Black Swan Folk Club

Archive Programme

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1st June 2023
No advance tickets £3 minimum donation.
TOM BLISS and THE BURNING BRIDGES 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend-Day 1
2nd June 2023
a donation to MS and MND
Tom is once again performing to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease with a rare performances at The Black Swan along with Ross Bennett and Dave Bowie. Tom’s concerts have always been hugely popular: ‘Never have I heard tales told and sung with such humour and skill. A spellbinding couple of hours – where did the evening go?’ (Bishop FM). ‘One of the best nights I’ve had. Tom was brilliant; great songs, great performance, superb stories. I was enthralled and so was everyone else,’ (FCO Web Forum). Doors 7-30pm concert starts 8pm.
City of York 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend-Day 2 evening
3rd June 2023
free admission but donations are appreciated
Saturday evening in the Wolfe Room:- John Storey(7pm), Toni Bunnell(7-30pm), 'Extempore'(8pm), Phil Cerny(8-30pm), David Swann(9pm), Stan Graham (9-30pm), Eddie Affleck (10pm)
City of York 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend-Day 2 afternoon
3rd June 2023
free admission but donations appreciated
Saturday afternoon in The Black Swan Car Park Marquee we present:- Two Black Sheep(1pm), Duncan McFarlane Band(1.35pm), Chechelele(2.20pm), Kaminari Taiko(3pm), Graham Hodge(3.30pm), The Barbarellas(4-15pm), Blonde on Bob(5pm), Clurachan(5-45pm), Union Jill(6-30pm) In the downstairs front room between 2pm and 5pm 'Come All Ye' session hosted by Toni Bunnell, all musicians welcome. Saturday afternoon in the Wolfe Room we present:- A shape note singing workshop (details in the folk weekend programme) with Matthew Mason at 1-30pm. Pete Quinn(3pm), David Hardy(3-30pm), Alex O'Neil(4pm), Paul Culkin(5pm).
City of York 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend-Day 3 afternoon
4th June 2023
free admission but donations are appreciated
Sunday afternoon in the Black Swan Car Park marquee we present:- The Bounty Hunters(1pm), Soundsphere(1-45pm), Les Rustiques(2-30pm), Leather'o(3-15pm), White Sail(4pm), Edwina Hayes(4-45pm), Minster Strays Morris(5-30pm), Caramba (6pm), The Old Humpy Band(6-45pm) Sunday afternoon in the Wolfe Room we present:- Phil Pipe(2pm), Pen & Stu(2-30pm), Martin Heaton(3pm), Paul Culkin(3-30pm), Mary Callan(4pm), Simon Alexander(4-30pm)
City of York 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend-Day 3 evening
4th June 2023
free admission but donations are appreciated
Sunday evening in the Wolfe Room we present:- Tommy Coyle(7pm), Paula Ryan(7-30pm), Judith Haswell(8pm), Sarah Dean(8-30pm),Chris Euesden(9pm) Ramshackle(9-30pm)
SPIERS & BODEN (Concert at the Crescent Club)
7th June 2023
£24.75(inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Described by The Guardian as ‘the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene’, Spiers & Boden first rocketed onto the music scene in 2001, quickly winning a clutch of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and going on to form and front the extraordinarily successful folk big band Bellowhead. The duo reformed in 2021 after a seven-year hiatus, arriving with a brand new album ‘Fallow Ground’ which went on to reach number 3 in the Official Folk Albums Chart and was a Mojo top 10 folk album of 2021. Following a tour by their legendary big band Bellowhead in November ’22, the much-loved duo are back for a select number of dates in summer ’23. ‘It’s all exquisitely played – the pair are still the dons.’ The Observer
8th June 2023
£11 (inc bf more otd)
A new name to The Black Swan Folk Club and one that looks like we’ll be hearing a lot of in the years to come. Louise is rapidly making her mark on the Folk Scene. Returning to the UK a few years ago, a chance collaboration with John McCusker to write Evie’s Lullaby (his music, her lyrics) was a sign of things to come. She started to gather bookings and a reputation for quality in 2022. In January 2023 she won the Great British Folk Festival’s Introducing Stage Audience Vote. It’s the sort of reception she gets wherever she plays. In March this year she was invited to sing with McCusker, McGoldrick and Doyle at Sale and York. As a duo with her Dad Chris, she has released an album of 12 songs - ‘Things That Matter’. His intricate guitar work and smooth vocal sits easily with her voice and piano. Together they come across as a relaxed duo who enjoy performing live. Her arrangements of traditional and original material suit her “pure and soaring voice” (David Jones, Folk Northwest). More recording beckons later this year.
15th June 2023
£8.80(inc bf more otd)
We like a mix of styles at The Black Swan Folk Club and here we present a cutting edge contemporary artist on tour from the USA. Eamon Fogarty is a composer, songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and audio archivist who was born in the state of New Hampshire. The on-line LA based music magazine Aquarium Drunkard described his 2019 record Blue Values as "a remarkable piece of art-pop, exhibiting the low slung ease of Tim Buckley’s jazz-rock, the shambolic grace of Beck, the progressive grandeur of Scott Walker, and the mystic yearning of Talk Talk." He has written for, recorded, and performed in a broad range of capacities and contexts, including numerous folk and rock bands, (Alex Dupree, Psychic Temple, Matt Kivel) choral groups, free improvisatory ensembles, puppet theater productions, and even a surf video or two. He currently lives in Austin TX. 'his intimate, minimal songs have a cosmic force'. This evening is all set to be the introduction of a refreshing new talent.
22nd June 2023
£13.20(inc bf more otd)
The last time we saw Keith Donnelly at the Black Swan he played together with club favourite Flossie Malavialle. Now he’s back with a new partner in crime and a great singer Lauren South. For those who don’t know Keith he’s one of the most popular, and yes, slightly crazy figures in the folk world. Keith’s song-writing and guitar-playing often take a back seat to his onstage madcappery. But in this duo there’s a mixture of comedy and song as Lauren delivers lovely vocals on a wide ranging mixture of original and traditional songs and adds to Keith’s guitar with her own fiddle and guitar playing. Those who have seen Keith before and know his past record working with Flossie, Dark Horses, Nothing by Chance, or indeed (back in the day) Waterfall, will know this is going to be an interesting and entertaining evening.
SOUNDSPHERE album launch
29th June 2023
£9.90(inc bf more otd)
SOUNDSPHERE (Judith Simpson, Sarah Dean, Paula Ryan) are so excited to announce the launch of their brand new album entitled "Joined Up Writing". The title reflects the unique aspect of this album which is made up of totally new original songs, jointly composed by Judith, Sarah and Paula. This marks a new and exciting creative departure for Soundsphere whose previous albums have comprised of novel arrangements of songs from a variety of cultures and in multiple languages from around the world. In a fascinating artistic development for SOUNDSPHERE, "Joined Up Writing", as the name implies, will feature self penned songs which Judith, Sarah and Paula wrote together over the challenging period of eighteen months during the pandemic. The result is a fascinating collection of pieces in English covering a variety of musical genres, acutely perceptive, personal, inspiring lyrics, captivating melodies and Soundsphere's signature glorious three part harmony and punchy percussion. SOUNDSPHERE are so happy to be launching the new album as guests of the Black Swan Folk Club, a club very dear to their hearts. For the album launch, Soundsphere will perform all the songs in English from the new album while incorporating some favourite Soundsphere classics from our existing eclectic multicultural, multilingual repertoire.
6th July 2023
£3 min donation no adv tickets
13th July 2023
£11(inc bf more otd)
No strangers to folkies in York and The Black Swan Folk Club as they've graced our stages at The Winter Folk Day and The City of York 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend many times, it's now time for Leather'o to play their own guest night at The Black Swan Folk Club. They are a high energy Alternative Celtic – Gypsy Band. They play all acoustic, traditional instruments extensively reworking tunes and songs from the Irish, Scottish and Eastern European traditions. Formed in 2012, Leather’o have developed an extensive repertoire, which they constantly refresh, reworking Celtic tunes and songs. To say this will be a very lively night is probably an understatement.
20th July 2023
£!1(inc bf more otd)
First time in at The Black Swan Folk Club for this Australian musician en route to this year's Cambridge Folk Festival. Nigel Wearne saunters after dark in the music of the night, blending blues, folk and Americana-noir. Hailing from Gunditjmara country in the deep south of Australia, he's a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist with diverse influence from Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Gillian Welch. A deep thinker and truth speaker with a penchant for all things peculiar, he sings of human frailty, grace and the cosmos; songwriting that cuts to the bone. Nigel has toured Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada and he's performed at a long list of music festivals, including the Port Fairy Folk Festival and Adelaide Guitar Festival. His sophomore album, Black Crow garnered wide critical acclaim including a 4-STAR review in Rolling Stone, a nomination for Best Country Album at the Music Victoria Awards and it debuted at #1 on the AMRAP Charts. Singer-songwriter, luthier, poet and gleaner; Wearne paints lyrical pictures with “the narrative-fuelled prose of Paul Kelly” – BEAT MAGAZINE. “An eruption of energy, rhythm and melody” – RHYTHMS MAGAZINE. “Warmth flecked with grit…beauty awaits” 4 STARS – ROLLING STONE.
