Black Swan Folk Club

Club Programme

Tickets for guest nights at the Black Swan are available from www.wegottickets.com. Search under venue "York Black Swan" or click on the links in the listings below. WeGotTickets charge a simple 10% booking fee on top of face value and email you a booking reference rather than posting a ticket, meaning you can book until 6pm on the day. Bring the booking reference number with you but do not bother to print out the whole booking confirmation.

Early booking is advised for very popular artists - we do sometimes sell out in advance!

Special concessionary rates (half the normal price on guest nights) are available for under-18s and full-time students.

All tickets are slightly cheaper if pre-booked at www.wegottickets.com compared to prices on the door.

Early Music Centre concert tickets are handled by the NCEM Box Office, either online or on 01904 658338.

Singers Nights are "pay-on-the-door" only events.

Doors open at 7:45pm each Thursday, 7pm at the NCEM

JOHN SMITH (NCEM Concert)
29th September 2021
£16 16
Guest Photo
National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Against the backdrop of a universally difficult 2020, songwriter and guitarist John Smith found himself facing personal and unrelenting change. In the spring of 2020, Smith and his wife lost a pregnancy, and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. With his touring schedule of two hundred days a year on the road suddenly on indefinite hiatus, for the first time in over a decade, John was home. “With newfound pain coming from so many directions, dealing with the uncertainty it brings, I closed the curtains and picked up the pen, turning to songwriting as a lifeline.” It’s unsurprising that the new songs reflect a shift in priorities. On his new album ‘The Fray’, Smith gives us an uplifting perspective on the path forward, but pays beautiful homage to the difficulties along the way. ‘The Fray’ is Smith’s sixth studio album, and his vulnerability throughout is offered to his listeners, unadorned. “It’s been a hell of a year, but I feel I’ve created my most honest work as a result, and as a necessity. A lot of these songs are about accepting that life is hard, but just holding on and trying to enjoy it anyway.” Smith’s stubborn optimism in tough circumstances shines through on the title track, in which he sings “Holding onto hope / I don’t need a decent reason / Yes and though it disappears sometimes / It returns with every season”. Smith co-produced ‘The Fray’ with long-time friend and producer Sam Lakeman. They recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio, with pianist Jason Rebello (Sting, John Mayer), bass player Ben Nicholls (Seth Lakeman, Nadine Shah), Drummer Jay Sikora (Paolo Nutini) and Jessica Staveley-Taylor of The Staves. The album is a true reflection of the times, with American collaborators Sarah Jarosz, Courtney Hartman, The Milk Carton Kids and Bill Frisell recording remotely and sending contributions over international borders. John’s frequent touring partner Lisa Hannigan contributed via a virtual studio session in Dublin. Smith co-wrote a couple of songs for the album whilst on tour before the pandemic. Driving a rental car from Asheville to Nashville, John stopped to write the standout track ‘Eye to Eye’ with North Carolina-based Sarah Siskind. The Americana influence is a red thread throughout the album which beautifully compliments Smith’s unmistakeable British Folk roots. Smith was born in Essex and raised on the Devon seaside. Known for his intimate songwriting, his honey-on-gravel voice and pioneering guitar playing, he has spent the last fifteen years touring internationally and has amassed over 40 million streams on Spotify. As a session musician he has played guitar with artists as diverse as Joan Baez, David Gray, Joe Henry, Lianne La Havas and Tom Jones. “wonderfully unforced” ***** The Independent “He’s a magician” - Ben Howard “Spellbinding” - Time Out “The guitarists’ guitarist” - The Sunday Times “Staggeringly good” - Acoustic Magazine
LIAM O MAONLAI (Hothouse Flowers) special guests White Sail and Paula Ryan
This concert is now SOLDOUT.
10th October 2021
£18 plus booking fee 18
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
A Sunday Afternoon gig not to miss. 2 Summers ago a sold out audience at Pocklingtons Platform Festival were thrilled to witness a brilliant headlining appearance by Ireland's iconic band The Hothouse Flowers. In the middle of a stunning performance, the lead singer, Liam O'Maonlai entertained the crowd with a marvellous solo acoustic spot featuring his deep love and respect for Irish traditional music by presenting songs and stories largely in Gaelic. Many at that gig remarked that what was a world class band performance was thus elevated to another level entirely. During that solo interlude Liam invited up on stage the golden voiced singer and York resident Jane Stockdale from the band White Sail. It was a memorable show. Now you can see Liam do a full & rare solo show at The Black Swan Folk Club supported by White Sail and Paula Ryan . Back in the day The Hothouse Flowers had a worldwide 'hit' record on their hands with Liam's song "Don't Go". You Must Come!!
KATHRYN ROBERTS and SEAN LAKEMAN (NCEM Concert)
20th October 2021
£15-£17 1517
Guest Photo
National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
2021 marks 26 years of making music together for this popular wife and husband duo. Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have long established themselves as one of the UK folk scene’s most rewardingly enduring partnerships. To celebrate and acknowledge this milestone, the couple will revisit and reinterpret songs which span their career. From the early days of folk supergroup ‘Equation’ through to the current release ‘Personae’ with a nod or two along the way to their extracurricular musical adventures, the evening promises a whistle-stop tour through their artistic journey to date. ‘It’s folk music for the modern age.’ The Telegraph
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28th October 2021
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
McCusker, Doyle, McGoldrick (Concert at the Crescent Club)
3rd November 2021
£20 20
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The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
Folk music’s legendary triumvirate of musical magpies Mike McGoldrick, John Doyle and John McCusker are out on the road again in 2021. As winter turns to spring Mike, John & John will wrap up their stint on Transatlantic Sessions for another year and bring you their own blend of top class folk songs, tunes and charming bonhomie. With their recently released album, ‘The Wishing Tree’ this will be an evening to remember. Described as the masters of flute, fiddle, song and guitar they have worked with the biggest and brightest and bring you a night of beautifully crafted music. Having shared stages and recording studios with everyone from Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler to Paul Weller, Joan Baez and Linda Thompson. Mike, John & John are a rare musical treat you’ll savour for a very long time. "The Wishing Tree is exceptional and has to be a front-runner for album of the year" Folk Radio "A sparklingly tight programme... an excellent sound balance... never tiresome" The Scotsman "It takes a lifetime of playing to sound as effortless as these guys" The Herald "What an absolute pleasure to share in their warmth, intimacy and richly talented company" Folking.com
Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage
4th November 2021
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Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York

