When a singer draws praise from folk royalty such as Nic Jones, John Tams and Kate Rusby, you can be sure they have something very special. 

The subject of this praise is RUTH NOTMAN, who headlines Downend Folk Club’s May event.

"I was totally blown away!"

- Kate Rusby 

Ruth is a contemporary folk singer/songwriter based in South Yorkshire, who has been maturing and honing her style and skill for over a decade in front of festival and venue audiences all over the UK.


“What sets Ruth Notman apart is the disarming beauty of her voice.” 

 - Rock n Reel


After a musical sabbatical to concentrate on studies, Ruth is returning with more style than ever and is currently preparing to record her new album, six years after her last record “The Life of Lilly”. 

Ruth’s debut album “Threads” came out in November 2007 and really did, to quote BBC Radio 3’s Verity Sharp, “cause quite a stir”.  Rarely has a young folk artist’s first album had such a huge impact on what is sometimes a difficult genre to please.  But it did more than please the folk fraternity.  It went on to receive plaudits in major nationals including The Independent (album of the week), The Guardian and MoJo. Ruth played live in session on Radio 2 with Bob Harris, who loved the album and Ruth’s live set. 


Opening the evening will be JIMMY ALDRIDGE & SID GOLDSMITH, who are themselves forging a superb reputation on the UK folk scene.


Jimmy and Sid play traditional and original folksong of the British Isles. They tell stories of hardship, joy, struggle and celebration held together with driving banjo and guitar arrangements and close vocal harmonies.


The event will be held at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday 15th May. Doors open at 7.30pm and there will be a full bar serving GWB real ale, cider, wine and a range of soft drinks, as well as a raffle. 

Tickets are £8 in advance, £10 on the door and are available from Melanie’s Kitchen, Kafe Karma, Bristol Ticket Shop and online here. Members tickets are £7 from the website or direct from Ant Miles.

The award-winning acts just keep on coming as we welcome the current holders of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo, PHILLIP HENRY AND HANNAH MARTIN to Christ Church in April.

Widely-acknowledged as one of the most exciting and innovative duos to appear on the folk/roots/acoustic scene in recent years, the duo have been touring constantly for the past three years, winning new fans of all ages wherever they go with a truly unique sound that effortlessly spans many genres.

"This duo has a combination of virtuosity, intensity and charisma that merits a slot on much bigger stages"

- The Guardian

Hailing from Lancashire, Phillip is one of the UK's top slide guitarists and harmonica players. Over the past decade he has immersed himself in the music of the Deep South of America, traditional music of the British Isles, and Indian classical music. Specializing in lap slide techniques, his masterful Dobro playing draws together these diverse influences to create a truly unique voice. His innovative harmonica style combines country blues and folk styles with beat-boxing to create a jaw dropping and much coveted 21st century harmonica sound heavily steeped in tradition.

Hannah Martin is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Devon. Her songs weave folklore and legend old and new with beautiful melodies, creating haunting compositions delivered with a bold and beautiful singing style all her own. Writing mainly on fiddle, viola, and banjo, and drawing on the traditions of the British Isles, she has been commended for her fantastic singing.

"Eloquent performers - a musical success story"

- Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3


You can find out more about Phillip and Hannah by visiting their website here.


Opening the show for Phillip & Hannah will be KIRSTY BROMLEY. Kirsty is a singer, dancer, teacher and writer of folk music within the English Tradition.

She has been in choirs & musical ensembles from a very early age and much of her formative years involved immersion in the Brass Band tradition. This enabled her to make the transition to the ‘other’ English tradition, a journey which has been, in her own words, “rich, eventful and which continues to challenge her”.

“Crystal Clear And Very, Very Beautiful Voice”

- Mike Harding

Kirsty sings traditional folk songs and ballads, generally unaccompanied, and this is the area which she is currently active in developing.

In November 2011 Kirsty released her Debut EP “Sweet Nightingale” and her first album will be released later this year. Check out her website here.


Why not come along and find out just why Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin are held in such high regard? The event will be held on Friday 17th April at Christ Church, and doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets cost a bargain £10 in advance (£12 on the door) and are available now from Melanie’s Kitchen, Kafe Karma, Bristol Ticket Shop or online here. Members tickets cost £9 from this website only… remember to login and use the Members Only section!

We are thrilled to welcome one of the top names in UK folk music for our March concert.

LUCY WARD is an award winning artist from Derby, and one of the top names on the UK folk circuit. Her live performances are full of great music, fun and laughter and boundless energy.
After getting her first guitar at the age of 14, Lucy ventured into acoustic clubs, it was there that she first heard the traditional music that she now loves. Captured by the lyrics and stories of traditional song, Lucy delved further into the world of folk music, visiting clubs and sessions up and down the country before getting booked to play gigs in her own right. In 2009 Lucy reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award and she hasn’t looked back since!

After winning the Horizon Award for best newcomer at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Lucy’s career has gone from strength to strength establishing her as one of the hottest performers on the UK Folk scene, pulling a full capacity audience for her Cambridge Folk Festival debut.
In 2013 it was announced that she had been nominated for the acclaimed “Folk Singer of the Year” at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, making Lucy one of the youngest people ever to be nominated for this most prestigious award.
Lucy, who plays guitar, ukulele and concertina but considers her voice to be her first instrument. will be joined on stage by fiddler JOY GRAVESTOCK, while the evening will be opened by the highly-rated singer-songwriter FELIX MB.
Tickets for Friday 20th March's gig are priced at just £10 in advance (£9 for members, £12 on the door). Doors at Frenchay Village Hall open at 7.30pm and there will be a bar serving Great Western Brewing Co. real ales, Severn Cider and a range of wine, soft drinks and teas and coffees, as well as raffle during the interval. Tickets are on sale now at Melanie's Kitchen, Kafe Karma, Bristol Ticket Shop or online here.