Details of our forthcoming events
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(Wednesday) December 27th 2017 at Newdigate Club

CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS!

(Wednesday) January 10th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Bill Bates

Bill says ......

I love to perform my songs at folk clubs, folk festivals and at house parties. I perform a mixed set of funny songs and serious songs. My objective is to entertain and have some fun and hopefully you will enjoy yourself at the same time.

I call myself a Dyxsluxic Song Writer, which just about sums me up. I go wrong every now and again but I keep smiling.

I am not as good a songwriter as Steve Knightley (Show of Hands) and not as funny as Keith Donnelly. I thought I`d let you know this to manage your expectations!

Well we think he's as good as Steve Knightley (even if he isn't quite as funny as Keith Donnelly) only joking Bill!!

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(Wednesday) February 14th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Martyn Oram

So where did it all begin?

Martyn was born in his grandparents' house in Plymouth, Devon, and lived in Mombasa, Kenya for two years before settling in Bath, Somerset.

He bought an electric guitar when he was ten and started to learn the violin at eleven. After Hendrix died, the electric guitar was soon swapped for an acoustic and Donovan became a major influence, along with the Incredible String Band, Roy Harper, Leonard Cohen, and Tom Paxton. Learning fiddle tunes from Fairport Convention and other LP`s, (which soon destroyed these albums!), he formed `GULL MAC MORNA` with three school friends and they began playing around the local folk scene.

In 1974, he went to Warwick University and was roomed with Keith Donnelly from South Shields, who played acoustic guitar and shared the same musical tastes. Together they formed `WATERFALL`, and became residents of the University Folk Club, mixing songs by Jonathon Kelly, Gerry Rafferty, Al Stewart etc with traditional ballads and tunes, and slowly began including their own original compositions.

After graduating in 1977, they took the plunge and decided to commit themselves full time to music. Joining an alternative country/rock band for 6 months, called `VAN DE HOOG`S ELDERFLOWER REMEDY`, (with Martin Bell, later of the WONDERSTUFF), they quickly learnt all about PA systems, sleeping in vans and life on the road.

Read the full story on his web site!

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(Wednesday) March 14th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Kevin Dempsey

Kevin Dempsey is a master performer on the guitar, an arranger, a singer and a top quality live entertainer.

He is one of the most sought-after musicians on the UK folk scene and beyond, and has played and recorded with many of the most famous names in acoustic and folk music: Dave Swarbrick, Joe Broughton, Chris Leslie, Peter Knight, Dando Shaft, Uiscedwr, Whippersnapper, and Mary Black.

Whether in an intimate acoustic environment, or a large festival stage where he fills the air with spellbinding music, Kevin puts his audience at ease and takes them on a varied and wonderful musical journey.

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(Wednesday) April 11th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Geoff Higginbottom

The Stockport-born singer and teller of tall tales delights his audiences with powerful ballads and shanties, often with irresistible choruses. Whether singing unaccompanied or with six and 12 string guitar, bodhran and Appalachian dulcimer, Geoff’s guest appearances are like spending a raucous evening with an old friend. He first sang in public on the northern pub and folk club circuit in the 1980s and started to gain more widespread attention as a finalist in a competition in Warwick Folk Festival before getting booked and rebooked at Sidmouth Folk Festival. Geoff’s first album, Songs From The Levenshulme Triangle came out in 1985. As well as a popular and frequently-booked guest at clubs across the UK, Geoff has also sung as part of the acclaimed shanty trio, Three Sheets To The Wind with Keith Kendrick and Derek Gifford. When not playing clubs and festivals, Geoff has moonlighted as a bit-part actor on television soaps with appearances on Coronation Street, Brookside and Emmerdale.
(Wednesday) May 9th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Phil Hare

Phil Hare is a British guitarist, singer, songwriter and performer.

In his professional capacity Phil teaches guitar, plays solo gigs in folk/roots venues around the world, deps occasionally with other bands and also plays as a session musician.

Check out his YouTube videos which are largely improvised in that Phil gets an idea around a structure and then records it in a fairly 'ad hoc' way - primarily to remember the idea without writing it down, and to have a frame of reference.

As Phil writes everything on the guitar, most of thes YouTube videos are guitar-based - and indeed, many are instrumental. That is not to say that Phil's live gigs are instrumental affairs; in fact there are many songs. But, as Phil largely writes his own songs, he would prefer it if you bought the CD's or downloads rather than taking it all from YouTube!

(Wednesday) June 13th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Karen Pfeiffer & Paul Walker

'There's Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House and then there's DeBarra's' (Christy Moore). On their annual Irish Tour, DeBarra's, one of Ireland's finest Folk Clubs, is also one of Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer's best loved music venues to perform. With their unique onstage-chemistry and their often commented-on very special harmonies, the Anglo-German duo from Staffordshire entertain and engage their audience with acoustic originals and folk club favourites. Briefly, "Songs with groove and goose bumps guaranteed", as a German newspaper put it recently. Sharing vocal duties, the "two exceptional musicians" perform "sometimes powerful with groove, sometimes poetically tender". Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer have their individual styles which combine beautifully and, together with their light-hearted banter, they provide a truly memorable experience. Karen one moment has the voice of an angel with her heart-wrenching ballads and then, as if from nowhere, comes a powerful and gritty vocal that leaves audiences mesmerised. She adds with alto-recorder, tin whistle and percussive instruments to Paul's admirable guitar playing. This is their 5th year of performance together and in their luggage they proudly bring along their second album 'Marble Town'. "The likable, humorous style in which they treat their audience is also reflected in their own songs", which they present along with a selection of classics from folk icons such as Richard Thompson, Dougie MacLean, Jimmy MacCarthy or Christy Moore - and sometimes the odd German folk song, or even a German 'joke', will find its way into the diversified evening of entertainment.
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(Wednesday) July 11th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Miriam (Erasmus) Backhouse

Mim`s roots go back to the UK Folk Scene of the `70s when `Our Mim` was likened to Joan Baez, and ranked alongside Maddy Prior and other revivalists of the time.

