The Cov & Warks Folk Diary

Your guide to folk events in Coventry and Warwickshire.

We’ve linked to a new calendar format which should make more local folk events accessible and easy to update. Just click on the maroon lettering below – or scroll down for individual listing of forthcoming events.

Cov & Warks Folk Events Listing

If you are planning any folk event in the CV postcode area – big concert, back-room singaround, online performance, dance display, or whatever, click here to email us, providing the following details:

  • Date, start-time and end-time
  • Name of venue
  • Type of event
  • Artists/performers appearing
  • Location including postcode
  • Description – including how to book tickets, web links, etc
Please note that information on this page is based on advertising and public announcements by the venues and/or events organisers.
While every effort is made to ensure that details provided here are correct, CVFolk cannot guarantee its accuracy which is why we include contact information for each event so that you can check and confirm if necessary,

CVFolk is working in partnership with Folk21 Midlands region and any event listed here will also appear in their own events listing.

Nov
29
Tue
Mark Harrison @ Temperance Cafe
Nov 29 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Mark Harrison is widely considered one of the most original and interesting artists around. His highly individual, all-original music has taken him to some of the top venues and festivals in the UK, attracting acclaim wherever he goes. Recent appearances on BBC Radio 2, as guest on Cerys Matthews’s show and on the Pick Of The Week show, have further added to his growing reputation.

Described at BBC Radio 2 as ‘quirky’ and an artist who ‘makes you think afresh’, Mark is a totally original songwriter, a stunning guitarist, and a master storyteller. Mark’s live shows are well-known not only for the music but also for his introductions and explanations of the songs, delivered in a manner often described as ‘wry’ and ‘dry’.

Mark is a songster, and his songs cover all manner of non-standard subjects. With catchy tunes, lyrics than intrigue and engage, and striking rhythms, they make you smile, think and move. He takes elements of roots music, including folk, blues and gospel, to create something new that is very much his own genre. Each song is a snapshot of life or has a story to tell, like a 3-minute film or novel.

A thrilling, rhythmic, finger-picker and slide player, with a very distinctive style, Mark tours extensively. He has released six albums which have been unanimously acclaimed across a wide range of areas of the music world, receiving a very great deal of airplay and highly enthusiastic reviews in the UK, Europe and the US, the latest being the double album The Road To Liberty.

Dec
9
Fri
Benji Kirkpatrick and the Excess @ Temperance Cafe
Dec 9 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

BENJI KIRKPATRICK & THE EXCESS

‘Loaded with Musical Vigour’, The Excess is a dynamic alt-roots band from song-writer & master musician, Benji Kirkpatrick.

A veteran of the folk scene, Benji is well known as a rhythmic driver of such outfits as Bellowhead, Faustus and Seth Lakeman’s band. ‘Multi instrumental virtuoso’ (Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music), Benji is now bringing his own writings vibrantly to life in this a classic power trio.

With recent festival appearances at FolkEast, Beardy Folk and Shrewsbury Folk Festival plus a live session for Tom Robinson on Radio 6 Music, the band have been stirring up a storm. With Benji leading on bouzoukis and guitar, Joelle Barker on drums and Pete Thomas on bass, the band stoke up rhythm’s, riffs and uproarious, soaring melodies. At times stark and raw. At times sensitive. Always powerful.

Benji formed The Excess in 2017, thed original lie-up featuring fellow Bellowhead member Pete Flood on drums and Pete Thomas on bass. This line-up toured in 2018 and 2019, when the band released their debut album Gold Has Worn Away.

The current version of The Excess is described as ‘Persuasive and impressive…The glorious sound they make together is something rather special.’ Folk Radio UK go on to say, ‘The subject matter (mostly story songs with a social conscience) is firmly in the folk/singer songwriter tradition, but their approach is more indie pop/rock/new wave.’A new line-up for late 2022. Joelle Barker and Pete Thomas both have diverse and impressive CV’s. Joelle’s work includes; freelance percussionist for the RSC, drummer and percussionist with The Edwin Starr Band, TG Collective, Del Camino. Joelle and Pete T played together in The Worry Dolls, and Pete has played with The Vanguards, Philip Murray Warson, The London Django Collective and more.

