It will be an evening of endings and new beginnings as we return after the Summer break.

The concert is the first under our new name of Downend Folk & Roots, which comes along with an extensive rebrand including a striking new logo featuring a fox. But it will be an ending for the headline guests, ROAD NOT TAKEN, as they visit the venue where they were formed for the last time (for the foreseeable future anyway), the concert part of their farewell UK tour.

From humble beginnings in 2014, the band has seen an amazing rise, finding themselves supporting the likes of Lady Maisery, India Electric Co. and Jim Moray, and spreading their wings further afield with performances at many of the country’s top folk festivals. Their album Fragment was released in September 2019, and was accompanied by a full UK tour of 14 dates, as well as a myriad of radio plays and press coverage.

Made up of singer Anita Dobson, fiddle-player Claire Hamlen, guitarist Ant Miles (the founder of Downend Folk & Roots), and multi-instrumentalist Joe Hamlen, Road Not Taken perform a mix of original material and inventive and atmospheric arrangements of traditional folk songs and tunes, "songs given enough of a twist to make them something new. It feels as though they’ve been draped in glittering cobwebs and that is a very fine thing indeed.” Their music was hailed by FATEA Magazine as “folk with all the feels of the romantic period composers.”

Opening the evening’s entertainment will be 2016 Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award winner BELLA GAFFNEY, who writes and performs folk inspired songs along with her own original arrangements of traditional pieces. 2022 will see the release of Bella’s new album which is inspired by connections made over the lockdown period. Her latest single Fair and Tender Ladies, a duet with Sam Kelly, was released in April to great acclaim along with airplay on BBC radio. Bella is also part of sought after folk band The Magpies who were the headliners at Downend last September).

Tickets for the event, which takes place at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND on Friday 16th September 2022, are available online HERE and from MELANIE'S KITCHEN in Downend (cash only). They are priced at £14 each in advance or £16 on the door. Doors open at 7.30pm and the music gets underway at about 7.45pm.

There will be a bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and locally-brewed real ale from locally-based HOP UNION BREWERY (formerly GWB). Audience members are encouraged to bring their own glass/mug/tankard, as well as reusable bottles for water, as part of our drive to be more environmentally aware. There is a 50p discount for those that do. There will also be sweet treats available at the bar courtesy of the Radstock-based GREAT CAKE COMPANY, as well as a prize draw, which helps to fund the support artists for each concert.

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