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Ely Folk Club

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.

Events at Ely Folk Club 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.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018

Lucy Ward

Lucy Ward Photograph

Lucy Ward is an award winning singer-songwriter from Derby. She plays guitar, ukulele and concertina but considers her voice to be her first instrument. After getting her first guitar at the age of 14, Lucy ventured into acoustic clubs, it was there that she first heard the traditional music that she now loves. Captured by the lyrics and stories of traditional song Lucy delved further into the world of folk music, visiting clubs and sessions up and down the country before getting booked to play gigs in her own right. In 2009 Lucy reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award and she hasn’t looked back since!

Andy Wall, Ruth Bramley and Ann Biggs

Andy Wall, Ann and Ruth photograph

Andy Wall, Ruth Bramley and Ann Biggs will, between them, open the evening's music. Ruth has been running the club since 1993, joined by Andy in 1999. Ruth and Ann first sung together over thirty years ago. Under the name Big Apple Pie they performed in many local schools, at children's parties and for 'grown-up' events too including a number of folk clubs and festivals. Although they don't do many gigs these days, they both still thoroughly enjoy singing together. Andy is a much more frequent performer, playing at many festivals, clubs and other events. In 2009 he finally released a much anticipated CD. As an added bonus for the evening, there will be something in the way of seasonal entertainment...oh, and mince pies, of course.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019

The Shackleton Trio

The Shackleton Trio Photograph

The Shackleton Trio (formerly The Georgia Shackleton Trio) features fiddle player Georgia Shackleton alongside guitarist Aaren Bennett and mandolinist Nic Zuppardi. Together they play an exciting blend of folk, Americana, and self-penned material instrumentally influenced by British, American and Scandinavian folk traditions, with a regional twist from their native East Anglia. Following the success of their debut album ‘The Dog Who Would Not Be Washed’, they are excited to be heading back out on the road with a brand new release ‘Fen, Farm, and Deadly Water’. The group have toured the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands, with appearances including Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival, main stage at Cambridge Folk Festival, Towersey Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week, Folk East, and concert halls and folk clubs across the UK.

Ward and Parker

Ward and Parker photograph

Ward and Parker are John Parker previously of JCB song fame in Nizlopi and Cliff Ward, founding member of folk super group The Willows. After being thrown together by Stu Hanna to form The Megson Band back in 2016 the duo now seem like an act destiny brought together. Between them hold many years experience on the stage and are excited to be performing together. JP has worked with a huge number of acts over the years and performed extensively all over the world with acts such as Ed Sheeran, Kate Rusby, Newton Faulkner, Nick Cave, Polly Paulusma and Jake Morley to name but a few! Alternative, acoustic, jazz, folk pop with influences from John Martyn, John Butler, Newton Faulkner and more... Expect a diverse set from upbeat pop to soul searching songs of love and loss and all performed with fine musicality and a real sense of two musicians both performing in the moment.

Wednesday, 13th February 2019

Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer

Vicki and Jonny Photograph

Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary sounds. Their performances showcase new interpretations of old songs alongside original self penned tunes and new contemporary songs that are entirely at home in the tradition. They have developed a sound that is both familiar and fresh. Strong believers in letting the music tradition live and breathe through sensitive interpretation, Vicki and Jonny allow the melody to sing without any constraints. Be entranced by the haunting nyckelharpa, amazed at the cow horn (one of the world's earliest communication devices) and meet some of the bagpipes that didn't come from Scotland. Vicki Swan (Scottish smallpipes, Swedish nyckelharpa and oktavharpa, flute, English border pipes, Swedish bagpipes, double bass). Following in her father's footsteps, Vicki is a second generation piper. Having begun the music ladder at the age of five, Vicki went on to study the double bass at the Royal College of Music, becoming the principal double bass and winning the solo double bass competition. Vicki has now returned to her Swedish roots with the addition of the Swedish nyckelharpa, Swedish bagpipes and translating Swedish ballads. Jonny Dyer (Vocals, Guitars, Accordion), composer and competition- winning guitar player; Jonny's outstanding technical ability, coupled with a wide-ranging musical taste has made him a tireless and forceful musical innovator. Jonny has been singing choral music and playing soul, jazz and folk for as long as he can remember.

Frog on a Bike

Frog on a Bike photograph

The acoustic version of Frog on a Bike features Tom Sennett (melodeon and concertina), Tim Sparrow (fiddle, mandolin and Hardanger) and Sarah Sennett (recorders). They will entertain us with some of the driving tunes that fill the dance floor at their ceilidhs, as well as songs that tell stories of the seasons, beer and Morris dancing.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019

Luke Jackson

Luke Jackson Photograph

Luke is a Singer-Songwriter from Canterbury, Kent, who in 2013 was nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for both the Horizon Award for Best Emerging Talent and The Young Folk Category. He was also winner of Fatea’s “Male Artist of the Year 2014” and 2016. Over the past few years he has steadily been developing a reputation for himself in the Folk & Roots circuits either through his solo shows, many festival appearances or when opening for such luminaries as Fairport Convention, Show of Hands, Steve Knightley, Martyn Joseph, Seth Lakeman, Karine Polwart, Oysterband, Paul Brady, Glen Tilbrook and Sarah Jarosz.

