It is with regret that we have made the decision to cancel this Friday's concert, which was due to feature Salt House, with support from Jon Wilks.

As I'm sure you can understand, this is not a decision we have taken lightly, especially in view of the fact that it was almost sold out, and I know many of you were looking forward to it immensely. So were we. However, with uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (the Government could cancel events such as this any day now), alongside the even more crucial consideration of people's health, we do not feel any other decision than this would be the right one.

So, what happens now? Full refunds (of the face value of the ticket) are available from the point of purchase. Unfortunately any bookings fees added by third party ticket sellers (WeGotTickets, Headfirst Bristol etc) are out of our control and are probably non-refundable.

If you bought through WeGotTickets, a refund will be credited to your account... you do not need to do anything. If you bought at Melanie's Kitchen, please take your tickets back to the shop and they will refund your money. Please note that Melanie's Kitchen are NOT able to refund any tickets that weren't bought there. If you bought in any other way (season tickets, at a concert or via Headfirst Bristol) please reply to this email and we will make arrangements to refund your ticket. In order to claim your refund, you must do so by 5pm on Friday 20th March. It will not be possible to refund any tickets after this point.

Clearly, this is a very worrying time for musicians, venues and others involved in this industry. Many are self-employed and are now facing many weeks without income that they had budgeted for. So the final thing we're asking is this: if you are in the fortunate position of not needing your refund, could you perhaps consider leaving it with us as a donation? Most of this money will go to Salt House by way of a cancellation fee, while a small amount will be retained by Downend Folk Club to cover our irretrievable costs... the split is based on the split of ticket money agreed with the band, they are aware of this and would be very grateful for any donations made. This sum will be made up of unclaimed refunds by Friday (on most tickets) but if you bought via WGT and got an automatic refund, you can donate it back via the button below.

We will look to bring Salt House (and Jon Wilks) back to Downend Folk Club as soon in the future as we can. We have not yet made any decisions about concerts after this one, and we continue to monitor Government advice. We will let you know any information regarding concerts as soon as we are able.

In the meantime, stay well, and we'll see you soon.

Ant Miles, Chairman
on behalf of the Downend Folk Club committee

There will be a distinctly Scottish flavour at Downend Folk Club this month with the brilliant trio SALT HOUSE the headline guests. They are touring the UK with their brand new album, which sees them solidify their reputation as fine interpreters of words both old and new.

Huam, (the call of an owl) is their third collection of songs, and the second pairing with producer Andy Bell, and will be released in March 2020 on Hudson Records. Songs are central to Salt House. New songs that sound as if they’ve always been here. Ancient ballads woken up. Poems given the tunes they’ve long deserved. Songs about place, politics, landscape and birds. The trio continue their love of recording "on location" with this album, taking themselves to rural Argyllshire to finish writing and recording the songs which were crafted between their homes of Inverness- shire and Shetland.

Singer, guitarist and harmonium player Jenny has a PHD in seabirds. Described by R2 Magazine as “a singer-songwriter who brings together the old and new with a rare skill”, her songs are earthy and wise; she sings them with beauty and power. Singer and guitarist Ewan brings to Salt House a wealth of understanding and experience gained from collaboration with musicians from all corners of the scene. His songs are poetic and layered; his voice plaintive and from the heart. Fiddler, viola player and vocalist Lauren’s arrangements hold a rich, deep, darkness flecked with gold. You can hear the Highlands in Lauren’s elegant bowing, and a knowledge of how to weave around a narrative. She plays with warmth, wisdom and soul.

You’ll also hear echoes of Pentangle, a touch of Dick Gaughan, murmurs of Scandinavian and Scots, all woven into a music that’s traditional and new. The group’s meticulous attention to detail, shared passions and care for their craft sees Set House soar.

