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.
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!
Three powerful and authentic folk voices combined to chilling effect. Their singing is unaccompanied, with songs mostly drawn from the folk tradition – chorus songs, ballads, shape note, shanties - with plenty of death, muck and bullets! There's nothing sweet about these harmonies, so pin back your lug-holes and prepare to feel the hairs rise on the back of your neck!
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!
Two of the finest exponents of Traditional Song in the United Kingdom; it is difficult to accept that these relatively young men, have a combined 40+ years experience of performing at Folk venues. Raised in Norfolk and heavily influenced by such earlier Norfolk singers as Walter Pardon and Peter Bellamy, Damien is a stylish and distinctive singer, either unaccompanied or using guitar or concertina. Though he has lived for a long time in West Yorkshire he retains a strong East Anglian identity. Mike Wilson is the youngest member of the Wilson Family, the powerful Teesside singing siblings who have raised the rafters at many a festival or folk club event. His musical heritage is emphatically that of the North East – rural and industrial folk song both traditional and modern. Damien and Mike have a rich shared repertoire of traditional songs plus the work of modern folk writers such as Bellamy, Ewan MacColl and Mike Waterson.
The Wheres Spot Band are renowned in reviews for their superb musicianship and awesome vocal harmonies. Their music is an eclectic range from their acapella cover of a Beatles medley through to their inventive arrangements of both traditional and contemporary folk songs. As a band of musicians with life-long experience you should expect sophisticated folk guitar work, subtle jazz inspired bass lines, infectious rhythms, topped by their superb vocal harmonies and an entertaining presentation that will send you home with a smile…
Jennifer's songwriting draws on her Americana influences but remains undeniably English in it's story-telling. A multi-instrumentalist, Jennifer sings, plays harp, guitar and banjo and performs with her trio – cellist Bethany Porter (Eliza Carthy Band, Newton Faulkner) and guitarist and accordionist, Mike Cosgrave (Jackie Oates, Jackie Leven). Jennifer and her trio are recording her third solo album at Real World Studios to be released in June 2014. With the combination of great musicianship and songs that inspire a genuine emotional connection, this is first class contemporary folk.
The Foxglove Trio is a group of multi-instrumentalists who perform mostly traditional songs from around the British Isles in English and Welsh. Gathering material from sessions, published song collections and contemporary artists, these talented musicians are making a name for themselves on the UK folk scene for their beautiful harmonies, creative new arrangements and engaging live performances.
Gerry Colvin was born in Barrow-in-Furness. In the 1970s Gerry joined pop band 'The Man Upstairs'. They released three singles and toured with 'The Smiths'. In the early 1980s he co-founded and fronted the legendary John Peel favourite skiffle-cowpunk indie outfit 'Terry and Gerry'. This seminal band toured Europe and the USA and appeared on countless Radio and TV shows including 'The Tube' and 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. Their five singles and album all reached No.1 in the indie charts. In 2010 Cherry Red released 'Let's Get the Hell Back to Lubbock', the definitive 'Terry and Gerry' compilation. In the early 1990s Gerry worked in Nashville as a professional songwriter and back in the UK collaborated with Alison Moyet, co-writing on an album project. He also penned TV themes, musicals, film scores and wrote and presented for BBC Radio 2. His band 'Gerry Colvin's Inexperience', a fusion of Soul, R and B and Folk-Country, became a firm favourite on the College circuit. In 1993 Gerry formed the folk-pop band 'The Atlantics': they toured extensively including a slot at Glastonbury Festival where Gerry was compere, and appeared on BBC's prestigious 'Pebble Mill at One'. Colvin's other major project at this time was film music as vocalist with 'The National Screen Orchestra'; he also performed as a comedy double act with Hollywood superstar Mackenzie Crook. In 1995 Gerry co-founded the five piece folk band Colvinquarmby. They released six critically acclaimed albums and were voted best band at the prestigious Fairport Convention Cropredy Festival in 2009. In 2010 they won the Hancock Award for 'Best Live Folk Act'. In May 2013 Gerry was invited by New York producer and Robert Plant song collaborator Dave Barratt to record 'Revolution' for the 'Beatles complete on ukulele' album and website. In 2013 Gerry released a self-penned solo album 'Jazz Tales of Country Folk' and is now working on his next CD 'Six of One half a Dozen of the Other'.
