Past Guests

Past Guests include:


HELEN NORTH                                                                 19th November 2020 8-00 pm  ON LINE 

Kent based singer and folk song writer, Helen North, is a regular at  Faversham Folk Club and has performed at The Drum for us before when, in   her words, she was delighted to stand in for Isla StClair!  She is gaining a growing reputation for her skilfully turned lyrics, strongly visual songs and  beautiful true voice.  Her 1st CD, "Shifting Sands", draws on her years of experience working with boats and sailing and its nautical theme has  captured the attention of other recording artists and singers.  Her 2nd Album "Honest And Poor" was described as "Riches in the Around Kent Folk magazine review! She has recently performed at Broadstairs Folk festival, Faversham Hop Festival, Sandwich Folk Festival, as well as folk clubs from North London to Cornwall. Singing both traditional and self-penned songs her captivating performances have her audience in gales of laughter at one moment, and in rapt attention the next.  She has been interviewed on BBC Radio Kent Folk and was also delighted to perform a couple of her own songs playing the main stage at Towersy Folk festival as winner of their open mic competition. This talented lady is well worth catching.

JIB - JIM, INGRID & BARRIE                                                 27th February 2020 8-00 pm  Humour abounds when Barrie and Ingrid are around, add Jim and you                                                                                                                                      have even more amusement along with very powerful singing!

This, relataively new, combination of some very fine and extremely experienced singers is a combination of Jim Mageean with Barrie & Ingrid Temple, all three are well known to us at FATD!  They are a force to be reckoned with and I am sure we shall have an extremely enjoyable evening!
JIB sing traditional songs and their own original songs of the sea and the land from around the World and their native North East of England!

                                                                9th January 2020 8-00 pm  An excellent night was had with "Rosewood",  more tunes than we are                                            used to but that did not detract form the evening in any way and they will definitely be coming back                                                                                        at some stage in the future!
Rosewood sing and play traditional and contemporary songs and instrumentals, some of which they have written themselves. Their unique features are the variety of their source material and the range of  instruments they play. Depending on venues these may include bandoneon, hammered dulcimer, bagpipes, bouzouki, concertina and deskbells.
The members of Rosewood are:
Val Woollard;  Bagpipes, Recorder, Flute, Hammered dulcimer, Desk Bells, Saxophone, Vocals
Phil Lyons;  Guitar, Ukulele, Bouzouki, Vocals
Simon Haines;  Melodeons, Concertina, Bandoneon, Vocals

The band’s 13-track CD, Rife & Strife & Mirth & Fun is available on their website and you can also sample the Song "The Oxford and Hampton Railway", from whence comes the CD's title, and the tunes "The South Shore/The Hawk".  Both are excellent and I thoroughly recommend taking the time to enjoy these two thoroughly enjoyable tracks.


"HOOK, LINE AND SINKER"                                                 5th December 2019 8-00 pm  Well people certainly took my last sentence to heart as, for the first time since we lost the back part of the room to the office we ended up playing musical chairs as using the seats of artists performing still left people standing at the back! The performance certainly matched the numbers so "Hook Line and Sinker" will be coming back in two years rather than the usual three! In the meantime if you get the chance to see them elsewhere don't miss them!  As one club member put it in an e-meal to me the morning after:  "They just get better and better!"
Chrissie, Sue and Karen are well known to the club, they are members, and I am delighted that they will be our guests in December!  If you like harmony singing they are as good as anyone on the folk scene today.  This is a night not to be missed!!

"BORDER CROSSING"                                                      14th November 2019 8-00 pm  A thoroughly enjoyable evening with "Border Crossing", sadly Sean was unwell and unable to make it, we wish him well!  However we know John and Dean of old and they gave us a terrific evening with great songs and highly skilled guitar work by Dean!  Their performance was clever, funny and cheerful which left all of us with a smile on our faces.  I shall be booking them to return in two years time rather than the normal three!
"Border Crossing" are a local Kent group, not to be confused with the London based group of the same name.  The name is due to the fact that the original line up of Dean Tanio and John Matthews had one who was Scottish, John, and one who was not, Dean!  They have since been joined by Sean Wholihan, I hope I have his name correct!  Dean was a regular at the club but had a long way to travel and he then teamed up with John and they were occasional floor singers with us and finally I have managed to give them a long overdue booking!

GRAEME KNIGHTS & HEATHER CHAPMAN                   31 October 2019 8-00 pm

A most enjoyable evening was had with this father/daughter combination and we shall welcome them back in the not too distant future I am sure!

SI BARRON                                         5th September 2019 8-00 pm

He  plays guitar, dulcimer and harmonium and mainly sings English traditional song, the only kind of music that never gets oldMike Harding says:
I think he’s a really, really fine guitarist and an even finer interpreter of traditional and contemporary folk songs.  The Living Tradition Magazine calls him:  'A true aficionado of the genre'! 

MARTIN CURTIS                25th July 2019 8-00 pm   Just as he did in 2015, Martin gave us a thoroughly enjoyable evening and even those of us who have spent time in New Zealand learnt a great deal about that wonderful country fom this highly accomplished singer and song writer!  Sadly this is likely to be his last trip to UK performing but his music is still available via his website!

Martin Curtis, New Zealand Singer and Songwriter, lives in Cardrona in the foothills of the Southern Alps, a place that has become the inspiration behind much of his music.
He has been writing and singing songs about his adopted country for over 30 years, and has recorded and released 10 albums, many of them celebrating New Zealand and the people who helped make it what it is today. He has toured extensively nationally and internationally – particularly in the United Kingdom – as well as Australia, Hong Kong, Austria, Norway and even Nepal.

BOB KENWARD                                                             27th June 2019 8-00 pm  I wasn't going to miss this one so I got a pass out of hospital, which took a bit of persuasion!  As always with Bob doing a lot of his well known songs  we all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and as usual the audience sang along lustily!  As with all of Bob's gigs there was plenty to amuse as well!

"NOTTS ALLIANCE"            9th May 2019 8-00 pm  Unfortunately I missed this one to my intense frustration but all reports were of a really enjoyable night with a highly accomplished group!

HELEN NORTH                    11th April 2019 8-00 pm  A great night was had with Helen who pointed out that technically she was standing in for Isla StClair.  She gave us a very varied and highly accomplished performance, this may have been her first gig with us but it certainly will not be the last!

 Helen is a Kent based singer and songwriter with a strong, practical, maritime background.  In other     words she does it as well as sing about it unlike most of us with a maritme music bent, with the exception of Chris Roche, who tend to keep our feet dry!  However Helen is very far from being "a one track pony"  Bob Kenward sums it up perfectly in his recent review of Helen's second CD "Honest and Poor" when he says:  "I
f you had Helen’s work filed under ‘seafaring’, think again: here you’ll find a body of melodic songs from a writer branching out, performed with a powerfully gorgeous voice and leaving you with a host of memorable phrases which hit you when you least expect them. Riches!"
Singing both traditional and self-penned songs her captivating performances have her  audience in gales of laughter at one moment, and in rapt attention the next. Her songwriting is out of the first drawer, don't take my word for it if Mick Ryan and Paul Downes regard it sufficiently well to include her song  "The Midshipman's Boast" as the opening track of their album "The Passing Hour", it is playing as I type, then I think that is sufficient evidence!  A night not to be missed, come and sing along with a very fine performer.

MIKE NICHOLSON                                           7th March 2019  Illness hit the audience quite hard but those who did make it had a thoroughy enjoyable evening of music and amusement!

A very fine singer of songs at their best.

JOHN & DI CULLEN WITH IRIS BISHOP           21st February 2019 8-00 pm   We had an extremely enjoyable night with John, Di and Iris, we had some particularly funny "turns" in particular in, "Me 'usbands Got No Courage in 'im"

"PORCH SWING BLUES"                                   17th January 2019 8-00 pm   A great night was had with the two usual suspects but this time they had brought their bass player with them.  Sadly I missed it owing to ill health!


STEVE TURNER                                               6 December 2018 8-00 pm   Steve's wonderful mastery of the concertina tends to be thought of his main achievement but he is equally skilled in playing stringed instruments and in the art of singing!  He was very realxed as he felt he was among friends and indeed he was!  This combination led to a thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment for both artist and audience with a variety of songs both   traditional and more comtemporary song

ARCHIE FISHER                                               15 November 2018 8-00 pm   A master class in Scottish folk music from a man who is completely relaxed in his presentation and conveys this to his audience as pure enjoyment!  A most memorable and thoroughly enjoyable evening with Archie Fisher was had by all and is thoroughly recommended to all!

MIKE WILSON & DAMIEN BARBER                   25 October2018 8-00 pm    What can you say about an evening that, through nobody's fault, had to be postponed for a year but that it was greatly anticipated and more than matched that anticipation!  Sometimes in the past the balance of song and story may have fallen in favour of the latter with these two wonderful singers but certainly not on this occasion!  We had as many songs as could possibly be crammed in to two 45 minute sets performed with gusto and pathos, according to the subject matter of the song, in a highly accomplished manor. What more could you ask?

"MORRIGAN"                                                    6 September 2018 8-00 pm   An evening with a difference was had with Morrigan!  Having taken part in a workshop with them at Tenterden Folk Festival the previous October where they were adding the audience in to their four part harmony in Vaughan Williams songs, as he collected them, I was keen to add some of this to our evening.  Neither they nor I was sure how this might work in a Folk Club but we thought nothing ventured nothing gained so we decided to try and our members loved it!  Many of them had not tried anything like it before.  In addition a sublime performance of both their harmony singing and instrumental work was thoroughly enjoyed by performers and audience alike.  The fact that they are such an accomplished and delightful group of people adds so much to the ambience!

PETER COLLINS                                               23 August 2018 8-00 pm  A very gentle evening of wonderful singing and discourse was had with the man with the deep bass voice!  Peter is a great friend of the club but is probably best known for running the "Singalong" session in "The Neptune" at lunchtime during Broadstairs Folk Week along with Mike Nicholson".

GEOFF HIGGINBOTTOM                                  12 July 2018 8-00 pm    As a great all round entertainer who earns his living as both an actor and singer Geoff likes nothing better than to return to his roots as a traditional folk performer.  This he was able to do both at Faversham the night before and with us!  It was smiles and compliments all round at the end of an evening of thoroughly enjoyable folk song with great asccompaniment from a variety of instruments.  Geoff responds very well to requests and if you can get them in beforehand by e-mail as I do it is even better!  Geoff is too often and unfairly pigeon holed as more of a comedian and purveyor of modern songs, which is very unfair and does not do justice to his great talent as a highly accomplished folk performer.

14 June 2018 8-00 pm   As always this highly professional duo produced a varied exhibition of great tradtitional folk song with accompaniment from guitar and a variety of concertina acompaniment plus great instrumental pieces in addition!

This fine English duo has been praised as being amongst the finest interpreters of traditional English songs. Four decades of performing have taken Derbyshire born-and-bred Keith all over the U.K., Europe, the U.S., and most of the globe, even Japan where he spent six months, no not hard labour!  He and Sylvia have now been performing together for more than ten years. In addition to their recorded work, they have been featured on the BBC and are a celebrated fixture at folk festivals around the World.  They have been acclaimed for “breathtaking harmony work that leaves the listener gasping.”  Drawing from a wide-ranging repertoire, the duo’s performances combine humour with a deep respect for the songs and tunes of their native land. While known for their a capella harmonies, Keith and Sylvia also frequently accompany themselves and play tunes on three different systems of the only English-invented chromatic musical instrument – the concertina!

SUE WATSON AND CHRISSIE HOLMES              17th May 2018 8-00 pm      Lovely harmony singing was definitely the order of the day, or more accurately the evening!  We had a great variety of songs with the main emphasis on trditional folk songs but also contemporary songs mostly in the traditional style but also some music hall in addition, all of which added up to a thoroughly enjoyable evening of excellent singing.  Now there is an even greater treat to be had in future as Sue & Chrissie have added a third voice in the person of Karen and they have dubbed themselves  as "Hook Line & Sinker"!  They already have bookings at local clubs in their new line up.  I hope to book them before too long!!

At very short notice, two days, Sue Watson and Chrissie Holmes have agreed to stand in for "Notts Alliance who were to have been our guests but have had to cancel due to illnessThey say every cloud has a silver lining and in this case that is true because they were due to appear as a duo last August but on that occasion, unfortunately, Chrissie was unwell so she was unable to attend!  However, Sue being the trouper that she is filled the bill magnificently on her own and with a little bit of help from her friends!  The silver lining here is that we are now able to have them back as a duo! Anyone who was in the club in April 2017 when Isla St Clair was our guest will know how superbly Sue & Chrissie performed in their floor spot that night with superb
harmony and a wide range of songs.  They have relatively recently renewed a singing partnership which started before Sue started singing with Avril
Cameron as "Suave" which is best described as just "a long time ago".  They have been working up their repertoire steadily and have now done several floor spots both at FATD and Deal Friday Folk Club which have been extremely well received and I am delighted to be able to book them as a replacement for our May Guest Night!

DEREK "GIFF" GIFFORD                5th April 2018 8-00 pm      A really great evening was had by all with "Giff" in really good form and we had the added bonus of his lovely wife, Janet, doing a floor spot for us as she is a great singer as well!  "Giff" is so versatile that he can put his hand to a variety of different subject matter in the Folk World!

Derek Gifford has been singing folk songs for over 30 years and is a full time folk performer known throughout the folk World as "Giff". He is an old friend of the club having performed at FATD both in his own right and as part of "Three Sheets to the Wind".  His style is based on the tradition but much of his repertoire includes contemporary songs which are written in the traditional idiom. Giff has set a number of Bury poet Keith Scowcroft's poems to music including 'When All Men Sing' which is fast becoming a folk song 'standard' across the world.  Whether accompanying himself on guitar or bowed psaltery, which his wife hates, or singing unaccompanied Giff's enthusiasm becomes contagious.  He also gives talks and workshops on the music to a variety of audiences. 'Birds in Folk Song' is a talk that Giff has given at both Broadstairs and Tenterden Folk Festivals, the latter only last month, October 2017, as he is a keen "birder", not a twitcher!  Doubtless when he is staying with me for this gig he will be out at Dungeness RSPB before breakfast!  Relaxed and confident, with sea songs, shanties and other chorus songs a speciality, Giff's festival and club performances are a real treat to encounter.  This will be a fun gig, don't miss

TOM McCONVILLE                    15th March 2018 8-00 pm    What a fantastic evening we had with Tom as our guest, I had forgotten just how good he is, not having seen him for a while!  Not only is he a talented musician and great singer but he is so much fun and a considerable part of the evening was spent in helpless laughter!

Tom was born on Tyneside and brought up in a pub on the famous Scotswood Road with clientele drawn from the Irish and Scottish communities. This is where he first experienced traditional singing and fiddle music  Tom’s musical journey started in the North East folk clubs in the early 70s.  Turning professional in 1974 he joined Bob Fox in a duo then folk/rock band Magna Carta to play all over Europe.   Every new venture brought great success and immense respect from his peers and public alike. Throughout his many collaborations he has continued his solo show at venues large and small. “A sandpaper-dry wit, eye-watering skill on the fiddle, great vocals... you just can't help feeling that a performance by Tom is like visiting an old friend” is how one folk club organiser describes him.  Renowned for his musical accompaniments, Tom has played on hundreds of albums. The list includes: Barbara Dickson, Richard Thompson, Allan Taylor and Lindisfarne. Whilst he has shared stages throughout the world with Stephan Grappelli, Sean McGuire, Mark O'Connor, Paul Brady and The Chieftains, Tom has never forgotten his roots and is as happy in the intimate atmosphere of a small folk club as he is at the largest festivals. Tom McConville is a world class act!  We are delighted to have him back for his second appearance at FATD!

 "SILK PURSE"         15th February 2018 8-00 pm    We had a delightful, if long overdue, thoroughly enjoyable evening with Sue and Lyndsey giving us a good variety of instrumentation, considerable variety of songs in both style and content and all professionally delivered!  I've heard that they rather enjoyed themselves too!

From the link to their website you can click on to a YouTube clip from Otford but be warned the recording is of poor quality and should only be viewed to understand their style. 
Silk Purse brings together two strong and distinctive female voices in powerful and haunting harmony.  Sue and Lyndsey Rule were familiar faces on the Kent and Sussex folk circuit for many years as part of the wonderful family folk group Pig’s Ear. As Silk Purse, they give their own stamp to an eclectic mix of traditional, contemporary and self-penned material.  Between them, they play an impressive range of instruments - guitar, bouzouki, mandola, fiddle (Sue); flute, recorders, whistles, concertina, (Lyndsey). Alternating the two lead voices with a-capella harmony, Silk Purse offer you the sweet and the silly, choruses and ballads, delivered with zest and style.  They are very much associated with the "Pigs Ear Folk Ale" which in 2018 runs from 31 May to 3 June.  It is a superb festival and I have very much enjoyed Sue and Lyndsey's contribution to the festival in recent years just as I enjoyed the performance of "Pigs Ear" for many years before.   I am delighted to have been able to book them and I am really looking forward to their long overdue appearance at FATD!

LYNNE HERAUD & PAT TURNER                11th January 2018 8-00 pm    As ever, we had a great night with Lynne & Pat.  Just a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a variety of songs beautifully presented!

Individually, and in combination with a variety of well-known singers and bands, Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner have both served long apprenticeships on the shop-floor of folk music.  Between them they play guitar, recorder, English concertina and a variety of whistles (including swanee, policeman's and referee's), list a spoons workshop in their hall of fame, and are not in the least averse to dressing up or dancing when a song requires it.  They both agree, however, that their voices are their most important instruments. Their resulting style is a unique blend of stunning song and harmony, and a humour which takes their audience on a roller-coaster ride - "everything from high tragedy to ingenious smut in glorious vocal harmony!"   Lynne and Pat are no strangers to FATD and are also well known at Broadstairs Folk Week.  Great fun fabulous singers and superb harmony sum up their wonderful skill as folk performers but it would only be fair to say "I wonder what is coming next!”



BRIAN PETERS                 30th November 2017 8-00 pm      We had a great night with Brian, lots of fun and variety.  The best laugh of the night was the Child Ballad, or his version of it called  "Six Nights Drunk" which he had kindly re-learned for  the occasion!

Brian Peters is one of the English folk scene’s great all-rounders: a compelling singer, a first-rate squeezebox player and a skilled guitarist.  Brian is one of the country’s best anglo-concertina players and is just as good on melodeon, while he’s also internationally-known as a leading performer of the great ‘Child’ ballads.  Although best known for traditional folk songs and lively English dance music, Brian’s act is full of variety and might include newer songs and tunes or wild squeezebox excursions into ragtime and blues.  Add his energy and dry humour on stage, and you have a truly entertaining performer.

"SAID THE MAIDEN"             16th November 2017 8-00 pm   What a brilliant evening we had with these three lovely ladies!  Brilliant harmony singing, great songs from the tradition and self penned songs telling great stories and sounding traditional!  Add to that excellent accompaniment that was just that, not too loud so we could still hear the words.  A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all!

Said The Maiden are Jess Distill, Hannah Elizabeth and Kathy Pilkinton, three friends who discovered a mutual love of folk music when they reunited several years after spending their school years together in Hertfordshire.  After tentatively performing a few songs at their local Redbourn Folk Club, the group soon gained a great deal of interest on the local and national folk circuit, securing major support and headline slots at folk clubs and festivals around the country.   I saw them last year at Deal Friday Folk and decided to book them there and then!
Said The Maiden are Jess Distill, Hannah Elizabeth and Kathy Pilkinton, three friends who discovered a mutual love of folk music when they reunited several years after spending their school years together in Hertfordshire.  After tentatively performing a few songs at their local Redbourn Folk Club, the group soon gained a great deal of interest on the local and national folk circuit, securing major support and headline slots at folk clubs and festivals around the country.   I saw them last year at Deal Friday Folk and decided to book them there and then!   

                24th August 2017 8-00 pm  Unfortunately Chrissie was unwell so unable to attend but Sue being the trouper that she is filled the bill magnificently on her own and with a little bit of help from her friends!  We would hope to have them back as a duo before too long!

Anyone who was in the club when Isla St Clair was our guest will know how superbly Sue & Chrissie performed in their floor spot that night with superb
harmony and a wide range of songs.  They have relatively recently renewed a singing partnership which started before Sue started singing with Avril
Cameron as "Suave" which is best described as just "a long time ago"  They have been working up their repertoire and I was delighted to be able to book them for our August Guest Night!

ROY CLINGING             13th July 2017 8-00 pm  Once again we had a great night with Roy, who had kindly stepped in at short notice.

Roy is a fine singer, guitarist, concertina player and songwriter with a wealth of knowledge concerning the traditional songs & dance music of his native Cheshire.  However, his repertoire extends over a wide range of folk styles.  He has performed at most of the UK's major folk festivals, be it in Mick Ryan's ballad operas, with the Cheshire fiddle player Neil Brookes or as a solo artist.  He never ceases to surprise us with the variety of his programme.

BRAM TAYLOR             15th June 2017, 8-00 pm We had a great night with Bram as always and he will be back with us next year as part of a charity tour mainly based in Deal!

Bram Taylor is an entertaining artist with a distinctive voice and relaxed stage presence who gives an evening "Taylored" to suit his audience. With a constantly healthy gig sheet, annual tours of the USA and appearances at the 2007 & 2009 Mariposa Folk Festival in Canada (alongside Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot, The Proclaimers and Buffy-Sainte Marie).  Bram continues to be a constantly reliable and entertaining performer.
Bram is Fellside Records’ longest serving artist with 10 solo albums and almost an equivalent number of compilation recordings to his credit.  His latest Fellside release ‘Jokers & Rogues’ was extremely well received by the British Folk Music Press.  

4th May 2017
Geordie humour and great songs  As usual a superb night of singing playing and fun was had by all

ISLA St CLAIR                      
        20th April 2017 8-00 pm    ISLA WAS THE CLUB'S SPECIAL GUEST FOR 2017!
Isla St Clair is known to millions for her numerous television appearances including The Royal Variety Show, The Morecambe and Wise Show, and most notably as co-host with Larry Grayson on the BBC's long running The Generation Game which won her `Best Female TV Personality'. Her television series The Song and the Story won the coveted European award `Prix Jeunesse'.  Born in Scotland Isla is one of Britain’s foremost traditional singers, noted for the depth of feeling she brings to her country’s music. At twelve she recorded the first of many traditional ballads for the School of Scottish Studies, and which are still used as reference works. Still in her teens Isla was soon in the top rank of British folksingers, winning several awards including `Best Female Folk Singer', and touring the world.  Recently she received an honorary degree as Master of the University of Aberdeen for her contribution to traditional music. Isla takes a keen interest in teaching children the importance of traditional music and performs her specially prepared programme for educational establishments at home and abroad.  Isla’s talent has also matured to encompass other aspects of the entertainment business and she continues to be busy with, television, radio, stage, presenting and touring in her live shows.

I think this short biography tells you a lot but as well as visiting her own modest website I strongly recommend that you visit her Wikipedia page as well.
If you only know Isla through her television work then I strongly suggest listening to her on You Tube. I had some problems loading some of her songs but I am fairly confident that this link to her singing "Farewell To Tarwathie" will work: 
Farewell To Tarwathie

DEBRA COWAN                               30th March 2017 8-00 pm

Debra is a great American singer and guitarist,with a special folding guitar!  She left a career in Education to pursue a career as a folksinger and has spent considerable time living and working in UK including holding the Monday night residency at Sandy Bell’s Bar, Edinburgh’s premier folk music pub.  She is Included in many compilations, notably the 2006 Free-Reed Records box set “RT-The Life and Times of Richard Thompson” and she has worked with many prominent musicians!  For those who haven't seen her before I strongly recommend that you listen to some of the sample tracks on her website.

 "CAPELLA"      16th February 2017 8-00 pm    A delightfully enjoyable night of song and laughter was had by all, as was only to be expected!

Tony and Lesley Petty are two of the finest exponents of traditional Song from the British IIsles as well as some from America, France and further afield in wonderful harmony. They have travelled England and Wales, playing at clubs and festivals, and have also appeared in France, Holland and the USA. They hold a house concert once a year, held over a weekend, in the middle of the fields of North Kent, in the house if chilly or in the barn if warmer. The concerts and singing are augmented with BBQ, horse shoe throwing (highly competitive!), boules (even more competitive!!) and SPLOT.  They have, until recently, lived up to their name and sung largely unaccompanied, except with an occasional bodhran, but, shock horror, last week at Faversham Folk Club Tony played a guitar on one song  is this an indicator of more accompaniment to come?!

They were to have come to us in July 2017 but they have very kindly stepped into the breach at short notice.

TOM LEWIS                                     12th January 2017 8-00 pm  Another great night with Tom!

I am delighted to have Tom back with us again, as he showed at Deal Friday Folk last month he is an incredibly versatile and exceptionally knowledgeable folk performer and it would be entirely wrong to label him as a purely maritime performer! Tom is a 24-year veteran of Her Majesty's Royal Naval diesel submarines; although now he's comfortably located on dry land, well he is living on a narrow boat!. His maritime songs cover a wide range of nautical topics, from life on board H.M. ships, through the loneliness and lure of the sea, to traditional shanties and classic nautical poetry, set to his own, and others' melodies.  Having been based in Canada for twenty plus years with regular visits to UK he is now doing it the other way round!  It is great to have him back at  the club.


STANLEY ACCRINGTON   1st December 2016 8-00 pm

Stanley has appeared at Folk At The Drum on two previous occasions, once on a regular booking some time ago and more recently as an emergency replacement for a booked guest who fell ill at the last moment but very kindly found his own  replacement!  What can I say about Stan, he is an amazing performer in all senses of the word and you would do best to visit his website (following the link above) to get a flavour of all his humour and singing ability.  He is a very funny man with a huge fund of stories and songs, some serious, but all cleverly crafted.  This is really one who must not be missed as he will give you a great start to your Christmas period!  As I predicted we had a hilarious night with very clever songs written and performed by a master craftsman!!                                              

JOHN & DI CULLEN   10th November 2016 8-00 pm
John and Di Cullen have been described as “an inspirational music partnership” performing contemporary and traditional material with harmony, humour, guitar and bowed psaltery. Their first CD, " Moonlighting", is available plus their second, "Two For The Road", which was released in November 2015.  I have known them for a while through both Tonbridge Folk club and formerly when they ran "The Beacon" at Tunbridge Wells where they ran a very fine pub and were deeply involved with the running  of the fortnightly Beacon Folk Club with Peter Collins.  Two nicer people you couldn't wish to meet and their highly entertaining and accomplished performance is thoroughly enjoyable!  Sadly I missed the night as I had to be elsewhere but I know that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

BARRON BRADY   13th October 2016 8-00 pm.  Refreshing new self-penned songs mixed in with wonderful renditions of traditional song and a mix of instruments including two different harmoniums, or should that be harmonia?  The larger of the two is over 100 years old and has a glorious sound.  All this led to an extremely enjoyable and entertaining evening by two delightful people.
Barron Brady are Si Barron and Ros Brady, I saw them in 2014 at the Teignmouth Folk Festival when they were the support act for Martyn Wyndham-Read and I knew almost instantly that I wanted to book them.  It is difficult to define what drew me to their music so quickly but I think it was their respect for traditional music and the traditional folk sound.  If you look on their website you will see phrases like "interpreters of traditional English Folk Songs" and "contemporary songwriters".  These are phrases that would normally make me wary but I am glad to say that from a personal and FATD perspective their performance dispelled any concern which I may have had on that score.  Their musicianship and singing are excellent and their songs, whether traditional or self-penned tell stories on wide ranging subjects which really hold ones attention.  Guitar, whistles and harmonium accompany their singing but the song takes precedence not the accompaniment which, in my view, is just the way it should be!

Follow the link to their website and I recommend that you look on the reviews page at the words of Kathy Dunn the Swanage Folk Festival Director who has summed them up perfectly.  Then I suggest you go to the Listen page and do just that,  I strongly recommend that you listen to all four tracks to get the range of their work!

I am confident that we shall have an extremely good evening with these two highly skilled young performers as our guests.

15th September 2016  8-00 pm.  Nick entertained us all with stories of his life in song collecting and working with wood and Gypsy caravans in particular.  The previous night at Faversham he had promised not to repeat any songs whilst he was with us and he was true to his word with a highly entertaining evening of superb guitar playing and singing story songs.
Nick Dow has been a professional musician since the mid seventies and has many LP's to his credit. His career began in South London where he was a regular at The Bird in Hand folk song club, in Forest Hill. Nick is an all round professional Folk Singer and Folklorist whom I have seen on several occasions, most recently at the Teignmouth Folk Festival in 2015.  I have always thoroughly enjoyed what he does and the way he introduces and presents his songs.  Not only is he a great performer but he is also a great craftsman whose work building and repairing Gypsy Caravans is greatly admired.  As a consequence he is a fascinating man with whom to talk when time permits.

Nick doesn't have a website so I have used the hyperlink on his name above the picture to link to him singing "Through Bushes and Through Briars" on You Tube.  If you follow the link you will find lots of other songs by Nick but also some of his Gypsy Caravan activities and an interview with him on Radio Lancashire about the caravan he refurbished as a present from Ronnie Wood's wife for her husband.

JIM RADFORD   18th August 2016  8-00 pm.  A highly entertaining evening was had by all when Jim came to entertain us with stories and songs from his amazing long life.
Jim is the youngest member of The Normandy Veterans Association, he was just fifteen on his first trip to sea on 6 June 1944 when he found himself as a galley boy on an ocean going rescue tug, "The Empire Larch", off Gold Beach on "D Day" !  Since then he has been an activist in many areas of life, in particular as a peace campaigner.  He became a folk singer and later a song writer when he first went back to Arromanche on an anniversary of "D Day".  This moved him so much that he wrote his first and most famous song "Shores of Normandy", I first heard him sing it at the Walton-on-The-Naize Maritime Song Festival in 2004 and it moved me to tears.  Jim has been a friend of mine for more than twelve years since we met at The Yarmouth Maritime Festival over several years singing Sea Songs and Shanties in The Beer Tent along with Capstan Full strength who ran the singaround.  The festival guests came to us and we didn't have to move, close to my idea of Folk Heaven!!  Since then Jim has moved on to greater things having twice sung "Shores of Normandy" at The Royal Albert Hall in 2014 once at The British Legion's own festival and then later in the year at the Festival of Remembrance in front of the Royal Family.  Last year he came to our Lifeboat Concert at Dungeness and sang it there.  Most recently he was guest at the "Pig's Ear Folk and Ale" on 4th and 5th of June this year.  Jim has his own Wikipedia page which is very interesting and you will find a number of his songs on You Tube, including his performance at The Royal Albert Hall which has had over 91,000 hits!

JOHN WATERSON AKA "FAKE THACKRAY"   14th July 2016  8-00 pm.  What a great night we had with John, not only does he perform Jake's songs superbly but he is a highly talented performer in his own right.  There were tears before the end of the evening, tears of laughter!!  We shall definitely be having him back before too long!

I first saw John Waterson, aka Fake Thackray, live at “The Pigs Ear” Festival in 2014 and his performance confirmed the view I had formed by listening to clips on You Tube, I wanted to book him as his presentation live is outstanding!

John has performed the songs of Jake Thackray at festivals, concerts, clubs, after dinner venues and – most especially – to members of Jake’s family.   
Jake’s songs are exquisitely funny, satirical, incisive, irreverent, witty and gloriously un-PC – and sometimes all of these at the same time. Jake was a one off, his poetry broke the rules yet worked beautifully. He was a true craftsman of the English language, and his legacy of scores of songs continues to delight audiences of all ages today. 

Here are a couple of appreciative quotes:

“My family and I really appreciate your approach to Dads work and hugely enjoy watching your performances, which, whilst in your own entertaining stage style, are very reminiscent of Jake - particularly in your timing and rhythm. Thanks very much for keeping Dads songs alive.”
Sam Thackray

“Wonderful stuff, bringing some of Jake's long-forgotten gems back to life. Brilliantly performed songs, with uncannily precise enunciation, and accurately capturing the unique Thackray guitar style. If Jake was right, and there really is an afterlife, he'll undoubtedly be looking down and giving his gruff approval”.
Victor Lewis Smith, Producer 'Jake on the Box' BBC 4

RIBBON ROAD   16th June 2016  8-00 pm  We had a lovely night with this very gentle style of protest song and the harmonies were every bit as good as I remembered!!
"Ribbon Road " is a Family Folk Group who hail from the Border Country of Northumberland consisting of Husband and wife team Geoff and Brenda Heslop and their daughter Jill.  Brenda is a wonderful songwriter, she and Geoff play guitar, Jill plays keyboards and all three sing with lovely harmonies.  I saw them at Broadstairs Folk Week in 2014 and knew immediately that I wanted to book them for Folk at The Drum!  I saw them several times at the Festival and became even more determined to book them.  For over twenty years Brenda has been one of the underground talents of songwriting, she has a captivating voice which draws the listener into her stories of life in its many guises.  Her songs are stunningly beautiful conveying compassion, triumph, sorrow and hope mixed with anger at those who abuse their power.  She is also a working shepherd looking after hundreds of sheep on the hills of Northumberland!  Geoff may be better known to you than you think having produced over a hundred folk albums in the last forty years with performers like Bert Jansch, Dick Gaughan, Allan Taylor and many others.  A recent review of their album  "No Redemption Songs " of 2012 states: "The overriding quality of the album comes from the strength of the vocals from the three members of the group.  There is some understated instrumental accompaniment underpinning the songs but never distracting from the stories which are being woven."  I say "Amen" to that as for me that is the very essence of Folk Music and it was exactly the reason that I was instantly attracted to their performance.  On top of that they are three really nice people!!  Do not miss this rare appearance in the South of England.

BOB KENWARD   12th May 2016  8-00 pm      A terrific night with Bob who had kindly stepped in at short notice!

NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN   14th April 2016  8-00 pm        As was only to be expected with twice winners of the Radio 2 Folk Awards "Best Duo",

                                                                                                  We had a superb night with these two thoroughly professional and delightful performers!

JON HESLOP   17th March 2016  8-00 pm

Cornish resident JON HESLOP has been recognized as a major force in contemporary songwriting for over a quarter of a century. His songs are full of powerful beauty set to tunes firmly rooted in the British tradition, picked up and passed on wherever singers gather. In the UK and Ireland, and from St Austell to Australia, he and his songs are known and loved. Jon has also been a member of the Cornwall Songwriters collective since their inception in the 1990’s, appearing in all three of their ‘docu-dramas’. The Cry of Tin, Unsung Heroes and Cornish Lads as well as pursuing a successful solo career.

His stage presence is quiet and gentle, belying a sharp wit and droll sense of humour which surfaces in his between song chat – and even in some of his songs! Equally at home accompanying himself on guitar or bouzouki or  singing a cappella, Jon’s idiosyncratic approach has made him a much loved and respected character in the world of folk music.

You may not have heard of Jon Heslop but if you regularly attend folk clubs or festivals you will have heard his songs. His latest album, “NOW and AGAIN” is selling well to both established fans and newcomers to his work.

Both serious and very funny” Folk Diary (Sussex)    Jon can be contacted on  07531255914 or at


TROTWOOD   25th February 2016  8-00 pm        We had lots of fun with this lovely French Family!

This delightful French family group have been to Deal Friday Folk many times and to other Kent clubs including Tonbridge but this is their FIRST
appearance at FATD!  Having spent some time in Ireland, and returned frequently to top up their experience the family play and sing wonderful Irish tunes and songs.  They also do some Scottish songs and delightful renditions of both The Skye Boat Song and "Wild Mountain Thyme" can be found on You Tube.  The easiest way to access these and other "Trotwood" items on You Tube is to go to their website either by double clicking on their name above the picture or copying the link below into your browser.  Once in their website click once on their name in the line
of buttons at the top of the page and this will bring up a link which takes you directly to one of their performances on You Tube


PORCH SWING BLUES   14th January 2016  8-00 pm        A brilliant evening was had by all!!

Dave Ferra and Chris Berry need  no introduction to Folk At The Drum!  They combine to produce authentic good time music from New Orleans and beyond.


THE CAPTAIN SWING BAND  3rd December 2015 8-00 pm        They delivered a highly entertaining and educational evenings performance!

The band came together to perform the Captain Swing Show about The "Swing Riots" in Kent, a project devised, written and driven by Bob Kenward with a team of his friends who have sung with him in various guises over the years.  First is Roger Resch who sang with Bob as "The Wealden Ramblers" for many years next is Sue Watson who runs Deal Folk Club and who has sung with Bob on many occasions, then comes Liz Randall, a highly accomplished singer and musician who is a stalwart of the Tonbridge and the former Beacon Folk Clubs and is well known throughout Kent and further afield.  Last but by no means least is Alan Castle "Mr Tenterden Folk Festival" and mastermind of the Tenterden Folk Club.  Alan is the narrator for the Captain Swing Show who provides the links between songs.  Bob himself is a singer songwriter well known and highly respected throughout the country and many fine singers are proud to include a Bob Kenward song in their repertoire.  Bob found he was struggling to find traditional songs about Kent, he is a Man of Kent, so he set out to write some and after many highly successful songs he came to the Captain Swing project, highly enjoyable songs which shed light on some important Kentish history!

GRAEME KNIGHTS & JIM MAGEEAN  19th November 2015 8-00 pm      Good as ever!!

Graeme was in the area recently when he ran the Dungeness Lifeboat Shanty and Sea Song Concert on 23 May 2015 which was also a memorial for our friend and his, Kerry Hearn.  Jim and Graeme performed at FATD in November 2013. 

Although Jim and Graeme had worked together many times over the years they officially started singing together in 2002 at Whitby Folk Week. Jim had been running the Shanty Sessions there for over 30 years and Graeme kindly offered to help out (it's a tiring and thirsty job singing shanties for 2 hours every day of the Festival) and Jim was glad to accept.They've been running these sessions together ever since and also running similar events at other Festivals around the country - Barnsley, Bedworth, Bromyard etc (and that's just the B's).                    

The two singers are mostly known in association with the late, great Johnny Collins who sadly passed away in July 2009 (whilst on tour in Poland with Jim). Jim had been singing in a duo with Johnny since 1975 and Graeme had also been singing with Johnny since 1999. Sometimes the three singers performed as a trio (they toured Canada as such in 2008) and the last recording Johnny made was the CD ‘Good Times' with Jim and Graeme - so named because they always had such good times together. 

Like Johnny, Jim and Graeme specialize in unaccompanied chorus songs. Sea Shanties, Work Songs, Union Songs, Mining Songs, Drinking Songs etc. Anything to get the audience to join in and ‘Make the Rafters Roar'.

Bring your singing voices with you!

29th October 2015 8-00 pm        A great night was had by all!!

Alistair Bailey and Roger Davenport need no introduction locally, they have been stalwarts at Folk At The Drum (FATD) for about seven years!  They have also headlined at Crabble Mill Folk Nights and at The Star on Romney Marsh and they were also heavily involved in Folkestone's centenary efforts for the First World War writing some superb songs for that event.  They have written songs on many other local issues and perform both these and other traditional songs with splendid harmonies and clever instrumentation. See them perform 'John Barleycorn' through a beer glass on the Admission page.

Our only puzzle for this long awaited evening is guessing just how many instruments they will have between them!!

STEVE TURNER  15th October 2015 8-00 pm

Steve Turner

Steve has been to the club before but not for a while.  After a break of thirteen years he started to perform in Folk Clubs and Festivals again in 2005.  His latest CD, "Rim of the Wheel" was released in 2012 and is very highly regarded.  His website is well worth a visit.  This gig will be a must for all folkies.

17th September 2015 8-00 pm

Martyn needs no introduction, he played at FATD in 2013 and he has been around on the UK and Australian Folk Scenes for a very long time but he is still as good as ever, one not to be missed.

