After the success of June’s India Electric Co. concert, this month’s event sees another favourite returning for a second helping.

GREG RUSSELL & CIARAN ALGAR first graced the stage at Frenchay Village Hall in August 2014, but, it being the middle of the Summer holiday season, many of the club’s regulars missed the opportunity to see the dynamic duo in action, and begged for another opportunity to catch them live.

Two time BBC Folk Award winners Greg and Ciaran met in 2011. Soon after the joining of the pair, the duo were signed to Fellside Records and in July 2012 released their debut album, 'The Queen’s Lover'. Numerous tours followed as the duo developed and honed their stage craft, becoming one of the most sought after young acts on the English Folk Scene. "The press coverage and folk club reports have been glowing and rightly so" (R2 Magazine).

In January 2013, the pair picked up the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award. Following the award win, Russell and Algar toured the country in April and, after completing school and University Exams in May, began touring again at the beginning of June - a schedule which saw them play venues and festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention as well as appearing live on Mark Radcliffe’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Show.

After recording their second album in the November of 2013, again with Fellside, Russell and Algar received the Horizon Award for Best breakthrough act at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The second album, 'The Call', was then released in July receiving 5 Stars in fRoots, 4 Stars in both R2 Magazine and The Telegraph and a host of other brilliant reviews, Bright Young Folk describing it as an "outstanding show of maturity" with "enormous promise".

The duo come from musical households and both began to develop their musical skills long before joining forces. Algar, originally a member of TRI became All Ireland Champion, and All Britain Champion on numerous occasions before the age of 16 and Russell had begun a career as a solo musician supporting acts such as Karine Polwart and Lau, amongst others.

Their latest album, 'The Silent Majority', was released last year to critical acclaim.

Support on the evening will come from LEON GORMLEY.

Self taught from an early age after picking up a guitar at home that belonged to his father Leon performed at various venues around the Birmingham folk scene of the mid to late 1980’s. Seduced by the lure of computer based music, first learning how to produce it then teaching it at a local community centre, he took a break from the world of folk during the 90’s but the acoustic guitar was never far from his side and he returned to it with a renewed passion at the onset of the new millennium, writing new material and continuing to develop his own unusual five finger picking technique.

Tickets for the event, which takes place at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 21st July 2017, are available from MELANIE'S KITCHEN or online HERE. There will be a full bar, stocking a range of soft drinks, wine, tea and coffee, cider, locally-brewed real ale from Hambrook-based brewery GREAT WESTERN BREWING CO., and locally-made NAUGHTY BROWNIES. You are encouraged to being your own tankard/glass/mug as part of our drive to be environmentally aware. There will also be a raffle, the proceeds of which are spent directly on support acts, as we are an entirely "not for profit" organisation.

Emma Bedford's quest to see 40 gigs in a year brought her to Downend Folk Club for the first time to see India Electric Co. She reviewed the evening for her blog and has kindly allowed us to use it for our monthly website review too. Hope we'll see Emma again soon!

"I didn’t even know the name of the band I was going to see until an hour before the show, so I clearly had no idea what to expect. At a folk club in a village hall, never been there before either.

My friend Kate was photographing this gig and invited me to go with her (she’s a lovely person and a very talented photographer) so despite being very tired from the gig the night before and being at work all day I went along.

This was my second folk club experience of #40gigs so I knew the atmosphere would be friendly and welcoming, and it was. We were so early that the hall was still being set up! We had a cup of tea listening to the sound check, which was a unique experience all by itself.

Support was from JACK COOKSON, a Radio 2 Folk Award nominee. He played a short set, which was stronger towards the end. The final two tracks, both new, were a lot stronger, perhaps showing the development of his songwriting? He’s a very talented young man, who can play the heck outta an acoustic guitar. One to keep an eye on if you like folk/acoustic music I think.

Then main act. In two halves (folk clubs are so civilised, you get a halftime break) INDIA ELETRIC CO. I honestly had no idea what to expect, so when they were introduced as being, by their own admission "sometimes folk, sometimes not" I sort of knew I was going to like them. Which I did. Enormously. Cole has a great voice and Joe appears to be able to master any instrument you put in front of him. He played violin/fiddle (what is the difference anyhow?!), accordion and guitar last night but also plays keys apparently. Being multi talented & really lovely appear to be traits of folk musicians I am discovering.

The music was lush, filling the hall with gorgeous melodies. They moved between styles and genres with ease, sometimes in the middle of a song. When talented musicians play like that its such a joy to just admire them. Despite a few technical issues (hey, even Elbow had them guys) the sound and lighting were really impressive. The volunteers who run Downend Folk Club should be rightly proud of the work they put in.

