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
Jess and Richard Arrowsmith are singers and musicians (fiddle and melodeon) and well established in the
traditional English music scene. They bring you powerful vocals, subtle accompaniments, lively tunes and a
broad range of material that will have you laughing, weeping, tapping your feet
and joining in the choruses. Jess's self-penned songs have been performed and recorded by a range of
other artists and are entering the tradition in their own right. Jess and Richard's latest project
in conjunction with James Fagan and Nancy Kerr as the Melrose Quartet earned them a nomination for
'Best Group' at the 2014 BBC Folk Awards. Other projects past and present include Hekety,
Glorystrokes, Crucible and Pecsaetan.
Will Finn and Rosie Calvert are a dynamic up-and-coming duo from the heart of Newcastle. Playing traditional
music with a contemporary flare, their shows are a veritable smörgåsbord of folk fusion, utilising piano,
steel pan, and close-knit harmony singing to tremendous effect. Will and Rosie
have been touring the country to bring their own unique brand of music to folk clubs and festivals
all around the UK, and their debut album 'Beneath This Place' was released in September 2017.
The John Ward Trio brings together John, Lynne Ward and Les Woodley, whose powerful three-part harmonies blend
to give a rich life to John's songs and to the traditional repertoire. Accompanied by guitar, double bass,
mandolin, harmonica, whistles and bodhran, and with the familiar, relaxed
banter, stories and humour that John has become known for, the Trio delights folk club and festival
audiences around the country. John is an East Anglian boy and, when the occasion demands, the Trio
love to specialise in John’s East Coast heritage songs and traditional music of the land and the
A songwriter of Norfolk origin. Yve Mary B has been immersed in music from the get go. Her unique intuitive
sway through her back porch music family and training through music education including Music Theatre,
Vocal Technology and Performance Arts Studies and life experience to date have
seen a diverse breadth to her music which allows her to stand out aloud as one heck of a spirited
creative woman... Love of rootsy music is ingrained into the riffs of her country folksy southern
gospel blues melodic instrumentation. She has played far and wide from Bluebird café Nashville to
Royal Festival Hall London Taverham Hall supporting The Shires with her band members Morganway and
Sam Coe and The Long Shadows. Yve hosts a musicians Sound It Out night at The Murderers Arms in
Norwich. Yvette coaches wellbeing through collective music play, and is beginning her live events
Rosie Hood is a young folk singer from Wiltshire, known for her strong, pure voice and engaging solo
performance. A BBC Performing Arts Fellow in 2015 and a 2016 Horizon Award nominee at the Radio 2
Folk Awards, Rosie has become more than purely a traditional singer. Having
started learning folk songs at an early age from her family, Rosie has a keen interest in the
history of traditional songs, particularly those of her native Wiltshire, where she has spent time
researching in the local archives and developing a broad repertoire of local songs. Rosie's
Fellowship year with the English Folk Dance and Song Society proved a pivotal point in her career
giving her time and space to develop as an artist. The year saw Rosie develop her song-writing with
mentor Emily Portman, hone her instrumental skills and even resulted in a transatlantic
collaboration with New York based singer and guitarist Jefferson Hamer.
Rosewood, who came together in 2014 to sing songs and play tunes, are three friends who also play for
French dances in Bof! and for English ceilidhs in The Hosepipe Band. The trio comprises Simon Haines on
free-reed instruments, Phil Lyons on strings and Val Woollard on wind. Their unique
selling points are the range of instruments they play and their varied repertoire – everything from Marco
Uccellini (1610–1680) to Kirsty McColl (1959–2000). They recently brought out their first recording:
Rife & Strife & Mirth & Fun.
Known for over 25 years as a skilled interpreter of traditional music and more recently as a composer
of startlingly original new folk songs, Nancy Kerr has become one of the most sought-after ensemble
musicians on today's British folk and scene. 2015's BBC Folk Singer of the Year, she
has been seen with award winners Kerr and Fagan, The Full English, Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting, in
2017's re-imagining of Peter Bellamy's The Transports, and as part of cutting-edge commissions The
Elizabethan Session, Sweet Liberties and Shake the Chains.