 

Benji Kirkpatrick is a singer, songwriter and musician. He has been performing solo for nearly 25 years and is one third of acclaimed ‘bloke folk’ trio, Faustus and was a key member of folk big band and multiple BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Bellowhead.

Benji is a long-term collaborator with Seth Lakeman, featuring on Seth’s successful releases ‘Kitty Jay’ and ‘Freedom Fields’ and toured again with Seth in February 2020 with the project ‘A Pilgrim’s Tale’, and during 2021/2022. He was head hunted by folk rock pioneers, Steeleye Span, in 2017 (40 years after his Dad, John, was in the band) and featured on album ‘Estd. 1969’ to celebrate 50 years of the band. He has also released four solo albums, including ‘Hendrix Songs’, saw him strip back the songs of his hero and set them in a new, acoustic light. In 2017.

 

Dec
13
Tue
Jackie Oates and John Spiers @ Temperance Cafe
Dec 13 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Multi award-winning contemporary folk artists Jackie Oates and John Spiers meld together their shared love of English traditional folk tunes and songs with their fine voices and expertly played acoustic instruments.

Audiences can look forward to a fresh, uplifting and poignant evening. Concerts will include music from the duo’s first album, Needle Pin, Needle Pin, released in early 2020 and featuring songs from the Oxfordshire area which they have researched and arranged. Many of the songs were originally sung by lace-making factory girls to keep time whilst crafting lace and to add enjoyment to their work; the album title makes reference to a line from one of such songs. Beautifully in synergy with the handmade nature of the source songs, the CD comes as a limited edition, hand-stamped, entirely handmade album.

Although followers of British folk music will be familiar with Jackie and John from their other high calibre bands, this collaboration began quite innocently and spontaneously when the pair first started playing together for fun during guest spots at Nettlebed Folk Club in Henley-on-Thames. Recognising the potential, they began working together on material from their native county of Oxfordshire.

BIOGRAPHY – JACKIE OATES

Jackie Oates is an English Folk Musician, Singer, Performer and Educator. Jackie lives in Oxfordshire with her young family. After 17 years and seven solo albums Jackie is a central figure in the accomplished, informed and stylistically individual English traditional music scene that began in the early 2000s and continues to thrive. Regarded as one of the country’s best loved folk performers, Jackie’s current focus is on collaborating with a diverse array of artists and commissions. Jackie continues to bring elements of the English folk tradition to new people and places; in turn bringing a much-needed calm and joy to those who hear it. More at www.jackieoates.co.uk

BIOGRAPHY – JOHN SPIERS

John Spiers, better known in folk circles as Squeezy, is one of the leading melodeon players of his generation. Well known for his partnership with Jon Boden as well as being a member of Bellowhead, the most successful folk band in recent history. John was also a member of Eliza Carthy’s band, featuring on her 2002 Mercury nominated album, Anglicana. He now plays with Peter Knight, fiddle player from Steeleye Span and is also a member of the Gigspanner Big Band. Mixing infectious dance tunes with incredibly sensitive and moving slow airs on a mind-boggling range of different squeezeboxes, John’s solo shows are a mixture of traditional material and his own more intricate compositions. More at www.johnspiers.co.uk

Feb
22
Wed
An evening in the company of Leonard Cohen /with Keith James @ Temperance Cafe
Feb 22 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

The Songs of Leonard Cohen

These remarkable songs – stripped back, honest, naked and sensual.

Enigmatic, mysterious and sub textural, songwriter Leonard Cohen was an unflinching character, with an exact sense of prose, wry humour and the courage to wrestle with the unspoken, forgiving human frailty and indulgence with the stroke of each word.

The chilling announcement of Leonard’s death marked the end of an era. His music befriended an entire generation. Within every line of his writing, he has been challenging us to listen more carefully, speak more thoughtfully, think more deeply and recognize our own vulnerability. Our World misses him very much.

With a lifetime reputation of performing in this exact way and an undying love of the ‘pure song’ Keith James gives you a concert of Cohen’s amazing material in the most intimate and sensitive way imaginable, exposing the solitary inner strength of his greatest songs in their original perfect form. Keith has performed an extensive tour of this concert in Theatres and Arts Centres across the UK, giving over 550 concerts to more than 150,000 people. This has proved to be one of the greatest honours in Keith James’ 40 year career.

