NEXT AT DOWNEND FOLK CLUB: LUKE JACKSON IN CONCERT

We continue our concert series this month as we welcome back a firm favourite in LUKE JACKSON. The concert will be held at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND, on the third Friday of the month (16th July) and it’s already sold out, given the COVID-secure capacity of 60 at the church. But if you're too late, you haven't missed out altogether... scroll down!

Luke is an un-pigeonholeable (is that a word?) singer-songwriter who has travelled a fair few thousand miles around the British Isles, initially with his dad Paul into pubs and bars, well run house concerts and more recently into folk & blues clubs, venues and festivals. Luke’s songwriting draws on his experiences, family life, poignant stories he’s been told and fortunately, they’e all written in English as in his own words, he’s dreadful at languages. 

An accomplished performer who impresses from the outset and takes his audience on a shared journey with a full bus down the bye-ways of love, hope, sorrow, and melancholy via the service stations of folk, roots, blues, Americana and soul. Luke regularly tours Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and all points of the UK as well as showcasing at the International Folk Alliance conference in Kansas, a residential songwriting train journey from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Montreal, Ontario in Canada.

Tickets for the event, which takes place at Christ Church Downend on Friday 16th July 2021, are available from downendfolkclub.co.uk. They are priced at £15 each and must be purchased in advance. At this stage, capacity is strictly limited to 60. There will be no bar or raffle, but ticket-holders are invited to bring their own refreshments.

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NEXT AT DOWNEND FOLK CLUB ONLINE: AN HOUR OR SO WITH LUKE JACKSON

CANCELLED - SORRY

*** Sadly, due to Luke's travel problems on Friday evening, we will not be able to bring you the planned "hour or so" online session this Sunday evening. We're really sorry. ***

As part of our online plan moving forward, Chairman Ant Miles will also be sitting down for a bag of chips with Luke when he visits for the concert, as we continue with our hugely successful "an hour or so" online series, which ran throughout all three lockdowns... but in a slightly different way. Audience questions are invited but they must be submitted in advance. The best will be selected and put to Luke. 

The resulting chat and tunes will then be streamed on Sunday 18th July 2021, at 8.00pm on the simultaneously on the our FACEBOOK page and YOUTUBE channel. Do make sure that you've liked/followed/suscribed! The show will be available to view for a week afterwards so don't worry if you can't make it on the night. As always, this “an hour or so” event will be free to attend, but there will be an online tip-jar, which you can contribute to below. It's still a tough time for musicians, so if you can't make the actual in-venue concert, please give generously if you can.

For further information, please visit the our website, find us on Facebook or Twitter or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MAKE A DONATION

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Way back when, around the only time when football actually did come home, New York was awash with folk singers. In 1966 Greenwich Village coffee shops strummed with politics, hippy ideals and tales from real folks. Fred Neil, Karen Dalton and Tim Hardin were writing classics, plotting to (gently) take over the world.

ELLIE GOWERS would have fitted right in. 

Tonight it seems unlikely that football will have any sort of homecoming (out there somewhere a tense 0-0 draw with Scotland is being played out) but, after just a few tunes, Ellie leaves this socially distanced audience in little doubt that gloriously talented singer song writers are on their way back, if they ever went away. Admittedly, a church in Downend is hardly a meeting place for the counterculture - no revolution is going to start here - but that's not really the point.

To kick off with an unaccompanied version of Mimi and Richard Farina's The Falcon could be considered a brave move yet Ellie tackles it with aplomb. She sets her stall out and there's no going back. A little later she delivers a perfect rendition of the Anne Briggs classic The Snow it Melts the Soonest and every one of us are quite clear that this is someone that knows their way around a song. Her voice is clear and sweet, high and lovely.

In truth that voice is sort of a game of two halves. Unlike an England performance, however, both halves are brilliant. On Nest and In the Past she is every inch the modern female folk singer; sensitive and heartfelt. Every now and then, though, a different side pokes through. On Against the Tide that sweet voice is pushed to cracking. There's blues lurking and a hint of jazz, something that teeters on the edge. A folk restraint just hauls it back but there, tantalisingly, just for a minute, was an extraordinary thing. It's so thrilling when it happens.

Helping her to keep things tight are two fantastic musicians. Alex Garden adds beautiful violin, understated and nothing flash but adding a waltz-y flavour to the Fairground Attraction tinged For A While. Lukas Drinkwater, on the other hand, is a superstar bassist. Fluid, bubbly textures just cascade from his double bass. On Eva, from the recent Parting Breath EP, he almost swings, adding yet another dimension to this impressive display.

