The award-winning acts just keep on coming as we welcome the current holders of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo, PHILLIP HENRY AND HANNAH MARTIN to Christ Church in April.

Widely-acknowledged as one of the most exciting and innovative duos to appear on the folk/roots/acoustic scene in recent years, the duo have been touring constantly for the past three years, winning new fans of all ages wherever they go with a truly unique sound that effortlessly spans many genres.

"This duo has a combination of virtuosity, intensity and charisma that merits a slot on much bigger stages"

- The Guardian

Hailing from Lancashire, Phillip is one of the UK's top slide guitarists and harmonica players. Over the past decade he has immersed himself in the music of the Deep South of America, traditional music of the British Isles, and Indian classical music. Specializing in lap slide techniques, his masterful Dobro playing draws together these diverse influences to create a truly unique voice. His innovative harmonica style combines country blues and folk styles with beat-boxing to create a jaw dropping and much coveted 21st century harmonica sound heavily steeped in tradition.

Hannah Martin is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Devon. Her songs weave folklore and legend old and new with beautiful melodies, creating haunting compositions delivered with a bold and beautiful singing style all her own. Writing mainly on fiddle, viola, and banjo, and drawing on the traditions of the British Isles, she has been commended for her fantastic singing.

"Eloquent performers - a musical success story"

- Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3


You can find out more about Phillip and Hannah by visiting their website here.


Opening the show for Phillip & Hannah will be KIRSTY BROMLEY. Kirsty is a singer, dancer, teacher and writer of folk music within the English Tradition.

She has been in choirs & musical ensembles from a very early age and much of her formative years involved immersion in the Brass Band tradition. This enabled her to make the transition to the ‘other’ English tradition, a journey which has been, in her own words, “rich, eventful and which continues to challenge her”.

“Crystal Clear And Very, Very Beautiful Voice”

- Mike Harding

Kirsty sings traditional folk songs and ballads, generally unaccompanied, and this is the area which she is currently active in developing.

In November 2011 Kirsty released her Debut EP “Sweet Nightingale” and her first album will be released later this year. Check out her website here.


Why not come along and find out just why Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin are held in such high regard? The event will be held on Friday 17th April at Christ Church, and doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets cost a bargain £10 in advance (£12 on the door) and are available now from Melanie’s Kitchen, Kafe Karma, Bristol Ticket Shop or online here. Members tickets cost £9 from this website only… remember to login and use the Members Only section!

We are thrilled to welcome one of the top names in UK folk music for our March concert.

LUCY WARD is an award winning artist from Derby, and one of the top names on the UK folk circuit. Her live performances are full of great music, fun and laughter and boundless energy.
After getting her first guitar at the age of 14, Lucy ventured into acoustic clubs, it was there that she first heard the traditional music that she now loves. Captured by the lyrics and stories of traditional song, Lucy delved further into the world of folk music, visiting clubs and sessions up and down the country before getting booked to play gigs in her own right. In 2009 Lucy reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award and she hasn’t looked back since!

After winning the Horizon Award for best newcomer at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Lucy’s career has gone from strength to strength establishing her as one of the hottest performers on the UK Folk scene, pulling a full capacity audience for her Cambridge Folk Festival debut.
In 2013 it was announced that she had been nominated for the acclaimed “Folk Singer of the Year” at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, making Lucy one of the youngest people ever to be nominated for this most prestigious award.
Lucy, who plays guitar, ukulele and concertina but considers her voice to be her first instrument. will be joined on stage by fiddler JOY GRAVESTOCK, while the evening will be opened by the highly-rated singer-songwriter FELIX MB.
Tickets for Friday 20th March's gig are priced at just £10 in advance (£9 for members, £12 on the door). Doors at Frenchay Village Hall open at 7.30pm and there will be a bar serving Great Western Brewing Co. real ales, Severn Cider and a range of wine, soft drinks and teas and coffees, as well as raffle during the interval. Tickets are on sale now at Melanie's Kitchen, Kafe Karma, Bristol Ticket Shop or online here.

We very much hope you've come to expect nothing but the country's top folk musicians at Downend Folk Club, and we're delivering on that promise with our stunning programme for Summer 2015!

On Friday 19th June, we welcome BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated duo O'HOOLEY & TIDOW.

With a personal invite from Billy Bragg to play Glastonbury, sessions on 6 Music and Radio 2, a five star live review and feature in The Guardian, a MOJO Folk Album of 2014 award for groundbreaking album "The Hum", and a nomination for ‘Best Duo’ in this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; Belinda O’Hooley & Heidi Tidow are regarded as lionhearted trailblazers of contemporary music and songwriting. Having the originality and skill to invite comparison with the most celebrated harmony duos, from early Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and at times spine-tingling performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm even the hardest of heart.


Friday 17th July's guest will be the fabulous JACKIE OATES, who will be joined on stage by MIKE COSGRAVE.

Jackie is a singer and fiddle player from Staffordshire. Her unique treatment of English ballads and songs, and pure, haunting singing style has established her at the forefront of the new English folk revival.

Since appearing as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2003, she has performed extensively at festivals and venues across the country and beyond, in a solo capacity and with her band. She was a founder member of Northumbrian group and Mercury nominated Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, Jackie is now a permanent member of the folk super-group The Imagined Village as well as touring in her own right.

Her new album "The Spyglass And The Herringbone" will be released in April.


Rounding off the Summer programme will be the visit of up-and-coming Birmingham singer-songwriter CHRIS CLEVERLEY on Friday 21st August.

Whispers have been spreading far and wide around the new British Folk Scene about last year's Isambard Folk Award-winner Chris and his haunting tales of ghost women, lonesome clock towers, lovelorn mariners and hospital beds.

From touring the UK festivals to sharing the bill with such heavyweights as Martin Simpson, Spiers & Boden, Martha Tilston and Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, Chris has stirred up a formidable word-of-mouth reputation and a buzzing anticipation for his forthcoming record, "Apparitions".


Tickets for these events are on-sale now to members, and will go on general sale on Monday 23rd March. All events will be held at Frenchay Village Hall and details of support acts will be announced nearer the time.