Now for something different. Nancy Kerr solo. In this new, intimate setting, Nancy revisits her celebrated
deft touch on the violin and viola as well as her distinctive use of fingerpicking acoustic guitar, allowing
space for new and ancient songs and tunes, and the stories behind them, to breathe and be heard anew. This
is music to challenge and inspire, confront and sympathise. This is a chance to experience the intimate
drama of solo folk performance: Nancy Kerr's music in its truest and most conversational form yet.
Born in Pennsylvania, seasoned in California, Daniel is now based in Cambridgeshire and has built a
reputation for excellent vocal ability and history soaked original songs. Daniel sings
and plays a variety of modern and traditional American folk music, principally on mandolin and octave
mandolin. He has been known on occasion to pick up a guitar too. But with guitarist Paul Ballantyne on hand,
it isn't often necessary. Daniel has released two CDs, More Than a Little Guitar from 2013 and last year's
Almost Home. Both have achieved some critical acclaim and been played on radio programmes from Cornwall to
California and Scotland to Holland. The release of an original Christmas song called 'A Bit of Magic' capped
off an eventful 2017.
Duncan is a highly regarded singer-guitarist who splits his sets equally between traditional fare and his
own songs which are written, most definitely, in the trad idiom. Rated by Mike Harding as a 'fine showman',
his intrinsic seriousness of intent and approach is laced with a healthy irreverence and
humour that The Living Tradition calls 'hugely entertaining'. As a solo performer he has graced main stages at
Sidmouth's Ham Marquee, Beverley and Costa Del Folk, Spain. One typical review reads 'One of the many stand-out
gems, a real treat, was the witty and charismatic Duncan McFarlane. This talented guitarist and vocalist has a
lively stage presence and whether regaling us with a story, singing a traditional song, or one of his own
cleverly written songs, Duncan is a true delight'. With his band he has played main stages at festivals such as
Shrewsbury and Sidmouth (twice at both) and many other festivals over some fifteen years or more – including
Ely! He has also run guitar workshops at several festivals and performed 'live sessions' on many BBC Radio folk
shows. Accompanying him on fiddle and harmony vocal duties will be band member Anne Brivonese. Together they've
made several albums over the years, including 'All Rogues and Villains' which gained a five-star review from R2
magazine. Duncan last played Ely (solo) in 2006 – but it's worth noting that his first ever folk club
appearance, whilst still a schoolboy, was for Ely Folk Club in the Old Fire Engine House! Last word from Mike
Harding then: 'He writes some great stuff that guy and I love his lively versions of traditional folk songs;
absolutely great; really powerful playing and singing.'
Martin Kaszak and Faradena Afifi are a new duo performing a rich variety of acoustic music and original
material from Folk to Country Blues and more modern songs. Martin is known for his warm
vocals and finger-picking guitar and Faradena is a talented singer and musician providing beautiful close
harmonies and playing viola and cello. Their first official performance was supporting John Renbourn and
Wizz Jones in 2015 and Martin and Fara's performance attracted much praise and attention from these
Eric Moulder formed the group just over a decade ago with the aim of bringing a fresh and energetic approach
to the popular dance and ballad repertoire of the late renaissance period. The members of Piva have wide and
diverse musical backgrounds and between them they have experience in playing
renaissance, jazz, classical, baroque, folk and roots music. They bring all of these diverse musical
influences together and fuse them with their knowledge of renaissance music and instruments. The
result is a cohesive approach and attitude towards the renaissance repertoire: Piva’s aim is to be
faithful to the music of the period whilst adding their own innovative arrangements and
interpretations. All members of the group are multi-instrumentalists - playing up to 40 different
instruments at a gig! Not only do Piva play the instruments - they also make them! Three members of
Piva are professional instrument makers.
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.
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.