27th July 2023
£13.20(inc bf more otd)
He last played for us at The Black Swan Folk Club in 2018 and JACK RUTTER is back for another guest appearance. A true Yorkshire folk singer Jack has established himself as one of the standout voices of the folk, roots and acoustic music scene in recent years. A hugely engaging stage presence, his soaring vocal, powerhouse guitar and bouzouki playing and masterful arrangements of traditional songs and contemporary covers have enthralled audiences from the largest festival main stages to the most intimate folk clubs. Following on from his critically acclaimed second album Gold of Scar & Shale, 2022 sees the release of a brand new EP, with 2023 bringing the successor to Gold of Scar & Shale in the form of a new album of traditional songs. ‘Among Britain’s finest traditional singers.’ - Folk Radio UK ‘An outstanding performer.’ - The Independent ‘You always want an exciting new discovery at a festival, and for many it was Jack Rutter who provided just that. What prowess he showed in music, he matched with his skills as a raconteur; his love and respect for the songs in turn made the audience joyful.’ - Louder Than War Magazine reviewing Underneath the Stars Festival ‘In the spirit of the old traditional singers, Jack Rutter takes a song, shapes it, lives with it and brings out something unique. This album makes my heart sing.’ - Kathryn Tickell OBE, BBC Radio 3 ‘One of the best albums of its kind in recent times.’ - Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 reviewing Gold of Scar & Shale
LE VENT DU NORD (Concert at the Crescent Club)
2nd August 2023
£20.35 (inc bf more otd))
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
*This is a standing show* The award winning and highly acclaimed band Le Vent du Nord is a leading force in Quebec’s progressive francophone folk movement. The group’s vast repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while enhancing it’s hard-driving soulful music (rooted in the Celtic diaspora) with a broad range of global influences. Featuring button accordion, guitar and fiddle, the band’s sound is defined by the hurdy-gurdy, which adds an earthy, rough-hewn flavor to even the most buoyant dance tunes.” — Boston Herald Since its inception in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord has enjoyed meteoric success, performing well over 1,800 concerts over 4 continents and racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Félix at ADISQ, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and “Artist of the Year” at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala. The group exhibits great finesse and flexibility, appearing regularly on Canadian, American, French, and UK television and radio, and participating in a wide variety of special musical projects. They’ve collaborated and performed with a diverse range of artists including: Harry Manx, Väsen, Dervish, The Chieftains, Breton musical pioneer Yann-Fañch Kemener, Québecois roots legend and master storyteller Michel Faubert, the Scottish folk band Breabach, singer Julie Fowlis, and the trans-Mediterranean ensemble Constantinople. Not content with standard approaches to tradition, Le Vent du Nord has also created a symphonic concert that, according to Voir Montreal, “puts all traditional folk naysayers to shame.” On stage these friends create intense, joyful and dynamic live performances that expand the bounds of tradition in striking global directions. This is the modern sound of tradition, a music of the here and now.
3rd August 2023
£3 min donation no adv tickets
10th August 2023
£3 min donation no adv tickets
17th August 2023
£13.20(inc bf more otd)
No stranger to The Black Swan Folk Club, Martyn Wyndham-Read has been involved with folk music for over forty years. In his late teens he left his mother’s farm in Sussex and headed off, with his guitar, to Australia where he worked on a sheep station Emu Springs in South Australia. It was while he was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands at Emu Springs and he became captivated by these songs and the need to know more of them and where they came from grew. He headed off to Melbourne and became part of the folk song revival there and throughout Australia during the early 1960’s. Back to England in 1967 where he met up with the renowned singer and song collector Bert Lloyd, who himself had spent time in Australia. Martyn was asked by Bert Lloyd to be part of the album ‘Leviathan’ on the Topic label and soon after he started recording for Bill Leader and touring extensively worldwide. In the early 1970’s Martyn started the ‘Maypoles to Mistletoe’ concerts which portray the seasons of the year through song, music, dance and verse and illustration. Martyn is also the instigator of the well known Song Links Project, He has worked with Shirley Collins on a production called ‘Down the Lawson Track’ featuring stories, poems/songs of the great Australian Poet of the People, Henry Lawson with Pip Barnes, Iris Bishop, Gary Holder and Jackie Oates. His last cd Tintinara was released in 2018 on Wynding Road Music.
24th August 2023
£10 + bf (more otd)
'Steve Turner..The best gig I ever saw' Nancy Kerr 2014. Steve Turner is known as a pioneer of highly sophisticated English concertina song accompaniments, stretching the boundaries of traditional forms, with one of the best voices in folk music. He is a multi-instrumentalist, who also accompanies himself on the cittern, and also plays mandolin and banjo. Steve began his career on the Manchester, UK folk scene at the end of the ‘60s, with the Geordie band “Canny Fettle”, touring with them for eight years and making two albums with them. In 1979 he won the UK Melody Maker’s national “Stars of the 80s” competition, which persuaded him to turn professional, and for the next 12 years he toured solo, nationally and internationally, releasing four albums with Fellside Records during this period (Out Stack, Jigging One Now, Eclogue and Braiding). After 13 years away from the folk scene he made a welcome return in 2004 performing in folk clubs and festivals, and in 2008 producing his 5th album, the highly acclaimed “Whirligig of Time” which featured UK luminaries Martin Carthy, Nancy Kerr and Miranda Sykes. Since then he has released further albums, “Rim of the Wheel” and “Spirit of the Game”, and his latest much anticipated 8th album “Late Cut”, featuring Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson and Sam Carter, was released in January 2019.
31st August 2023
£11.00 (inc bf more otd)
The Jon Palmer Band are a high energy 6-piece folk, roots and rock & roll band based in West Yorkshire, inspired and influenced by The Pogues and The Oyster Band, with a bit of The Waterboys, The Saw Doctors and the Bruce Springsteen Seeger Sessions Band to name just a few. Original material penned by Jon Palmer speaks to roots in the tradition as well as sharp edged commentary on the world today. The band's recently released new album Vacca Wall, produced by David Crickmore (Steve Tilston, Pete Coe) has met with critical and popular acclaim: "the most electrifying acoustic band in the country... very fine songs" "an outstanding album of modern folk music... exceptionally talented band... one of the best songwriters around" Fatea "an album full of the joy of life, the thrill of living and genuine wonderment... a thing of wonder" TykesStirrings
7th September 2023
£11(inc bf) more otd.
It's been a while since songstress Vikki Clayton played the Black Swan Folk Club but we're pleased to welcome her back. Many will remember her from her appearances filling the late Sandy Denny role with Fairport Convention. In fact she'll be appearing at Cropredy once again this year. A Londoner by birth Vikki got caught up in music by the age of four and was fostered at the Trinity College of Music. She drifted into folk clubs and joined folk rockers Ragged Heroes moving on to fill the Sandy Denny role with Fotheringay and Fairport Convention. In her own right as a songwriter and guitarist she has recorded eight solo albums and played with some illustrious musicians including John Giblen from Simple Minds, Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Fred T. Baker (Hatfield and the North) Rchard Thompson, Ralph McTell and John Martyn. Her voice is described as sweet, clear and English. On tour from New Zealand. We look forward to seeing her once again.
DAPHNE'S FLIGHT (Concert at the Crescent Club)
12th September 2023
£20 (plus bf more OTD)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Daphne’s Flight are Chris While, Julie Matthews, Helen Watson, Melanie Harrold & Miranda Sykes Featuring 5 of the finest singer-songwriters of their generation, the music of Daphne's Flight is a unique and magical blend of their individual styles, completely captivating and inspiring audiences with their complex harmony arrangements, unbridled energy and infectious joy of performing together. Crossing a huge range of topics and genres, blending folk, blues, jazz and pop all woven together with striking harmonies and supported by a range of instrumentation and percussion. The music of Daphne’s Flight is a magical layering of sensitivity, beauty, experience and empowerment. Their songs are thought provoking, uplifting, empowering and relatable. They continue to inspire audiences with the warmth, energy and sheer joy they bring to their performances. They are, quite simply, a force to be reckoned with. With a new blend of personalities and musical synergy a new energy and hope sees Daphne’s Flight continue to fly and build on the momentum of their 2017 reunion tour. 2022 saw so a new chapter begin with Christine Collister pulling out of the band for personal reasons and Miranda Sykes (Show of Hands) joining. The result was a truly memorable and critically acclaimed tour in May of that year. Five individually successful solo artists in their own rights, together they create a unique and unparalleled force, empowering women of all ages, producing music that is relatable, moving and uplifting and creating a chemistry on stage that is both joyful and contagious.
