I didn’t play the harp back then, as I took that up later at university, but I played various instruments and made up songs.”

Jennifer continued: "I was always trying to drag my friends up on stage to join me in school assemblies and concerts, but I wasn’t considered very ‘cool’ at the time… life might have been very different id there had been a folk club in Downend back then!”

The Jennifer Crook Trio will feature at Downend Folk Club on Friday 17th October. You can buy tickets for the gig here.


Opening for The Jennifer Crook Trio will be MIKE WEAVER.

Mike is a highly-respected singer-songwriter, originally from Cheltenham but now living in Worcestershire. He is a writer and illustrator by day and an acoustic performer by night, and writes his own material drawing upon both contemporary and traditional influences. 

After break of seventeen years, Mike returned to songwriting and performing in 2013 and released a CD of original songs spanning three decades in August this year.

Since his 'comeback' he has played at a variety of events across southern England, and was the closing act on the Tipi stage at Lechlade Music Festival in May.


Don't forget that it's not only Jennifer who is coming home this month... for the first time since our opening event, Downend Folk Club will be held in Downend!

Frenchay Village Hall remains our regular home, but we will be holding three or four events every year at Christ Church Downend, in the church building itself. This is brilliant news, because it's a great venue for folk music. And fear not... you'll still be able to get your GWB real ales, cider and wine, as the church have kindly given us permission to run a bar in the foyer.

We're very grateful to Jo Vickery and his team for allowing us to use their beautiful building. See you there!

The pubs and restaurants are taking bookings, the shops are stocking up on gifts and decorations... surely it can't be that time of year already?!

Well, it is! Christmas is coming, and plans for the annual "Christmas in Downend" event are well underway. Downend Folk Club will be involved, as we welcome back talented singer-songwriter and friend of the club ANGE HARDY for the outdoor event.

Ange, who is based in Somerset, will be well-known to our regulars after her hugely popular gig back in June. And she will be representing Downend Folk Club at the event, which takes place right in the centre of Downend on the evening of Friday 28th November,

There will be plenty going on, including the switching on of the Christmas lights and performances by local schools, as well as one or two celebrity appearances!

Ange will close the proceedings with a 45-minute slot between 7.15pm-8.00pm... and the best news of all is that the whole event is completely FREE! Ange will be selling CDs and her popular sock-monkeys, so come along for great music and an opportunity to fill your loved one's stockings with great folky goodies!

The programme for next Spring was announced at September's event... and there was, understandably, much excitement from the Downend Folk Club faithful!

Heading the list are PHILLIP HENRY AND HANNAH MARTIN, who scooped the award for Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards earlier this year, and LUCY WARD, who has been making a big splash recently, and was herself nominated as Folk Singer of the Year at the same awards.

Added to that is rising star MAZ O'CONNOR, who is surely a certainty for honours herself in 2015; KELLY OLIVER, whose new album has met with rave reviews; and RUTH NOTMAN, who has reappeared on the live circuit after a few years studying and was hailed as a singing sensation when she burst onto the scene in her teens.

We're very excited about this line-up... one DFC regular commented that it reads like a Folk Awards nomination list, and that person isn't far wrong! We hope you'll all be as thrilled with these artists as we are!

Tickets for these events are already on sale to members, with sales to the public opening later this year. The ticket prices listed below are the public prices. Prices for members will be available shortly in the Members Only section on the menu bar. Please note carefully the venue for each event, as we are holding some of the gigs at our regular home of Frenchay Village Hall, and others at Christ Church Downend. Support acts will be announced at a later date. Doors open at 7.30pm for all events.


Friday 16th January 2015: KELLY OLIVER. Frenchay Village Hall. £8 in advance, £10 on the door.

Friday 20th February 2015: MAZ O'CONNOR. Christ Church Downend. £10 in advance, £12 on the door.

Friday 20th March 2015: LUCY WARD (with Joy Gravestock). Frenchay Village Halll. £10 in advance, £12 on the door.

Friday 17th April 2015: PHILLIP HENRY AND HANNAH MARTIN. Christ Church Downend. £10 in advance, £12 on the door.

Friday 15th May 2015: RUTH NOTMAN. Frenchay Village Hall. £8 in advance, £10 on the door.