Friends of Folk Gigs

Promoting the best in folk music since 2005.

 

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Saturday 24th July - Becky Mills - Croston

Becky Mills

The Old School, Croston

7.30pm – Saturday 24th July

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Becky Mills is a former member of the critically acclaimed band “Waking The Witch”, co-writing two successful albums and playing gigs and festivals up and down the country.
As a solo artist Becky released two early albums “Lazy Girl” and “Ladder to the Sun” and later she recorded the very successful “Dandelion” album. Her last appearance in Leyland was at the launch of her then new album “Tall Tales & Home Truths” and following the success of that night it is great to invite Becky back to the excellent setting of The Old School in Croston.

Becky sang guest vocals on the “Copper, Russet and Gold” album with Ashley Hutchings & Ken Nicol. She has also toured extensively with Ashley & Ken. Most recently she is working with Ashley Hutchings touring with a gig to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fairport Convention.

Friends of Folk organiser, Leyland based Jim Minall said “I can 100% promise a great evening from a very talented artist who has gained the respect of many including Ashley Hutchings, the founder of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.”

Thursday 2nd September - Chris and Siobhan Nelson with Len Pentin - Leyland

Chris and Siobhan Nelson with Len Pentin

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7:30pm – Thursday 2nd September 2021

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

As well as their own performances at folk clubs, festivals and concerts around the country, in recent years they have supported Peter Knight’s Gigspanner, Steve Tilston and Chris Leslie and appeared as a ‘double bill’ with Ken Nicol.   Firm favourites of Friends of Folk they will be joined for this gig by Len Pentin the writer of the much acclaimed ‘Cork Jackets & Drill’ which remembers the 1886 Southport lifeboat disaster.

In Chris and Siobhan’s music you will find songs to make you smile and songs that will bring a tear to your eye – and often a fiddle tune or two for good measure.

Reviews of Chris & Siobhan include……

  • “… engrossing performance style, all-round expertise and excellent choice of songs” (The Living Tradition)
  • “Siobhan’s voice had the audience spellbound” (Folk NorthWest)

Thursday 9th September - Avondale - Southport

Avondale

The Atkinson Studio, Southport

7:30pm – Thursday 9th September

Tickets £15.00 available to book on-line at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/avondale/ or call the box office on 01704-533333.

Avondale – a true story, told in song and narration A few words from the writer Len Pentin:
“A writer is lucky if once in a lifetime a true-life story drops into his or her lap, that not only is fantastic in its detail but has not already been claimed and written up by someone else.

AVONDALE is such a story. Beyond a casual mention on a local history site, the full extended story of Kate Fitzpatrick, a mysterious inmate of Ormskirk Workhouse, has never seen the light of day on any stage or any page – that in itself is remarkable, never mind the events of the story themselves!

The story involves the last tragic voyage of The Lusitania, a dramatic search for a lost relative and much more besides. As soon as I came across this story, I knew I had to write it up. Yes it’s a local story but its themes, like any great story, are universal. Set in both the UK (Ormskirk) and the USA (Illinois and New York), it’s a story that connects two continents and two women whose paths would normally, under other circumstances, most likely never have crossed.

If the story around these two women was fiction, it would never be believed – it would be deemed fantastical – but, nonetheless, the remarkable events depicted in AVONDALE really did occur. While some crucial information around the story remains lost to time, what remains manifests into a tale that demands to be told and remembered for all sorts of reasons.”

AVONDALE is performed by Len Pentin, Chris Nelson, Siobhan Nelson, Mike Huddart and Don Palmer. It is a two act performance of narration and 18 original songs.

Thursday 7th October - A Celebration of The Music of Simon & Garfunkel - Tim Chu & Ian Bailey - Leyland

A Celebration of The Music of Simon & Garfunkel with Tim Chu & Ian Bailey

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7:30pm – Thursday 7th October 2021

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Tim Chu and Ian Bailey are two talented professional singer-songwriters from the North West of England. They have grown up listening to Simon & Garfunkel’s music with both the composition and vocal blend having a strong influence on their respective professional careers. After years of busy individual touring schedules both Tim and Ian have now found the time to concentrate on this venture delivering the music of Simon and Garfunkel in their own unique way that also honours the original recordings, without falling into the regular tribute act category. There are no costumes, wigs or make up! Just two great musicians producing an ambient collection of some of Simon & Garfunkel’s much loved hits.

Thursday 21st October - Ashley Hutchings 'Paradise & Thorns' - Southport

Ashley Hutchings ‘Paradise & Thorns’

The Atkinson Studio, Southport

 8:00pm – Thursday 21st October

Tickets £15.00 available to book on-line at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/hutchings-and-mills-2021/ or call the box office on 01704-533333.

“The Guv’nor” of British folk-rock himself, Ashley Hutchings MBE, returns to The Atkinson with a brand new song & poetry show for 2021, accompanied by the renowned English singer-songwriter and accompanist Becky Mills.

Leading the audience through the subject of Love – “Man’s noblest frailty” – and drawing heavily from Ashley’s masterpiece albums “Paradise and Thorns” and “By Gloucester Docks I Sat Down and Wept”, the duo will present a sublime mix of traditional and modern folk, new songs and old, dramatic readings, sonnets, diary excerpts, and superb lyrics and musicianship.

Ashley Hutchings’ long and distinguished musical career includes being a founding member of three of the UK’s most influential folk acts: Fairport Convention, where he played on the band’s first four albums, including the pioneering folk-rock classic ‘Liege & Lief’; Steeleye Span, recording three successful albums with them before breaking away in 1971; and the Albion Country Band, which subsequently evolved into the Albion Dance Band and the Albion Band, with Hutchings remaining at the helm throughout.

Becky Mills is a former member of the critically acclaimed band Waking The Witch and guest vocalist on recent albums and tours by Ashley Hutchings and Ken Nicol (Steeleye Span). A solo artiste in her own right, and described as “a storyteller of immense talent and imagination” (FATEA), her recent solo album “Tall Tales & Home Truths” was praised for its “bewitching songs shot through with wisdom, imagining the lives of others with enormous sympathy” (The Musician).

“Ashley Hutchings is the single most important figure in English folk rock” – Bob Dylan.

Thursday 4th November - Brian McNeill - Leyland

Brian McNeill

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7:30pm – Thursday 4th November 2021

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Brian McNeill’s career spans over 50 years and his music over that period has established him as one of the most acclaimed forces in Scottish music. Brian was born in 1950 in Falkirk and has been described as ‘Scotland’s most meaningful contemporary songwriter’ (The Scotsman). Add to that his work and influence as performer, composer, producer, teacher, musical director, band leader, novelist and interpreter of Scotland’s past, present and future and you have a man who has never stood still.

He has performed around the globe, both as a soloist and with some of the era’s most influential bands, including Battlefield Band, which he founded in 1969, Clan Alba and as a core member of the UK fiddle phenomenon, Feast of Fiddles. Brian performs and teaches regularly at many of the world’s major festivals and is the longest running booked artist at Cambridge Folk Festival.

Brian is a multi-instrumentalist – chiefly fiddle, bouzouki, mandocello, guitars and concertina – and the importance of his songwriting has long been recognised with such songs as The Yew Tree, The Lads O’ The Fair, The Snows of France and Holland, Strong Women Rule Us All With Their Tears, Any Mick’ll Do and No Gods and Precious Few Heroes. Many of his songs have been performed and recorded by artists worldwide.

Over the years Brian has become a true friend of Friends of Folk and one of the artists it is always a pleasure to invite to perform. It is a guaranteed evening of musical enjoyment from an artist who is not just talented, but also someone who relates closely with his audience. His rendition of ‘Bring The Lassie Hame’ and the story that goes with it will alone be worth the price of the ticket!

Wednesday 17th November - The Blackheart Orchestra - Southport

The Blackheart Orchestra

The Atkinson Studio, Southport

7:30pm – Wednesday 17th November

Tickets £15.00 available to book on-line at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/the-blackheart-orchestra/ or call the box office on 01704-533333.

Inspirational electronic folk pioneers The Blackheart Orchestra take music to a new, unexplored dimension. Described as “A mesmerizing powerhouse” “An avant-garde musical utopia” and “One of the most extraordinary voices singing anywhere today” vocalist Chrissy Mostyn along with multi-instrumentalist Rick Pilkington combine their classical influences with vintage synths and ultra contemporary electronica to create music that takes over the senses.

As emotionally charged as it is musically accomplished, expect sublime harmonies, virtuoso guitar, piano and synthesiser playing and songwriting and arrangements that take the audience ”from heartbreaking to uplifting in a single song”. With awards including Best British Duo, Limelight Progressive Music Award Nomination and being voted in the UK’s Top 4 Best New Bands of 2018, The Blackheart Orchestra are two voices and thirteen instruments that create a unique musical experience that is truly ground-breaking.

“Ethereal” – Daily Express
“A great band” – BBC Radio 2
“Their songs are all stand-alone masterpieces” – Fatea Magazine

Thursday 2nd December - Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer - Leyland

Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7:30pm – Thursday 2nd December 2021

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer have developed a strong reputation for delivering great performances time and time again. Once known mainly for their instrumental skills with Scottish smallpipes, accordion and Swedish nyckelharpa, they are now being accepted as impressive song arrangers and writers.  Vicki & Jonny effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary interpretations whilst equally creating original self-penned tunes and songs that are entirely at home in the tradition.  Out of this combination they have developed a sound that is both familiar and fresh.

Vicki studied at the Royal College of Music on the double bass.  She also plays the various types of bagpipes, flute, recorder, piano and nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed
-fiddle).  On leaving music college Vicki started down the long path of folk music and was only seen on rare glimpses back in classical orchestras. You’ll find Vicki now inhabiting the troll ridden forests playing her Swedish bagpipes, bagging tunes for new books.

Jonny is a composer and competition-winning guitar player; Jonny’s outstanding technical ability, coupled with a wide-ranging musical taste has made him a tireless and forceful musical innovator. Jonny has been singing and playing choral music, soul, jazz and folk for as long as he can remember.

For more about Vicki & Jonny go to http://www.swan-dyer.co.uk/

Thursday 3rd February 2022 – Chris Bannister – Leyland

Chris Bannister

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 3rd February 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

An evening with Chris Bannister is an evening of rare quality.  This evening will include his acclaimed self-penned collection of songs, his covers of much-loved classics or undiscovered folk songs and a stunning tribute to the music of John Denver.

As well as writing, recording and performing his own music, Chris has recorded several John Denver radio specials for the BBC.  His album “The Unicorn and Other Stories” features Chris Nole on piano (John Denver’s keyboard player until the singers untimely death in 1997), the album is a collection of Nova Scotian folk songs with entirely new arrangements and melodies which has delighted Chris’s existing fans and served to introduce Chris to a new audience who enjoy and appreciate his talent.

This promises to be a truly enjoyable evening and a great way for Friends of Folk to launch its 2022 programme of folk gigs.

To find out more about Chris go to his website at http://www.chrisbannistermusic.com/

Thursday 3rd March 2022 – Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer – Leyland

Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 3rd March 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Paul and Karen’s music is not only multifaceted but they also deliver it perfectly on the same wavelength, and these waves carry great energy towards the audience. Through countless live performances and three carefully composed albums the Anglo-German duo have conquered the hearts of their numerous fans.  Their repertoire combines handpicked folk favourites and their own handcrafted songs. “Great show!” praised Graham Norton heartily.

Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer tour internationally and have collected enthusiastic reviews along the way. Their secret of success?  As soon as the native of Stuttgart and the Englishman from Staffordshire appear on stage they entertain – and then seem to turn, note by note, into their music. Short anecdotes, melody and rhythm: two clear, full voices and a guitar, occasionally subtly accompanied by flute and recorder sounds are sufficient to create the unmistakable Walker-Pfeiffer presence.  Thus, the two merge harmoniously into an authentic and versatile unity, which either rhythmically grooves or gently poetically touches, which tells colourful stories – and releases grand emotions that linger long after the concert has ended.

* “Musically outstanding evening” (Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung)

* “Fantastically entertaining night” (Secret Sounds)

* “I have never seen our audience so spellbound” (Organiser Bedworth Folk Club)

* “One of the best acts ever been to the club” (Organiser Hungry Horse Folk Club & Wirral Folk Festival)

To find out more about this amazing duo go to www.paulwalkermusic.co.uk

Thursday 31st March 2022 – Caffrey, McGurk & Madge – Leyland

Caffrey, McGurk & Madge

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 31st March 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

“True English folk singing, in my humble opinion, doesn’t come much better than this.” – Keith Kendrick

Nick Caffrey, Ed McGurk and Robin Madge have been delighting audiences with their own take on traditional, original and contemporary folksong. With their humour, informed understanding of their songs and a flare for harmony and good musicianship, they have been described as one of the most accomplished and entertaining acts currently on the folk circuit.

All three have been performing at folk clubs and folk festivals for many years either as soloists or as members of other groups, yet they still have a youthful exuberance for the craft of performance, musical arrangements and song selection.

Their first CD as a trio (Like Minds) was released in 2017 and has had a great reception both here in the UK and in the USA with many of the tracks being broadcast by a number of radio stations in the UK and abroad.

“A CMM gig is like the best folk album. You get traditional and contemporary songs performed exquisitely. The trio’s repertoire is constantly evolving and growing, with new member Robin Madge bringing some excellent songs to the group. Accurately and sensibly reflecting the trio’s live repertoire, there latest CD is well named, for it illustrates the way that their vocally well-matched voices complement each other. They are three men of like minds who clearly share and appreciate a common database of good songs and can deliver them with feeling and understanding. Their style is equable, accomplished and harmonious” Folk at The Barlow

“Caffrey, McGurk and Madge – wow – heard them last year without Robin and thought they were amazing, with Robin they are even better” Bedworth Folk Festival

Sunday 10th April 2022 - Feast of Fiddles - Southport

Feast of Fiddles

The Atkinson Theatre, Southport

7:30pm – Sunday 10 April 2022

Tickets £22.00 available to book on-line at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/feast-of-fiddles-2022/ or call the box office on 01704-533333.

It was a massive disappointment when the 2020 night at the Atkinson had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus – it was almost sold out!  Now there is the equally sad news that the 2021 gig has also had to be postponed.  The good news is that a 2022 date has already been planned and after a two year break Friends of Folk anticipate a full house for what will be a memorable night.

Born in Nettlebed on Valentine’s Day 1994 as a one off special concert, Feast of Fiddles has done 25 spring tours, 24 festivals and has 7 CDs to its name. Not bad for a bunch of old folk-rockers!

This is a band of friends that puts on a show of huge dynamic range performed with passion, joy and a liberal dose of fun. Fiddlers Peter Knight (Gigspanner, Steeleye Span), Chris Leslie (Fairport Convention), Brian McNeill (Battlefield Band), Ian Cutler (Bully Wee), Tom Leary (Lindisfarne) and Garry Blakeley (Band of Two) add the large range of fiddle playing styles to the rock back-line of guitars, keyboards, sax and accordion – all held together by legendary drummer Dave Mattacks.

A live music entertainment like no other on the circuit which is guaranteed to be enjoyed by even the most doubting of friends dragged along!