14th September 2023
£13.20(inc bf more otd)
Owen Spafford (The Weaving) and Louis Campbell (Sam Sweeney) met as teenagers, as part of the first cohort of the National Youth Folk Ensemble. Since forming their duo in 2018, they have been nominated for the BBC Young Folk Award and performed across England and received national airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 3 alongside RTE1 in Ireland and BBC Scotland. A shared musical ‘true north’ and lasting friendship enable the duo to make two instruments seemingly sound as one; creating subtle and emotive textures that redefine the trad. fiddle and guitar duo idiom. Owen has performed for the leaders of the commonwealth states, toured with Giffords Circus and has received a scholarship to study composition at the Royal Academy of Music. He is currently working on new music with James Keay (Sam Lee) and Cosmo Sheldrake. Owen is also an All-Britain Fiddle Champion in the Fleadh Cheoil na Breataine, BBC Young Composer Competition nominee and has studied with Sam Amidon and John Dipper. Equally at home in a traditional session as he is in a free improvisation workshop, Spafford's understanding of the oral tradition and love for vernacular music from around the world enables an inventive and thoughtful fiddle style. Louis has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Bridgewater Hall, having joined Sam Sweeney’s band at 19. At the Royal Northern College of Music, he studied under Martin Simpson, Stuart McCallum, Craig Ogden and Kris Drever. He has been cited as ‘a talent to watch’ by the Sunday Times. Most commonly seen behind a large effects pedalboard, the duo provides space for Campbell to connect with his first love, the acoustic guitar. He has also released three solo EPs of alternative music. The duo allows Owen and Louis to distill their love of traditional and experimental music into powerful, intricate and intimate music. Their debut album 'You, Golden' manages to orbit many different sound-worlds while staying comfortably within the acoustic context of English folk music; seamlessly blending traditional tunes with their own material. Improvisation, humour and musicality make each live performance unique, breaking forward into a new direction for English folk music.
21st September 2023
£3 min donation no adv tickets
28th September 2023
£13.20(inc bf more otd)
We tried to book Maz O'Connor to appear at The Black Swan Folk Club a few years ago but 'lockdown' put paid to that. Now at last we have been able to find a date for her. Described by The Observer as ‘a highly individual singer-songwriter’, Maz is known for her haunting, emotive vocals and her poetic lyricism. Her songs are most often short stories inspired by her love of literature, folklore and mythology. Her Irish roots, she suspects, inform her love of darker tales—those of heartbreak, longing and loss. As a teenager, the songs of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell inspired her to learn the guitar, and listening to Regina Spektor inspired her to write her first songs on piano. Winning a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship in 2014 (once won by Adele) brought Maz to wider attention, and later that year she was nominated for a BBC Folk Award for her first album, ‘This Willowed Light’. Maz has since released 3 further albums, toured the U.K., Europe and Eastern Canada, played live sessions on BBC Radio 2 and 3, and appeared at major U.K. festivals, including Glastonbury. Her last album, 'What I Wanted', was co-written and co-produced with composer Will Gardner and released in May 2022. It's an ambitious song-cycle set in the city at night and explores themes of anxiety, capitalism, sexuality, spirituality, and the search for connection in an age of consumerism. 'What I Wanted' has been widely praised, and called ‘an excellent thing’ by Mark Radcliffe of BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 2. ‘I’m interested in connection,’ she says, ‘that’s what music is to me. Creating a moment between myself and an audience member, a moment that’s intimate and real. I’m always seeking that.’ “BBC Performing Arts Fellowship graduate Maz O’Connor is a real find, fusing influences from the past (Joni Mitchell) with those of the present (Bon Iver) to concoct a dazzling array of part electric, part-acoustically crafted folk that occasionally borders on the experimental.” (Drowned in Sound)
LYNNE HANSON + Blair Hogan
5th October 2023
£14.30(inc bf more otd)
Too tough for folk and too blues influenced for country, Lynne Hanson’s brand of ‘porch music with a little red dirt’ can turn on a dime from a sunshine, blue sky ballad to a full-on thunderstorm of gritty Americana swamp from one song to the next. She's known for her high-energy, roots guitar driven live performances, whether playing solo or with her band the Good Intentions. A closet stand-up comedian, Lynne often leaves the audience howling with laughter with her between-song-banter. Lynne is a two-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner (2018 English Songwriter, Ensemble of the Year with The LYNNeS), a two-time Indie Acoustic Project Alt-Country album of the year winner (River of Sand 2014, Uneven Ground 2017), a past winner of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, and a two-time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition in Texas. Lynne has toured Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. She's toured the UK in support of Grammy nominated songwriters (Gretchen Peters, Steve Forbert), as well opening for guitar legend Albert Lee in the UK and Canada. She will be accompanied on this tour by ace Ottawan guitarist, Blair Hogan. ‘Somewhere in the heartlands, in a town called 'Americana USA,' nestles a particular variety of singer-songwriter. Someone who views a melodic sensibility through the bottom of a whiskey glass. Canadian songstress Lynne Hanson could run for mayor of that town.’ - Trevor Raggatt - R2 Magazine (5 stars) ‘A mesmeric collection of seven dark pieces, splendidly assembled ... the album in its recorded format is tantalizingly sitting there for you to make a valuable addition to your collection.’ - Three Chords and the Truth (UK)
(Wednesday Extra) CLIVE CARROLL & DARIUSH KANANI play Renbourn & Jansch
11th October 2023
£15.40 (inc bf) more otd
CLIVE CARROLL plays the music of JOHN RENBOURN + special guest DARIUSH KANANI For those who followed the folk revival of the 1960’s and the music of the cult band Pentangle, John Renbourn’s music needs little introduction. Spanning musical genres from blues and jazz through to folk, early music and original compositions he left behind a sumptuous catalogue of recordings which demonstrated not only his extraordinary talent as a guitar player but also his great musical depth. Any boundaries which may have existed previously were blurred by John’s eclectic taste, alongside a level of artistry and delicacy which led the way in the evolution of the steel-strung guitar. Here is a rare, one-off opportunity to hear some of John’s greatest compositions performed live by one of the World’s finest guitarists who regularly shared the same stage. Clive Carroll was recently described by Total Guitar Magazine as “...arguably the most accomplished fingerstylist in the world today…” and like John, he is equally at home playing Mississippi Blues as he is playing the Elizabethan lute music of John Dowland. On stage, Clive’s entertaining performance transfixes audiences whether they are guitar enthusiasts or not. Coupled with Dariush Kanani’s stunningly good technique inspired by his heroes John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, this one-time show is not to be missed! This tour coincides with the release of Clive’s new album which features the music of John Renbourn.
12th October 2023
£15.40 (inc bf) more otd
CLIVE CARROLL plays the music of JOHN RENBOURN + special guest DARIUSH KANANI For those who followed the folk revival of the 1960’s and the music of the cult band Pentangle, John Renbourn’s music needs little introduction. Spanning musical genres from blues and jazz through to folk, early music and original compositions he left behind a sumptuous catalogue of recordings which demonstrated not only his extraordinary talent as a guitar player but also his great musical depth. Any boundaries which may have existed previously were blurred by John’s eclectic taste, alongside a level of artistry and delicacy which led the way in the evolution of the steel-strung guitar. Here is a rare, one-off opportunity to hear some of John’s greatest compositions performed live by one of the World’s finest guitarists who regularly shared the same stage. Clive Carroll was recently described by Total Guitar Magazine as “...arguably the most accomplished fingerstylist in the world today…” and like John, he is equally at home playing Mississippi Blues as he is playing the Elizabethan lute music of John Dowland. On stage, Clive’s entertaining performance transfixes audiences whether they are guitar enthusiasts or not. Coupled with Dariush Kanani’s stunningly good technique inspired by his heroes John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, this one-time show is not to be missed! This tour coincides with the release of Clive’s new album which features the music of John Renbourn.
19th October 2023
No advance tickets min £3 donation otd
All performers, singers, musicians and listeners welcome. Using the mic optional.