Andy has been consistent musical force since he came swiftly to prominence with the innovative Blowzabella. As well as a thorough grounding in the English tradition, Andy's influences extend way beyond these isles, particularly to the music of Central France and to the storming Quebecois tradition. These influences will be well-known to all those familiar with Andy's duo with English fiddle player, guitarist and singer, Chris Wood. Wood and Cutting became one of the most influential, and enduring duos on the scene; paving the way for the explosion of many of today's thrusting young newcomers. Andy's commitment to, and sense of pride in traditional music, as well as his sensitivity and understanding of the form, has made him one of the folk scene's most wanted, playing with Kate Rusby, John McCusker and Under One Sky to name but a few. There is also a growing demand for him to play outside this genre. He has recorded with Sting, John Illsley (Dire Straits), and was recently asked to join The Who for an acoustic concert in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. As well as his ongoing work with Chris, Andy is currently working with Martin Simpson, June Tabor and Blowzabella.
In the space of two short years, Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston have emerged to become one of the most sought after duos on the English folk and roots scene. The striking combination of the flame headed double bass player and virtuoso mandolin player create music that Folk Roots say is: "A musical partnership made in heaven. Scintillating, sensitive and brilliant!" Well known for the last eight years as a central component of Show of Hands, Miranda has an exquisite and spine-tingling voice, whilst Rex, with his exuberant and flamboyant playing style, has built a reputation as one of the finest mandolin players in the UK.
In 1975, after spending five years as a floor singer around the many folk clubs in the North East of England as well as being a resident singer at the famous Davylamp Folk Club in Washington, Bob Fox met fellow North Easterner Tom McConville and his career as a professional folk singer/musician began. In the year 2000 Bob celebrated 25 years of singing folk songs professionally with a number of tours both in the UK and abroad, starting with an appearance as 'special guest' on the Fairport Convention tour and continuing with folk club tours in Britain, Holland and Canada.
Kirsty is a Sheffield based singer, dancing and teacher of folk music within the English tradition. She has recently taken to writing her own material and is excited to be releasing her debut album in May 2015. After recording a demo with Nicholas and Judith Hooper (Oxfordshire) in the summer, performing with them at the open mic and Moonbeams Tent at Towersey Village Festival 2014, Kirsty has decided to form a trio with the couple. Ely Folk Club is their first official booking as a trio. Judith comes from a background in music therapy and was introduced to folk music after an epiphanic moment during an improvisation class with particular interest in the English traditional and modern tunes as well as Eastern European tunes. Nick is an internationally known guitarist and composer. He has played classical and acoustic guitar since the age of 12 and has recently taken up the banjo (oh no!). Nick and Judith run a monthly club in Stonesfield and are part of the 'DellyWellyBoot Band'. The trio will perform a mixture of traditional and self-penned songs/tunes with beautiful harmonies, fiddle, guitar, banjo and trumpet.
Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer have developed a strong reputation for a delivering great performances time and time again. Once known mainly for for their instrumental skills with Scottish smallpipes, accordion and Swedish nyckelharpa, they are now being accepted as impressive song arrangers and writers. Vicki and Jonny effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary interpretations whilst equally creating original self penned tunes and songs that are entirely at home in the tradition. Out of this combination they have developed a sound that is both familiar and fresh.
Stunning harmonies, intricate string arrangements and fabulous melody all underpin Gren Bartley's new songs, already described as 'spine tinglingly beautiful'. Gren is a prolific and exceptional songwriter. He is constantly touring and forever writing. Winter Fires (Spring 2013) built further upon the success of 2012's critically acclaimed 'Songs To Scythe Back The Overgrown'. Continuing his relentless progress, a new album recorded with his band is set to be delivered in early 2015. Following a showcase appearance at the 2013 AFO Conference, Gren has performed with his band at dozens of summer festivals and venues across the UK. Featuring his 'phenomenal' guitar playing and poetry driven lyrics, this new line-up also features Julia Disney (Keys/fiddle/vocal), Sarah Smout (cello/ vocal).
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