Support act to be announced

Wednesday, 17th April 2019

Kirsty Merryn

Kirsty Merryn Photograph

Kirsty Merryn is one of the most arresting and unconventional new young singer songwriters on the UK folk roots scene, with a style uniquely her own. London-based, New Forest-born Kirsty launched her debut album She and I at London’s Union Chapel on November 9 whilst supporting Show of Hands on their extensive UK Cathedrals tour. Kirsty has been championed by Show of Hands’ frontman Steve Knightley after he met her while teaching at an EFDSS songwriting retreat for upcoming folk singer songwriters and she went on to open for Show of Hands at their headline appearance at Sidmouth Folk Week in 2016, and supported them over the 22 nights of their Cathedral’s tour of the UK, at the end of 2017, performing to around 14,000 people along the way. Beguiling and mercurial, Kirsty’s music is heavily anchored in the folk tradition with jazz and classical backwaters. But it has a much wider reach, with her influences ranging from Cara Dillon to Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush - emphatic piano-based songs with sharply observed lyrics, packaged with panache in elegant, beautifully balanced settings and delivered in crystal clear, assured vocals.

Support act to be announced

Wednesday, 15th May 2019


Ninebarrow Photograph

Ninebarrow are a multi-award-winning folk duo, who are impressing audiences across the country with their innovative and captivating take on the folk tradition. Described by Mark Radcliffe as sounding like ‘two halves of one voice’ by Seth Lakeman as 'a fantastic duo' and by Kate Rusby as ‘absolutely amazing’, Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere combine breathtaking vocal harmonies and melodies, delivering songs that are inspired and rooted in the landscape and history of the British Isles. Most recently, the duo were nominated in the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in the ‘Horizon’ category for Best Emerging Artist; their latest album, ‘The Waters and the Wild’ (released in April 2018) was awarded 5-stars in both The Morning Star and the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s EDS Magazine, and has received airplay on BBC Radios 2, 3, 6 Music, Wales and Scotland. Folk luminary, Mike Harding, has hailed it as ‘absolutely monumental’.


SimpleFolk photograph

'SimpleFolk' are West Suffolk duo Rachel Dodd and Steve Christopher. They are building quite a reputation across East Anglia with their ‘stripped back’ versions of contemporary and traditional folk songs. Steve moved up from Hampshire in 2015, where he had been a member of the Romsey-based folk band 'Cuckoo Pint' and a solo performer. He first performed with Rachel when she agreed to join him on stage during a ‘Showcase’ set at Bury’s Milkmaid Folk Club towards the end of 2016. Since then, Rachel and Steve have performed regularly together as SimpleFolk, This has included appearances at Bury Oxjam, FolkEast (representing the Milkmaid), West Norfolk Radio, Sheringham Folk Showcase and the Bury Folk Festival, as well as at folk clubs across the region. They completed their first album, 'From Black to Blue', in March 2018, which brings together a collection of their favourite songs from the current set.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019

Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne

Cohen Photograph

Best known for work with BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nominees Granny’s Attic, Cohen is a singer and instrumentalist with a love of English music. Cohen plays melodeons and anglo concertina as well as being a well-respected singer; in 2014 he won the Bromyard Folk Festival future of young folk award for singing. Expect traditional English folk songs and tunes along with a few original numbers.

Support act to be announced

Wednesday, 17th July 2019

James Hickman and Dan Cassidy

James and Dan Photograph

A transatlantic duo inspired by the traditions of America and Britain. Hickman’s emotive, soaring vocals and driving guitar is complemented by Cassidy’s ingenious and virtuosic fiddling. Their sound flows from the connection between British and American folk and is bursting with all the humour, heartbreak and excitement of these genres. The lively English wit of Hickman is set against Cassidy’s bone-dry irony and American drawl as they take audiences on a dynamic and unforgettable transatlantic journey.

Support act to be announced

Wednesday, 18th September 2019

Miranda Sykes

Miranda Sykes Photograph

Building on the success of her Borrowed Places tour, Miranda Sykes is back with a completely new project: Behind The Wall. Where Borrowed Places opened a window into the past, explaining where she had been, physically and spiritually, Behind The Wall is a Roller Coaster Ride exploring where we are going; Miranda, you, me, all of us. What does it mean to be human today, living in our communities and societies, and where will our actions lead us? Powerful and hard-hitting but also poignant and beautiful, this show gives us all a chance to reflect and maybe even empower us.

