Melrose Quartet gig, Friday 13th December 2019, Wycombe Folk Arts

This just in:

Wycombe Folk Arts present ‘A BRIGHT NEW YEAR’ with MELROSE QUARTET

Unicorn Magazine Issue 148 is now out…

Unicorn Magazine Issue 148 is now out!

Just to say that Issue 148 of Unicorn Magazine (October, November & December 2019) is now out! It is instantly available online as a downloadable / readable PDF from the usual places (our website, ISSUU etc), and the hard copies should be being distributed now.

Please note that for the best and most reliable user experience, we recommend that when possible you download the PDF to your machine and view it that way, rather than trying to view it directly online via a browser etc.

Download Issue 148 here >>

Please also remember to sign up to our mailing list and read this blog for amends in between issues…

For example, there are already two amends / additions to the printed version:

On the Sessions page (page 6), Monday night at Stevenage should read:

  • STEVENAGE • The Marquis of Lorne (upstairs) (2nd, 8pm): Gary Moyle, 07960 953778 ‘Marquis of Lorne, Stevenage, folk session’ FB group

On the Shall We Dance page (page 8), the following dance has been committed:

  • October 19: Autumn Dance, Portland Duo with caller Colin Hume. St Andrews Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford. MK40 2PF. 01234 825574 • BFD

London Folk Festival Returns to Cecil Sharp House, Camden

This just in from London Folk Festival:A Must For Music Fans: London Folk Festival Returns to Cecil Sharp House, Camden

Just a few days until the return of acclaimed ‘London Folk Festival’, to Cecil Sharp House, Camden for a day-long celebration of folk music on Satuday 7th September. It will be an impressive showcase of the current resurgence of top-quality folk and roots music that is happening around the UK.

This event takes place annually and is now in its sixth year. It is hosted by ‘Folk on Monday’, and features the best of the national and local folk scene, alongside workshops, singarounds and much more.

Festivalgoers will be able to participate in workshops, including spoons-playing, Folk Singing, Gaelic/Scots song and Step Dancing. 

South London folk club ‘The Goose is Out’ will be hosting an early-morning festival folk club Come along early on the day if you want to share a couple of tunes, songs or just to listen. 

 The festival line-up will include some of the very best and rousing established and new talents in the current British folk revival scene. 

Musical acts this year include Lady Maisery, Jim Moray and Lucy Ward

 In an English folk scene currently bursting with bold and innovative music, Lady Maisery shine brightly. In 2016 The Guardian described theirs as “some of the most exquisite, thrilling vocal harmony work in the English folk scene”. With their unique approach to harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions, multi-instrumentalists and singers Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans harness and celebrate their united voice.

Jim Moray is amongst England’s finest interpreters of traditional song. His  relentlessly innovative recordings can truly be said to have changed the sound of folk music since the early 2000s, and he has won fans and admirers far outside of the folk scene without ever betraying his traditional roots.

A five-time BBC Folk Award winner, his songs have been featured in a season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, he has appeared on-screen singing a specially composed song for Dr Who spin-off Class as aliens attack the earth, and he has presented documentaries on traditional music for BBC Radio 3.

Lucy Ward is an impressive, original songwriter whose unique delivery and breath-taking voice has enchanted audiences the world over. Her music never fails to get to the heart of the human condition with her expressive, unflinching writing style and warm personality that radiates from the stage.

Having come up through the folk tradition, Ward’s music has a sense of rooted belonging. She is BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner and is the youngest person ever to be nominated for the prestigious BBC Folk Singer of the Year.

Other artists performing throughout the day include outstanding Scottish bands, Salt House and Tannara, London based vocal quartet The Norfolk Broads, up-and-coming folk singer Georgia Lewis and her trio, and acclaimed duo Dipper Malkin. The full lineup is available via the festival’s website at

‘The London Folk Festival’ takes place on Saturday 7th September. Doors open at 10:30am and events start at 10:45. The venue is family-friendly and fully accessible, has an onsite café and real-ale bar.

Ticket Booking and full details:

Tickets for the London Folk Festival can be purchased online via the festival website at . Advance tickets are £35 + booking fee, and tickets on the day (subject to availability) are £40

Watford Folk Club Supports FarmFest…

This just in from Watford Folk Club:

FarmFest is an annual music festival hosted at The Catholic Worker Farm. We have back to back musicians performing Rock, Pop, Blues, Country, Folk, Gospel and World Music.

FarmFest 2019 is going to be bigger and better than ever before! Our new stage is three times bigger with a whopping 6kW sound system, a dedicated food and drinks tent and a larger camping area.

As always, we’ll be serving our famous BBQ grill but now introducing The Burrito Bar, The Crêperie, and Mrs. Miggins’ Pie Shoppe… but the most important thing is our Real Ale!

The entry fee is £35 for the whole bank holiday weekend or £10 for day entry – under 16s pay half price, and under 5s enter for free. There will be camping space available so bring your tent!

The goal of our festival is to bring artists together with those who love music.  Why do we do this? To build up the beloved community, to foster the arts and to support the work of The Catholic Worker Farm.

As in previous years, Watford Folk Club are pleased to support FarmFest on Sunday 25th August and our regulars, Julian Mount , Tom Lavin, Jill Waterson & Ady Shaw, Linda Birmingham and Pete Nutkins will be joined by Lizzy Hardingham for the first time.

Linda will also be leading a Circle Dance Workshop.

Do come along and enjoy the great music, the wonderful atmosphere while supporting this really worthy cause.

Hope to see you there!


Change Of Day For Redbourn Folk Club

This just in from Redbourn Folk Club:


After many years of being held on Thursday nights, the Redbourn Folk club will be moving to Wednesday nights from September 4th onwards. Luckily most of the guests already booked for the Autumn season could switch to the new day except for Irish singer and musician, Colum Sands who will be visiting the club on Thursday September 19th, the gig to be held at the cricket pavilion on Redbourn Common. All other evenings will continue to be held at their regular venue: The Old School Room at the Hollybush Pub, Church lane, Redbourn.

Guests for the Autumn include Reg Meuross; na mara; Kim Lowings & The Greenwood; Cathryn Criag & Brian Willoughby and many others.

Watford Folk Club welcome Martin Carthy on 13th September 2019

This just in from Watford Folk Club:

Watford Folk Club are pleased to welcome Martin Carthy on 13th September 2019.



For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it. //He’s a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material. He always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Look forward to seeing you for a great night with Martin!


The Watford Folk Club meets every Friday, 8-11 pm in the Colne River Room at The Pumphouse, Local Board Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD17 2JP.

Unicorn Magazine Issue 147 is now out…

Unicorn Magazine Issue 147 is now out!

Just to say that Issue 147 of Unicorn Magazine (July, August & September 2019) is now out! It is instantly available online as a downloadable / readable PDF from the usual places (our website, ISSUU etc), and the hard copies should be being distributed now.

Please note that for the best and most reliable user experience, we recommend that when possible you download the PDF to your machine and view it that way, rather than trying to view it directly online via a browser etc.

Download Issue 147 here >>

Please also remember to sign up to our mailing list and read this blog for amends in between issues…

Watford Folk Club welcomes Paul Downes on Friday June 21st (today!)

This just in:
Watford Folk Club welcomes Paul Downes on Friday June 21st.

Paul’s sensitive and yet fun approach to his live performances puts him among the most respected artists on the British acoustic music scene today.

He has been introduced (much to his embarrassment) as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists in the world. It is easy to see why when you see the dazzling array of styles he performs with effortless brilliance, but at the same time he considers himself as a singer of songs, rather than a guitar technician.

Paul has a rich musical background that has progressed through working with Phil BeerThe Arizona Smoke RevuePete Seeger and, currently, The Joyce Gang.

Eight albums with bands, three highly acclaimed solo albums and over one hundred and fifty session credits have still left time for Paul to tour every concert venue, theatre and festival in Britain, plus many tours in the USA and Europe. Cabaret in the West Indies and newsreading on US radio are but two other strings to his guitar.

A great performance guaranteed! Catch him live.

Paul spent his youth playing classical guitar, rugby, soccer, cricket, the field and looking at maps. He played a solo recital in Westminster Abbey at the age of sixteen and subsequently took up folk music.

From the age of 12, Paul’s best friend was Steve Knightley; then at 16, they met Phil Beer. However, despite these drawbacks, Paul was reasonably well-balanced until, after giving up a promising academic career, he went on the road as a professional muso. “Was it the women or the curry houses?”, Paul was once heard to rhetoricise.

A few years touring as Downes and Beer, all around Europe and the UK, playing sessions on hundreds of albums, four records of their own and two solo sets for Paul… and they met Bill Zorn and formed the now legendary Arizona Smoke Revue. A meteoric rise into TV, radio, major European festivals, world tours and four albums… that was enough! Paul was asked to stand in on a Joyce Gang gig (their first!) and the rest, as they say, is mystery.

Paul Downes now still gigs extensively in the UK and USA as a solo artist, made his third album, enjoys shopping and cooking, supporting Exeter Rugby Club and getting a suntan.

(One of the most able and talented, yet underrated singer/guitarists on the folk scene. The Folk Diary)

Watford Folk Club meets Fridays 8pm – 11pm  at

The Colne River Room

The Pump House,

Local Board Road,

Watford WD17 2JP

(entry by £10 minimum donation)

Website :

Facebook::Watford Folk Club

See you there!!!”