We are thrilled to announce that the third guest in this second lockdown series of "an hour or so with..." will be KITTY MACFARLANE, one of the fastest-rising stars of the folk, roots and acoustic scene in the UK.

Kitty, of course, is a great friend of Downend Folk Club, having twice performed support slots in the early days of her career before headlining her own sold-out show back in June last year, as well as being in the audience on many occasions too. Since last Summer, her career has gone from strength-to-strength and she has reached a point where she is widely regarded as one of the most exciting acts to emerge in recent years.

A songwriter and guitarist from Somerset, Kitty's music is rich with visual imagery and written with an eco-eye. Her trademark lies in remarkably mature songwriting, a marked empathy with the environment and a strong sense of place. Carried by a clear voice, "controlled yet wild" (Folk Radio), her lyrics touch on intervention and rewilding, climate change and migration, woman’s age-old relationship with textiles and the land, and the changing face of the natural world. From the starling murmurations on the Somerset Levels to the lowly eel's epic transatlantic migration, the coasts and estuaries of the South West and the small part we ourselves play in a much bigger picture, her songs are bound by the underlying theme of mankind's relationship with the wild. Cerebral and topical, honest and immediate, these are not throwaway lyrics or everyday melodies but thought-provoking and evocative compositions with wonderfully crafted soundscapes.

Her debut album Namer Of Clouds was one of The Guardian's Best Folk Albums of 2018, and has seen airplay across BBC Radio 2, 3, 4 and 6 Music. Last year she was invited to guest-present two episodes of BBC Radio 4's Tweet of the Day and Kitty performed live in session on BBC Radio 2 at the beginning of 2019.

The focus of these "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations going direct to the guest. You can donate at PayPal.me/downendfolkclub.

 

We're pleased to reveal that the guests for the second in our series of events for this November lockdown will be THE LAST INKLINGS.
 
Mystery has largely disappeared from the world; but this duo can put the trolls back under the bridges and remind you not to step into a fairy ring under a full moon! The Last Inklings create music that inspires wonder and intrigue through songwriting, stories and soundscapes.
 
 
The alt-folk duo is formed of multi-instrumentalists David Hoyland and Leonardo MacKenzie, former members of respected folk trio Kadia. Their experimental sound focusses on cello, mandolin and violin layered with vocal harmonies. Songs are inspired by folklore and the human element of mythology, drawing on narrative influences ranging from Norse myths to the writings of Neil Gaiman, Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung.
 
Musically they have been inspired by artists including Moulettes, Punch Brothers, Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston, Tobias Ben Jacob, Andrew Bird and Max Richter along with the traditional songs and tunes of the UK. Some of the stories may not be entirely true, but they tell a truth just the same. The Last Inklings released their debut EP in Spring 2020.
 
The focus of these "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations going direct to the guest. You can donate at PayPal.me/downendfolkclub.
 
So, we're back in lockdown, but you know what that means! Over the next four weeks (or longer, we'll see what happens!), we'll be returning to our "an hour or so with..." sessions via our FACEBOOK page. And we're thrilled to announce that the guest for the first of these will be the thoroughly brilliant MAZ O'CONNOR.
 
Hailed as a "remarkable songwriting talent" by Q magazine, singer-songwriter Maz is known for her thoughtful lyrics and captivating singing. She grew up in the wild Lake District of the Romantic Poets, studied literature at Cambridge and is now settled in South London. With roots in Ireland, all of these influences make her songwriting and performing style something truly unique.
 
 
In 2014 Maz was awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship (Adele was a previous recipient). During this year she wrote her album This Willowed Light, which earned her a nomination for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Horizon Award and appearances at high profile festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival, WOMAD and Glastonbury. She headlined Downend Folk Club, at our larger Christ Church venue, back in February 2015.
 
Her second album The Longing Kind, was a coming-of-age piece, about which Songlines wrote: "There is an inquiring intelligence as well as an emotional sensibility at work here…she plays and sings beautifully." She toured the UK and Europe, and opened for such artists as David Gray, Thomas Dybdahl & Rosanne Cash. 

Maz's new album Chosen Daughter is a concentrated feminist statement. It is not protest music, but a very personal album which explores, and celebrates, the feminine, inspired by the stories of her grandmothers.
 
The focus of these "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations going direct to the guest. You can donate at PayPal.me/downendfolkclub or via the button below.