As our lockdown series of “an hour or so...” sessions draws to a close, we’re pleased to be able to announce our plans moving forward.
With physical concerts still not able to happen, we’ll be streaming concerts from our Frenchay Village Hall headquarters on the third Friday of every month, starting in September, until such a time as we’re able to get back to concerts properly.
And we’re very pleased to announce that our first concert will feature NICK HART, who was due to perform at the club this Autumn after an extremely well-received support set early last year. Nick has been making quite a name for himself in the intervening time, so we’re very pleased to welcome him as our first headliner in our series of online concerts. The concert will be streamed on YouTube on Friday 18th September 2020.
These concerts will be different to most of the live streams you’ll have seen during lockdown. We’re aiming to recreate as much of the real gig energy as we can; it will look and sound like Downend Folk Club. We’ll be setting up the stage and the lights, and we’re bringing in a team of professional film-makers to make sure it looks and sounds as good as it possibly can. We’ll be using multiple camera angles and top quality sound equipment to ensure a really great experience. This is not “live from the lounge”! As such, streams will cost a minimum of £10 each, and we’d also like to encourage you to pay extra if there is more than one face looking at it… consider what you would normally pay for a concert like this. Our suggestion is £10 per person but it is entirely up to you. Clearly, we’re taking a risk and we really, really need you to support us if you can. Tickets are on-sale now HERE, and we’d really appreciate it if you bought in advance. The link to the YouTube stream will be emailed to all ticket holders on the morning of the concert, and you’ll be able to watch it as many times as you like in the month following the event, so even if you can’t make the actual evening, you can still “come along”, virtually.
We’ll be announcing each concert a month at a time, so if we still can’t have concerts in October, we’ll announce our online guest at the September event.
If it is possible to have a small audience actually at the gig in September, then we’ll certainly do that; we’ll announce details if/when it becomes possible. If you’ve already bought a ticket for the stream, you’ll be given the opportunity to “upgrade”.
ABOUT NICK HART
NICK HART is a folk singer deeply rooted in the English tradition. Raised in a family of morris dancers, Nick played instrumental music for many years before discovering his passion for traditional song. Whilst studying for an ethnomusicology degree, he began to explore the large body of recordings of traditional singers from the second half of the 20th century, and this led to several years of fevered study and many nights spent at folk clubs and festivals, honing his skills as an unaccompanied singer.
Nick's initially hardline attitude to the accompaniment of folk songs has softened over the years, but his love of the nuances of traditional singing informs his minimal guitar accompaniment, and his songs are delivered with a great emphasis on storytelling. His repertoire of songs, drawn largely from his native East Anglia, reflect his understanding of both the depth and breadth of material within the English tradition and he is fast acquiring a reputation as an engaging and entertaining performer.
2017 saw the release of his first solo album, Nick Hart Sings Eight English Folk Songs. Recorded by long-time collaborator Tom Moore, the album has been well received, being described as "one of the most rewarding and accomplished albums we've heard this year" (fRoots), "a cult classic in waiting" (Grizzly Folk), "absolutely excellent" (Folk Radio UK), and "the real deal" (Mike Harding).
Nick’s second album, entitled Nick Hart Sings Nine English Folk Songs, was released last year to further critical acclaim.
We're rounding off our series of online events for lockdown this Friday (17th July) with something slightly different, as we spend an hour or so AT Downend Folk Club. Well, sort of.
Each week since lockdown started, our founder and chairman Ant Miles has welcomed a series of guests for a chat and a handful of songs or tunes. It's been so well received, and we're so grateful for all the positive comments and feedback that you've given us. Thank you! But as we conclude the series, on the day that would have been our last concert before the Summer break, we're inviting you to spend an hour with us at our club here in North Bristol/South Gloucestershire. But virtually, of course!
Like all the other online events we've brought you so far, this event will be free to attend. For each of the 15 events so far, we've run a tip-jar, and we've given 100% contents to our guests. We've raised an incredible £6000+ in total for those musicians during this time, and that's all down to you... so it's another thank you from us! There will still be a tip jar this week, and this time your donations will be going to Downend Folk Club. It's also been a time of struggle for venues, and these events haven't been free to put on, so this is your opportunity to make a donation as a thank you to the club. The link to the tip jar is below.
We'll be going live on our FACEBOOK page at 8.00pm on Friday, so please do join us.
The ability to write songs that are both modern and ancient is a rare thing. The product of an arcane art of weaving in traditional influences so thoroughly that they become the warp and weft of fresh creations. Our guests for the penultimate in our lockdown series of online events (Friday 10th July) are two such talents. THE BLACK FEATHERS, made up of Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler, first became aware of the magic between them while collaborating on several musical projects, becoming The Black Feathers and life partners in 2012.
Every Friday during lockdown, at 8.00pm on our FACEBOOK page, we're joined by a different guest for an hour or so. The focus of these events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You'll are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations going direct to the guest. You can find that at the bottom of the page. We'll be keeping these weekly events going until Friday 17th July, when we'll finish for the Summer with something slightly different! We'll let you know Autumn plans once the situation is a little clearer.
Americana, Folk, and Acoustic Indie Rock sensibilities coexist comfortably in THE BLACK FEATHERS' musical world, with Hughes’ guitar work buoying the kind of harmonies often only heard in family bands. Their music quickly draw the interest of listeners, but it is the stage chemistry that will keep them riveted. Having already built up a loyal following in the UK, The Black Feathers have been spreading their wings across the US. They have performed at Philadelphia Folk Festival and AmericanaFest, and have also been awarded official showcases at the North East Regional and Far-West Folk Alliance conferences. The duo first appeared at Downend Folk Club as far back as February 2015, when they opened for Maz O'Connor, before returning for a much-requested headline show in April 2017.
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