WHERE TO FIND US
Most of our gigs are held at:
Frenchay Village Hall
Occasionally, we use one of our larger venues at:
Downend Folk Club was formed in early-2014 and aims to bring high-quality live folk, roots and acoustic music to venues in and around the Downend area. We host great concerts every month (except August, when we have a well-earned Summer break!).
The club is the brainchild of Ant Miles who drew together a group of like-minded individuals to drive the club. Within a week of the first meeting of this new committee, Downend Folk Club had attracted a large following on Facebook, had a website up and running and, most importantly, had the first two concerts in the diary!
Our first event was in April 2014 when Bright Season played at our launch night on Easter Saturday.
The club was soon able to announce a gig with Bella Hardy in the May of 2014, and just a couple of weeks later, Bella was crowned Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, which was a massive boost for the club. Some great coverage followed in local magazines, especially Downend Voice.
And this was quickly followed up in late-March 2014 when it was announced that Jim Moray would be the new club's Patron.
Gigs by stars such as Jim, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar and India Electric Co. were soon added, while the club also featured up-and-coming artists like Ange Hardy, Jess Vincent and Gren Bartley on its programme, along with Downend-bred Jennifer Crook's trio.
From July 2014, the club added local-based support acts to the evening, and 16-year old Gloucester-based singer-songwriter Emi McDade was announced as the first one.
Quickly, the club began to make a name for itself as a top venue for folk music, attracting top names like Lucy Ward, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, O'Hooley & Tidow, Jackie Oates and many more, as well as featuring some great up-and-coming acts.
Jim Moray - Patron
Jim Moray is one of the most consistently inventive musicians working in English traditional music today. Winner of five BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, after five ground-breaking albums he now finds himself at the forefront of a new folk revival in the UK, and hailed as a pivotal influence by a new generation of folk musicians. We are thrilled to have an artist with such a great reputation associated with the club, and we're very excited about the prospect of working with him to bring great live folk, roots and acoustic music to the Downend area. Pop on over to www.jimmoray.co.uk to find out more.
Ant Miles - Chairman
A passionate lover of folk, roots and acoustic music, Ant had the idea for Downend Folk Club in early-2014 after deciding to stop moaning about the lack of great live folk gigs in the area and do something about it. Ant is married to Laura and has two young boys, who are frequently subjected to their dad's taste in music and usually take it on the chin most admirably. In his day job(s), Ant runs Fancourt Music, a live music booking agency representing the likes of Jim Moray and Lady Maisery, does music workshops in residential care homes for a charity called Musica and, in his spare time (ha!) plays in a folk band, Road Not Taken.
Alan Cole - Vice-Chairman
Usually seen hiding behind the camera at gigs and festivals, Alan initially got involved in the folk scene in 2007 through his interest in photography. Until then, music had never been a significant feature in what he did in his spare time but several years later, as well as photographing many of the top folk artists, bands and festivals, Alan has formerly been involved in the running of Bristol Folk Festival, but now focuses his attentions on Downend Folk Club, and very lucky we are to have him!
Gaynor Woolley - Secretary
Growing up in the sixties with the emergence of all the wonderful singer-songwriters has left Gaynor with an innate love of music. Still a big fan of James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, Leonard Cohen, Gaynor leans more towards folk these days, but not necessarily traditional. She loves the electric, foot stomping of Jamie Smith's Mabon and Shooglenifty. The real buzz for Gaynor, though, is 'live' music; the interaction, mistakes and all. Apart from that, Gaynor is a crafter: knitting, sewing, card making!
Ken Hobbs - Treasurer
Ken is our finance guru... his interest in folk music is growing, as is his CD collection... but he's been roped in as he is Ant's father-in-law! Ken is married to Julie and has two grown-up daughters and four grandchildren. He also does a flippin' fantastic Sunday roast.
Cliff Woolley - Membership Secretary
Cliff has been a Bristol Morris Man for more than twenty years and more recently has started singing with The Magnificent AK47 and Bristol Folk Singers. His taste in music ranges from Fairport Convention to Radiohead, from REM to Le Vent du Nord, but especially Neil Young. Originally from Birmingham, he’s also a lifelong Aston Villa fan which is actually not as much fun as it sounds. Oh, and he just loves a good spreadsheet.
Keith is now retired after a career in aerospace engineering, specialising in the stress analysis of wing structures. His interest in folk music dates from his teens in West Cornwall; particularly fond memories of the Count House and Pipers Folk Clubs. Keith had several years break from live concerts while the children were growing up, then Downend Folk Club formed in 2014 right on his doorstep and he hasn't looked back since!
Bobby works part time as an Office Administrator in the Voluntary Sector and has been married to Keith for over 30 years. She grew up in Bristol and her interest in folk music started as a teenager when she attended the first WOMAD events in the Watershed and Ashton Court festival. Bobby is pleased to be more active on the scene nowadays. Although neither she nor Keith play an instrument, they say they are "great at listening".