False Colours

False Colours photograph

False Colours are an electro-acoustic folk duo consisting of David on the lesser-seen electric tenor guitar and Polly on the bass (both on vocals with harmonies galore!). Hailing from Sudbury in Suffolk, their music is an original mix of traditional folk style, rough and ready punk/indie and catchy pop. They've only been playing together since April 2018, but are proud to say that they have already succeeded in achieving some of their longer term goals – highlights include being played on BBC Radio, being invited to perform at FolkEast festival (where they also sold out of their pre-release EPs!), achieving a number one in the Cambridge 105 Radio Unsigned Chart and, of course, recording their first EP.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019


Glymjack Photograph

Glymjack is an English folk act led by singer-song-writer Greg McDonald and described as 'Frank Turner meets Show of Hands' and 'as good as contemporary folk comes' by Acoustic. Produced with Show of Hands’ Phil Beer and Steve Knightley, debut album Light the Evening Fire was released to acclaim in 2018, with Froots calling Glymjack 'folk-roots with attitude' and Maverick opining 'virtually every song is a tour de force'. Live, Greg is often joined by fiddle virtuoso Gemma Gayner and bassist Dickon Collinson, delivering a high energy, harmony-rich set of hard-hitting originals, English folk songs and fiddle tunes.

Bruce Watson

Bruce Watson photograph

Bruce Watson is an icon and longtime favourite of the Australian folk scene. His performances are joyful and thoroughly engaging, with witty lyrics and energetic presentation. He is a masterful craftsman of songs, be they evocative and heart wrenching, or side-splittingly funny. Bruce has appeared at over 150 folk festivals as well as innumerable folk clubs and other venues across Australia and New Zealand. He has received a stack of prestigious songwriting awards and had his songs covered by Eric Bogle, Joe (Shaddap You Face) Dolce, and a host of other Australian and international performers. Bruce has produced seven albums of original songs and is often heard on the radio waves across Australia. He appears on more than 20 compilation albums, alongside artists such as Eric Bogle, Roy Bailey, Danny Spooner, Keith Potger (ex-Seekers) and Yothu Yindi. He has been a support act for Vin Garbutt, Jez Lowe, Les Barker, Martyn Wyndham-Read, John McCutcheon (US), and Dan McKinnon (Canada) and shared the stage with Tom Paxton. Eric Bogle has described him as 'the best songwriter I have seen in a long time.' Melbourne folk institution The Boite says he is 'an Australian folk hero!'

Wednesday, 13th November 2019

Alden Patterson and Dashwood

Alden Patterson and Dashwood Photograph

Norwich based folk trio Alden Patterson and Dashwood weave rich vocal harmonies, fiddle, dobro and guitar around beautifully written original songs and melodies. Their music takes influence from folk traditions from both sides of the Atlantic with uplifting instrumentals and self-penned songs depicting tales of young travellers, sleepy seas and their affection for home.

Kevan Taplin

Kevan Taplin photograph

As a teenager Taplin started by playing washboard on the Folk and Blues circuit where he found himself supporting luminaries such as Sandy Denny, Dave Cousins, Jo Anne Kelly, etc., describing the experience as an excellent grounding for life. At a gig with Liverpool poets Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, they allowed him to put a couple of their poems to music and Taplin was inspired to start writing for himself. He won an Arvon Bursary on the strength of his song lyrics but performed only rarely until he teamed up with Steve ‘Bluesboy’ Bennett, forming the electro-acoustic band FRONT PORCH who play mainly Taplin’s material based around their joint influences of Folk Blues and Americana. Taplin has had two poetry booklets published and had songs taken to Nashville, and requested for the Bomber Command National Archive. He now also gigs as a solo singer-songwriter and has supported artists such as Edwina Hayes, the poet John Hegley, Brooks Williams, etc., and has performed twice for the Poet Laureate. Taplin can be seen regularly at venues and festivals around the East Anglian region.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019

The Trials of Cato

The Trials Of Cato Photograph

The Trials Of Cato, a band that arrived fully formed and functioning from Beirut in the winter of 2016, have since torn a shape very much their own into the canvas of the UK folk scene. Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire, whilst living in Lebanon they spent a year boiling down the roots of their sound into a hybrid of traditional influences that intrigued Lebanese audiences in the country's biggest venues. They moved back to the UK and spent a tireless year performing up and down the country, leading to BBC Radio 2's Mark Radcliffe hailing them as 'one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times'. Praised for the diversity of their material and influences, The Trials of Cato live show 'invariably stuns audience wherever they play'. Whether plying their trade busking, performing in front of thousands at festivals across Europe, or frequently selling out their own club shows, The Trials of Cato have the wind behind them.

Support act to be announced