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.

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.

Stopwatch Session @ Somerville Arms
Dec 6 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

The first Tuesday of each month. The idea is everyone gets a timed slot to do whatever they want. 15 minutes if time will allow. There’s no p.a

Hosted by Graham Weston, Phil Parker and John Colenso.

The York Waits @ Holy Trinity Church
Dec 7 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the recreation of York’s historic city band, the Waits explore the rich tapestry of seasonal music from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. Familiar German chorales are followed by French Noëls and Mediterranean songs from the folk tradition, all accompanied by the full array of period instruments – shawms, sackbuts, curtals, crumhorns, bagpipes, recorders, flutes, fiddles, rebec, guitar, hurdy gurdy and portative organ.

“…a sight and sound not to be forgotten” – Musical Times

The York Waits are: Tim Bayley, Lizzie Gutteridge, Anna Marshall, Susan Marshall and William Marshall

with Deborah Catterall singer

The Quiet Men – Irish session @ Temperance Cafe
Dec 8 @ 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Every second Thursday of every month, the Quiet Men transform Temperance into a Cork bar. Mainly Irish music. Bring an instrument, everyone welcome!

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


‘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.


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.


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


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

Izzie Derry @ Temperance Café
Dec 22 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Luke James Williams + Antonia Kirby @ Temperance Café
Jan 19 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

(Rescheduled from Oct 2022 due to illness)

Luke James Williams is an indie/alt folk singer-songwriter from Cambridgeshire. Releasing his debut EP ‘Drove’ in November 2018, Luke gained huge support from BBC6 Music DJ Tom Robinson who made ‘Still In Bed’ his 6 Music Recommends Track Of The Week in April 2019, later naming it his Track Of The Year So Far in July. The song was also played across the station by Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq and Tom Ravenscroft. Elsewhere, he has received airplay from Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing and has been playlisted by Folk Radio UK.

He has received glowing reviews for his engaging and emotive live performances and has supported artists such as Megson, Mark Chadwick (Levellers) and The Little Unsaid. After appearing at a number of major UK festivals this summer, Luke will be performing songs from his critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Our Blood Is Red’ on what will be his first solo headline tour. Drawing on a wide range of musical influences Luke has crafted a unique sound, painting pictures with words and singing them in his own distinctly English voice.

Antonia Kirby is a singer-songwriter from Warwickshire, whose original songs are known for being emotionally exposing and her voice memorable and evocative.

She is described as “one of the most charismatic, dynamic and beautiful voices currently working the acoustic circuit” and affectionately referred to by some as “songbird”.

Polly Paulusma @ Temperance Café
Jan 28 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Polly Paulusma follows up her critically acclaimed 2021 album ‘Invisible Music’ with ‘The Pivot On Which The World Turns’ out September 30th via One Little Independent folk subsidiary Wild Sound.

Affectionately shortened to ‘Pivot’, the album marks a return to her singular brand of insightful songs that, in their subject matter, roam around the badlands of love, sex and parenthood, death and grief, failure and success, violence and healing. Most poignantly the album focuses on the roles of women, in our lives and across history, from a variety of perspectives.

‘Pivot’ swings from the warm, blues-inspired Americana of ‘Back Of Your Hand’ and ‘Dirty Circus’, to the more traditional folk of ‘Brambles and Briars’ and ‘Robin’, as well as poetic, pop curiosities such as ‘Snakeskin’ and the effervescent ‘Luminary’, all of which combine to make up Polly’s most sonically adventurous album to date. As always, she delights in the telling of stories, with littered spoken word aiding her as she utilizes infectious melodies and a light delivery to explore her characters.

The album began life as a 24-track collaboration between friends producing a song a month to keep Polly songwriting while she finished her PHD, as such it features co-writes with Kathryn Williams, David Ford, and the novelist Laura Barnett. “I culled down the original burgeoning song pile, and then some new songs popped out. They keep doing that, but you have to draw a line somewhere.”

‘Pivot’ is the fifth studio album and the ninth release from the indie-folk stalwart whose thought-provoking albums since 2004’s ‘Scissors In My Pocket’ have earned her plaudits from international champions as far flung as Nic Harcourt at KCRW in LA and Michele Manzotti in Italy, as well as homegrown accolades from Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2) and The Guardian.

Paulusma has toured the world supporting Bob Dylan, Jamie Cullum, The Divine Comedy and Marianne Faithfull, and played Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival among many others, touring the USA and Italy. She signed to Sony/ATV in LA and opened for Coldplay at their secret show at The Troubadour in West Hollywood.

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.