“Absolutely awesome!” – Sue Marchant, BBC East
“Britain’s fiddling supergroup” – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
“The best fiddle players of a generation” – fRoots
“Crabtree pumps his accordion as though he’s powering his own heartbeat and each and every violinist fiddles frantically. Impressive, high energy stuff” – Manchester Review

Thursday 5th May 2022 – Avondale – Leyland

Avondale

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 5th May 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Avondale – a true story, told in song and narration A few words from the writer Len Pentin:
“A writer is lucky if once in a lifetime a true-life story drops into his or her lap, that not only is fantastic in its detail but has not already been claimed and written up by someone else.
AVONDALE is such a story. Beyond a casual mention on a local history site, the full extended story of Kate Fitzpatrick, a mysterious inmate of Ormskirk Workhouse, has never seen the light of day on any stage or any page – that in itself is remarkable, never mind the events of the story themselves!

The story involves the last tragic voyage of The Lusitania, a dramatic search for a lost relative and much more besides. As soon as I came across this story, I knew I had to write it up. Yes it’s a local story but its themes, like any great story, are universal. Set in both the UK (Ormskirk) and the USA (Illinois and New York), it’s a story that connects two continents and two women whose paths would normally, under other circumstances, most likely never have crossed.

If the story around these two women was fiction, it would never be believed – it would be deemed fantastical – but, nonetheless, the remarkable events depicted in AVONDALE really did occur. While some crucial information around the story remains lost to time, what remains manifests into a tale that demands to be told and remembered for all sorts of reasons.”

AVONDALE is performed by Len Pentin, Chris Nelson, Siobhan Nelson, Mike Huddart and Don Palmer. It is a two act performance of narration and 18 original songs.

Thursday 2nd June 2022 – Steve Hicks & Lynn Goulbourn – Leyland

Steve Hicks & Lynn Goulbourn

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 2nd June 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn are an established act on the folk and acoustic music scene in the UK.  If you’ve been to one of their gigs you will have been struck by their easy manner on stage, an amazing array of genres, Lynn’s pure vocals and of course Steve’s breathtaking guitar playing.

Steve has played guitar in a number of musical environments including folk groups, guitar duos, and ceilidh bands.  He has given guitar playing workshops and masterclasses at venues including the Stamford International Guitar Festival and the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago. 

Lynn was drawn at an early age to the smooth harmonies of Crosby Stills and Nash and The Beach Boys and the melodic tones of James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, the sound of Motown, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross.   Later influences included Steeleye Span, June Tabor, Annie Lennox and Indigo Girls.

The music that Steve and Lynn make as the duo ‘Hicks and Goulbourn’ is characterised by pure acoustic tones, reflective lyrics, well crafted arrangements and intricate, complex guitar work.  Whilst the genres in their typical sets are wide ranging there is no compromise in quality and their live performances are interspersed with engaging anecdotes and humour.

Hicks and Goulbourn perform and record with guitars built by Steve.

Thursday 1st September 2022 – Vision Thing - Leyland

Vision Thing

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 1st September 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Vision Thing are a four piece folk band engaging their audience with carefully crafted lyrics supporting their own original take on harmonious folk music.  Hailing from as far afield as Southport, Wigan and Coppull, brothers Pete and Paul Cunliffe, Cherlene Walmsley and David Windsor, were awarded Folking.com’s ‘Rising Star’ award in 2019 for the album “When we were Astronauts (and other stories)”.  Their 2021 album “Morning’s Coming” has received very positive reviews and radio play.

In 2019 the band enjoyed playing the stages of the Wigan Diggers’ and Fleetwood Folk and Blues festival, but also love playing small venues where they can directly connect with the audience and have some fun!

