Monday, 06 September 2021 09:54

Stars to Shine in Folk Cub Autumn Season

Stars to Shine in Folk Cub Autumn Season

Bournemouth Folk Club is not only under new management but has also announced an impressive autumn season featuring the likes of star names Martyn Joseph and Midnight Skyracer – all in a new venue.

Folk enthusiasts Jo Elkington and Leo MacKenzie have taken over the reins of the club from stalwart Paul Burke who ran it for 23 years but decided to call it a day in his mid-70s following the Covid-19 pandemic decimation of live music last year.

Music photographer and booking agent Jo and professional musician Leo have moved the club from the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe to spacious Grade II listed St Ambrose Church at the top of Alum Chine in Westbourne and are staging four gigs later this year.

The pair have worked together on musical promotions in the past, including programming the music for Wimborne Minster Folk Festival in 2019. They also host the Totally Folked podcast.

Jo said: “We are honoured to have been given the responsibility for running and safeguarding the future of this great folk club at a time when live music certainly needs a boost. We are grateful to Paul for handing it over in such fine condition and we will be putting on some top class and varied shows in this wonderful new venue, starting in September.”

Leo, half of The Last Inklings folk duo and a member of acclaimed Ninebarrow’s band, is a session musician, peripatetic music teacher for several local secondary schools and a qualified prehistorian.

He said: “There is a thriving folk scene across Dorset and promoting this club is an important way to bring this wonderful genre to even more people. It has been a hard eighteen months for everyone, and we are really looking forward to the new season. Our autumn season has a host of star names and therefore we expect tickets to sell quickly as audiences return to live performance, so please don’t hesitate to avoid disappointment.”

Paul, who continues to co-organise Purbeck Valley Folk Festival with daughter Catherine, said it was time to bow out, but he wished Jo and Leo well and hoped to attend as many gigs as possible.

He said: “Bournemouth Folk Club gave me a lot of pleasure, brought wonderful audiences, and a wide range of fabulous music. I reckon the new organisers Jo and Leo have what it takes to make it a great folk club into the future. Bournemouth Folk Club’s autumn season begins on September 18 with Sam Carter and Nick Hart and runs monthly until December, with many of the artistes originally booked for 2020 filling the slots.

Jo added: “We will be continuing with some covid safety measures this autumn, including running at 65% capacity and requesting face coverings be worn while moving around the building. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation and any guidance so check the website for the latest updates. This autumn will see a return of our usual format of two 45-minute sets of music with a 20-minute interval, and a bar offering a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks will be available."

The full autumn line-up, doors opening from 7.30pm, includes:

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● Sam Carter and Nick Hart – Saturday September 18
A double header of two the UK's finest male solo artists. Radio 2 Folk Award winner Sam is arguably one of our finest finger style guitarists and here is touring 2020’s fantastic new album Home Waters. Nick is a rising star pairing traditional songs played in a refined and distinctive folk revival style with charm and a (sometimes risqué) dry wit. He is the current recipient of Cambridge Folk Festival’s Christian Raphael Prize.

● Midnight Skyracer – Saturday October 16
Formed in 2017, Anglo-Irish all-female quintet Midnight Skyracer perform a glorious offering of folk infused bluegrass with amazing vocal harmonies and virtuoso playing. With the Carrivick Sisters, Laura and Charlotte at the band’s heart, the line-up also includes Tabitha Benedict, Eleanor Wilkie and the powerhouse vocals of Leanne Thorose who has just been nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Vocalist of the Year award. Purbeck Valley Folk Festival favourites, the Skyracers were also the first British act nominated for an award by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

● Martyn Joseph – Thursday November 25
Known as the ‘Welsh Bruce Springsteen’ and known for including Boss covers in his set, Martyn Joseph is an amazing songwriter and guitarist whose career spans four decades. A showman who always delivers, he is virtually uncategorisable, save to say his blend of passionate and heartfelt social commentary and Celtic folk makes him a firm favourite wherever he goes and undoubtedly the star of the autumn season.

● Jackie Oates Trio – Saturday December 18
After 17 years and seven solo albums Jackie Oates must surely be considered one of the mainstays of an accomplished, informed and stylistically individual English traditional music scene. She has also worked with the likes of John Spiers, Rachel Unthank, The Imagined Village and Show of Hands. Here she will be joined by double bassist John Parker and accordionist/pianist Mike Cosgrove, for a Christmas show to the close the season.


Tickets are on sale now, varying from £15 to £18.

  •  For more information or to book, visit https://bournemouthfolkclub.com/