We are thrilled to reveal our fantastic line-up for Summer 2020. We say this every time… but it just doesn’t get much better than this! Have a good read through the information below, and please do continue to support us and buy your tickets well in advance... it makes such a difference!

Kicking off the programme on Friday 22nd May, will be a very special evening in the company of SAM CARTER, who will be accompanied in the beautiful surroundings of CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND by a the Home Waters String Quartet. Sam is on tour armed with a first new album in four years, and the string quartet show is one of only two in the whole of the UK… we really are very lucky to have this one! The evening's entertainment will get underway with a set from the highly-rated young folk singer LIZZY HARDINGHAM. Please note that this is actually the fourth Friday of the month… we’ve moved it back by a week to make space for Bristol Folk Festival.

Our June event, on Friday 19th, will be headlined by HANNAH JAMES & TOBY KUHN. Well-known to Downend Folk Club regulars as one third of Lady Maisery, Hannah met Toby in Summer 2018 at Floating Castle festival in Slovenia. After seeing Hannah perform one of her solo pieces Toby suggested she should keep him in mind if she ever needed a cellist. After a short jam in the Slovenian sunshine it was clear that these two musicians shared a common approach to music making and a real artistic chemistry. Toby Joined Hannah at a solo gig a few days later and a new duo was born! Opening the evening’s entertainment at FRENCHAY VILLAGE HALL will be popular local duo COOPER & TOLLER.

Friday 17th July sees our Summer Programme rounded off by a long-awaited return for UK roots star LUKE JACKSON. 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. Getting the evening underway will be PEARL FISH… you might not have heard of her yet, but you’re gonna love her! We're at our FRENCHAY VILLAGE HALL HQ for this one, too.

Each concert starts at 8.00pm, with doors and the bar opening at 7.30pm. Tickets are on-sale now HERE. We're offering the Season Ticket option again, which means you can buy tickets for all three gigs in one go and avoid those pesky booking fees. You can also get tickets from MELANIE'S KITCHEN in Downend.

For any further information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


I have been fortunate to see ODETTE MICHELL, unquestionably one of my favourite artists, play many times and she always is a joy to see and hear. This show at Downend Folk Club, where she was promoted to headline status, was up there with her best shows. Odette possesses a stunning, beautiful voice, plays some great guitar and bouzouki and writes outstanding songs, often with uplifting lyrics, bringing sunshine into the usually dark world of folk music.

Performing with her trio - Rory Innerd on violin and mandolin and Alex Duncalf on cello - Odette truly smashed her show, playing to a large crowd at Frenchay Village Hall. The trio were tight and in top form, with wonderful sound from the Downend crew. Rory and Alex add so much to Odette's already brilliant live sound.

Opening strongly with the title track of her debut album, The Wildest Rose, Odette, Rory and Alex set the bar high following with her lovely take on the traditional True Lover's Farewell. Other first set highlights included two of Odette's stunning new songs: Song For The Birds and All The Bonny Ships, a song about her grandfather. Also great to hear her sing I Once Loved A Shepherd, one of her few sadder songs.

Odette began the second half solo with her lovely After The Hurricane from the By Way Of Night EP. There was also a great versions of The Blue Cockade and The Outside Track. Odette and the trio closed with one of her best songs, an ode to life centered on the London Northern Line Tube, The Great Old Northern Line before returning solo for a well deserved encore, The Lakes Of Pontchartrain.

Opening the evening, ANT MILES played a rare solo set (indeed his first). Based on this, I think he should do some more! Out of his comfort zone, he has a good voice as shown by songs like Bring Me A Boat and The Yorkshire Couple. He also invited Anita Dobson (who like Ant is a member of ROAD NOT TAKEN) to sing My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose.

A fabulous night at this great, well run and friendly club.

Words: Keith Bache
Photo: Chris Dobson

Our first concert of the new year might not quite have gone according to plan... but in ODETTE MICHELL, we have one of the fastest-rising new voices on the UK folk scene as our headliner!

When we announced our Spring 2020 programme a couple of months ago, the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a different name listed as the headliner, with Odette due to be the opening act. But when the originally booked artist was revealed to be double-booked, chairman Ant Miles had no hesitation in promoting Odette to the headline slot... and Odette immediately responded by offering to bring her trio!

“The impact Odette has made in the last year or so has been huge, and we only had her doing support because it was booked a long time ago. Her growing profile is probably already beyond support slots, if I’m being honest,” Ant said. “So we had to make a change and act quite quickly... the solution was obvious! We’re absolutely thrilled to have Odette as our first act of 2020.”
Odette is a British folk singer-songwriter, guitarist and bouzouki player with a bold new take on the acoustic tradition and a voice capable of demonstrating the finer points of both folk and traditional song with genuine craftsmanship. In May 2019, Odette released her enchanting debut album The Wildest Rose. The album gained widespread positive acclaim and featured notable musical contributions from Phil Beer (one-half of multi-award-winning acoustic folk band Show of Hands) who plays fiddle on two of the tracks and sings backing vocals on one other track; and Toby Shaer (Cara Dillon, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys).

Odette will be joined on-stage by Rory Innerd on fiddle and mandolin, and Alex Duncalf on cello.

And stepping into the support slot vacated by Odette will be ANT MILES himself. Ant performs mostly traditional music and has played at the club on a few occasions before with his band, ROAD NOT TAKEN... but never on his own. “I hope it won’t put people off coming,” quipped Ant. “It will be my first proper performance without the rest of my band, but I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while... the need to find a last minute support artist focused my mind a bit!”

Tickets for the event, which takes place at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 17th January 2020, are available from MELANIE'S KITCHEN or online HERE. They are priced at £12 each in advance (£10 for members), or £14 on the door. There will be a full bar, stocking locally-brewed real ale from Hambrook-based GREAT WESTERN BREWING CO., along with cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and also locally-made NAUGHTY BROWNIES. There will be a raffle with prizes including CDs, gift boxes of beer and sweet treats. You are encouraged to bring your own glass/mug/tankard/bucket, as well as reusable bottles for water, as part of the club’s drive to be more environmentally aware. Those that do this will have 50p knocked off the price of their drink.

Most of our events sell out, especially at the smaller venue, so please do buy your tickets in advance. For further information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..