This concert has been POSTPONED.
11th November 2021
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
RACHEL SERMANNI (NCEM Concert)
23rd November 2021
£14 adv plus booking fee 14
Guest Photo
National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Rachel Sermanni has announced a new EP, ‘Swallow Me’, that charts her journey to motherhood. Written predominantly while pregnant on tour in the US, the lead single actually sees us begin at the journey’s end. The Scottish songwriter celebrates the innate spirituality that inspired her to surrender to the tides to achieve a clarity. Those already familiar with Sermanni’s music will know her from her appearances at Celtic Connections and her associations with Mumford and Sons, Elvis Costello and Rumer. ‘Think Joni Mitchell meets Lisa Hannigan, with a delectably eccentric Scottish twist’ The Guardian ‘Beautifully honest…sweetly poetic in its lyricism yet deadly accurate in arrangement’ Clash
ALLAN TAYLOR
25th November 2021
£13.20 (inc booking fee) 13.20
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Allan Taylor is one of the last of the travelling troubadours who came through the London and New York Greenwich Village folk music scene of the sixties and seventies. He’s travelled the world performing at festivals, concert halls and clubs. Considered to be one of the foremost singer-songwriters and guitarists in his genre, with more than one hundred and fifty recorded versions of his songs by Artists in ten different languages, he’s made more than twenty CDs/Albums and continues to write, record and tour throughout Europe.
KAIA KATER
This concert has been POSTPONED.
2nd December 2021
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
As a new generation takes the reins, American roots music is needed more than ever to remind us of the troubled pathways of our own history. Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: one her family’s deep ties to Canadian folk music in her Toronto home; the other the years she spent learning and studying Appalachian music in West Virginia. Her songs are fueled by her rich low tenor vocals, jazz-influenced instrumentation, and beautifully understated banjo, and they’ve got as much in common with Kendrick Lamar right now as they do with Pete Seeger.
MARTIN CARTHY
8th December 2021
£16.50(inc booking fee) 16.50
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
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. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) was the latest. Whether in the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed `Originals’ music documentary strand on BBC 2) – there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn’t played. 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. `Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all’ Q Magazine ‘Carthy is a master of the ballad of substance, songs that tell stories, whether they are traditional, his own or from contemporary writers.’ The Telegraph
MARTIN CARTHY
9th December 2021
£16.50(inc booking fee) 16.50
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
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. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) was the latest. Whether in the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed `Originals’ music documentary strand on BBC 2) – there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn’t played. 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. `Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all’ Q Magazine ‘Carthy is a master of the ballad of substance, songs that tell stories, whether they are traditional, his own or from contemporary writers.’ The Telegraph
GRACE PETRIE at the Crescent Club YORK
23rd May 2022
£14 14
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Moved from 25 October 2021. All tickets purchased for the original date(s) are still valid. A folk singer, songwriter and activist from Leicester, UK, she has been writing, recording and touring relentlessly for ten years. Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered, have won over audiences everywhere, across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes.
DELLA MAE (Concert at the Crescent Club)
30th August 2022
£16.50(inc. booking fee) 16.50.
Guest Photo
The Crescent Club, 8 The Crescent, YORK, YO24 1AW
This concert takes place at the Crescent Club. 8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW.
In the making of their fourth album Headlight, Grammy award-nominated band Della Mae has claimed a more daring sense of freedom than they’d ever allowed themselves before. Their first full-length since their 2015 self-titled record, Headlight matches its raw intensity with an unbridled joy. Described as ‘the record we’ve always wanted to make’, Della Mae views their newfound lack of restraint as an imperative for the all-female band. Boldly breaking genre convention, the band have pushed beyond their bluegrass roots and followed their instinct to their most sonically adventurous body of work to date – embracing the album’s potential as a platform for change and delivering a collection of songs at turns fearlessly personal and powerfully resonant. This is a seated show. Tickets booked for previous date valid for this performance. Promoted by The Black Swan Folk Club and Please Please You.
Maria Dunn with Shannon Johnson (rescheduled from 9 September 2021)
8th September 2022
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Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York