We're pleased welcome CHRIS CLEVERLEYone of the finest up-and-coming names on the new UK folk scene, for a relaxed, intimate show as our mid-Summer event.

Bimingham-based Chris will be our guest on Friday 21st August, and will deliver his range of traditional and original songs, accompanying himself on guitar and banjo. A relaxed and confident singer and player, his sound ranges from the individual, to a 'big band' level, demonstrating time and again just why he was selected as the winner of the Isambard Award at the 2014 Bristol Folk Festival.

Describing himself as a singer of “haunting tales of ghost women, lonesome clock towers, lovelorn mariners and hospital beds”, Chris delivers a range of songs, taking in different moods, influences and styles. He's toured with Spiers & Boden, Martha Tilston and Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, and we can't wait to see him at Downend.

“Wonderful stuff” – Steve Tilston

Despite the reputation which has built up around Chris, he remains resolutely in touch with his audience, with a rapport which is both tender and humorous. It’s bound to be quite a show, so, after last month’s sold-out Jackie Oates gig, we recommend you get your tickets quickly.

Chris will be supported by local performer NOEY McELWEE. Noey's been singing and playing guitar since childhood, playing in many different bands and now as a soloist. She also performs as a support act to Black Sheep Harmony, a vocal group she helped to establish in Bristol. She's a familiar face at Downend Folk Club, having taken to the stage with Black Sheep Harmony as well as taking part in the local showcase in March.

The proceeds from our ever-popular raffle will be donated to local charity CHRISTIANS AGAINST POVERTY. CAP do great work in the local community, including organising a food bank. Those attending the gig are encouraged to bring an item for a food bank collection.

The event will be held at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 21st August 2015. Doors open at 7.30pm and there will be a full bar serving GWB real ale, cider, wine and a range of soft drinks. As mentioned last month, please do consider bringing your own glass/mug/tankard/sheepskin, to enable to club to cut down on waste at the bar.

Tickets are £8 in advance, £10 on the door, and are available from Melanie’s Kitchen, Bristol Ticket Shop and online here. Members tickets are £7 and are available from the Members Only area of the website, or direct from Ant Miles.

We'll now be adding a review to the website a few days after each gig. In the first of these, GAVIN McNAMARA takes a look back at July's event.

Earlier this year the decidedly un-Folk folk at Classic FM voted The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams as their favourite piece of classical music. Its heart-stopping violin line echoing the sound and flight of a lark, it never fails to bring a tear to the flintiest of eyes. It also conjures a particular Englishness. One that is forever green and pleasant. One that is calm and beautiful. One where every sadness in the world can be washed away with a soft rain and birdsong.

JACKIE OATES perfectly understands this type of Englishness. Where other folk singers might throw in a bit of American folk song or the odd country tinge Jackie Oates is English Folk. With a capital E and a capital F. Over the course of a delightful evening at the Downend Folk Club she lead us down English country by-ways and onto wave washed beaches, a gentle rain and birdsong washing away every care.

With a voice as crisp and clean as a cider apple she tells us stories that are, in that great folk tradition, often sad and filled with longing. The title track of the new album, “The Spyglass and the Herringbone”, is a song about the Foundling Hospital. It is a delicate, poignant tale of lost children and regret set to a beautiful piano and violin refrain. Oates is joined by Mike Cosgrave throughout the set. He adds piano, guitar and a wry sense of humour to proceedings and under-cuts some of the gentle melancholy with a sideways glance and baffled smile. Together they make an utterly lovely sound.

Just after “The Miller and his Three Sons” we hear the first example of the Downend Folk Club Sigh of the evening. Does this happen at every folk club? Who knows? But here, after a song of particular beauty, the audience give a little moan. A collective breath, as much to say “Ahh, that was lovely”. Jackie Oates gets to hear The Sigh a lot this evening.

While her set, generally, settles for the hushed and the sad two moments stand out. A set of Cornish barn dance tunes bring to mind wood smoke, the wide open sea and clattering feet while the best song of the evening is a song written by her brother. Jackie Oates’ brother is Jim Moray. He, surely, needs no introduction. “The Wishfulness Waltz” was written by him, for her during a time of heartbreak. It is snow covered and sparkly. Not in keeping with a humid July evening but entirely transporting. We sighed as it finished.

Starting the evening were the best support band that the Folk Club has seen so far. KIM LOWINGS & THE GREENWOOD were bewitching. Bouzouki, double bass and percussion box humming and thrumming around another crystal clear, female vocal. Songs were of witches and labouring boys and one about a supermarket self-scanning machine that was more beautiful than the subject matter gave it any right to be. Folk songs can get a bit bogged down in wronged maidens and drowned sailors; these made you want to drum your heels and swirl through very English fields.

Every once in a while, you might chance upon a singer with a voice which might just change your life. Come along to Downend Folk Club, on Friday 17th July, and you will hear that singer. You will hear JACKIE OATES.

Fresh from last month’s fantastic gig, we welcomes the critically acclaimed singer and fiddle player. Jackie will be presenting songs from her new album, "The Spyglass & The Herringbone", as well as from her five other records. Combining wit, stage presence and a disarmingly beautiful voice, Jackie’s take on traditional English ballads and songs will take you on a journey far and near.

Jackie’s career has seen her nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards in 2003, and win two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards including the Horizon Award for best newcomer, as well as her 2009 album Hyperboreans receive a nomination for the fRoots Critics’ Poll Album of the Year. She was also a founder member of Northumbrian group and Mercury nominated Rachel Unthank and the Winterset.

"Hers is such a different world that whenever I hear [her] I just want to be part of it" - Word

We are rightly excited about Jackie’s appearance, as we continue to build their profile as one of the most exciting folk venues in the country. Jackie’s crystal clear singing, sensitive fiddle playing and Mike Cosgrave’s accordion and guitar will mean a night to remember.

Opening proceedings will be KIM LOWINGS & THE GREENWOOD, a four-piece from Stourbridge whose repertoire spans the traditional and the original. With vocals, piano and Appalachian dulcimer from Kim, and guitar, percussion and more from the band, the audience is assured a diverse and invigorating set from a group who have performed at Moira Furnace Folk Festival, Bromsgrove Folk Festival, and Warwick Folk Festival, winning the New Folk competition.

The event will be held at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 17th July 2015. Doors open at 7.30pm and there will be a full bar serving GWB real ale, cider, wine and a range of soft drinks, as well as a raffle.

Tickets are £12 in advance, £14 on the door, and are available from Melanie’s Kitchen, Bristol Ticket Shop and online HERE. Members tickets are £11 and are available from the Members Only area of the website or direct from Ant Miles.