Sunday 29 November 2015


Coming Your Way


One of the last big events of the folk year is The Great British Folk Festival at Butlin's, Skegness which is now in its fifth year.

Billy Bragg
The festival runs for four days from December 4 to 7 among the headliners this year is Billy Bragg. Also on the bill are Steeleye Span, Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, Sharon Shannon & Alan O'Connor, False LightsJacqui McShee's PentangleFotheringayThe Ric Sanders TrioThe Acoustic Strawbs, Tom Robinson, The Unthanks and Blazin' Fiddles.
Also on the bill are Magna Carta, Rackhouse Pilfer, Sam Lee, Demon Barbers, CC Smugglers, Sam Carter, Folklaw, Karac, Moulettes, The Jar Family, Clutching at Straws, Coco and the Butterfields
Merlin's KeepThe Band From County Hell.
Continuing the move to give newer and up and coming bands the spotlight the festival has the Introducing Stage which will feature Strummin' Steve JacksonFitzwallaceSaid The MaidenKings of the South SeasGilded ThievesItchy FingersThe Delta Ladies with Alan Glen, Ellie Dibben, Big Tent, Chris CleverleyPolly and The Billets Doux and Gloucestershire outfit the Black Feathers.
There are deals to suit most individual or group bookings so see their website for details.

Although people are looking to wind down for the festive period there is still a good range of folk music for those who want to venture out into the wintry outdoors and enjoy a warm welcome from your local folk venue.
At the beginning of the month Tuesday December 1 Marry Waterson & David A Jaycock are coming to the Kitchen Garden Cafe in King's Heath, Birmingham as part of The Two Wolves Tour. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Tickets are £10.
Then on Sunday December 20 the Dirty Old Folkers Christmas Extravaganza and Panto is bringing irreverence and pandemonium to the venue. Opening times are as above and tickets are £12.50.

Staying in the Second City the highly entertaining and talented Martyn Joseph is coming to the Hare & Hounds, December 6. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets £16 plus a £1.60 booking fee.

The Roving Crows
The Red Lion Folk Club, in Shirley, welcomes The Roving Crows on December 2 with support from Miriam Backhouse. Entry costs £11. The following week folk legend Martin Carthy will be performing at the venue on December 9 with support from Alison Eve and tickets are £12. Then to take the folk year out for the club on December 16 The Mad Jocks & Englishmen bring their particular sound to the venue and tickets are £11. On each gig doors open at 7.15 for a 7.45pm start.

A little further north in Wolverhampton The Levellers are coming to the Civic Hall. Tickets are£27.50 = £25.00 plus £2.50 booking fee and doors open 7pm.

Also in Wolves Folk at the NAC presents Kieran Halpin on December 11 at the Newhampton Arts Centre, Whitmore Reans. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £12.50 plus booking fee.

Luna Rossa who are the duo of Anne-Marie Helder and Jonathan Edwards will be bringing their captivating sound to the Robin2 in Bilston on December 13. Tickets are £12 in advance and £14 on the door. There is no time listed for the start of the show.

If you want to enjoy panto in the raw then head off to the Woodman Panto Night on December 11 which will be performed at the Woodman Folk Club in Kingswinford by members of the club and from Bromsgrove Folk Club. Tickets are £7 including a buffet.

If you want to enjoy a fascinating musical history tour then you need to catch the Carniv
Carnival Band
al Band
and enjoy their incredible range of singing and reproduction historic instruments. The band will be performing at the Artrix Arts Centre, Bromsgrove on December 4. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are £18 with £5 concessions. The following day, December 5, you can catch their distinctive act at The Fold, Bransford, nr Worcester. The gig again starts at 8pm and tickets are £10 and £5 concession for under 19s.
The Fold cafe is also offering a special seasonal menu before the concert to get you into the Christmas spirit. Then on December 6 they will perform with the Carnival Choir at Shirley Methodist Church nr Solihull, 257 Stratford Road B90 3AL. The show starts 7pm and tickets are £10 with concessions available and can be obtained from or call 0121 744 3640.

Sticking with the theme of historic music if you want something really different and wonderfully authentic in extremely complementary surroundings then take in Ian Pittaway and Andy Casserley who are the Night Watch on Saturday December 19 at Oak House Museum, Oak Road, West Bromwich, B70 8HJ. The show starts at 7pm,

Over the border in Shropshire Whalebone have a couple of dates which are worth checking out. First on December 4 they bring their Seasons Tour to Wenlock Pottery and then on December 11 you can see them at Bledington Village Hall, Gloucestershire.


Shrewsbury Folk Festival has set a target to smash the £50,000 barrier for its charity partner Hope House after fundraising at this year’s event took a leap raising more than £6,160 at the annual festival.
That's up more than £1,000 on last year.
Over the eight years it has been supporting it has raised more than £43,000 for the hospice.
Festival director Sandra Surtees said:“We are certainly hoping to reach the £50,000 mark next year and celebrate another great year of fundraising for Hope House.”

Sam Sweeney
Congratulations go to Sam Sweeney who has been installed as the inaugural Artistic Director for the National Youth Folk Ensemble. Sweeney, who won BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year 2015, is passionate about passing on his love of English traditional music to younger players.
As Artistic Director of the NYFE, Sweeney will lead on the artistic vision of the Ensemble, collaborate with a team of professional folk artists, devise content for the residential courses and co-create repertoire with the young musicians.
Sampler Days will take place across England March – June 2016 to recruit the first cohort of young musicians who will join the Ensemble in October 2016. Find out more

Tickets for next year’s Cambridge Folk Festival will go on sale on Tuesday December 1 at 10am. This year, as part of its aim to develop young audiences, festival organisers have introduced reduced ticket prices for 16-17 and 18-21 year olds, and retained the 2015 price for 5-15 year olds.
Phone and online bookings will open at 10am. Counter service from the Cambridge Live Tickets box office will open at midday.
This year festival is selling tickets through a new ticketing system, which they hope will improve your booking experience.
Please be aware you may need to create an account with us before buying tickets.
Go to your account:
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us: 01223 357851.

If you fancy giving a Christmas present with a difference then Merry Hell have released a DVD of their live performance at The Grand, Clitheroe earlier this year. The disc, A Grand Night Out:Merry Hell Live, costs £15 and is available to order from the band's website.

Sunjay's new album
There are new albums from Yorkshire songstress Kate Rusby has released The Frost is All Over and Stourbridge bluesman Sunjay has brought out Black and Blues, also from Marry Waterson who has released Two Wolves. New releases to look forward to next year include The Long Way Home from folk veterans Show of Hands which is due for release on January 15.

Next year Moseley Folk Festival will run from September 2-4.

I would just like to thank every one who has visited Folkall and made all the research, writing and reviewing worthwhile. Because of you the site has gone from strength to strength over the three years it has been running and I hope to keep improving it to make your experience an even better, more informed and entertained one. I hope you have enjoyed my site and will continue to do so in the coming year. I would also like to thank all the bands, musicians and agents who have given me their time and put their faith in my writing. 
I wish every one of you and your loved ones a merry and peaceful Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year, regards Danny.

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