Sunday, 14 August 2022

Folk won’t believe it, but club’s turning 40

NETTLEBED Folk Club is now 40 years old and we are celebrating with a special concert

NETTLEBED Folk Club is now 40 years old and we are celebrating with a special concert this coming Monday (September 28).

The concert is being headlined by Paul Downes and Phil Beer, a duo that first performed for us in the early days in the Seventies and have reformed especially for this show.

Phil Beer is one half of the duo Show of Hands who have filled the Royal Albert Hall on many occasions.

He is also the patron of Nettlebed Folk Club and with Show of Hands was on Wednesday (September 23) presented with an honorary doctorate by Plymouth University.

Also performing are Feast of Fiddles, who were created for a gig at Nettlebed over 20 years ago and now tour the country to packed audiences, the Irish band Craobh Rua, plus our superb local acts including Jackie Oates and Megan Henwood, Kith and Kin and Bruce Gomersall.

There might also be a few surprises on the night!

Nettlebed Folk Song Club — to give it its full name — was started in July 1975 by a group of folk song lovers from Maidenhead when the tenant of a local public house moved to the Bull Inn at Nettlebed.

From a small start in a tiny bar (capacity: 40 people) the club progressed to a converted coaching barn holding over 100 and quickly established itself as one of the folk scene’s major circuit venues.

The club moved in 1991 to its present venue at the Village Club in Nettlebed. This was due to the closure of the Bull Inn by its owners Brakspear Brewery in Henley. However, the opportunity was taken to “change gear” as the new venue held 200 people.

The club is a volunteer-run non-profit organisation and takes over 12 people to keep it running smoothly.

The acts that are staged encompass the different types of traditional and contemporary music and song from the British Isles with occasional acts from Europe and North America.

Most of the major folk acts have appeared, ranging from big names like Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne, Steeleye Span, Ralph McTell, Altan, Cara Dillon, Richard Thompson and Show of Hands to well known folk acts such as St Agnes Fountain, Vin Garbutt, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Martin Simpson, Jez Lowe, and Chris While and Julie Matthews, to name just a few.

Nettlebed is also well known for promoting new and younger acts on the folk scene and always stages shows with the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners and nominees — especially the Young Folk Awards.

Two of our regular performers, Jackie Oates and Megan Henwood, are testament to this.

We have three resident acts: Jackie Oates, Bruce Gomersall, and Terry Page and Maria Jaffray (aka Kith and Kin).

The club is also famous for its special performances involving local musician Hugh Crabtree, such as Feast of Fiddles, and showcase concerts where we mix leading national performers with local artists to provide unique themed evenings.

Nettlebed Folk Song Club is now one of the top folk venues in the UK and is highly regarded by the country’s main folk acts. The club also won the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Club of the Year Award 2002.

Monday’s 40th birthday concert is at Nettlebed Village Club, High Street, Nettlebed. Doors open at 8pm. For further details, call 01628 636620 or visit

More News:

Summer play

GORING Parish Council is taking bookings for its ... [more]


POLL: Have your say