Watching the interplay between Joe and Cole was fantastic, almost like jazz musicians, communicating through the music and being totally in tune with each other. I also loved that when a song was emotional, Cole inhabited it so fully he had to take his glasses off and put them in his pocket. They did an amazing Springsteen cover that was a joy to watch as well as hear. It was beautiful. They also played songs based on poetry, where else do you get songs inspired by WH Auden than a folk club? Parachutes was a total standout track, all the feels going on with that one. In the encore they invited Jack up to join them and that was a real treat. Collaborate more lads!

Afterwards we had a chat with them all & Cole ended up trying on my glasses which is definitely a first for #40gigs and I doubt will be repeated! Thank you Jack, Joe, Cole, all of Downend Folk Club and Kate for making gig 25 another memorable and special night.

The contrast between 24 and 25 couldn’t be greater, one a crowd of thousands in a forest, one a few dozen in a village hall. But #40gigs has always been about voyages of discovery, supporting musicians and finding new music. Folk clubs in village halls are as much a part of that. I appear to be a proper folkie convert now!

25 down. 15 to go."

Words: Emma Bedford

Photo: Kate Southall

We are very excited reveal our line-up for Autumn/Winter this year.


Also below is important information about some changes to the way that we sell tickets, so please make sure you read through to the end!



The Programme is full of the quality and diversity that you've come to expect from Downend Folk Club. It's a lineup that we feel very proud of and we hope that you'll agree that it's one of our best yet!


Kicking off our concerts after the Summer break will be the fast-rising four-piece KIM LOWINGS & THE GREENWOOD. Many of you will remember Kim and the band from their breathtaking set opening for Jackie Oates a couple of years ago. Well now, after many requests from you our members, they're back in their own right; they headline at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 15th September as they tour the UK with their new album, 'Wild & Wicked Youth'. Opening the evening's entertainment will be DFC regular GAV BALL.


Another exciting young band will be our headline guests on Friday 20th October as we welcome the fabulous GRANNY'S ATTIC to Frenchay Village Hall. This trio went down a storm at Bristol Folk Festival and tickets are bound to be very much in demand! Support on the night will come from local band EMBER (including DFC regular Mike Richards), who also hope to have a new EP out around that time.


Described as "one of the most important voices to emerge on the folk scene for years", November's guest is the inimitable GRACE PETRIE. Grace is a protest singer, but much more than that... she's a brilliant songwriter and exudes warmth and charm on stage. This is one not to miss, so be at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 17th November... and make sure you get there in time to catch the wonderful support act for the night, GAVIN OSBORN. Please note that this event is restricted to over-14s.


December sees us put on our most ambitious event to date, as Patron JIM MORAY returns for a full band show on Friday 15th December. Performing songs from his latest album 'Upcetera', as well as some favourites from his back catalogue, Jim will front a five-piece band as we venture out to Resound in Mangotsfield for the first time (while our regular larger venue at Christ Church is closed for refurbishment). Tickets for this one are a little more expensive but we've kept the cost of the others down and we're certain you'll find this show is worth every penny. The highly-rated DARIA KULESH will get the evening's entertainment underway.


Tickets for all the events are on-sale now HERE, where you can also buy a Season Ticket for all four gigs and save almost £5 in booking fees!






We have made some changes to the way we do our online ticketing which will come into effect from September onwards.


In the past we have hosted our own ticket sales via PayPal, but this is very time-consuming and has led to some sales being missed. It also means that the artist misses out on the full ticket price (due to the fact the PayPal take a percentage of each ticket).


For this programme onwards, online sales will be hosted via WeGotTickets. This does mean that there will be a 10% booking fee for tickets bought online (we don't see any of that, it goes to the ticketing agent) but it will save hours of work and the potential for mistakes. We feel sure that you will understand, and we've adjusted most of our ticket prices to compensate for this change.


You'll also notice that we are reverting to an advance/on the door system, so you will have until the day before each event to buy tickets at the cheaper rate.


You can still avoid those pesky online charges by buying tickets from Melanie's Kitchen or direct from our Welcome Desk at the preceding month's event. Members will also be able to buy their tickets from Melanie's Kitchen from September's event onwards.


We're also keeping our Season Ticket offer in place for both members and non-members; this will still be via PayPal and will not include a booking charge, so if you want to commit to all four concerts, you can do that via the website. Please note that Season Tickets cannot be purchased from Melanie's Kitchen, but you can buy them from the Welcome Desk at our events.



If you have any comments or questions about our new system, please do not hesitate to contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..