January’s headline guest at Downend Folk Club has really been making waves on the folk scene of late.

KELLY OLIVER has enjoyed a whirlwind of a year as a singer songwriter. Having originally been inspired by the folk tradition, she returned from travelling determined to give her own material a chance to be heard and put all her energy into realising her dream of becoming a professional musician.

Having won funding via an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK to fund her album, her single Diamond Girl, featuring the vocals of Luke Jackson alongside Kelly’s own distinctive voice, was played on BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe and Bob Harris’ Sunday show during October.

Kelly’s debut album, This Land, has recently been released to great acclaim, including a four-star review from R2 Magazine.

“Kelly is an artist we’ve had our eye on since we launched, so we’re thrilled to welcome her in January,” said Downend Folk Club’s Steve Johnson. “She’s had a big year, and her album really is excellent. It’s a great way to start the new year.”

Opening the evening will be THE PORTRAITS, who are husband and wife alternative folk duo Jeremy & Lorraine Millington, from Bristol and Galway respectively, who performed at Glastonbury Festival 2014 and have been played on BBC 6 Music.

Their appearance at Downend Folk Club is part of a mini-tour promoting their new single “The Rest Of Time”. Throughout 2014, they recorded real peoples’ voices across the country for the song, which they are releasing in an attempt to save lives lost to blood cancers, in particular that of six-year old Emma Whittaker, from Buckinghamshire, who suffers from the rare genetic condition Fanconi Anaemia and needs to find a donor by March to save her life.

Tickets for the event, which will be held on Friday 16th January at Frenchay Village Hall, are on sale now from Baguette Me Not or online here and from Bristol Ticket Shop. They are priced at just £8 in advance (£7 for members via the website only). They will be £10 on the night. Doors open at 7.30pm and there will be a bar serving Great Western Brewing Company real ales, Severn Cider and a range of wine, soft drinks and teas and coffees, as well as raffle during the interval.

Photos from December's visit of our patron JIM MORAY and support act KATHERINE PRIDDY are now available to view online.

These photos were mostly taken by the very talented Julian Cox, with additional contributions from committee members Alan Cole and Niall Jones. You can view them by clicking here or on the Photos tab on the menu bar. Please note that this will take you to an external website run by Alan Cole, where our photos are hosted.

As if a Spring Programme featuring the likes of Lucy Ward, Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin and Maz O'Connor wasn't enough, we're squeezing in an extra gig for you as we welcome ROAD NOT TAKEN to headline an evening of local folk talent.

The Downend-based four-piece, featuring Anita Dobson (vocals), Ant Miles (vocals, guitar, harmonium), Joe Brydon (slide guitar, bouzouki, harmonica), and Joe Hamlen (bass, harmonium), have already appeared at Downend Follk Club when they opened as a trio for India Electric Company last year. Their reputation has grown since and they will be appearing at Bristol Folk Festival and The Great Almonry Folk Weekend later this year, with plans for a debut EP in the pipeline.

Road Not Taken will be playing the second-half of our show on Friday 6th March at Frenchay Village Hall, while the first-half will feature short sets from some of the best local folk and acoustic talent: EDD DONOVAN, STEFFAN LEWIS & RACHEL FOSTER, GEOFF PUGHNOEY McELWEE and MAX TREMLIN.

Tickets cost just £5 for non-members, and they are available here, or from Baguette Me Not in Downend from 22nd February onwards. Members of the folk club can come for FREE but must book tickets by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Note: Due to this extra concert, Road Not Taken will not be opening for Ruth Notman at May's concert as previously announced. Their place will be taken by the fabulous Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith.