In the summer of 2016, the organisers of FolkEast Festival had the grand idea of pairing the legendary Steeleye Span fiddle-player Peter Knight and melodeon player extraordinaire, John Spiers (a founder member of folk juggernaut Bellowhead) for a special one-off KNIGHT & SPIERS concert at that year's festival.
In the event, it ended up being a genuine festival highlight, with no space to be found in the Marquee and people standing five deep in pouring rain. For a few minutes at the close of their performance, with a standing ovation and roars for more, it didn't seem as though the audience was going to let them go. As the MC commented, it was one of those occasions when people could say "I was there”. It was also clear that leaving matters there was not an option, and plans were made to record an album tour together... and their tour diary brings them to Downend this month; a rare opportunity to see a duo labelled “one of the most intriguing and exciting collaborations on today's folk scene” by Folk Radio UK. And now, Peter and John's Spring tour brings them to Downend Folk Club for a concert which is sure to prove popular with local music lovers.
The pairing of violin and melodeon is not a new one, but in the hands of Peter Knight and John Spiers, improvisation and invention meet the listener at every turn. Together they have created a musical document that resonates with history, but also something to inspire future generations of musicians to engage with Britain’s folk dancing heritage, and the beautiful, mysterious tunes that can be found within that heritage.
Opening the evening’s entertainment will be EVE APPLETON, a young singer-songwriter performing in the folk tradition but bringing a fresh, contemporary voice to the genre.
Born and bred in the Dorset town of Bridport (noted for its bohemian colour and cultural vibrancy), Eve has been writing and playing live since she was 15 years old and now, at 20, has a considerable experience of live shows behind her and a collection of captivating, enchanting, self- penned songs. Eve is currently studying songwriting at the prestigious British Irish Modern Music (BIMM), in Bristol.
There will be a bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and locally-brewed real ale from Hambrook-based HOP UNION BREWERY (formerly GWB). Audience members are encouraged to bring their own glass/mug/tankard/bucket, as well as reusable bottles for water, as part of the club’s drive to be more environmentally aware. There is a 50p discount for those bringing their own receptacles. There will also be sweet treats available at the bar courtesy of the Radstock-based GREAT CAKE COMPANY, as well as the “stealth raffle” which helps to fund the support artists.