Reviews include:

“Begun in 2019 and completed in lockdown, and produced by Merry Hell’s John Kettle, Morning’s Coming, the second album by the North West quartet stakes an immediate claim to 2021’s ultimate best of list, with Cherlene Walmsley effortlessly securing her place among the great and most emotionally expressive British folk rock voices.” Mike Davies Folking.com

“Their music seeps into your soul, it calms, it lifts and encourages. In this day and age, for me, that’s priceless.”  Ian Cripps

Thursday 6th October 2022 – Raphael Callaghan - Leyland

Raphael Callaghan

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 6th October 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Raphael Callaghan has played with many luminaries from the music world including Alexis Korner, Jo Ann Kelly, Eric Bibb and Bonnie Raitt in a long and varied musical career.  But somehow the singer, slide guitar and harmonica player had remained largely hidden from the wider world of blues and roots music, while continuing to perform many gigs around his native Merseyside area.

All this began to change in 2017 when his first solo album, ‘Said And Done’, received rapturous reviews and was championed by Paul Jones on his BBC Radio 2 Blues Show and on digital stations around the world.  A typical review was “a great album from an immensely talented home-grown blues king.” Acoustic Magazine

Since then Raphael has released a new album ‘Blue Lies’ to much critical acclaim from the music world – “The song writing is excellent and the playing is immaculate, as you would expect from such a seasoned performer.” Peter Cowley – FATEA magazine.  “It was listening to this album that convinced me to invite Raphael to perform at a Friends of Folk gig.  It will be a special night when Friends of Folk fully explores the world of the Blues.” – Jim Minall

Thursday 3rd November 2022 – Ken Nicol - Leyland

Ken Nicol

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 3rd November 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

Ken Nicol appeared at the final Friends of Folk gig in 2020 just before the Covid lockdown stopped all events.  The night was the first totally full capacity audience for gigs at Fox Lane and there was no doubt that Ken had to be invited back for another great evening from one of the best musical talents Preston has produced.

Ken has been a member of Steeleye Span, The Albion Band, Magna Carta and Feast of Fiddles, and worked with artists ranging from Al Stewart to Phil Cool. He has recording credits on more than 50 albums.  

Ken Nicol is a truly outstanding singer/songwriter and recognised by fellow musicians as one of the leading acoustic guitarists currently performing.  Acoustic Magazine said of his playing “The musicianship is staggering”.

Other reviews include “Humour, great guitar skill and the right drop of humility”. – Ralph McTell

“Formidable and painstakingly acquired skills on both acoustic and electric guitars, a very high class player indeed.” – Martin Carthy

“A musical paragon.” – Maddy Prior

“It’s difficult for me to imagine a more talented all rounder than Ken; both as singer and guitarist.” – Ashley Hutchings

Thursday 1st December 2022 – The Bailey Sisters - Leyland

The Bailey Sisters

Fox Lane Club, Leyland

7.30pm – Thursday 1st December 2022

Tickets £12.00 in advance available from the Friends of Folk shop at www.fofshop.org.uk or send a cheque payable to ‘Friends of Folk’ to me at 56 Victoria Park Avenue, Leyland, PR25 1UG – Friends of Folk still loves payment by cheque!

The Bailey Sisters are Karen Dyson, Shelley Rainey and Aly Rainey.  Karen and Shelley live either side of Manchester and Aly lives in High Wycombe.  Although this might seem a little far apart for close harmony, it works very well!

The Bailey Sisters have performed at venues and festivals around the country and local venues include folk clubs, the Bridgewater Hall and the Working Class Movement Library.  They led Cottonopolis, a guided walk-with-songs about the history of the cotton trade as part of 2018’s Manchester Histories Festival. 

They all have classical music backgrounds, which informs their approach to their music and performance.  Karen and Shelley have sung choral music since school, and met through a chamber choir where Karen sings high soprano and Shelley sings low alto.  Aly has a fine singing voice too, which fortunately slots neatly in the middle!  Aly’s violin and Karen’s guitar provide accompaniment, along with recorders, percussion and shruti, but they are best known for their unaccompanied close harmony singing.  Their repertoire ranges from the 12th century to last week, and Karen’s song writing skills took her to the finals of the National Song Writing Competition.  

Oh, and by the way …… they’re not sisters, and they don’t drink Baileys.

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