Included in the concert are Cohen’s well-known songs: Famous Blue Raincoat, Sisters of Mercy, Suzanne, and Hallelujah alongside his rarer and profound writing such as If it be your will, Joan of Arc and Secret Life. Also included are Keith’s dramatic performances based on the work of Federico Garcia Lorca – Cohen’s greatest influence. Keith has also transcribed into song one of Leonard’s poems from his collection ‘Book of longing’ written whilst on retreat during the 1990s.

Feb
28
Tue
Nick Hart @ Temperance Cafe
Feb 28 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Nick Hart is an award-winning singer and multi-instrumentalist whose work with English folk song is rapidly gaining him a reputation as one of the most acclaimed performers of his generation. His considered approach to accompaniment is informed by a deep respect for the nuances of traditional song and his captivating live performances are a testament to the importance he places on story-telling.

Nick has released two solo albums, Nick Hart Sings Eight English Folk Songs (2017) and Nick Hart Sings Nine English Folk Songs (2019), both to critical acclaim. His predictably titled third album was released in April 2022.

Recorded during the first lockdown of 2020, Nick Hart Sings Ten English Folk Songs is in many ways a departure from the stripped back, live approach of Nick’s first two albums. Deprived of a sound engineer and locked away in a house full of strange instruments, he was afforded the time and space to explore different approaches to the accompaniment of traditional song. Nick’s distinctive guitar playing is augmented here by harmonium, lyre, viols and a host of percussion and woodwinds, and while some tracks were recorded completely live, others such as May Song and Dives and Lazarus have been given a more multi-layered treatment. At the heart of it though, Nick has approached the songs on this album with the care and sensitivity for which he has become known, allowing the them the space they need, while bringing to the fore the nuances in mode and meter that make these songs so special.

Mar
13
Mon
David Ford + JP Ruggieri @ Temperance Cafe
Mar 13 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Award-winning songwriter David Ford presents an intimate evening of rummaging through his illustrious song catalogue.

When David Ford goes on tour, it’s always different. His ever-evolving one-man loop machine show has become the stuff of legend and he has absolutely no fear of over-complicating matters, turning live music into some elaborate performance art.

But what underpins a David Ford show, whether he’s throwing down a wall-of-noise solo stomp, backed by an elite jazz trio or a string quartet, is the quality of his songwriting. His fluent melodicism, lyrical dexterity and willingness to tackle complex and controversial subject matter have won him two decades of plaudits.

So for 2023, Ford has taken the rare decision to keep it simple, leave most of the crazy machines at home, play some of his favourite songs and share stories about where they came from.

The result will be a rare opportunity to see “One of Britain’s best” (The Sunday Times) singer-songwriters… singing songs.

Apr
23
Sun
Daoirí Farrell @ Temperance Cafe
Apr 23 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

‘Daoirí Farrell is singlehandedly spearheading a resurgence of the authentic in Irish folk music…he is rightly in demand all over the world.’ Irish Music

It’s commonly accepted that Dublin-born singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell is one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years.

A product of Dublin’s famous club An Góilin Traditional Singers, since launching his own solo live career at the 2016 Celtic Connections, Daoirí Farrell has gone from strength to strength. On the verge of releasing his fourth solo album in early 2023, he can boast numerous honours from BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards to ALSR Celtic Music accolades.

He has received endorsements from the likes of Christy Moore (‘Daoirí has assumed the mantle of Luke [Kelly]’), Mark Radcliffe (‘What a voice’) and Dónal Lunny (‘Daoirí is one of the most important traditional singers to emerge in the last decade’), with his music and live performances earning the acclaim of respected publications including MOJO, The Irish Post, Songlines and more.

On stage Daoirí’s live work sees the 2013 All Ireland Champion Singer touring far and wide, performing regularly at festivals around the globe including in Canada, Australia and Europe. He has also toured the USA as vocalist for Lúnasa, performed in the UK in the line-up of the renowned Transatlantic Sessions and played to a live and TV audience at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall.More recently, March 2020 saw him live stream from what he called ‘The Covid Corner’ of his kitchen in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day. It was followed by an additional twenty-five consecutive weekly online performances, attracting worldwide audiences with over 15,000 views each week and resulted in an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme.

As well as touring internationally, Daoirí still hones his art with regular unannounced visits to the many sessions across the city of Dublin.