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
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 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
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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' 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!'
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.
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.