The next guest in our series of online events for this Autumn will be the rising talent that is ELLIE GOWERS, who will join us for an hour or so of chat with a few songs thrown in this coming Friday (4th December).

Warwickshire-based songwriter 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 her latest single Against the Tide which earned her a TedX talk. Both of these were welcomed with a good reception from listeners. These songs have been toured widely, both in headline shows and support slots for critically acclaimed artists, up and down the UK.

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'll continue to do these until Christmas, as concerts aren't possible, and we'll asses the situation in the New Year.

 

We are beyond excited (and still in a state of shock, to be honest!) to announce that the next guest in our second series of "an hour or so with..." sessions for this Autumn lockdown will be none other than JON BODEN, who has become the "stand out performer of his generation" (The Guardian) of traditional English folk artists, but one whose repertoire extends far beyond the boundaries of the genre.

Jon is perhaps best known is the lead singer of the progressive folk juggernaut BELLOWHEAD, who sold 250,000 albums, had seven singles playlisted on BBC Radio 2 and sold out hundreds venues including The Royal Albert Hall; whilst also gaining notoriety for his performance in the Hollywood movie About Time (his YouTube audio of the track has over nine million views!) and as one half of SPIERS & BODEN. Since Bellowhead split up in 2016 Jon has continued his development as one of the foremost names in English folk music.

Jon's recorded solo career goes back to 2006 with the release of his album Painted Lady (re-released with new bonus tracks in October 2016 to mark the album’s tenth anniversary), followed by the critically lauded Songs From The Floodplain, which led to him being named Folk Singer of The Year at the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. He has toured several times since then with his own band The Remnant Kings, and as a solo performer.

Widely respected as an interpreter of traditional song, the solo shows also showcased Jon’s instrumental talents on fiddle, guitar and concertina, as well as his trademark stomp-box, which he and John Spiers introduced into to the world of traditional music in 2001. Through his solo work and his work with Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden, Jon has won eleven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than and promises to take the audience deeper into the song worlds of traditional music and of his own song writing.

Jon’s new album with The Remnant Kings, The Rose In June, was released in November 2019 on Hudson Records, with the final album in his post-apocalyptic trilogy due for release in February next year.

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 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.