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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, 17th Oct 2018

The Dovetail Trio

Dovetail Photograph

Presenting England's traditional songs with a bold and fresh approach, The Dovetail Trio explores familiar narratives with infectious energy and a passion for musical heritage. This collaboration effortlessly combines the distinctive voices and acclaimed instrumental talents of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee Jamie Roberts, BBC Performing Arts Award winner Rosie Hood, and Newcastle Folk Degree alumnus Matt Quinn. Barnsley's Jamie Roberts is renowned for his narrative singing and driving guitar rhythms. In 2007 he joined folk quartet Kerfuffle with Hannah James and Sam Sweeney, and in both 2013 and 2016 was a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee with duo Gilmore and Roberts. Rosie Hood's pure voice and engaging performances are garnering widespread acclaim. With a keen eye on the history of the songs she sings, particularly those of her native Wiltshire, she has performed at a number of the country's leading festivals and folk clubs, and opened for the Cecil Sharp Project. Rosie is, for 2015, a BBC Performing Arts Fellow with EFDSS. Multi-instrumentalist Matt Quinn has been playing the melodeon, mandolin and fiddle, and singing his way around the English folk scene for the last seven years in various bands including Dogan and the Boombox Karavan, The Mighty Quinns and the Eliza Carthy Ceilidh Band.


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.

Wednesday, 14th Nov 2018

Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith

Jimmy and Sid Photograph

Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith are one of the finest duos to have emerged onto the British folk and acoustic scene in recent years. Their combination of outstanding vocal work, sensitive instrumentation, and a powerful social conscience has brought them widespread critical acclaim. The songs themselves are always given centre stage but they are brought to life with stunning musical arrangements and vocals. There is an integrity that shines through their performances and a common thread of political struggle, resistance, and justice. Their critically acclaimed second album 'Night Hours' was released in December 2016 on Fellside Recordings. Described as 'exhilaratingly diverse and full of impeccably crafted songs', it has cemented the duo’s reputation as two of the most exciting musicians and social commentators on the scene. In September 2018 Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith will release their third album with a major UK tour. The album will be a further development of the duo's songwriting and the contemporary sound that attracted such critical acclaim on their second release, Night Hours.

Martin Sumpton

Martin Sumpton photograph

Martin Sumpton hails originally from Merseyside, where he was well respected for his fine acoustic guitar style and sensitive renditions of mainly traditional material. His musical past is varied and includes a brief spell busking in Bristol and London with John Saich who shortly afterwards saw sense and moved back to his native Scotland to play bass with Capercaillie. Martin then started playing in the band 'Seasoned Selection' with guitarist Phil Hare. This led to some gigs, a lot of laughs and a couple of BBC Radio Merseyside sessions. Martin then moved to Derbyshire where he quickly gained an equally appreciative following. Here he formed the Chesterfield duo 'The Hot Bread Brothers', with fellow guitarist Mike Underwood, who were once affectionately described as 'More than just another two blokes with guitars'!! Martin was for a time resident at the well known Attic folk club in Chesterfield and also appeared a number of times at the prestigious Rockingham Arms Folk Club as featured support for such artists as Kate Rusby, Tom McConville and The Julie Matthews Band. He has also supported Roy Bailey at Chesterfield's Winding Wheel theatre.

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 twenty five 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