We are thrilled to reveal our brilliant programme for Autumn 2021. Obviously, all four of these concerts are subject to restrictions and guidelines, and may well be subject to social-distancing etc, but we're crossing our fingers that we'll be able to bring you this latest lineup of some of the country's top folk, roots and acoustic artists.
Kicking off the programme on Friday 17th September will be THE MAGPIES. It has only been a short space of time since this three-piece burst onto the UK folk scene, but they have already made a huge impression with their fresh brand of transatlantic neo-folk and have been "making waves wherever they play" (Phil Beer, Show of Hands). Three accomplished musicians in their own right, the band is a combination far greater than the sum of its parts. Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award winning guitarist, banjo-player and singer Bella Gaffney, clawhammer banjo player and singer Kate Griffin and acclaimed fiddle-player and tunesmith Holly Brandon draw on their wide-ranging influences to create a unique blend of transatlantic folk.
Friday 15th October sees the return of a DFC favourite as we welcome SAM CARTER for a gig originally scheduled for last year. In the eleven years since winning Best Newcomer at the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam has earned a reputation for vivid, narrative-driven songwriting and captivating live performances. Having made a spell-binding appearance on Later... with Jools Holland in 2012, Sam has gone on to tour the world, sharing stages with some of the finest guitarists and songwriters, including Nic Jones, Martin Simpson, Richard Thompson, and Chris Wood. Now, finally, Sam embarks on a national tour to support the release of his thrilling new album Home Waters. Recorded in a converted church in rural Northumberland, Home Waters captures the full force of Sam's heartfelt songwriting. Featuring the specially-assembled Home Waters String Quartet, the album’s rich emotional landscapes are exquisitely illustrated by producer Ian Stephenson’s cinematic string arrangements. Images of overwhelming floods, rising tides, and conflict-stricken seas sit alongside tales of love and loss, alluding to the search for a sense of belonging and stability in unfamiliar territory.
THE CARRIVICK SISTERS are our guests on Friday 19th November as they treat us to a preview of their new album, due for release early next year. The sisters are one of the UK's top bluegrass and folk acts; twins Laura and Charlotte perform their original songs and instrumentals along with a few carefully chosen covers on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and clawhammer banjo. Their busy touring schedule is rapidly building them a reputation for engaging and entertaining live performances with tight sibling vocal harmonies and multi-instrumental virtuosity. Having grown up in South Devon, an area rich in folklore and legends, much of their original material is inspired by their local surroundings and history.
The Downend Folk Club Christmas Concert has become a highlight in the local music calendar after a series of spectacular events, and this year should be no different as we welcome supergroup A WINTER UNION on Friday 17th December. From five leading lights of the British Roots scene, expect soaring vocals and exquisite musicianship as the band delight with a repertoire of folk songs from across the yuletide traditions. Glorious wassails, fresh arrangements of traditional carols both well-loved and little-known, and original songs heralding the joys of the season. Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage, Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts (BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees Gilmore & Roberts, Emily Askew Band) and Jade Rhiannon (The Willows) are excited to roll out their stunning festive show. These songs are stirred together with such beautiful five-part harmonies, accompanied by dobro, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, guitars a-plenty and a shruti box thrown in for good measure.
All four concerts will take place at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND to allow us to have the biggest audience possible... we're currently putting 60 tickets on sale for each event (42 downstairs and 18 on the balcony) but obviously we'll make more tickets available if that becomes possible. We're sticking with £15 per ticket for the moment as we need to ensure that each concert is viable and that the long-term future of the club is secure.
We very much hope to be able to add support acts to each concert, and also hope to be able to reopen the bar and restart the raffle, but we have to wait and see. Please watch this space for details as and when we're able to make those decisions.
Finally, all four of these acts will be invited to be guests for our new-look "an hour or so with..." series, streamed online on the Sunday evening following the gig, provided the demand is still there.