25th October 2023
£22(inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Nominated ‘Musician of the Year’ – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2018 ‘Martin Simpson has transcended borders and oceans to quietly become a superb storyteller and musician of great depth and unquestionable taste.’ Stephen Fearing The remarkable intimate solo performances Martin gives go from strength to strength – every gig is a masterclass. He travels the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, giving rapt audiences passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty through his playing. “What’s it like being the best guitar player in the world…?” Martin’s modesty and grace prevented him from answering this BBC Radio 4 interviewer’s question recently, but the facts speak for themselves. 40 years after he recorded his first album, Golden Vanity, in 1976, Martin is known as a guitarist of formidable talent. Equally at home playing English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions, he is consistently named as one of the very finest fingerstyle guitar players in the world. He is listed in Gibson Guitars’ Top 30 Acoustic Guitarists of all time, and Acoustic Guitar readers voted him number 12 guitarist in the world in 2005. Universally acclaimed as one of the finest ever acoustic and slide guitar players, and a fine banjo-picker to boot, his solo shows bear witness to an artist at the very top of his game. Whether interpreting material from tradition or singing his own potent self-penned songs, Simpson is a remarkable storyteller: captivating and profoundly moving. His own songwriting produced the poignant ‘Never Any Good’, from Prodigal Son, 2007’s Folk Album of the Year. Martin continues to collaborate with a dazzling array of people from across the musical spectrum: Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo, Danú, Richard Thompson and Dom Flemons are among the great musicians he has worked with. In recent years, he has been a lynchpin in the award-winning Full English, The Elizabethan Sessions and, in 2015, recorded Murmurs, an exciting new album with Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr. Martin’s most recent album was released in November last year to the usual critical acclaim. ‘Home Recordings’ was recorded at his home by his regular producer, now neighbour, Andy Bell, and finds Martin singing and playing, literally amongst his beloved guitar and banjo collection and out on his Peak District-facing porch. Martin is planning a new solo album for release next March on Topic Records. Always prolific, and never one to rest long without a guitar in his hands and a song in his head, Martin is genuinely thrilled to be back out on the road now – back where he loves to be – playing live. He has had the most nominations of any performer in the 18 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, an astonishing 32 times, 13 of those as Musician of the Year, winning that particular accolade twice. A virtuoso player without question, but above all Martin Simpson conveys his diverse treasure trove of material from the heart, performing with rare subtlety, intensity and honesty. A true master of his art. Press: ‘Martin is in a class of his own. He is such an expressive player; he is ingenious in his use of the guitar. You can listen to one of his songs and three or four minutes in, he has only used the top four strings and not even played a bass note yet, and when he does, it feels like an orchestra coming in. His clarity of playing is just amazing.’ Jackson Browne ‘One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene. Sounds better than ever’ **** 4 Stars The Guardian ‘Simpson has become a fine interpreter of traditional and other songs, as well as a notable writer of his own.’ The Times ‘Simpson’s latest is a potent blend of the highest calibre…Simpson has never sung or played better’ Acoustic Magazine ‘One of our finest traditional musicians, Simpson’s latest album offers a roving overview of his talents’ **** 4 Stars Uncut ‘An excellent collection of material drawn from both sides of the Atlantic handled with loving care by Simpson and aided by some of the biggest names in folk’ **** 4 Stars Maverick
26th October 2023
£15.40 (inc bf more otd)
Rory McLeod, an ex-circus clown and fire eater, is a one-man-soul-band, and poet. He has a natural troubadour’s talent for weaving magical, musical, storytelling spells accompanied by his own bizarre solo orchestra of distinctive instruments. The spoons, finger-cymbals, bandorea, Djembe-drum, harmonica, guitar, trombone and-tap-dancing shoes accompany the “rich, raw, deep and resonant” voice of this “singular and liberating performer.” “Expect the unexpected.” Rory has worked as a circus clown and fire eater with 'Circo Ideal' a small Azteca family, Mexican circus, touring campesinos, pueblitos and tobacco plantations on the Pacific coast and in mountain villages. “Rory Mcleod must be the musical equivalent of a six or seven ball juggler… ” - The Guardian (UK) He says “I also got shot from a cannon. I got paid 3 pesos a mile and travelling expenses!” ” I wasn’t the lion-tamer,… I only combed the lion's hair and cleaned his teeth!” He is a musical Gypsy, his eccentric melodies are infused with influences from Flamenco to Country blues, through to Celtic, East European and Calypso rhythms creating a style of music and songwriting that has been described as:- “Intimate, revealing, political and powerful.” “Poetry and dance-stories with verve, sharpness, humour and warmth about people and for people.” “Great songs to dance to, infectious rhythms, flying harmonica!” “(Rory McLeod is a)…Rhythmic storyteller-Soul-Singing-Tap-dancing-Poet,Guitar-Picking,One-Man-Dance-Band” Rory has travelled the globe for different reasons at different times, from Asia to the Middle East from Gambia to Cuba, Afghanistan, China, Zimbabwe, Central America, Australia, North America, Canada, Europe and other nooks and crannies of the earth. He was voted Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2002. The award was presented by singer and songwriter Vin Garbutt. His other awards include:-Texas Harmonica Champion 1981 and Edinburgh Festival Street Busket of the Year in 1985.
2nd November 2023
No advance tickets. Min donation of £3 otd.
All performers, singers, musicians and listeners welcome. UsIng the mic optional.
9th November 2023
No advance tickets a donation of at least £3 on the door.
All performers, singers, musicians and listeners welcome. UsIng the mic optional.
12th November 2023
£16.50(inc bf more otd)
Although this event has now sold out there is a 'waiting list' re any returns at Please follow the box office link. This show was originally planned for Thurs Nov 9 but due to circumstances beyond our control we had to change the date to Sun Nov 12 with a slightly earlier start time of 7-30pm. If you've already purchased tickets they are valid for the new date, or you can get a refund from Boo and Heidi have recorded and toured together extensively going all the way back to Heidi’s first solo tour of the UK in 2005. Born in Ireland, Heidi became a folk star in the USA as a member of the Irish American band Cherish the Ladies, and now lives in Edinburgh. With a background like that, it's hardly surprising she should develop a style that switches easily between Celtic and Americana, but subtlety is Talbot’s magic ingredient. From her gossamer voice to the delicate re-working of traditional and contemporary material that has earned her rave reviews for her records and live performances. Hailing originally from Co. Kildare, Heidi spent several years in New York and slips effortlessly between musical worlds but retains a personal modesty rooted in traditional folk. Over the past ten years Heidi has performed all over North and South America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand performing in the finest Concert Halls and International Festivals. She is equally at home in front of a Symphony Orchestra, a Performing Arts Center, a Folk Festival or even at the White House. Her tour with Boo, one of England's most celebrated singer-songwriters celebrates their long-standing musical relationship spanning over 18 years.
16th November 2023
£9.90 (inc bf more otd)
That’s Richmond, North Yorkshire , not Richmond, Virginia : you could call it Americana from Swaledale. The Richmond Hillbillies - Paul Stokes and Lindsay Leonard - sing and play guitars, dobro and banjo, digging into a hundred and more years of songs from the States , culturally appropriating the Americana tradition from old vaudeville and 1920’s blues , to Jimmi Rodgers, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Gillian Welch , with a nod towards some more recent songs from the folk country canon. The twang is less Jed Clampett, more Fred Trueman ; the drink of choice less moonshine, more Timothy Taylor. There are songs and tunes with upbeat guitar flat picking, a bit of dobro, banjo and vocal harmonies , plus some clear-eyed reflections on some of the bleaker aspects of modern life in Appalachia. They’ve played guest spots in the Black Swan car park for the Roland Walls City of York folk day and a concert at the Crescent supporting Andy Irvine - and they’re looking forward to being allowed upstairs for a night in the Black Swan club room .
TALISK (Concert at the Crescent Club)
20th November 2023
£19.80 (inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Back again at The Crescent Ground-breaking, chart-topping, genre-bending, globetrotting, instantly enthralling… it’s little wonder that Talisk rank highly amongst the most in-demand folk-based groups to emerge from Scotland in the last decade and more. Mohsen Amini (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Musician of the Year 2018), Graeme Armstrong and Benedict Morris (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2019) fuse concertina, guitar and fiddle to produce a truly innovative, multi-layered signature that has captivated audiences around the globe. At its core, three seemingly acoustic instruments – but in the hands of three master craftsmen; one unmistakable, bold sound and a captivating live show.
23rd November 2023
£11 (inc bf more otd)
A long awaited return for Roger Davies whose quirky self-penned songs and affable attitude were a big hit with us last time he played the club in 2015. He’s since continued to hone his painting and musical skills and continues to be recognised as a highly talented artist and one of the most exciting singer-songwriters to emerge from the Yorkshire folk scene in many years. A gentle Yorkshire humour, subtly woven into several of his self-penned songs ensure that the audience are treated to an all-round entertaining evening of humour, music and song. Roger has opened for names such as Cara Dillon, Alex Lloyd, Harvey Andrews the poet laureate Simon Armitage and John Tamms among many others. His albums have been released to a flurry of good reviews He’s a thoroughly professional, endearing and engaging live performer. Look forward to another top night at The Black Swan Folk Club.
RAMSHACKLE and friends
30th November 2023
No advance tickets, a minimum donation of £3 otd
Another night with the Black Swan Folk Club house band RAMSHACKLE (Eddie Affleck, Phil Cerny, Chris Euesden and Stan Graham),entertaining with a variety of material, encouraging everyone to join in enjoy the evening and throwing the floor open for anyone who might want to perform a few songs or tunes themselves.
1st December 2023
£20 adv (plus bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Christmas, as they say, starts with St. Agnes Fountain. Carols with a curve. Since their first get together, to record the eponymous St Agnes Fountain album in 2001, the quartet; David Hughes, Fairport Convention's Chris Leslie and multi award winning duo Chris While and Julie Matthews, have brought musical invention and laughter to the star-dust atmosphere of the season. In 2020, David decided to leave the band to concentrate on solo pursuits and whilst his presence will be missed, Chris, Chris and Julie will be keeping the Christmas Aggie spirit alive and touring as a trio celebrating 23 years together with a tour of new material and those old Aggie classics. 'The Aggie's' latest album, Night Of A Million Stars was released in December 2021 tour with 9 brand new songs from the band. Although the albums accompany the putting up of a thousand Christmas trees throughout Britain and around the globe as their reputation reaches further afield, it is, without question, their magical live performances that have endeared them to an ever-growing audience (tickets were again being sold for this year's tour as the curtain fell last year). Chris While and Julie Matthews Chris While vocals, guitar, bodhran, dulcimer, banjo, darbuka and percussion. Julie Matthews vocals, piano, guitar, accordion and gazouki The duo have been nominated ten times in the BBC Folk Awards in the 'Best Song' 'Best Duo' and 'Best Live Act' categories and winning Best Duo in 2009. In 2019 year they celebrated 25 years the longest lasting female duo in the country with a brand new album and an extensive tour of the UK to celebrate as well as numerous summer festival performances including the Pengwern Stage 'Whie and Matthews Take Over' where they curated the stage in August of that year to celebrate their anniversary. Chris and Julie are more powerful and popular than ever in their 27th year as a duo and remain at the very top of their game. Chris Leslie Chris Leslie is a multi instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from Oxfordshire UK. Primarily known for the past 20 years for his work with Fairport Convention, he has toured and recorded with, amongst others: Steve Ashley, the Albion Band, Jez Lowe, Ian Anderson, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Whippersnapper, Alan Stivell, Feast of Fiddles and St. Agnes Fountain. Chris has also provided music for a number of Radio Four plays and classic serials. His fiddle playing has also been heard on the TV series Heartbeat, Midsommer Murders and Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Scotland. Chris plays: Fiddle, Mandolin, Tenor Guitar, Bouzouki, Ukulele, Banjo, Oud, Whistle and Native American Flute and anything else he can lay his hands on!!
7th December 2023
No advance tickets min £3 donation otd.
Everyone welcome, singers, musicians, performers and listeners. Using the mic is optional.
THE MAGPIES (Concert at the Crescent Club)
12th December 2023
£16.50(inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Locally based and now becoming a national name transatlantic folk band The Magpies are one of the most exciting and innovative acts on the contemporary roots scene. Combining sublime harmonies with exquisite musicianship and impressive songwriting, The Magpies traverse Anglo and American roots, drawing inspiration from traditional Celtic folk, bluegrass and Appalachian trails, to create an effortless melting pot of music. Accomplished musicians in their own right, founding members Bella Gaffney (award winning singer-songwriter, guitarist and banjoist) and Holly Brandon (acclaimed fiddle player and tunesmith) perform alongside some of the UK’s finest roots musicians. Following the release of theirncritically acclaimed debut album in 2020, they released their second album Undertow in October 2022. It's a rich and varied showcase of their live sound, flawless instrumentation providing an elegant canvas for intricate harmonies and engaging storytelling. With a sound that pushes boundaries and brings a fresh voice to the current milieu, the album’s success comes as no surprise, with a quarter of a million streams on Spotify, a place in the Official Folk Albums Chart Top 40 and a live session on BBC Radio 2.
14th December 2023
£13.20 (inc bf more otd)
One of our favourite performers at The Black Swan Folk Club and one of the finest female singer/songwriters this country has produced in years. Edwina brings together English folk, Americana and the rich Northern singer/songwriter tradition to create a sound that’s truly her own. Highly accomplished she’s toured with such notable performers as Jools Holland, Van Morrison, Nanci Griffith and Loudon Wainwright III to name just a few. Edwina numbers Michael Parkinson and Mike Harding among her fans and the title track of her album Pour Me A Drink was covered by Nanci Griffith who calls her 'the sweetest voice in England'. Her cover of the Randy Newman song Feels Like Home was featured in the Cameron Diaz film My Sister's Keeper and has since had over ten million plays on Spotify and over thirty million plays on You Tube. Edwina's 4th album Ruby Rose was released in 2022. 'The sweetest voice in England. A wonderful young woman, so gifted and full of song.' Nanci Griffith 'Haunting, honeyed, solo songwriter.' The Guardian
21st December 2023
free admission
Our annual Christmas Party where everyone's invited. Free admission but we'll be having a raffle with loads of prizes. Christmas songs from our regulars and anybody who cares to drop by and join in.
BLONDE on BOB and FREEWHEELIN 'Nothin' But Dylan'
28th December 2023
£11(inc bf more otd)
It's the annual MILLION DOLLAR XMAS BASH. Back again for their Christmas celebration of the music of Bob Dylan, BLONDE on BOB present an evening dedicated to the music of the world's greatest singer-songwriter. More than ably supported by Billy Bills and Graham Metcalf (FREEWHEELIN') plus the usual festive fun and games.
PETE QUINN Memorial Night
4th January 2024
no advance tickets donations on the door
A special tribute night for one of our most popular and longest serving resident performers who sadly passed away recently. Music from a variety of his friends and fellow performers with all monies raised being donated to the British Heart Foundation.
11th January 2024
£13.20 (inc bf more otd)
'Blessed with fingers capable of guitar-playing beyond mere mortals!' Lee's initial impact was immediate, captivating audiences at folk clubs and festivals and touring in a trio with Keith Hancock and Clive Gregson. He has since forged a successful solo career with his eclectic repertoire comprising folk and blues in all of its forms. His albums feature guest appearances from the likes of Christine Collister, Barb Jungr and Tom McConville and his career has taken him all over the world. A performer who can switch from contemporary and traditional folk, to 50s style, blues and jazz, Lee currently performs as front man for punk shanty band The Salts. His solo career has included being a finalist in BBC Radio’s Young Tradition Award twice. The subsequent broadcast, and a chance meeting with Spiv Records at a folk festival, resulted in his debut release, Limbo, followed by the much lauded song Slip the Driver a Fiver.
18th January 2024
no advance tickets £3 min donation otd
Everyone welcome, singers, musicians, performers and listeners. Using the mic is optional.
25th January 2024
£13.20 (inc bf more otd)
From Canada, a debut at The Black Swan Folk Club for this exciting duo. International touring award winning Canadians Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane have performed 950 concerts together since their Texas stage debut in 2014. Armed with 10 instruments (banjo, mando, cigar box guitars, fiddle- saw, harmonica, resonator, acoustic, porch bass, snare) never repeating themselves onstage with brotherly harmonies & masterful storytelling . From headlining Celtic Connections (Glasgow) to the Woody Guthrie Festival (Oklahoma) they never repeat, juggling the dark with the light, brotherly harmonies & masterful storytelling. Gordie Tentrees is also a 2023 International Acoustic Award Winner! "Organic & holistic folk, this is the wild sound of freedom and the freedom to fly" Midwest Record USA "Majestic songwriting, incredible insight, genuine authenticity ” Americana UK
28th January 2024
Free admission
Our annual day of folk music with sets from local musicians. Afternoon session starts 2pm, evening session starts 7-30pm. Here's the line up:- Mick O'Kelly 2pm, David Hardy 2-20pm, Paul Culkin 2-40pm, White Sail 3-30pm, Toni Bunnell 4-20pm, Leathero' 5-05pm, Old Humpy Band 7-30pm, Judith Haswell 8-15pm, Soundsphere 8-50pm, Ramshackle 9-45pm
1st February 2024
No advance tickets £3 min donation otd
Everyone welcome, singers, musicians, performers and listeners. Using the mic is optional.
8th February 2024
£6.60 (inc bf more otd)
Pete Davies has been around a while but this will be his first appearance as a guest at The Black Swan Folk Club. He dropped in to give us a short set at an Open Mic a few months back and we've been keen to give him a guest slot ever since. Here are just a few accolades:- "Pete Davies is a great singer-songwriter!” The late, great, Vin Garbutt, Teesside Troubadour Pete Davies' song Long Way Home “……..disguises the iron fist of its messages in a velvet glove….” FolkWords "Skilfully constructed songs presented with panache and passion – Pete Davies played a barnstorming gig at the Edinburgh Fringe!" Paddy Bort, Edinburgh Fringe “I love his clear voice and thoughtful uplifting lyrics.” Jan Hall, Folk Roots Radio, Ontario, Canada .....excellent singing and superb guitar style. For me, his big appeal lies in the quality of his own melodies and lyrics. ........every line of a Pete Davies song radiates incredible warmth and humanity. You know he is one of us. Cherish him.” Leigh Sayers, The Studio Club, Middlesbrough
15th February 2024
£14.30(inc bf more otd)
Last here at The Black Swan Folk Club in December 2015 and a return visit is long overdue. Songs about cuckolded molecatchers, a lone English oak tree that grows at Gallipoli, care in the community, medieval pilgrims and Victorian bare-knuckle boxers... We can only be talking about the acclaimed song and storytelling trio Harp & a Monkey.
22nd February 2024
£11 (inc bf more otd)
Kenny Speirs has been a well-known figure on the national and international folk circuit for over twenty five years ever since the John Wright Band burst onto the scene in the early nineties. From his beloved homeland of the Scottish Borders the band propelled Kenny from the pubs and clubs of his local area to some of the biggest festival stages throughout the U.K. and Europe. In 2002 Kenny went on to form Real Time with his partner Judy Dinning. For the next eleven years they toured extensively all over Europe and in the U.S.A. until Judy’s untimely death in October 2013. Six albums from this intimate collaboration have been the highlight of his career to date. Since losing Judy, Kenny decided to carry on with Real Time, and continues to enjoy huge success with Eilidh Grant taking on the main singing duties. It is only now, after a very emotional period of reflection, that Kenny has been inspired to write and release his first CD of self-penned songs. “Sleepwalking” is a collection thirteen songs old and new marking a change of direction that moves him from highly accomplished bandsman to centre stage. Featuring guest musicians that include ex Strawbs guitarist Brian Willoughby, stellar uilleann piper Catherine Ashcroft and long-time collaborators Tommy Roseburgh, Fiona Cuthill and Stevie Lawrence, these songs form the basis of Kenny’s live shows, while there is always room for a few songs from the Border country that has always inspired him.
29th February 2024
£15.40 (inc bf more otd)
North Sea Gas, are one of Scotland’s best-loved folk groups who have toured the world, They reveal that the most popular Scottish song after 40 years is probably “Caledonia”. The band, who have made 21 albums including over 270 songs and 70 Scottish and Irish tunes, are massively popular in the United States, Europe, and particularly Germany. ‘Fans expect us to play favourites like “Fear A’Bhata” and “Johnny Cope”’ said Dave Gilfillan, the band’s founder-member. But there's always a request for “Caledonia”. From humble beginnings at The White Hart Inn in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket the band’s career has taken them to every part of the world with a regular circuit in Europe and North America. Their experiences include hosting legendary late night shows in the early 80s at the Caley Cinema in Edinburgh with guests such as Hamish Imlach and Johnny Cunningham. They've appeared at many of the top folk festivals and shared stages with Dame Edna Everage, and Gene Pitney, and many more household names over the years. The band’s 21 albums have seen various personnel changes and their latest 22nd album will be a triple compilation album (featuring new material) to mark their 40th anniversary, Named appropriately “A Long Road” . The current North Sea Gas line-up has been the most stable with Gilfillan and fellow band member Ronnie MacDonald working together for twenty years and Grant Simpson joining them 16 years ago. 40 years down the road it's a Black Swan Folk Club debut for North Sea Gas.
7th March 2024
£15.40 (inc bf more otd)
One of the most exciting duos to emerge from the UK in recent times, Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow combine heartfelt musicality, unparalleled virtuosity and vocal harmony. Using the folk music of the British Isles as a catalyst, Kit and Aaron create dynamic and effervescent interpretations of centuries-old material as well as original songs and compositions, all the while celebrating the timeless aural quality of a guitar, fiddle and vocals duet. Studio albums The Fox (2016) and Pill Pilots (2019) have been met by wide critical acclaim, receiving five star reviews and local and national airplay. The duo tour extensively in the UK and internationally across Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. BBC 2’s Mark Radcliffe is a champion of their work, saying “Kit and Aaron are reminiscent of the late Dave Swarbrick and Martin Carthy… I can give them no higher accolade. They are at the top of their game”. “Fleet fingered and ingeniously arranged. .....deserve to be thought of as up there with the best of them" - Songlines “Such dexterity, energy and passion.....mightily impressive” - R2 Magazine “The pair demonstrate an eclectic approach that lifts them head and shoulders above the rest”-Acoustic Magazine “Never a dull moment, with imagination firing throughout and an abundance of creative energy” -Living Tradition
The SAM SWEENEY Band (Concert at the Crescent Club)
12th March 2024
£20.90 (inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Following the colossal success of supporting Bellowhead on their comeback tour in 2022, Sam is taking to the road to play his genre-defying landmark album, Escape That, with his all-star band. Featuring Louis Campbell on electric guitar, Ben Nicholls on double bass and Stuart McCallum on acoustic guitar, this will be a gig you don’t want to miss. Sam is one of England’s finest and most in demand traditional musicians, however Escape That is his first entirely self-composed record. It ties together all of Sam’s musical passions in an honest and fearless expression of himself. Sam and his band are putting something into English music that has never been there before and pressing the reset button on how folk music should sound. Combining Sam’s love for traditional music with strong pop hooks and aesthetics, this music is unashamed in its wide pool of influences. He is a veteran of the mighty Bellowhead, former artistic director of the National Folk Youth Ensemble, founder member of the acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret, and a genre defining instrumentalist at the forefront of the revival in English traditional music.
14th March 2024
£11(inc bf more otd)
Firm favourites at The Black Swan Folk Club, Duncan McFarlane is a highly regarded singer-guitarist who splits his sets equally between traditional fare and his own songs which are written, most definitely, in the trad idiom. Rated by Mike Harding as a 'fine showman', his intrinsic seriousness of intent and approach is laced with a healthy irreverence and humour that The Living Tradition magazine calls 'hugely entertaining'. Accompanying him on fiddle and harmony vocal duties will be Anne Brivonese. Together they've made several albums over the years, including 'All Rogues and Villains' which gained a five-star review from R2 magazine. Mike Harding also says: 'Duncan writes some great stuff and I love his lively versions of traditional folk songs; absolutely great; really powerful playing and singing.'
21st March 2024
£3 min donation otd no advance tickets
Everyone welcome, singers, musicians, performers and listeners. Using the mic is optional.
28th March 2024
£16.50(inc bf more otd)
For nearly 15 years now, the three members of The Langan Band have been carving out their own lawlessly virtuosic path of sound; rampaging through the boundaries of conventional genre and cavorting into the territories of wild abandon, purest intimacy, and unconditional musical elation. The trio were initially brought together by a deep respect of traditional song and music, yet they discovered a mutual love of the evisceration and regeneration of these pieces into provocative and fascinating new compositions, as was recognised by the band winning the prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival at the start of their journey together. This sound and process went on to inform the band’s now mostly original repertoire, and has resulted in a musical experience quite unlike any other.
4th April 2024
£14.30(inc bf more otd)
Liz Stringer is one of Australia’s most admired and versatile songwriters and instrumentalists. A venerated guitarist and vocalist, her notoriously powerful live performances and melodically rich, story-based songs have earned her a unique place among the most important Australian songwriters of the modern era. Stringer’s sixth studio album First Time Really Feeling, recorded with producer Chris Stringer in Toronto, Canada debuted at #14 on the ARIA Charts, won an AIR Award for Best Blues and Roots Album 2022 and helped her to achieve a new level of industry and audience recognition after many years of being Melbourne’s ‘best kept secret’. Stringer was Port Fairy Folk Festival’s 2023 Artist of the year, following eighteen months performing in iconic Australian band Midnight Oil as backing vocalist and occasional instrumentalist and opening shows for the Oils across Australia, Aotearoa and North America. In 2019 Stringer was honoured at Woodford Folk Festival as an 'emerging legend of Australian song' with a performance of selections from her back catalogue by her musical peers. 2023 saw Stringer embark on her most ambitious recording project yet, promising another extraordinary chapter in the development of this singular artist. An exciting debut for this artisi and a chance to see her in the intimate setting of The Black Swan Folk Club
UFQ (Urban Folk Quartet) (Concert at the Crescent Club)
8th April 2024
£19.80 (inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Back with us in York once again. In an age where the word “folk” encompasses everything from acoustic pop to hardcore traditional music, the use of such labels to distinguish one musical experience from another has arguably been stretched farther than ever. The Urban Folk Quartet’s distinguishing features have much less to do with the traditional idea of genre. Yes, this is fiddle-led music that draws heavily from celtic dance forms and traditional song but from there on in it is unlike any folk band you have ever heard. Just as English country dance unassumingly met with big band jazz musicianship in the mid 20th century, The UFQ’s approach to the folk ethos is to embrace any and every influence that genuinely makes sense of their time and place and makes sense in their music. From funk grooves to middle-eastern melodies, afrobeat to north Indian rhythms.
