• A two day festival of music, dance, talks and workshops Folk at the Folk 3rd and 4th September
Come all ye! We have a two day festival full of music, dance, workshops, talks and sing arounds. On the 3rd and 4th of September 2022 we are offering you over 30 different song, music and dance acts from around the county and beyond. There will also be talks and workshops. Entry to the main events is free but donations towards the upkeep of the Folk of Gloucester will be very welcome. For participation in workshops and talks there is a suggested donation of £5. There will be real ale and locally sourced food at the Folk of Gloucester Cafe.
Acts include the trio of Wiltshire based singer songwriters, the Lost Trades, the close harmony choir, Nota Bene and the Cotswold Punk Folk band, the Swing Rioters. There will also be talks including from Martin and Shan Graebe and from Steve Rowley. In workshops you can learn to Bangra dance, play a ukulele and sing in close harmony. Scroll down to see the full list of acts…
Performances will be taking place in the garden, cafe, room 100 and Victorian schoolroom within the Folk. Most acoustic acts will be in St Nicholas church across the road (the acoustics are amazing!) and at the Cross by the Tower. There may be other locations when we have the appropriate permissions too!
The Festival Acts…..
A singer-songwriter from London, Andy Smythe has for the past 20 years quietly stolen the hearts and minds of all that hear his evocative, finely crafted songs. He has a powerful tenor voice that is similar in style to Rufus Wainwright and Roy Harper. Andy is also a classically trained pianist and plays acoustic and electric guitars, bass and harmonica. On his latest single release ‘Car Wash Tuesday’ and on his forthcoming album ‘Hard to be Human’, Andy plays all of the instruments in a McCartney I ‘homemade’ fashion and switches between folk, blues and rock genres in a ‘White Album’ approach.
Andy has toured extensively throughout the UK and the USA
Anne Cunningham has been singing ever since she can remember and began teaching herself guitar from age 10. She sang for 10 years with contemporary folk band, ‘Badgers Sett’, in the Bucks/Herts area and since moving to Gloucestershire in 2020, enjoys singing regularly at Minchinhampton Folk Club.
Anne’s repertoire is varied – “if I hear a song that moves me then I will have a go at singing it, whatever the genre”. Her songs are ancient and modern, from Scotland, USA, Canada, England and Ireland.
Bollywood Dance Class
Learn how to Bangra dance… Bollywood style. Join this workshop led by the classical Indian dancer Aparna Dighe.
Suitable for any level. Just come along and have fun.
Blackthorn Buskers are a five piece multi-instrumentalist electric harmony folk band based in Gloucestershire. Their songs come from around the world and include traditional and modern folk songs along with some original material. They have five singers, three of whom are well known around the folk clubs as soloists in their own right. You can expect to hear unaccompanied harmony traditional songs and sea shanties along with fully accompanied songs. Their aim is to provide a lively and varied fun night of music for all.
Bygonz play music from centuries ago (much of it dance music) on instruments of the time whilst dressed in costume of the period.
Danny Hammond is a local musician, guitar teacher and member of the Folk Trail team. Danny will be bringing us a set of solo instrumental acoustic pieces, utilising open tunings and a list of tunes that span hundreds of years.
Dog Poo Faeries
Dogpoo Faeries. Not a punk band from the seventies. DPFs are Richard Cox and Jo Lloyd-Cox. We sing a mix of our own reworked versions of familiar songs, traditional and contemporary with a few favourites by others. We try to be a little edgey. You know what they say. If you are not on the edge, you are probably taking up too much space.
This 4/5 piece ceilidh band from South Gloucestershire has a really fine array of music and instrumentation, comprising mainly fiddle, melodeon, whistles and guitar with members doubling on various other instruments.
The music, drawing on the traditions of the British Isles, Ireland, America and more besides, is lively and very danceable, with driving rhythms appealing to novices and experienced ceilidh dancers alike.
Over the years, the band has performed at ceilidhs and barn dances for wedding receptions, parties of all sorts and fund-raising events where the bigger band sound is required at an affordable price. The fact is…..the band just love to play !!