Support on the evening will come from JON WILKS. Jon writes about folk music and performs it when people let him. His live shows are an amusing mix of folk song performance and conversation, throwing in tidbits of weird and wonderful information about the original singers and collectors that he has come across during his writing research. To date, Jon has released two solo albums, as well as three albums and one EP with The Grizzly Folk, and an album and EP with Japan-based indie band, Cut Flowers, in a former life..

Tickets for the event, which takes place at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 20th March 2020, are available from MELANIE'S KITCHEN or online from HERE. They are priced at £12 each in advance (£10 for members), or £14 on the door. There will be a full bar, stocking soft drinks, wine, hot drinks, cider and locally-brewed real ale from Hambrook-based GREAT WESTERN BREWING CO., 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. There is now a 50p discount for those bringing their own receptacles!

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

Sometimes, you just know you’re in for a great evening. 

When a Downend Folk Club concert sells out over two weeks in advance and has a waiting list for tickets as long as your arm (stealing arm or otherwise, with apologies to those who weren’t there for the “in” joke), you just know you’re in for a great evening.

When you’re going to see GILMORE & ROBERTS, you just know you’re in for a great evening.

You can feel the excitement in the room as soon as you arrive. The hall is packed, not a seat anywhere to be seen, well ahead of the start time. You can see the frisson of excitement in the eyes of your fellow audience members. You catch a fleeting glance of one of Gilmore or Roberts and the excitement grows. You just know you’re in for a great evening.

We’ve been here before, Downend Folk Club and Gilmore & Roberts. Back in the mists of time (well, March 2016) Katriona and Jamie first stepped on to the stage at Frenchay Village Hall. It was pretty much a sell-out that night too, although perhaps not quite as quickly. The people in the audience that night have long memories, they made sure they didn’t miss out this time around. Because, once again, this was a concert that will live long in the memory.

As soon as the duo launch into Bone Cupboard, a sparse, almost hypnotic song about skeletons in the closet taken from their latest album, A Problem Of Our Kind, the audience are transfixed and, at the end of the song, the rapturous applause (and did I even hear a whoop or two?!), breaks the spell in the best way possible.

Katriona plays fiddle (right-handed) and mandolin (left-handed) and sings. Her voice is a thing of unusual beauty. Delicate with a roughness around the edges, there’s a gravitas to her delivery; you believe the stories her songs are telling you. Jamie plays guitar; usually the traditional way, but for one occasion, on The Stealing Arm (there’s the explanation of that private joke), laid across his lap, his fingers hitting the strings and the body of the guitar to create an explosion of sound. And he sings, too; his substantial, full-bodied voice, thick with northern charm, is the perfect counterpoint to that of his partner.

The evening is full of highlights. Gilmore & Roberts’ songs, mostly self-penned, tell great stories. There are tales of a doctor who never got the recognition he (nay, she) deserved (Doctor James); tales of a scarecrow (Scarecrow, as if you couldn’t have guessed), and tales a plenty about the human condition, both good and bad; a theme that Katriona explains they found running through their newest album without having really intended it (The Philanthropist and Selfish Man being great examples).

There are two unexpected highlights. First the duo step in front of the stage for Ghost Of A Ring, completely acoustic. You could hear a pin drop, Jamie’s guitar with a neat little refrain complementing Katriona’s hushed vocal and gently strummed mandolin. The other one? Well, I won’t spoil the surprise for anyone that’s yet to see them. You’ll know the moment from the smile it brings to your face and the laughter it brings along with it.

Opening the evening’s entertainment are MATT QUINN & OWEN WOODS… or should that be Owen Woods & Matt Quinn? They couldn’t quite make up their minds, forming the backbone of some very amusing on-stage banter. They are a melodeon and concertina duo. There aren’t many duos out there using two squeezeboxes, but on the basis of this showing, there should be more. They take us on a whistlestop tour of English and European tunes. It’s the perfect folky foil to the contemporary acoustic joy of the main act.

But it is to Katriona and Jamie that the evening belongs. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should. You just know (by now) that you’d be in for a great evening.

Words: Bea Furlong
Photo: Chris Dobson