We continue our series of online events for this latest lockdown on Friday 26th March as we are joined on our Facebook page for an hour or so by FAY HIELD, whose latest album Wrackline was one of the stand-out releases of last year.

Born and raised in Yorkshire, folk artist and academic Fay seemed destined to carve a career in traditional folk music. Growing up in the famous Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley, Fay formed a bond of community and tradition that would go on to inspire. A singer who seems to have been born knowing how to carry a tune, but with the rarer gift of knowing how to go straight to the heart of a song, she combines vision, inspiration and outstanding musicianship into a fresh and original exploration of how we use songs, stories and music to understand what it means to be human. Fay breathes new life into timeless stories.

Fay released her latest album Wrackline last year. Exploring ideas of the space between, Wrackline looks to ghosts, fairies, spirits and talking animals to understand what it is about the unknown that entrances us. Working with traditional materials, and developing them with new compositions, Fay explores the feelings they evoke and how they relate to her experience in the contemporary world. Universal ideas of death, love, motherhood echo through time and space. The songs on Wrackline play with these difficult ideas through the eyes of an unobtainable other, whether that be the dearly departed, a fairy from another realm, or the thoughts of animals, gives us space to work through very real social problems. Shifting between lighthearted stories about drunks sitting with pigs, to darker questions about infanticide, Fay breaths life and meaning into old stories presenting them with a fresh twist.

The focus of our "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 (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link at the bottom of this page.

We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything. We might just have an exciting announcement coming up, too...

We're excited to reveal that the next artist to join us for "an hour or so" on a Friday evening will be EMILY BARKER, who will be our guest on Friday 19th March.

Emily is an award-winning singer-songwriter, best known as the writer and performer of the theme to the BBC’s hugely successful crime drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. She has released music as a solo artist as well as with various bands and collaborations including The Red Clay Halo, Vena Portae, Marry Waterson and Applewood Road (with whom she released a remarkable album of original songs recorded live around a single microphone, dubbed “flawless” by The Sunday Times) and has written for film, including composing the soundtrack for Jake Gavin’s lauded debut feature Hector, starring Peter Mullan and Keith Allen.

Emily's new album, A Dark Murmuration of Words, was released in September 2020. Produced by Greg Freeman and recorded at StudiOwz, a converted chapel in the Welsh countryside, A Dark Murmuration of Words takes Barker’s clear, expressive vocals and warm acoustic aesthetic and subtly shifts her sound in the direction of contemporaries such as Laura Marling and Phoebe Bridgers. Lyrically probing, by turns both dark and optimistic, Barker searches for meaning through the deafening clamour of fake news and algorithmically filtered conversation, delivering a timely exploration of the grand themes of our age through the lens of what it means to return 'home'. Throughout the ten songs that make up the album, Barker draws connections between the familial, the local, and the global: a mother sings to her unborn child, asking for its forgiveness on Strange Weather; When Stars Cannot Be Found explores the humbleness and comfort of the night sky when far away from home. Other highlights include the nostalgic Return Me, The Woman Who Planted Trees, the gloriously defiant Machine and the effortless album closer Sonogram. On its release, A Dark Murmuration of Words hit number 1 on the Official Americana Album chart in the UK and has garnered widespread acclaim.

The focus of our "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 (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link at the bottom of this page. We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything. 

We continue with our series of online chat and tunes on Friday (12th March) as we welcome JOHN SPIERS to Downend Folk Club Online for an hour or so.

John, better known in folk circles as Squeezy, is one of the leading melodeon players of his generation.  Well known for his partnership with Jon Boden as well as being a member of Bellowhead, the most successful folk band in recent history.  John was also a member of Eliza Carthy’s band, featuring on her 2002 Mercury nominated album, Anglicana.  He now plays with Peter Knight, fiddle player from Steeleye Span and is also a member of the Gigspanner Big Band.

Mixing infectious dance tunes with incredibly sensitive and moving slow airs on a mind-boggling range of different squeezeboxes, John’s solo shows are a mixture of traditional material and his own more intricate compositions.

The focus of our "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 (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link at the bottom of this page.

We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything.