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Friday 15 January 2021 

 Zoom concert with George Sansome

Folk at the Barlow started the year by welcoming young British traditional folk singer and guitarist George Sansome. George's expressive and thoughtful rendition of traditional song is complemented by his sensitive and accomplished guitar accompaniments. With styles ranging from the wildly energetic to the deeply contemplative, George is a great exponent of what is best in traditional music. Something in his delivery reminds me of Tony Rose. George is blessed with a beautiful voice and seems to be able to change its timbre to suit the particular song, which is a special gift. He is of course a third of the dynamic and greatly-acclaimed folk trio Granny's Attic and is responsible for a lot of their on-stage energy! His debut solo album, entitled George Sansome, has been launched this year and can be purchased from the Granny's Attic website.

George has a strong association with our club as his Aunty Lesley is a member. We hope to see him or the trio in the flesh in the real world soon!

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Click image to buy George's new album

Friday 19 February 2021 

GreenMatthews online concert

There are tunes/songs linked to these photos. have a look at their website as well.

And lots of great albums to buy at

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Our second 2021 concert was from the living room of Chris Green and Sophie Matthews, in front of a roaring fire! Chris and Sophie are talented multi-instrumentalists and modern-day balladeers who specialise in telling stories through song. They play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a beguiling blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English border bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, Chris and Sophie breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh, relevant and accessible for a modern audience. Also known for their popular themed touring shows, GreenMatthews have built an enviable reputation for combining incisive wit and humour with a genuine love for the English tradition. They have a particular passion for 18th- century ballads and dance tunes – several of which have been unearthed by Chris from various libraries around the country and which are now being performed again for the first time in two hundred years. They also perform original songs which draw on their wealth of historical research to paint a fascinating picture of individual lives and stories from England’s past. They last performed at the Barlow in 2016 when they did the Christmas show as Blast from the Past, so we are all looking forward to seeing them again.

You guys are awesome!” Bill Barclay (Director of Music at Shakespeare’s Globe)


Mirie It Is

One of the oldest songs in the English language, dating from the mid 13th century. Performed by Sophie Matthews (voice, shawm) and Chris Green (voice, mandocello). From the touring show "A Brief History of Music".

Friday 19 March 2021 

8pm John & Virginia Kettle online concert

There are tunes/songs linked to these photos. Have a look at their website as well.

And lots of great albums to buy  at


Come on, England




John and Virginia Kettle are part of the folk-rock  band Merry Hell who have been busy in lockdown producing a new album "When We Meet Again" to add to an already formidable array of excellent albums. A Merry Hell concert is an unforgettable and joyous experience. Their songs are optimistic, thought-provoking,  often moving or humorous. In short, songs with purpose. Their concerts are full of energy, great fun and a tonic for lifting the spirits.

The core of band consists of lead vocalist Virginia, her husband John and his two brothers. 

Merry Hell were one of the bands booked for 2020 Folk at the Barlow.

Virginia has also very recently released a solo album "No Place Like Tomorrow" so maybe we'll hear some items from this too.

Friday 16 April 2021 

8pm Harbottle & Jonas online concert 

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When we wake in the morning

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The Beacon

There are tunes/songs linked to these photos. Have a look at their website as well.

And lots of great albums to buy  at

One of the finest folk duos in the country” Mike Davies, Alternative Roots.

Partners in life and music, dynamic Devon duo Dave Harbottle & Freya Jonas combine a love of the richness of traditional folk with their own original and powerful songwriting. Their latest albums are "The Sea Is My Brother" (2019), which has a maritime theme maintained across political, historical, and personal stories and songs, and "The Beacon"(2021) written during this surreal  lockdown year. After eighteen months of touring with ‘The Sea is my Brother’  the enforced period of calm which prompted the writing of "The Beacon" was, in their own words: “a journey of discovery, that has taught us the importance of love, compassion and empathy, whilst discovering the needs and delights of our inner creature”. It is an album of hope and new beginnings. Much like the beacons of old that served as a warning with flaming fires, Harbottle & Jonas hope that their new collection of songs written during this period in our history will encourage us to reflect, adapt and sing together once more.


Combining the rich traditions of folk music with original and contemporary interpretations through a blend of closely intertwined vocal harmonies. Each song has been carefully written and researched, and is always accompanied with a great story and a good degree of humour - however macabre the content may be. Their songs cover a range of social, political and historical issues. Harbottle & Jonas sing about family, villages swept into the sea, polar expeditions, historical characters and peculiar narratives.  Their music is original and unique. It is performed with integrity and on instruments that include the concertina, harmonium, banjo, stompbox, acoustic guitar and dobra. They receive regular national airplay on the BBC2 Folk Show and BBC6 Music.

Friday 21 May 2021
8pm Nancy Kerr & James Fagan online concert 
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Nancy Kerr and James Fagan are one of the best-known and most experienced folk duos on the British circuit today. Outstanding musicianship, a lifelong grounding in traditional singing and instrumental playing, acclaimed original compositions but most noticeably a visceral chemistry between these two make Kerr and Fagan a perennial favourite at festivals, venues and clubs across the country. They met in December 1995, and formed the duo and life partnership that has become the backbone of their professional career in music ever since. They won the inaugural Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2000, and were also the first ever recipients of the “Best Duo” Award, which they won in 2003, and again in 2011. They are one of only two acts ever to receive this honour twice (along with Spiers and Boden).

Nancy Kerr is the daughter of London singer-songwriter Sandra Kerr and Northumbrian piper Ron Elliott. Nancy is a simply outstanding writer of songs, one of England’s best-known folk fiddle players and in 2015 won “Folk Singer of the Year” at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. She is in constant demand as a songwriter, performer and teacher. As well as the duo with James, her recent work has included the multi-award-winning “The Full English” band, “The Elizabethan Session”, Melrose Quartet and the trio Simpson Cutting Kerr (with Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting). She is co-director of the Soundpost fiddle and singing workshop weekends in Sheffield. Her duo in the 1990s with Eliza Carthy saw her shoot to international prominence on the folk scene in her teens and she hasn’t looked back.

James Fagan was born in Australia and raised in a folk-singing family The Fagans. He is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, specialising in bouzouki, guitar and mandolin. As well as working side by side with Nancy for nearly two decades, James is part of Melrose Quartet and The James Brothers. James is constantly in demand as a session player and appears on albums by Cara Dillon, Martin Simpson, Brian Finnegan, Eliza Carthy and Spiers & Boden. He was part of Bellowhead for their Hedonism tour in 2010 and has been a regular member of the Cara Dillon Band, having played bouzouki on her latest two CDs. He is a core vocal tutor on the Newcastle University Folk Music Degree Course.

As a duo, Nancy and James have toured internationally, most notably in the British Isles, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. They have thousands of fans and despite now having two children continue to work and tour constantly from their home base in Sheffield. Starting a family has reduced the amount of time they can spend on the road together, so their duo shows are now special and sought-after events.

Friday 18 June 2021
Zoom concert with Chris & Siobhan Nelson (8pm, Zoom opens 7:45)
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Chris and Siobhan have a wide and constantly expanding repertoire, drawn from sources varying from English traditional ballads to American songs both old time and contemporary. Traditional and contemporary folk songs are accompanied by fiddle, viola, octave mandola or tenor guitar, or sung a cappella

Resident singers at the famous Bothy folk club in Southport, the duo are equally at home in intimate acoustic settings and in concert halls. They are a popular act at various folk clubs, festivals and concerts.

Previously based in Southampton, Chris and Siobhan have been performing music together for around 20 years and they have been members of several bands including The Cluster of Nuts Band, The New St George, Loose Screws Appalachian Dancers and String Band, and Nelsons Wake. They formed part of the Cork Jacket Crew, and are currently involved in the show Avondale in collaboration with Len Pentin and others, which we are all looking forward to seeing eventually!

Siobhan has a superb voice with spine-tingling vocals and the sensitivity to deliver a tender traditional ballad, but also the power to lift the roof if required.

Chris is an accomplished accompanist whose violin and viola playing is a rare treat

Chris and Siobhan gave us a great concert and there was some lovely feedback on the Zoom chat :

  • Aww Love you guys SOOOOOOO much!!! XXX

  • LOVE those harmonies!

  • Great

  • Sound really good!

  • This is a lovely version !

  • Brilliant

  • Time - beautiful !

  • Gorgeous!

  • The fiddle fit perfectly to my crocheting rhythm then!

  • Not often you see a fiddle played like that.

  • Fantastic

  • Yeh!

  • Awesome song

  • What phenomenal fiddle playing and technology. Well done!

  • Beautiful song, lovely singing. Lest we Forget !

  • Love this one

  • great song!

  • Favourite woo hoo

  • Great way to end the fist half !!

  • Brilliant first set

  • beautiful song!

  • love this song x

  • That was beautiful.

  • You guys a just so fabulous!

  • Brilliant gig - many thanks x

  • From Kathy Inglis (Liverpool, UK) to Everyone:  09:55 P

  • So good to see both of you after all this time. xx

  • Fab night

  • Glad it was on zoom so we could attend

  • brilliant gig really lovely to see you both albeit virtually xxxx

  • Fabulous night. Well done. XXX


  • Well done You two - great evening

  • This evening has been a wonderful experience. So many fabulous songs, so well sung, music has been top notch.

  • I've thoroughly enjoyed this evening. Thank you Chris and Siobhan and thank you to the organisers. xxx

  • Lovely song, great concert, thank you x

Chris & Siobhan are generously donating the proceeds of the gig to a charity supporting singers and musicians who have been unable to generate income during lockdown.

    Fri 16 July 2021      
    Mark Dowding      

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Whether it is traditional Lancashire folk song, dialect, music hall, humorous songs (including those of Jake Thrackray), canal and railway song, the Manchester Ballads, or songs of social history and reform, Mark is undoubtedly one of Lancashire's greatest exponents of our heritage told in song and story. His clear strong characterful voice is able to carry messages from the poignant to the hilarious, and his accompaniments on guitar, concertina and Harry Boardman's banjo complement his singing beautifully. Mark has been a regular at Edgworth Folk Festival since the beginning, and is ever popular in both concerts and workshops. In short, he is an artist not to be missed. Check out his website for the wide range of the material he has released. All worth purchasing and nicely produced.

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