Then, she played a significant role in the folk revival, appearing at most of the Folk Clubs and Festivals of the time, including Edinburgh and Cambridge, with acclaim from all the leading critics of the day. Miriam`s interpretation of traditional and modern folk songs are unique, and her ability to lead a Folk audience into chorus singing, particularly, `Keys of Canterbury` at Cambridge Folk Festival 1976, is the stuff of legends.

Over the years in South Africa, she has entertained for many concerts and festivals, including Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth and Splashy Fen `Over Africa` features on the 10 years CD - and established herself as a shining light in the entertainment business.

She is unique in South Africa, her songs, like `The beautiful pass at Van Reenen` and `Over Africa` have become part of their music heritage.

Her `protest` songs about the border war `I don`t want my child to die` (Richard Haslop featured this on his `Roots to Fruits` radio show) and `Mother`s lament` have been recognised as some of the best, ranking alongside those from other troubled lands like Ireland, USA etc.

These songs, and the music of South Africa, are becoming world renowned now, and Mim is part of this surge.

She originally retired from the UK Folk Scene in 1977, to have a family, and now they have flown the nest, the family encouraged her to get back `out there`, and she is now re-established as Miriam Backhouse-Erasmus, Professional Folk Singer, in the UK. Folk Club, Arts Centre and Festival appearances there have been a great success and Miriam`s UK 2007 tour was a sell out.

Since marrying John Erasmus, relocating to South Africa, in 1977, and raising a family, she has diversified into the full range of music, playing `Anna` in `The King and I` under the direction of EOH

(Wednesday) August 8th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Malc Gurnham & Gill Gilsenan

Malc and Gill have more than 90 years experience between them of singing on the folkscene and the wider music scene, and although they have only been performing as a duo for a dozen or so years, have been an integral part of the Midlands folkscene singing solo and in various other line-ups since the mid-sixties!

Malc Gurnham is an excellent singer, plays quite a variety of instuments (most of them with strings!) and is a highly regarded solo performer. He also can be found running singarounds and acting as an MC at many festivals throughout the country. He has played in numerous bands as well as a solist, in both the "popular" and folk music scene, currently in addition to singing with Gill also is part of GLORISHEARS CEILIDH BAND, and THE OLD 'UNs, (along with Gill) - A six-piece band consisting of a very experienced group of performer friends specially put together for Bedworth Folk Festival - but has now gained quite a local following and is also doing the occasional "other" gig! Latterly he has also played in THE KATHERINE FEAR BAND, and appeared on recordings by a number of well know performers including the late Johnny Collins As well as performing Malc promotes many folk events - he is Festival Director of BEDWORTH FOLK FESTIVAL and the Organiser of BEDWORTH FOLK CLUB, one of the longest running clubs in the country, runs his own small recording studio FAT SAM MUSIC, and has presented his own Folk Music show on BBC Local Radio.

Gill Gilsenan started singing at The Corner House Folk Club in the 70's (Run at the time by Malc) with her partner and later to be husband BRYAN SUNDERLAND, as a duo they became quite popular around the Midlands folk scene under the collective name of "THE FLYING SUNDERLANDS" performing close harmony Contemporary songs and traditional songs, particularly those from Bryans native North-East of England, and regularly visited Newcastles' popular Bridge Folk Club. Sadly Bryan died in the 80's, and although frequenting the

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The Annual mid-summer BIG SING
(Wednesday) October 10th 2018 at Newdigate Club

Sunjay

`Sunjay is very much the man of the moment. Not so much the flavour of the month is the flavour of the year.` - Living Tradition

You could be forgiven for thinking at first listen that Sunjay is older than his 22 years.

With a relaxed and confident manner, vocal style and mastery of his instrument he walks onto a stage and addresses the audienceas though he is sitting down to play music with a group of close friends; a completely natural approach for a young man who picked up the guitar when he wasjust 4 years old and hasn`t put it down since.

Sunjay`s style has that natural drift between folk and blues and both camps have recognised his obvious flair. There have been a clutch of award nominations, including winning the Wath Festival Young Performers Award. He also made the final selection for the BBC`s Young Folk Award in 2012, had three nominations at the Exposure Music Awards 2014 and was also recognised by the 2014 British Blues Awards.

Drawing from a rich, musical and cultural background it is hardly surprising that Sunjay has quickly become recognised as one of the UK`s rising stars. His performances have been described as `mature & confident`, while his guitar playing has been hailed as `superb, brilliant, experienced, intricate & faultless`. Sunjay clocked over a hundred tour dates in 2013 supporting the likes of Steeleye Span, Martin Simpson, Passenger, and Terry Reid. With three albums already to his name, (`Seems So Real` 2011, `One Night Only` 2013 and `Sunjay` 2014) Sunjay has just recorded his fourth release (`Black & Blues` released 30th November 2015).

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