VICKI SWANN & JONNY DYER  16th July 2015 8-00 pm

A really good and very versatile duo who have provided us with a brilliant night of entertainment on two previous occasions.  They are well known in Kent and all over the UK.

BRAM TAYLOR  27th August 2015 8-00 pm

Bram Taylor is an entertaining artist with a distinctive voice and relaxed stage presence who gives an evening "Taylored" to suit his audience. With a constantly healthy gig sheet, annual tours of the USA and appearances at the 2007 & 2009 Mariposa Folk Festival in Canada (alongside Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot, The Proclaimers and Buffy-Sainte Marie).  Bram continues to be a constantly reliable and entertaining performer.
Bram is Fellside Records’ longest serving artist with 10 solo albums and almost an equivalent number of compilation recordings to his credit.  His latest Fellside release ‘Jokers & Rogues’ was extremely well received by the British Folk Music Press.  

LAURA SMYTH & TED KEMP 25th June 2015 8-00 pm   What a great night we had!

MARTIN CURTIS 14th May 2015 8-00 pm  An extremely entertaining evening!

Martin Curtis, New Zealand Singer and Songwriter, lives in Cardrona in the foothills of the Southern Alps, a place that has become the inspiration behind much of his music.

He has been writing and singing songs about his adopted country for over 30 years, and has recorded and released 10 albums, many of them celebrating New Zealand and the people who helped make it what it is today. He has toured extensively nationally and internationally – particularly in the United Kingdom – as well as Australia, Hong Kong, Austria, Norway and even Nepal.

THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND 16th April 2015 8-00 pm

Our Major Guest for 2015!

Three Sheets To The Wind

Derek Gifford (Of the velvet tonsils) and Geoff Higginbottom (The Symphonic Foghorn)

Three Sheets to the Wind

Sea songs and shanties and all things maritime.

Derek (Captain) Gifford, Keith (rank & vile)) Kendrick and Geoff (cabin boy) Higginbottom are: Three Sheets to the Wind (Well – most of the time!) and sing and play authentic traditional sea songs and shanties for the delectation and delight of all and sundry, mostly in rowdy but harmonious form (tho’ less so in the latter as the drink takes effect!) acapela or with various instrumental accompaniment.
Giff can often be seen with ‘Vile’ strolling down Lime Street in search of a Liverpool Packet……….Dunno about the cabin boy…..

Anyone attending their performances should be prepared to be shanghaied or press-ganged and be partial to rum and ship’s biscuit (teeth and constitution permitting!)

Avast there, ye swabs!

ROY CLINGING 19th March 2015 8-00 pm

Picture of Roy Clinging in the forest  He never ceases to surprise us with the variety of his programme:

MAUREEN JONES 12th February 2015 8-00 pm

Our Own Great Local Singer and Song Writer.

LYNNE HERAUD & PAT TURNER 15th January 2015 8-00 pm

LynneGreat friends of the club, it will be great to see them back again, lots of fun and great harmony:

JIM BAINBRIDGE 16th October 2014 8-00 pm

Jim needs no introduction having visited FATD several times. Here he is seen playing the melodeon and leading a miners' gala. 

18th September 2014 8-00 pm

Highly skilled fiddler and singer, first time at FATD 

TOM LEWIS 21st August 2014 8-00 pm

Now back in the UK to stay, it was great to have this formerly Canadian based singer back at the club. 

MIKE NICHOLSON 17th July 2014 
A very fine singer of songs at their best.

Geoff needs no introduction, a great friend of the club.

SCOLDS BRIDLE   15th May 2014 8-00 pm

These Lancash
ire lasses gave us a great night.

DEBRA COWAN                       8-00 pm, Apr 10th 2014

Great American singer and guitarist visiting on her own this time.

 NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN          8-00 pm, Mar 13th 2014   Nancy and James will be with us again 2016!

Fantastic internationally known duo. -
BARRIE & INGRID TEMPLE             8-00pm February 20th 2014
Geordie humour and great songs. -

PORCH SWING BLUES                        8-00 pm, Jan 16th 2014

Dave Ferra and Chris Berry needed  no introduction to Folk At The Drum!.


Maritime, union, mining and drinking songs at their best.

PETE CASTLE                                      Oct 2013

"A storyteller who sings half his stories."

MARTYN WYNDHAM - READ               Sep 2013

Wonderful, legendary performer.


Great concertina and fabulous harmonies.

Jul 2013
Local songstresses with a great variety of songs.

VICKI SWANN & JONNY DYER             Jun 2013
Lots of different instruments and great voices.

May 2013 STANLEY ACCRINGTON            
An excellent singer/song writer/humourist who stood in at the last minute after Steve Turner fell ill.

April 2013 CAPELLA             
Wonderful arrangements and harmonies.

March 2013 DEREK GIFFORD             

'Giff' is a good friend of FATD. He has a fine voice and accompanies himself on guitar & bowed psaltery or sings unaccompanied.

Feb 2013 ROY CLINGING    

A strong vocal style and adept use of the English concertina and acoustic guitar have confirmed Cheshire-based Roy as a highly respected performer and interpreter of traditional music in contemporary settings.

Jan 2013 MAUREEN JONES              
We know her so well and tonight will be an opportunity to hear a lot more from this first class poet and songstress. 


Playing guitar, recorder, English concertina and whistles (including 
policeman's, swanee, and referee's) they still find time to sing.  

   Nov 2012 PAUL SIRMAN             
   Traditional and contemporary maritime songs at their best.
Oct 2012 JIM BAINBRIDGE          

He has collected songs and tunes to sing and play (melodeon) from all over these Atlantic isles. See this Living Tradition article to learn more. 

Sep 2012 LOCTUP TOGETHER                         

An evening of folk and maritime songs with two great singers and lots of harmony. It's their twentieth anniversary.


Aug 2012   HILARY SPENCER       

Wonderful singer, great humour. The voice of 'Artisan'