Flashcandy are a colourful energetic cancan troupe from Stroud who love to pop up and cause a riot. They regularly perform at festivals and parties around the country and spread their raucous and fun humour wherever they go. Guaranteed to get you clapping and stomping along!
The Gloucester Diamonds has been a well-known shanty group for several decades. The latest line-up includes the original founder member, Rod Penlington, on guitar, Paul and Mel Carter on vocals and Flash ( AKA Les Griffiths) more vocals.
Rod is very well known on the folk scene for powerful sea shanties, traditional and contemporary ballads and humorous songs. Paul has a long experience of singing and adds great harmonies. His wife Mel has a lovely voice and has recently joined the group.
Flash has been singing almost as long as Rod and is a well-known character on the folk scene.
Ominous Folk Harmony Workshop
Join Ominous Folk of Hopeless Maine for a harmony workshop. All levels of experience from those who only sing in the shower to the more experienced will find this a most enjoyable workshop.
The Ominous Folk of Hopeless Maine are James Weaselgrease, Tom Brown, Susie Roberts, and Nimue Brown. This is the Hopeless, Maine performance wing and the fabulous photo is the work of Darkbox Images.
We sing – often in four part harmony – a mix of traditional, original and interestingly sourced material. Shows are 45 minutes to an hour, and mix script and storytelling to give a flavour of life on the imaginary island. We work well in folk and steampunk settings, we’ve also been to a theatre festival and a Goblin Masquerade.
Jan Vaisey and Ian Harvey
Jan Vaisey and Ian Harvey are an acoustic duo who play a mix of traditional and contemporary folk songs with guitar accompaniment and tunes from around the world on mandolin and guitar.
They have played at numerous festivals and folk clubs over the years and are delighted to be able perform at this festival.
Singer, musician and songwriter in the British Folk tradition, who lives in the Wye Valley. I’m also the presenter of the Handed Down Podcast, celebrating traditional songs and the people who sing them.
Handed Down is a celebration of grass roots folk music and traditional songs through the voices and experiences of today’s folk musicians and good old fashioned fireside storytelling.
Jim Rowley is a Gloucester based singer/songwriter regularly seen (and heard!) on the folk scene in Gloucestershire and beyond – either solo or as a member of local band: Blackthorn Buskers. A rich, clear voice joined to expressive guitar playing provides the basis for songs of love, loss, protest, anger – and a little humour from time to time…
The Jovial Crew is a group of consenting adults who like to have a good time. They perform at festivals and events throughout Gloucestershire. They have performed at events such as Gloucester Folk Festival, Stroud Wassail, Apple Day, the 1315 procession and Gloucester goes retro.
They sing songs from the great heritage of English folk song. Timeless classics such as “The Cream of Society”, “Joan’s Ale Was New” and “John Barleycorn”. They also sing Music Hall songs such as “There was I waiting at the church” and “I’m Henry the Eighth I am”.
They do traditional dances, with and without our beasts. And they perform mummers plays.
Kaboozle was founded in 2018 by Tom Stickland who had played in several percussion groups in the Gloucester and Bristol area. The vision was a small percussion group who could enjoy playing a varied and entertaining set. The group have developed a set of mainly original arrangements inspired by popular rhythms and claves.
Karen Swan has been described as an enigma, probably because of wandering across genres alt/contemporary folk rock with a touch of avant-garde.
Her distinctive sweeping vocal style and haunting insightful songs transport the listener to her creative wonderland.
Based in Bristol UK originally from Birmingham UK. Also an actor writer and clown and has performed worldwide.
Martin and Shan Graebe
Martin and Shan Graebe sing traditional songs together, mostly unaccompanied and in harmony. Shan is well known for the workshops that she leads on aspects of voice use and care. Martin researches, writes, and talks about many aspects of traditional song and is one of the founders of the Traditional Song Forum, of which he has been the Secretary since it was founded 25 years ago. His book As I Walked Out, Sabine Baring-Gould and the Search for the Folk Songs of Devon and Cornwall (Signal Books, 2017) has received both the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award and the W. G Hoskins Prize. His new book about Alfred Williams, The Forgotten Songs of the Upper Thames, was published in Autumn 2021.
Alfred Williams: Songs of the Upper Thames
A talk by Martin Graebe
Alfred Williams was raised in the village of South Marston in Wiltshire and, though his formal education ended at the age of 12, he became an admired poet and writer. Between 1914 and 1916 he cycled 13,000 miles around the Upper Thames valley to collect the words of nearly 800 songs, including more than 170 from Gloucestershire. In this illustrated presentation Martin Graebe will talk about Williams’s life and his folk song collecting. There will also be examples of the songs, sung by Martin and Shan Graebe.
None the Wiser
“None the Wiser” is a contemporary folk duo based in Cheltenham and comprises of Tom and Christina Jurgens.
Tom is a singer / songwriter who has been involved in the music scene for well over 30 years. In the last 5 years, Tom has moved from playing folk and popular covers for a living, to concentrate solely on performing his own original songs on acoustic guitar accompanied by Chris on harmonies. They have performed in various locations and recently supported folk trio Granny’s Attic (Minchinhampton Market House) and appeared at Riverfolk Festival (Lechlade). Tom and Chris hope you enjoy their original contemporary folk songs!
Firm favourites from the first Folk at the Folk in 2021, NotaBene are back by popular demand.
NotaBene are an acappella vocal harmony group singing a wide range of music from medieval plainsong to modern pop and show tunes, and pretty much everything in between.
They rehearse in Bristol but members are drawn from across the region from Tewkesbury and Wotton-under-Edge to Yatton in North Somerset and for the purposes of this performance, as far afield as Cardiff, thus proving NotaBene to be the vocal ensemble equivalent of the Hotel California – check out if you like, but don’t expect to leave!
Patchwork is a close harmony singing group from Winchcombe. Veterans of Winchcombe Festival of Fine Arts and many other festivals.
Ragged Oak Morris
A group of consenting adults from the West Midlands who love to dance and make music.
mark i began his musical journey busking in Gloucester as a teenager and is still a performer on street and stage between time spent writing and producing for collaborative projects.
His sounds stem from his groove-based interpretation of guitar fingering – balancing tranquil melodies with driving roots rock rhythms and a joyful seasoning of funkiness – all topped off with a rich, soulful voice and uplifting lyricism.
Rod, lives in Stroud, he has been singing for over fifty years and has a powerful, melodic voice, whether singing sea shanties, traditional and contemporary ballads or humorous songs. He is one of the founders of the Upton on Severn Festival and regularly comperes, sings and plays at other festivals. He has played with the Bees Knees Ceilidh Band for many years, and also leads the Gloucester Diamonds Shanty and Folk song group..
Shanty Bants Sing Around
Fancy singing some sea shanties and other songs of the sea? Come and join the shanty sing around hosted by Shanty Bants. Shanty Bants are a group of people who meet at the Prince Albert in Rodborough to sing songs and generally have a good time. Come and join them…. It’ll be fun!
Stroud Red Band
The Stroud Red Band is a community-based ensemble that plays on the streets in support of progressive causes. We play a selection of African, Latin, protest and the odd Jazz or pop tune, along with all your favourite Marxist marching classics like Bella Ciao, the Red Flag and the Internationale.
We take classic, mainly English, traditional folk songs and “punk them up”. We also take more modern songs and “folk them up”. We aim to give everyone something that they will recognise…
We are loud.
The original Swing Riots were a series of disturbances in the rural counties of England in 1830. Increasing mechanisation was threatening the livelihoods and agricultural workers. The workers responded with protest and, in some cases, violent actions including the burning of hay ricks and the smashing of threshing machines.
Expect to have a good time….
Saturday nights Riotous Party also features dancing from Flash Candy and Ragged Oak
The B Road
From the Quiet Times came quiet tunes.
With guitars, gentle banjo and harmonies The B Road aims to deliver carefully arranged original songs with a mixture of covers and traditional ones in our own transatlantic style
The Lost Trades
The Lost Trades are a trio of Wiltshire based singer songwriters (Jamie R Hawkins, Phil Cooper and Tamsin Quin) brought together by a mutual love of modern folk and roots music. Having joined forces in late 2019, their close three part harmonies have consistently drawn comparisons to Crosby Stills & Nash and Fleetwood Mac.
Performing both collectively and individually penned songs, The Lost Trades tell carefully crafted stories using an array of stringed instruments and light percussion, all lovingly stitched together with soaring vocal harmonies.
Not to be missed!
The Steepholmers are a sea shanty group that formed in Weston-super-Mare in early summer 2018, with a little help from a certain popular video game with a nautical theme (seriously).
‘The next folk super-group’, The Twiddlers are a lockdown project gone wild. Expect beautiful vocal harmonies, multi-instrumental carnage and traditional songs and tunes given a new lease of life with a lively and raucous performance.
Before they became “official”, they performed in the bar for us after the Folk at the Folk Festival had formally ended. What a night that was!
Churchdown based singer Will Craswell is MC at Folk at The Club and can also regularly be heard on the folk scene in Gloucestershire and farther afield either solo or fronting local band: Blackthorn Buskers. Born into an RAF family he spent much of his early years travelling finally settling down in the Cotswolds. Will’s music covers a wide range of traditional, modern, and self-penned folk songs some acapella but mostly accompanied by fingerstyle acoustic guitar.
Sing Around with Will Craswell
Join Will in the bar for a sing around. Bring your voice… or just sit back and listen
G-Strings Ukulele Experience
What can we say? Ukuleles and great songs. Very entertaining
Third Age Folk
TAF Gloucester (Third Age Folk Gloucester) was formed 7 years ago under the umbrella of the Gloucester and District U3A (part of an international organisation for people not in full-time work). We started very small but have gradually grown to about 15-20 members, singing and playing a range of instruments. We enjoy traditional music from across the British Isles, Europe and further afield, performing in a variety of settings in the Gloucester area, most recently the Guildhall and The Butterfly Garden.
A Morris side made up of blind and partially sighted dancers from Malvern. Amazing stuff!
‘Charlie’s Angels’ came together in 2021 after Janice Anderson and Anne Cunningham met at Minchinhampton Folk Club. They both have vast experience singing in bands and music venues particularly in the South West. Anne sang with contemporary folk band ‘Badgers Set’ and is now a solo performer in her own right. Janice is known locally as one of the blondes in ‘Blondes with Beards’ and as former lead singer with local band ‘Redwing’ & duo ‘Junk’.
Their repertoire is varied but always features strong vocals and harmonies with guitar and uke accompaniment.
‘Charlies Angels’ can be seen regularly on Thursday evenings at Minchinhampton Folk Club and at other local live music events.
Shepherd’s Crook Folk Choir based in Winchcombe specialise in traditional songs, many from Gloucestershire, e specially arranged and sung in unaccompanied four-part harmony. This popular choir have sung at successful events at the National Trust’s Croome Court, Sudeley Castle, Hailes Church, Adam Hensons’ Cotswold Farm Park, various festivals in Winchcombe and elsewhere, and are always well received at concerts and workshops.
They are currently working on songs collected at Winchcombe workhouse by Percy Grainger and Cecil Sharp, also performing songs based around wool, the backbone of the Cotswolds.
Newent Scottish Singers
We are a group of singers who come together for the joy of singing. Almost all our performances are devoted to raising money for our charity WaterAid.
We perform a wide range of music from medieval to contemporary, often a cappella. We’ve performed at many venues, including Reading Abbey Medieval Festival, Usk Castle, Gloucester Cathedral, and Lynton Jazz Festival, and have also performed in France and Belgium. In 2012 we performed music from all over the world in a massed open-air WaterAid choir at the closing of the London Festival and Olympic Games.