BLONDE on BOB 'Nothin'But Dylan' (Concert at the Crescent Club)
9th April 2024
£11 (inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Blonde on Bob are back at the Crescent with their new six piece line up. As usual it's 'Nothin' but the songs of Bob Dylan'.
11th April 2024
£3 min donation otd no advance tickets
Everyone welcome, singers, musicians, performers and listeners. Using the mic is optional.
18th April 2024
£15.40 (inc bf more otd))
One of our favourite duos at The Black Swan Folk Club, Craig and Willoughby make a welcome return, Cathryn Craig has sung with Chet Atkins, Shel Silverstein, The Righteous Brothers and Jorma Kaukonen. Her great-grandfather Jacob Sowder was recorded by Cecil Sharp and featured in his book English Folk Songs From The Southern Appalachians. Brian Willoughby is best known for his virtuoso performances on electric and acoustic guitar, with progressive folk/rock band Strawbs and also with Mary Hopkin, Joe Brown, Roger Whittaker, Bridget St.John, Jim Diamond and Monty Python. Both Cathryn and Brian have accompanied and recorded with Nanci Griffith. In 2019, Brian rejoined Strawbs for their 50th. Anniversary concerts in the USA and Cathryn was invited to sing with the band. The duo’s Alice’s Song was an Aled Jones Highlight of the Year on BBC Radio 2 and Strawbs’ recording of the song, was used by The National Autistic Society as its theme tune for Autism Awareness. Cathryn was Simon Mayo's star guest on BBC Radio 2Day, live from Nashville. The Telegraph’s Martin Chilton named the duo as his Folk Gig Pick of the year. nominated Cathryn and Brian in their “Best Duo” category. Long live traditional music, even when it's only just been written (The Living Tradition) … sublime guitar work and one of the finest voices around ( "I love that duo ... what a perfect combination ... great songs, great singing and of course, there’s Brian's spellbinding guitar work .. just magic." Noel Casey (Dublin City FM)
25th April 2024
£3 pay on the door
Everyone very welcome, listeners, singers and musicians, Just leave your name on the door to get a spot. Doors 7-30pm starts 8pm.
FARA (Concert at the Crescent Club)
28th April 2024
£19.25(inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Fired up and raring to go after a lockdown spent creating hugely popular film project, ‘The Orkney Series’, Scottish powerhouse quartet FARA unveiled their highly anticipated third studio album in 2022. Bursting with brand new self-penned instrumental tracks, and with songs adapted from the words of Orcadian poets, ‘Energy Islands’ is fuelled by their native Orkney’s revolutionary role in renewable energy. Immensely popular it enterted the UK folk charts at no 10! Fusing the talents of three fine Orcadian fiddlers and vocalists – Jeana Leslie, Catriona Price and Kristan Harvey – alongside stand-out Highland pianist and newest member Rory Matheson, FARA have firmly secured their foothold at the forefront of the Scottish folk scene since taking 2014’s Orkney Folk Festival by storm. Their unique mix of spell-binding vocals, intricately woven fiddle harmonies and energetic closers, combined with an obvious kinship born in childhood, is sure to delight and entertain audiences wherever they go. Shortlisted in 2015’s Scots Trad Music Awards for Up and Coming Act of the Year, the band performed a triumphant set at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at the Albert Hall as Horizon Award nominees and have gone on to win a German Critics’ Choice Award and a Live Act of the Year nomination at 2019’s Scots Trad Music Awards. They continue to tour internationally, with sell-out performances at festivals across Europe, Australia and North America, as well as a tour of China in 2023.
2nd May 2024
£15.40(inc bf more otd)
The Black Swan Folk Club presents another evening of superlative Scottish Folk Music. Two hugely successful performers who are reaffirming the well known quality of Scottish female singers - a lineage stretching back throughthe great tradition bearers like Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, and the Stewarts of Blairgowrie.
SOUND of the SIRENS with special guest Nick Parker (NCEM Concert)
4th May 2024
£18.15 (inc bf more otd)
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Sound of the Sirens are a singer-songwriting duo based in Exeter, Devon comprising of Abbe Martin & Hannah Wood. Honing their craft over the past decade, Martin & Wood have cemented themselves as firm favourites as “one of the UK’s finest folk acts” not only on the Westcountry scene, but nationally, and internationally too. Their status, and fast-growing fan-base is not only testament to the pair’s prowess as songwriters and musicians, but as people too. Martin & Wood are two of the hardest working musicians on the scene and wear their hearts very much on their sleeves in terms of their songwriting. The pair glide gracefully through laments of past relationships, and life experiences, as well as highlighting the important topics of the day, namely mental health awareness, and homelessness. Without being pigeonholed into any stereotypical genre, the instrumentation of the band is vast, and varied. Martin (stage right) plays acoustic and high-strung (Nashville tuning) guitar, mandolin, and bass drum, while partner in crime Wood (stage left) plays acoustic and electric guitar, tambourine, snare drum, and the piano. The pairs’ musical and vocal dexterity dovetail beautifully on the co-written songs, which range from beautiful, emotive ballads, to up-beat, foot stomping, hands in the air, sing-along anthems. The dynamic duo and their musical creations translate very well onto recorded media, but it is in the live arena where the pair truly excel. There is a certain majesty about their live performances that simply cannot be put into words. It is this “je ne sais quoi” that keeps their loyal fans returning from far and wide to see these two perform. It is not just nearly two hours of high-quality live music you get for the entrance fee, a Sound of the Sirens show is much more than that. The onstage chemistry, camaraderie, and banter is worth the ticket price alone. ‘Since their impressive 2013 debut, Sound of the Sirens has been expressing their musical masterpieces all around the world. Their majestic prowess on stage attracts fans from far and wide to witness their chemistry and camaraderie.‘ Ailovemusic Support on this show will be singer-songwriter NICK PARKER
9th May 2024
£3 min donation otd no advance tickets
Everyone welcome, singers, musicians, performers and listeners. Using the mic is optional.
ALLAN TAYLOR 'The Road Well Travelled' (NCEM Concert)
10th May 2024
£19.50 (inc bf)
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Songs, stories and anecdotes of more than fifty years on the road Accompanied by his own songs and music Allan will talk about his life and times from the 60’s in London, through to the 70’s in America (New York, Los Angeles, Nashville) and then on to the 80’s in Europe and up until the present day. He will describe the experiences that led to the songs, the recordings, (more than 25 albums to date) and in excess of one hundred and fifty cover versions. ‘the most important songwriter of his generation’ Dr. Frederick Woods in the Oxford Book of Traditional Verse.
KATHERINE PRIDDY (Concert at the Crescent Club)
15th May 2024
£17.60(inc bf more otd))
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Since emerging with her debut EP ‘Wolf’, UK singer-songwriter Katherine Priddy has quickly become one of the most exciting names on the British music scene. Priddy’s haunting vocals and distinctive finger-picking guitar style have already seen her sell out a headline tour, perform at prestigious festivals around the UK and abroad, including Glastonbury where she featured on their BBC 2 coverage, and support a number of world class artists including Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III and Vashti Bunyan, as well as a recent show with Guy Garvey at The Roundhouse. She also recently featured on a Double LP of Nick Drake covers released by Chrysalis Records with other artists such as Self Esteem, Aldous Harding and John Grant. Her debut album, ‘The Eternal Rocks Beneath’, was released in June 2021 to great acclaim. The album singles received 200+ plays across national radio including BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 2 and reached No.1 in the Official UK Folk Charts. Now, early 2024 sees the release of Priddy’s eagerly-awaited second album, The Pendulum Swing, on February 16th, via Cooking Vinyl. The LP explores themes of home, family, love and memory, as Priddy seeks to move forwards whilst acknowledging and honouring all that has gone before. Her live performances are engaging, moving and amusing by turn, delivering original songs with emotional maturity, depth and particularly noteworthy lyrics. Despite the delicate nuances of her sound, Katherine Priddy is not a fragile wallflower, but a determined young woman making her mark.
