Ely Folk Club takes place in The Old Dispensary, 13 St Mary's Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4ER. There is no bar, but you are welcome to bring your own drinks or buy drinks from the pub across the road and bring them with you.
New start time: From September 2013 events at Ely Folk Club will start at 8.00pm, unless otherwise stated.
Concerts take place most months, usually on Wednesday evenings. We also hold occasional extra events.
Tickets may be booked in advance by telephoning 01353 740999 or 01353 664706.
North Devon singer-songwriter Jenna Witts is a free spirit with an effortless natural talent. She is an accomplished keyboard player and acoustic guitarist who comes to life on stage with her infectious laugh and humour (with a west-country twang) – then silences everyone with her startlingly mature voice, sass, attitude and elegance. She delivers wonderfully melodic songs inspired by the sea, love and life. At 25, Jenna has a wealth of recording and touring experience behind her including five nation-wide tours with Steve Knightley (Show of Hands) as well as performing at Show Of Hands' sell out concert at The Royal Albert Hall. Jenna has also toured with Mercury prize nominee Seth Lakeman and supported Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends. She's also played alongside other musicians including Elkie Brooks, Hazel O'Connor, Newton Faulkner, The Noisettes, Nerina Pallot, etc. Jenna's first album 'Barefoot and Eager' attracted a string of accolades and national airplay and was named one of the Financial Times Top 10 world albums of 2007. Her second album 'Brother' has also received great critical acclaim and airplay on Radio 2. It showcases her talent as one of the most up and coming young singer songwriters in the UK. Jenna released her brand new solo album 'HITCHHIKER'in summer 2013. This album is the first on her record label 'Jenna Records' and it showcases ten new self-penned tracks – it has recently reached number 1 in the Radio Caroline Countdown of Albums chart.
Robert Lane is a guitarist, songwriter and singer based in Birmingham. Robert was chosen by the LG Arena to perform before concerts by Dire Straits front man Mark Knopfler, BBC Sound of 2010 winner Ellie Goulding and international superstar singer/songwriter John Mayer. In May 2013 he returned to the Forum Live to play before Eric Clapton's main stage appearance. In August 2013 he was selected to attend a song writing retreat/course with Kinks front man Ray Davies. He has supported a wide range of performers including Nell Bryden, Gary Nock, Polly Paulusma, Paul Liddell, Alice Gold, Cattle and Cane, Jazz Morley, Edwina Hayes, Dan Wilde, Jess Morgan, Steve Gibbons, Jay Leighton, Dan Whitehouse and Steve Ajao. Robert has appeared at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Birmingham Artsfest and The Tenby Blues Festival as well as venues including Birmingham's Glee Club and Jools Holland's famous venue The Jam House.
Nobody sleeps when The Young’uns are in town. They may have established their fast-growing reputation in the folk world with sublime a cappella harmonies, but the Teesside trio – Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle – are an unlikely force of nature on stage, beguiling audiences with irrepressible humour, bold vocals, gripping storylines and innate musicality. Describing their gigs as ‘absolute chaos’, they go on stage without set-lists, relying on infallible instinct and their unique rapport with audiences to deliver a killer show. Their music is rooted fiercely in Teesside – specially, Stockton – where they first started singing together at the local folk club, although they spread their wings on their glorious album, When Our Grandfathers Said No, which includes a stomping French song, Pique la Baleine, a gorgeous unaccompanied arrangement of James Taylor’s You Can Close Your Eyes, some nifty instrumental work, a couple of rollicking shanties and plentiful strong original material from Sean Cooney. When Our Grandfathers Said No is a line from one of his most compelling songs, The Battle of Stockton, recalling an incident in 1933 when Oswald Mosely’s Blackshirts targeted deprived areas as potential fascist hotbeds and marched over the Tees – to be physically repelled by 2,000 outraged Stockton townsfolk.