It's deep into the final moments of her thoroughly enjoyable 90 minutes that Ellie pulls off a remarkable hat trick though. Richer was written for The Folk Effect project in 24 hours and is simply stunning; contemporary songwriting at its best. The title track from the Parting Breath EP follows that and just feels special - it starts unaccompanied, the trio slide slowly in to place and it blossoms in to the best tune of the evening. Finally Where my Heart Belongs is beautiful. It's a song of place, of returning, of falling back in love. 

Out in the real world, football proved to be disappointing and slightly forgettable. In the world that Ellie Gowers creates, nothing could be further from the truth.

Words: Gavin McNamara
Photo: Barry Savell

 

NEXT AT DOWNEND FOLK CLUB: ELLIE GOWERS (TRIO) IN CONCERT

After relaunching our monthly concert series last month, after over a year without live, in-person music, we continue to bring some of the country’s rising folk, roots and acoustic stars to South Gloucestershire as we welcome ELLIE GOWERS, whose EP Parting Breath made quite an impact during the Spring lockdown.

Ellie will be joined on-stage by Alex Garden (violin) and Lukas Drinkwater (double-bass). As always, the event is on the third Friday of the month (this time Friday 18th June 2021) and it’s already well on the way to selling out, given the COVID-secure capacity of 60 at the church. There are only 12 left at the time of writing, available HERE.

Ellie has been making an impression wherever she lands. Her music embeds a fierce energy that echoes the 60’s folk revival scene and she is known to hold pride of place on stage with her strong and lucent vocals. Her songs are built from a childhood love of literature and traditional folk song, but also discuss the more modern narratives of the present day. These influences fuse together to create a sound that has been deemed unique and incomparable.

In the last two years, Ellie has released the EP From Here On Out and followed that with the single Against the Tide which earned her a TEDx talk. These songs have been toured widely, both in headline shows and support slots for critically acclaimed artists.

After the unpredictable circumstances that 2020 brought with it, Ellie found herself making good use of her time, beginning to work on projects she had only ever thought about. Collab- orations were done with friends new and old, songs were written, a festival was played, and she was also included in the line up of the Filkin’s Drift Ensemble, covering Arthur McBride.

Ellie enters 2021 with a brand new EP named Parting Breath, which was released in March to widespread critical acclaim and radio play across both regional and national stations, culminating in a first Radio 2 airing last month.

The concert will take place at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND on Friday 18th June 2021. Doors open at 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start. Please note that some of the things you're used to at Downend Folk Club will not be available at these concerts. There will be no bar, so you are invited to bring your own refreshments and take the debris away with you afterwards. There will also be no raffle. Finally, there won't be a support act at these events so they'll likely finish a little earlier than pre-pandemic. We will, of course, hope to re-instate these things if and when we're able to. You will need to bring a face-mask and your own hand-sanitiser. There are toilets but access is limited... so please try to go before you arrive!

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NEXT AT DOWNEND FOLK CLUB ONLINE: AN HOUR OR SO WITH ELLIE GOWERS

We'll also be sitting down for a cuppa and a bit of a natter with ELLIE GOWERS (and possibly Alex and Lukas too... watch this space!) when she visits us for the concert, as we continue with our hugely successful "an hour or so" online series in a slightly different way. It may or may not include chips.

Your questions are invited but they must be submitted in advance... you can do that via email, Facebook message, Twitter, however you like. We'll select the best ones and put them to Ellie, as well as finding out a bit more about her past and her plans for the future. We'll film a handful of the songs the trio perform during the concert and stitch them together.

We'll then stream the resulting chat and tunes on Sunday 20th June 2021, at 8.00pm on our FACEBOOK page and YOUTUBE channel. Do make sure that you've liked/followed/suscribed! We'll all be hanging out in the comments as we have for the last year, so we hope that, if you're one of our friends from further afield, or you're not ready to come back to in-venue gigs at the moment, you'll join us and continue to build the lovely online community that has formed around these events. But if you can't join us live, don't worry... it will be available to view for a week afterwards.

As always, these events are free to attend, but we will continue with an online tip-jar, which you can find via the link below. This will be treated as extra ticket money, so will directly benefit the artist. Please give generously if you can.

We'll continue these new monthly "an hour or so" sessions as long as people are watching and donating!