16th May 2024
£15.40(inc bf more otd)
Singer, harpist and composer Rachel Newton draws on poems, ballads and stories that are hundreds of years old, working them into her contemporary compositional style to create a rich sound that is ambitious, original and unique. Rachel has worked and performed with artists from a range of disciplines including theatre, dance, storytelling and visual art. A skilled collaborator, Rachel is a founder member of The Furrow Collective and the Lost Words: Spell Songs, as well as the duo project Heal & Harrow with long time friend and colleague Lauren MacColl. Rachel was named Musician of the Year at both the Scots Trad Music Awards and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Her albums To The Awe and Here's My Heart Come Take It were shortlisted as one of Scotland's top 10 outstanding albums in the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award. She was awarded a Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) for Best Music and Sound for her work with the Rowantree Theatre Company and PRS Composer of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards alongside Heal & Harrow collaborator Lauren MacColl. Co-founder of The Bit Collective, a group focusing on equality and diversity in folk and traditional music, Rachel has organised various campaigns and events, including the Trad. Reclaimed: Women in Folk festival at Kings Place, London in 2019. Rachel' previous solo releases are The Shadow Side (2012), Changeling (2014), Here's My Heart Come Take It (2016) and West (2018). November 2020 marked the release of her fifth solo album To The Awe, based particularly around women’s experience. 'A beauty' **** Observer 'Haunting and compelling' **** The Guardian 'Harp and strings blur the border between worlds' **** The Financial Times
23rd May 2024
£14.30(inc bf more otd)
Miranda Sykes has visited the Black Swan Folk Club several times before but this is only the second time she'll be performing in a solo capacity. Of her solo venture she says- 'It feels like a lifetime ago that the world was in lockdown and the hugs and closeness of family and friends seemed like a far off dream. Many still have to be careful, many bear scars of the Pandemic and the long term effects of this on us all is yet to be realised. My new album ‘Out of the woods’ is a collection of songs that have seen me through my own journey of isolation, illness and recovery and I hope they bring you as much comfort as they did me over the past few turbulent years.' Miranda started her career as a musician in 1996 at the age of 18, playing bass guitar in a country rock band. After 2 years touring and playing for line dancing in working mens clubs across Britain, folk-rock band Pressgang were looking for a bass player. Miranda spent the next 2 years touring internationally with them. After a few years of musical promiscuity playing with Firebrand, Little Johnny England, Robb Johnson, Bill Jones, Steafan Hannigan, Reg Meuross, Kirsty McGee, The Phil Beer Band, Martyn Joseph and The Scoville Units; Miranda depped for Pete Zorn in the 2004 Show Of Hands festival band line up. She worked with them for the next 20 years. Miranda also found time for a short tour and album with the Miranda Sykes Band in 2005, duo album tours with mandolin player Rex Preston and 2 solo albums. 2024 brings a second tour with Hannah Martin, a new Baring-Gould Centenary project with Jim Causley, summer festivals with vocal group Daphne’s Flight, a tour with The Phil Beer Trio and a new solo album and tour “Out Of The Woods”.
30th May 2024
£3 on the door no advance tickets
As always everyone is welcome to the Open Mic night singers, musicians and listeners. Using the PA is optional. Doors 7-3ppm start 8pm put your name down on the list at the door for a spot.
6th June 2024
£17.60 (inc bf more otd)
Undoubtedly one of the finest musical nights we've had at the Black Swan Folk Club was when Tony and Julia last played here in 2022. On the eve of our annual City of York 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend we're delighted to welcome them back for another intimate concert in the club room. “Tony’s music is beyond beautiful, it’s perfect” – Tommy Emmanuel “Julia’s bell like voice and her filigrane fiddle playing are thrilling. She moves effortlessly from fiddle to guitar...” – Salon Festival Tony McManus is the leading celtic guitarist worldwide and has just been listed as one of the 50 transcendental guitarists of all time by Guitar Player Magazine. While Tony is known as a soloist his frequent collaborations with diverse musicians have always been a significant part of his work. Julia Toaspern is a multi-talented musician from Berlin who combines classical training on violin and voice with a wide interest in genres such as jazz, baroque and traditional music. She has released two albums of original songs and has performed in both classical and singer/songwriter modes on both sides of the Atlantic. On top of all this her skills as a guitarist are prodigious and make an exciting fit with Tony’s work. Their twin guitar treatment of traditional music is unique and each supports the other in exploring the harmonic possibilities of these old, and not so old, tunes. Each of the pair both flatpicks and fingerpicks at the highest level but always at the service of the tune rather than a display of technique. Her violin can effortlessly morph into a fiddle as she weaves from Italian madrigal to Scottish reel. Julia’s songs go to the heart of love and loss, hope and survival and are inflected with musical input from a wide and eclectic experience of musical life. Tony’s and Julia’s arrangements are rooted in deep musicality and heartfelt expression. Having met over a conversation in Berlin about JS Bach, together they play and sing music that speaks to them and hopefully through them to a wider audience.
CITY of YORK 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend Day 1 GAELFORCE
7th June 2024
£11(inc bf more otd)
Celtic Folk Rock Band GAELFORCE kick off the City of York 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend. An exciting new beginning for our annual 3 days of Folk and Roots music. Based in Yorkshire UK, GAELFORCE play rocked up traditional folk music plus self penned songs, jigs and reels in the traditional style. They feature Chris Dyson on fiddle and vocals (Mike Harding Band, Roisin Ban), Geoff Taylor guitars (Duncan McFarlane Band), Sammy Dowgill on vocals and bass and Jim Brierley vocals and drums plus Craid McIntosh on highland bagpipes (Pipe Major with the Los Angeles Pipe Band USA). This concert will be held in the marquee situated in the car park at the rear of the Black Swan.
CITY of YORK 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend Day 2
8th June 2024
This is a free event.
As usual re have non-stop music over the Folk Weekend starting at 1pm on Saturday in the marquee situated in the car park behind the Black Swan Inn. Artists appearing include :- Monkey’s Fist, The Duncan McFarlane Band, Blonde On Bob 'Nothin' But Dylan', Chechelele, Holly Taymar, The Ale Marys and Les Rustiques. There'll also be music in The Wolfe Room upstairs in the Black Swan Inn. Artists featured here will be:- Mick O’Hara, Phil Pipe, Mary Callan Peter Lister and Tim Pheby from 3pm and then Phil Cerny Toni Bunnell, The Rattlers, John Storey, Martin Heaton, Judith Haswell and Stan Graham from 7pm through to 10-30pm. There's also a Come All Ye throughout the day in the front room downstairs.
CITY of YORK 'Roland Walls' Folk Weekend Day 3
9th June 2024
This is a free event.
The second day of our 2024 Folk Weekend begins in the Marquee situated in the car park behind the Black Swan Inn at 12-50pm with music from:- The Bounty Hunters, Leather’o, The Old Humpy Band, Soundsphere, Edwina Hayes, White Sail and Caramba. There'll also be Morris dancing from the Minster Strays. The Wolfe Room concert upstairs in the pub starts at 3pm and features- Simon Alexander, Alex O’Neil, Paul Culkin, Tommy Coyle and The Barbarellas. From 7pm the line-up is Pen & Stu, Sarah Dean, Eddie Affleck, Chris Euesden, Paula Ryan and Stuart Giddens (from Blackbeard's Tea Party). To round off the weekend between 10 and 10-30pm we'll be having a Final Jam Session where anything can happen.
13th June 2024
£3 on the door no advance tickets.
As always everyone is welcome to the Open Mic night singers, musicians and listeners. Using the PA is optional. Doors 7-3ppm start 8pm put your name down on the list at the door for a spot.
20th June 2024
£3 on the door no advance tickets
As always everyone is welcome to the Open Mic night singers, musicians and listeners. Using the PA is optional. Doors 7-3ppm start 8pm put your name down on the list at the door for a spot.
27th June 2024
£13.20 (inc bf) more otd.
Enda Kenny is an Irish-born Australian folk-singer and songwriter. He's visited the Black Swan Folk Club before and given us some highly entertaining performances. Born in Dublin he migrated to Melbourne and released his debut album, Twelve Songs, in 1994. Though self-recorded and self-released, the album received generally solid reviews, and was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as "the best folk album to be released in this country since Eric Bogle's "Scraps of Paper" It was followed by Baker's Dozen in 1996, which received similarly positive reviews. A song from that album, Rabin, about assassinated former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, won the Lawson Paterson Award for Songwriting at the Port Fairy Folk Festival. After a brief hiatus, Kenny released his fourth album, Cloud Lining, in 2001 and then Here and There in 2005. In his review of Here and There, Sydney Morning Herald music reviewer Bruce Elder described Kenny as "the best folk singer-songwriter working in Australia. Kenny has regularly performed at a number of music festivals around the country, including the National Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and Illawarra Folk Festival. We welcome him back to the Black Swan Folk Club on this latest UK tour with a brand new album 'After the Interval' under his belt.