As you may have seen on social media, sadly Knight & Spiers are no longer available to perform their headline gig at Downend Folk Club this Friday. Unfortunately, John has tested positive for Covid-19. We wish him a speedy recovery and we will try and find a date for them to come to us in the future. We'll be contacting all ticket holders shortly, so please watch your inbox.
However, we're thrilled to say that the wonderful THREE CANE WHALE have agreed to step in at the last minute, so we'll see still have a brilliant evening of spellbinding music. We've been wanting to book Three Cane Whale for a long time, so we're very pleased that it's worked out for them to be with us at such short notice.
As intricate as a team of watchmakers, as spare as a mountain stream, uplifting and elegiac in equal measure, Three Cane Whale’s multi-instrumental acoustic music encompasses both a cinematic sweep and an intimate delicacy, in which "the aroma of muddy leaves and old nettles is almost tangible" (The Observer). Championed early on by Cerys Matthews, Three Cane Whale’s music has featured on BBC Radios 3, 4 and 6Music, as well as TV and film.
In 2019, the band recorded its fifth album, 303, in a set of linked locations in South Somerset. They’ll be summoning up these resonant landscapes in their live set, as well as playing a selection from their extensive back-catalogue and some brand new material. Three Cane Whale are Alex Vann (mandolin, mandocello, bowed psaltery, zither), Pete Judge (trumpet, tenor horn, harmonium, chimes & glockenspiels) and Paul Bradley (acoustic guitar).
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.
We are delighted to announce our exciting programme for Summer 2022, with three amazing concerts, from May to July, featuring some of the very best folk, roots and acoustic artists. As always, we’re thrilled to be able to bring musicians of such quality to our little corner of South Gloucestershire/Bristol.
Kicking off the Spring Programme in May will be CUP O'JOE, a progressive bluegrass and folk band founded in Northern Ireland by three siblings Tabitha, Benjamin and Reuben Agnew, later joined by Tabitha’s husband David Benedict. Their unique mix of original compositions and re-imagined traditional songs paired with their lively performances has given them a growing presence in the acoustic music scene surrounding Ireland, The United Kingdom, Mainland Europe, and beyond. Opening the evening's entertainment in May will be CHARLIE LIMM, a songwriter, singer, guitarist and flautist, currently based in Bristol.
INDIA ELECTRIC CO., who headline our June gig (at the fourth time of asking!) are perhaps best described as “a veritable musical magpie’s nest” (BBC Radio 3) . Blending traditional instruments, folk melodies and subtle electronic influences, they’ve extensively toured throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand, including UK shows at The London Palladium and Hammersmith Apollo. Getting things underway will be Downend's own SUSIE DOBSON, now partially based in Cambridge, whose career as a singer-songwriter has flourished since she made her debut on our stage as a nervous teenager!
Weaving a musical dialogue between fiddle, guitar and voice, July's headliners KIT HAWES & AARON CATLOW explore the rich musical heritage of the British Isles, and create original music inspired by the traditions they grew up in. In demand as musicians, writers and arrangers, Kit and Aaron have worked with many established artists including Grammy Award-nominated Yola, Seth Lakeman, Afro Celt Sound System and Roni Size. Joining Kit & Aaron on the bill will be GOOD HABITS, an alt-folk duo composed of singer-cellist Bonnie Schwarz and accordionist Pete Shaw, telling stories and turning heads across the globe.
All three concerts will take place at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND. Seating is unreserved. All tickets are £14 in advance (£16 on the door) but you can also buy a season ticket for all three concerts for £37.50, saving £4.50 plus booking fees. All tickets are non-refundable. They will also be available from MELANIE’S KITCHEN in Downend ahead of each individual gig. Please note that they can only take cash payments and season tickets are NOT available at the shop. There will be a full bar at all concerts, as well as the stealth raffle, all proceeds of which go towards booking our support artists. Doors open at 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start.
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