Emma Bedford's quest to see 40 gigs in a year brought her to Downend Folk Club for the first time to see India Electric Co. She reviewed the evening for her blog and has kindly allowed us to use it for our monthly website review too. Hope we'll see Emma again soon!

"I didn’t even know the name of the band I was going to see until an hour before the show, so I clearly had no idea what to expect. At a folk club in a village hall, never been there before either.

My friend Kate was photographing this gig and invited me to go with her (she’s a lovely person and a very talented photographer) so despite being very tired from the gig the night before and being at work all day I went along.

This was my second folk club experience of #40gigs so I knew the atmosphere would be friendly and welcoming, and it was. We were so early that the hall was still being set up! We had a cup of tea listening to the sound check, which was a unique experience all by itself.

Support was from JACK COOKSON, a Radio 2 Folk Award nominee. He played a short set, which was stronger towards the end. The final two tracks, both new, were a lot stronger, perhaps showing the development of his songwriting? He’s a very talented young man, who can play the heck outta an acoustic guitar. One to keep an eye on if you like folk/acoustic music I think.

Then main act. In two halves (folk clubs are so civilised, you get a halftime break) INDIA ELETRIC CO. I honestly had no idea what to expect, so when they were introduced as being, by their own admission "sometimes folk, sometimes not" I sort of knew I was going to like them. Which I did. Enormously. Cole has a great voice and Joe appears to be able to master any instrument you put in front of him. He played violin/fiddle (what is the difference anyhow?!), accordion and guitar last night but also plays keys apparently. Being multi talented & really lovely appear to be traits of folk musicians I am discovering.

The music was lush, filling the hall with gorgeous melodies. They moved between styles and genres with ease, sometimes in the middle of a song. When talented musicians play like that its such a joy to just admire them. Despite a few technical issues (hey, even Elbow had them guys) the sound and lighting were really impressive. The volunteers who run Downend Folk Club should be rightly proud of the work they put in.

Watching the interplay between Joe and Cole was fantastic, almost like jazz musicians, communicating through the music and being totally in tune with each other. I also loved that when a song was emotional, Cole inhabited it so fully he had to take his glasses off and put them in his pocket. They did an amazing Springsteen cover that was a joy to watch as well as hear. It was beautiful. They also played songs based on poetry, where else do you get songs inspired by WH Auden than a folk club? Parachutes was a total standout track, all the feels going on with that one. In the encore they invited Jack up to join them and that was a real treat. Collaborate more lads!

Afterwards we had a chat with them all & Cole ended up trying on my glasses which is definitely a first for #40gigs and I doubt will be repeated! Thank you Jack, Joe, Cole, all of Downend Folk Club and Kate for making gig 25 another memorable and special night.

The contrast between 24 and 25 couldn’t be greater, one a crowd of thousands in a forest, one a few dozen in a village hall. But #40gigs has always been about voyages of discovery, supporting musicians and finding new music. Folk clubs in village halls are as much a part of that. I appear to be a proper folkie convert now!

25 down. 15 to go."

Words: Emma Bedford

Photo: Kate Southall

We are very excited reveal our line-up for Autumn/Winter this year.


Also below is important information about some changes to the way that we sell tickets, so please make sure you read through to the end!



The Programme is full of the quality and diversity that you've come to expect from Downend Folk Club. It's a lineup that we feel very proud of and we hope that you'll agree that it's one of our best yet!


Kicking off our concerts after the Summer break will be the fast-rising four-piece KIM LOWINGS & THE GREENWOOD. Many of you will remember Kim and the band from their breathtaking set opening for Jackie Oates a couple of years ago. Well now, after many requests from you our members, they're back in their own right; they headline at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 15th September as they tour the UK with their new album, 'Wild & Wicked Youth'. Opening the evening's entertainment will be DFC regular GAV BALL.


Another exciting young band will be our headline guests on Friday 20th October as we welcome the fabulous GRANNY'S ATTIC to Frenchay Village Hall. This trio went down a storm at Bristol Folk Festival and tickets are bound to be very much in demand! Support on the night will come from local band EMBER (including DFC regular Mike Richards), who also hope to have a new EP out around that time.


Described as "one of the most important voices to emerge on the folk scene for years", November's guest is the inimitable GRACE PETRIE. Grace is a protest singer, but much more than that... she's a brilliant songwriter and exudes warmth and charm on stage. This is one not to miss, so be at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 17th November... and make sure you get there in time to catch the wonderful support act for the night, GAVIN OSBORN. Please note that this event is restricted to over-14s.