OTHER KEY FACES
Richard Lovelock - Sound Engineer
Richard is a chartered industrial chemist, retired business director, proud owner of two Rag Doll Cats and an all round ‘sound’ guy! He has been an enthusiastic amateur sound technician for over 20 years and absolutely loves the challenge of finding the perfect sound balance for the artists he has the pleasure to support. Richard got involved with Downend Folk Club after being invited by Ant, and did not realise what a fabulous time he would have!
Alison Emsley - Bar Manager
When Ant asked Alison to join the team and help run the bar, she jumped at the chance... it was just up her street, and she gets to hear the music too. Alison has always enjoyed folk music and has followed Ant and his musical exploits for the last few years. She has a varied musical choice and is looking forward to hearing who will be coming to DFC next!
Here's a list of all the gigs and events we've ever held:
Gren Bartley (support from Emi McDade)
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar (support from Geoff Pugh)
India Electric Co. (support from Road Not Taken)
Jennifer Crook Trio (support from Mike Weaver)
Jess Vincent Trio (support from Black Sheep Harmony)
Jim Moray (support from Katherine Priddy)
Kelly Oliver (support from The Portraits)
Jo May's Spoon For Dotty
Maz O'Connor (support from The Black Feathers)
Local Showcase - Road Not Taken, Edd Donovan, Steffan Lewis & Rachel Foster, Noey McElwee, Susie Dobson, Geoff Pugh, Mangotsfield Kitchen Project
Lucy Ward (support from Felix M-B)
Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (support from Kirsty Bromley)
Ruth Notman (support from Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith)
O'Hooley & Tidow (support from Robert Lane)
Jackie Oates with Mike Cosgrave (support from Kim Lowings & The Greenwood)
Chris Cleverley (support from Noey McElwee)
Sam Carter (support from Said The Maiden)
Ewan McLennan (support from Nibs van der Spuy)
The Young'uns (support from The Roaring Trowmen)
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker (support from Emi McDade)
Tobias ben Jacob & Lukas Drinkwater (support from Ian Roland with Simon Yapp)
Gilmore & Roberts (support from Susie Dobson with Joe Futak)
Luke Jackson (support from Hannah Cumming)
Mairearad & Anna (support from Steffan Lewis & Rachel Foster)
Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith (support from Kitty Macfarlane)
Kirsty Bromley & Lucy Wise with Simon Dumpleton (support from Steve Pledger)
Sunjay (support from Lara Conley)
Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley (support from Road Not Taken)
Claudia Schwab & Friends (support from Susie Dobson with Joe Brydon)
Leveret (support from The Hut People)
Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater (support from Mike Weaver)
Lady Maisery (support from Ashland)
Belshazzar's Feast (support from The Ninetree Stumblers)
Moore Moss Rutter (support from Harri Endersby)
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman (support from Ollie King)
Chris Sherburn, Denny Bartley & Emily Sanders (support from Niamh Boadle)
The Black Feathers (support from Saskia)
Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys (support from Susie Dobson with Ant Miles & Amy Reynolds)
India Electric Co. (support from Jack Cookson)
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar (support from Leon Gormley)
Kim Lowings and The Greenwood (support from Gav Ball)
Granny's Attic (support from Ember)
Grace Petrie (support from Gavin Osborn)
Jim Moray presents Upcetera (support from Daria Kulesh)
Blair Dunlop (support from Kitty Macfarlane)
Edgelarks (support from Iona Lane)
Harri Endersby (support from Ben Robertson)
The Rheingans Sisters (support from Ian A Anderson)
Daoiri Farrell (support from Rosie Hood)
Rachael McShane & The Cartographers (support from Road Not Taken)
Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage (support from Ben Morgan-Brown)
Summer Special at Bristol Folk House - The Fitzgeralds
An Evening with Jim Causley (support from Hannah Woof)
The Lucy Ward Band (support from Jack Hopkinson)
Megson (support from Kirsty Merryn)
Lady Maisery and Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith: "Awake Arise - A Christmas Show For Our Times" (support from Danny Pedler & Rosie Butler-Hall)
Gavin Osborn & The Comment Section (support from Katherine Priddy)
Alden, Patterson and Dashwood (support from Molly-Anne)
O'Hooley & Tidow (support from Mike Weaver)
The Askew Sisters (support from Nick Hart)
The Dovetail Trio (support from Road Not Taken)
Kitty Macfarlane (support from Louis Campbell)
Jack Rutter (support from Ellie Gowers)
Road Not Taken "Fragment" Album Launch
Midnight Skyracer (support from Charlie Limm)
The Georgia Lewis Band (support from Rosie Hodgson)
Talisk (support from Calum Gilligan)
Christmas Special: The Jackie Oates Band (support from Thom Ashworth)
The Odette Michell Trio (support from Ant Miles)