Your comprehensive guide to folk events in Coventry and Warwickshire.

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Drunkmonkey, Finger in the Jar, Pete McParland, Dragonhead. @ Owen Street Community Arts Centre.
Oct 19 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Come join Drunkmonkey, Finger in the Jar, Pete McParland and Dragonhead raise money for the North Warwickshire dementia support group.

Away With The Fairies, Tyburn, Under The Influence @ Napton Village Hall
Oct 19 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Charity Fundraiser Concert for Myton Hospice

MC Dave Fry

Tickets £10 if booked before 30th September. Also available from Napton Village Hall

Irish Instrument lessons and Sessions. @ The Hearsall Inn
Oct 22 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Acoustic Singers Night @ Bedworth Folk Club
Oct 23 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Jacqui McShee’s ‘Circle’ + Joe O’Donnell’s ‘Shkayla @ Belgrade Theatre
Oct 26 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Legends of Folk and Rock!

A concert by two legends of 1960s and 70s progressive folk: Jacqui McShee(Pentangle) and Joe O’Donnell (East of Eden, Headstone) and their current bands.

Jacqui McShee is celebrated as the singer with Pentangle, the Folk group that helped to mould and inspire the 1960s British music scene. Originating within traditional Folk, and borrowing from Blues and Jazz, Pentangle had some of the most inventive players of the time: guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson on double bass, and Terry Cox on drums. Their distinctive multi-layered acoustic textures and their finely crafted music influenced more than one generation, reflected in their BBC Lifetime Achievement Award (2007).

Jacqui’s new group, Circle, was formed in 2018. It features Coventry’s own Kevin Dempsey (guitar), Mike Piggott (violin) and Tom Chapman(percussion), all acknowledged performers in their own right. Kevin Dempsey has worked with musicians in many genres such as Percy Sledge and Alice Coltrane, while retaining his essential connection with folk music as a guitarist and songwriter. He and Jacqui have performed extensively and recorded together. Mike Piggott has a long engagement with Folk music (Ralph McTell, Bert Jansch), even joining Pentangle for a while in the 1980s. He also appears with prominent Jazz artists such as John Etheridge, Martin Taylor and Guy Barker. Tom Chapman is a founder member of the Urban Folk Quartet and his freelance activities have found him in company with such artists as Joss Stone, Cerys Matthews and Fairport Convention.

*Joe O’Donnell*’s pedigree spans Celtic folk, rock and music from North Africa and India. His album Gael’s Vision blends original orchestral composition, traditional Celtic music and contemporary rock. Born in Limerick, Ireland, Joe came to England in 1970, working with top musicians of the day including Rory Gallagher, Henry McCullough and Thin Lizzie. He made his acclaimed album Gaodhal’s Vision in 1976, and then toured widely with his band across Europe and the UK for several years.

After moving to the Channel Islands in the 1980s Joe returned to England in the 1990s, settling in Coventry, recording and performing. It was here that he began to develop Shkayla, first as an album, then as a band. Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla has been in its current form for 10 years, performing and recording.

Besides playing at music venues and festivals Joe has developed several collaborative projects. In 2006 he performed Gaodhal’s Vision with band, orchestra and dancers, at Warwick International Folk Festival. In 2016 St. Patrick Goes To The Punjab, at the Albany Theatre, Coventry, spanned Irish, Celtic and Scottish music, Flamenco and Indian music, with Irish and Asian musicians and dancers. In 2017 Gael’s Vision (at the Belgrade), consisted of performing Gaodhal’s Vision complete with original orchestrations, dancers, images and narration, and new material. This led to appearances at the Godiva Festival (main stage) and Cork International Folk Festival.

There were a number of celebrated Folk musicians in Coventry from the late 1960s into the 1990s. For example Kevin Dempsey and the late Martin Jenkins worked together forming internationally known band Dando Shaft, then Whippersnapper with Dave Swarbrick (also late) and Chris Leslie, (both subsequently with Fairport Convention). Polly Bolton sang with Dando Shaft then with the Albion Band, appearing with artists like Alan Stivell and Show of Hands. Martin Jenkins also became a member of the Joe O’Donnell Band, (pre-Shkayla).

However this scene receded over time, and the arrival of 2-Tone music set a different direction. This event serves to remind us of the profile that Folk music used to enjoy in Coventry. An event with one of the UK’s top performers, combined with outstanding talent from Coventry, should help to put the City back on the Folk map. We hope that this will not be a one-off, especially as we move towards Coventry 2021.

Legends of Folk and Rock is supported by Arts Council England.

Irish Instrument lessons and Sessions. @ The Hearsall Inn
Oct 29 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Dik Cadbury @ Willow & Tool's Music Parlour
Nov 3 @ 8:00 pm – 10:45 pm

Free admission – jug collection. Hosted by Willow & Tool Band.

Irish Instrument lessons and Sessions. @ The Hearsall Inn
Nov 5 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Dark Horses @ Nuneaton Folk Club
Nov 6 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

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admission free but be generous when buying raffle tickets!

Rob Halligan, with support from Craig Sunderland @ The Temperance bar
Nov 8 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Once the BBC described Rob Halligan as “Bruce Springsteen having English tea with Billy Bragg” It’s been a good comparison although you could maybe invite more people along to the party, as Rob has been compared to Neil Diamond, Martyn Joseph and John Mayer. A professional musician for over 10 years, Rob is an award winning singer/songwriter and has toured across the world, gaining a reputation as a passionate and engaging performer. His songs draw from his own experiences of life on the streets, of losing his father in the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and of the people he’s met on his journey. His first album, ‘Dancing With Seagulls’ explored his desire to find hope in a messed up world and his down to earth faith and story-telling connected with audiences everywhere. The BBC’s Paul Gambaccini commented “These are some of the strongest songs I have heard”. Apart from live sessions on BBC Radio 2 and numerous television and radio slots, Rob has performed at some of the UK’s iconic venues and festivals. He’s as at home on stage at the Manchester Apollo as he is at a local church café or folk club. He has toured extensively across the UK as well as shows in Canada, USA, Brazil, Hong Kong and Europe and has recorded 5 studio albums that have gained great reviews and radio air-play. With a conviction to use his music to make a difference, Rob has supported children’s charity, ”Global Care”, visiting Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Brazil raising awareness and money for some of the world’s most disadvantaged children. “This is song writing craftsmanship at its best. Its’ a mystery why Rob isn’t better known” R2R Magazine “Song-writing gold” Maverick Magazine “Rob is a brilliant performer who writes wonderful, well- crafted songs.” Brian Houston “One of my favourite singer-songwriters” Adrian Plass


Support comes from Craig Sunderland. An emerging talent on the local folk scene with his great vocals and phenomenal Finger picking.