December sees us put on our most ambitious event to date, as Patron JIM MORAY returns for a full band show on Friday 15th December. Performing songs from his latest album 'Upcetera', as well as some favourites from his back catalogue, Jim will front a five-piece band as we venture out to Resound in Mangotsfield for the first time (while our regular larger venue at Christ Church is closed for refurbishment). Tickets for this one are a little more expensive but we've kept the cost of the others down and we're certain you'll find this show is worth every penny. The highly-rated DARIA KULESH will get the evening's entertainment underway.


Tickets for all the events are on-sale now HERE, where you can also buy a Season Ticket for all four gigs and save almost £5 in booking fees!






We have made some changes to the way we do our online ticketing which will come into effect from September onwards.


In the past we have hosted our own ticket sales via PayPal, but this is very time-consuming and has led to some sales being missed. It also means that the artist misses out on the full ticket price (due to the fact the PayPal take a percentage of each ticket).


For this programme onwards, online sales will be hosted via WeGotTickets. This does mean that there will be a 10% booking fee for tickets bought online (we don't see any of that, it goes to the ticketing agent) but it will save hours of work and the potential for mistakes. We feel sure that you will understand, and we've adjusted most of our ticket prices to compensate for this change.


You'll also notice that we are reverting to an advance/on the door system, so you will have until the day before each event to buy tickets at the cheaper rate.


You can still avoid those pesky online charges by buying tickets from Melanie's Kitchen or direct from our Welcome Desk at the preceding month's event. Members will also be able to buy their tickets from Melanie's Kitchen from September's event onwards.


We're also keeping our Season Ticket offer in place for both members and non-members; this will still be via PayPal and will not include a booking charge, so if you want to commit to all four concerts, you can do that via the website. Please note that Season Tickets cannot be purchased from Melanie's Kitchen, but you can buy them from the Welcome Desk at our events.



If you have any comments or questions about our new system, please do not hesitate to contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sometimes folk, sometimes not.

That’s the first line from the official biography of a duo called INDIA ELECTRIC CO. But it could equally describe the eclectic range of folk, roots, acoustic and singer/songwriter acts that are regularly put on at Downend Folk Club. And that’s why this is such a nice match, and why India Electric Co. are amongst the first headline acts to be invited back for a second helping.

You see, India Electric Co. (otherwise known as Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe) were amongst the first batch of headliners when we launched back in in 2014... and it was a key moment in the early life of the club.

A packed audience that night (it sold out weeks in advance) were treated to an extraordinary evening of musicianship which really marked the club out as something for local music-lovers to make a regular monthly feature in their diary. Many people still refer back to that night as one of their favourites so far. So having Cole & Jospeh back? Well, it was obvious, really!

India Electric Co. use traditional instruments in contemporary styles to explore diverse themes from Eastern Europe, Irish traditions and urban alienation to end up with something “quirky and glittery - a veritable musical magpie’s nest.” (Mary Ann Kennedy, BBC Radio 3).

After releasing their debut debut album ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’ in 2015 they began extensively supporting and accompanying Midge Ure throughout Europe. They performed live sessions on BBC Radio 2, 6 Music, as well as playing the likes of Glastonbury Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival. In 2017 they’re embarking on their first tours of Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Ireland to coincide with the release of their latest recordings.

Opening the evening’s entertainment will be rising star JACK COOKSON.

Jack is a multi-instrumentalist and singer songwriter from the South West. His distinct style combines his deeply articulate lyrics with memorable melodic hooks and intricate, fingerstyle guitar arrangements, influenced by elements of blues, folk and punk. He has shared the stage with the likes of Franz Nicolay (Against Me!/The Hold Steady), Cory Branan and Austin Lucas, and in early 2016 he was announced as one of the final four nominees for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

Tickets for the event, which takes place at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 16th June 2017, are available from MELANIE'S KITCHEN or online HERE. There will be a full bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and locally-brewed real ale from Hambrook-based brewery GREAT WESTERN BREWING CO., as well as locally-made NAUGHTY BROWNIES. You are encouraged to bring your own glass/mug/tankard/bucket as part of the club’s drive to be more environmentally sustainable. There will also be a raffle with a range of great prizes (all raffle money is invested into programming our support acts).

There is a Facebook Event for the concert HERE, where you can keep up with all the latest ticket news, previews and information. Simply click 'Interested' or 'Going' to be kept in touch.