Kelly is a folk singer/songwriter, guitarist and harmonicist, influenced mainly by acoustic music and traditional Irish folk music. She began gigging in May 2013, and has since played many folk club gigs and festivals, including the likes of Cambridge Folk Festival and Hitchin Folk Club, and has supported artists such as Chris and Kellie While, Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston, The Urban Folk Quartet, and Luke Jackson. She has appeared on BBC London and Three Counties Radio, and through teaching herself the harmonica in May 2013 has secured harmonica sponsorship with the international brand Hohner. Kelly's debut EP 'Far From Home', consisting of five original songs and released in November 2013 by Folkstock Records, has had a very enthusiastic reception from radio presenters, reviewers and listeners alike.
Martyn Wyndham-Read has been involved with folk music for over forty years. In his late teens he left his mother's farm in Sussex and headed off, with his guitar, to Australia where he worked on a sheep station Emu Springs in South Australia. It was while he was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands at Emu Springs and he became captivated by these songs and the need to know more of them and where they came from grew. He headed off to Melbourne and became part of the folk song revival there and throughout Australia during the early 1960s. Back to England in 1967 where he met up with the renowned singer and song collector Bert Lloyd, who himself had spent time in Australia. Martyn was asked by Bert Lloyd to be part of the album 'Leviathan' on the Topic label and soon after he started recording for Bill Leader and touring extensively worldwide. In the early 1970s Martyn started the 'Maypoles to Mistletoe' concerts which portray the seasons of the year through song, music, dance and verse and illustration. Martyn is also the instigator of the well known Song Links Project, Martyn is currently working with Shirley Collins on a production called 'Down the Lawson Track' featuring stories, poems/songs of the great Australian Poet of the People, Henry Lawson with Pip Barnes, Iris Bishop, Gary Holder and Jackie Oates. Amazingly, this is Martyn's first visit to Ely Folk Club!
UNITY are a local acoustic guitar trio, based in Isleham. They write songs with a positive vibe in mind, weaving harmony and melody together to take you to those places you thought you had forgotten.
James Delarre (Mawkin, Jim Moray) and Saul Rose (Faustus, Whapweasel) have joined forces to create a duo with the sweet combination of fiddle and melodeon. James and Saul first met at Sidmouth Folk Week in 2007. They were brought together as part of a band to play music for the dance troupe Morris Offspring and they have Laurel Swift to thank for bringing them together. After a punishing week of morning workshops and all day and evening performances with the troupe they had become firm friends. They continued to play for Morris Offspring for the next couple of years, met up regularly to play the night away in the infamous Cockle Shed and shared the stage in 2009/10 with Jim Moray when Saul replaced Nick Cooke in his band. Every time they meet the music flows and the pair have finally come out as a duo in 2012 with a demo on the way and an album planned.
At the beginning of her career Lesley fronted a variety of duos, trios and bands primarily focusing on a mix of both traditional and contemporary folk, rock and country music. Wanting to explore her own artistic capabilities, she decided to go it alone and pursued her career as a solo artist producing a three girl song and dance cabaret show called 'The Lesley Curtis Affaire', encompassing rock, pop, soul and West End musical classics. It was at this time that Lesley began writing, especially whilst travelling to and from gigs. As the new millennium approached, Lesley's career took a change in step as new musical opportunities began to open up for her. In 2002 Lesley was asked to star in the touring theatre show 'A Musical Tribute to Eva Cassidy' - an honour she was delighted to accept, already being a great fan of Eva. It allowed Lesley to explore jazz and blues as well as reviving her love of contemporary and traditional folk music. Her collaboration with songwriter Stuart McLeod and composer Christopher Barn in 2013 produced the song 'In the Blink of My Eye' which was used by celebrated rock photographer Nick Elliott as part of his 'Covers' collection featuring Mike Harding.
Although they hail from just down the road in Bury St Edmunds, The Bounty Hounds are a little more than just a local band, as through the summer they will be found on folk festival stages across the country performing a full electric set with drummer Shaun. But they are equally at home playing an acoustic set in more intimate venues and are often joined by percussionist Sue on those occasions. The band is made up of Jo on the fiddle, Chris on guitar and mandolin, bassist Kevin, and lead vocalist John on guitar, bouzouki and mandolin, (and occasionally banjo if he thinks he can get away with it!) As it's Christmas, there may be the odd song that doesn't normally feature in the band's repertoire, so if you've got a kazoo at home, you might just want to pop it in your pocket and bring it along!
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