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

(Sunday Extra) YORK'S WINTER FOLK DAY
30th January 2022
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
More information coming soon.
30th January 2022
Free to York Residents
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Our annual Folk Day with live folk music in the club room 2pm to 5-30pm and 7-30pm to 10-30pm. Part of York Resident's Festival. More details will be announced soon.
JARROD DICKENSON (NCEM Concert)
2nd February 2022
£15.40 (inc booking fee) 15.40
Guest Photo
National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
Storytelling is something of a Texas tradition. Tall hats and even taller tales are woven into the fabric of The Lone Star State, and singer-songwriter Jarrod Dickenson can spin a yarn with the best of them. Hailing from Waco, now based in Nashville via Brooklyn, Dickenson spends most of his time on the road bringing his own particular brand of soulful Americana to a wide variety of music loving audiences around the globe. Hot off the heels of his fully sold-out ‘Unplugged & Distilled’ acoustic tour at the end of 2019, Dickenson returns to the UK for an electrified duo show with new songs and stories in tow. ‘His songs carry an independent spirit and grit… a hard-bitten, yet romantic eye that seems bred into Lone Star Songwriters.’ Q Magazine ‘Jarrod Dickenson’s rootsy, broad-ranged Americana draws deeply from tradition while forging all-new sounds.’ PopMatters ‘His deep, emotional, often luxurious voice envelops songs of love and loss, enticing you into these stories.’ American Songwriter
BROOKS WILLIAMS and AARON CATLOW
3rd February 2022
£13.20 inc. booking fee 13.20.
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
BROOKS WILLIAMS & AARON CATLOW January 2022 marks thirty two years since Brooks Williams’ first album came out. Thirty two years since the Washington Post’s glowing review of that album. Thirty two years since National Public Radio’s Noah Adams interviewed him about that album. It’s where it all began. The subsequent twenty-eight recordings, the countless international tours and festival appearances, the countless hours and miles on the road and in the studio. When it came time to put together an album reflecting songs from across those thirty two years, Williams immediately thought of fiddler Aaron Catlow. The two met on a tour in The Netherlands in the snowy winter of 2019. “I loved his tone and vibe immediately” says Williams, “the breadth of styles under his fingertips reminded me of how I think about my music and I thought he’d bring a great sound to the project and tour.” And so he has! Listen the interplay on Williams’ signature cover of Dave Alvin’s “King of California” or the drive of Williams’ “Not Haunted Anymore.” The interplay was instantly, and intuitively, present. Williams, a Stateboro, Georgia USA native, now makes his home in Cambridge UK. Besides his busy solo touring schedule, he collaborates with Boo Hewerdine in their State of the Union project, as well as an on-going collaboration with Rab Noakes. Williams has also orchestrated one-time collaborations with Hans Theessink, Sloan Wainwright, Guy Davis and Sally Barker. AmericanaUK described him as having, “a beautiful voice that you just melt into.” Blues Bytes said, “Pure talent, hard work and relentless touring have brought him to the pinnacle of his career.” Aaron Catlow is half of the Bristol based duo with Kit Hawes. Their take on acoustic and folk music is fresh and inventive. They re-shape traditional music as well as write their own. When not gigging with Kit, Aaron also plays with Yola Carter, Sheelanagig and, now, Brooks Williams. Songlines calls Catlow “Fleet fingered…” R2 Magazine remarks on the “dexterity, energy and passion...". Aaron Catlow will be on the road with Brooks Williams in early 2022. Catch ‘em when you can!
JOHN FRANCIS FLYNN (Concert at the Crescent Club)
7th February 2022
£11 (inc booking fee) 11
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.
Fresh from an exhilarating sold-out show at Whelans in Dublin and a double award-winning appearance at the 2021 RTE Folk Awards, John Francis Flynn returns to the UK for a more extensive tour after popping over briefly in 2021 to celebrate the release of his debut album. Press: ‘His solo flight swoops and soars with the confidence.’ The Irish Times ‘Folk Album of the Year’ Mojo Magazine **** ‘Human experience burns ferociously on this extraordinary debut from the uncompromising Irish artist John Francis Flynn. An extraordinary debut.’ The Guardian **** ‘Double Tin Whistle and Tape-Loops. Revelatory new takes on English and Irish folk songs in the manner of Sam Amidon. A singular and striking clarity of vision…. An extraordinary debut by any standard.’ Uncut Magazine ****
'THE MATTHEWS BAARTMANS CONSPIRACY' (Iain Matthews and B J Baartmans)
10th February 2022
£14.30 (inc booking fee) 14.30
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
His visits to the Black Swan are always highly anticipated. From Fairport Convention, to Matthews Southern Comfort through Plainsong and beyond Iain Matthews, now resident in Holland, returns with his latest collaboration 'The Matthews Baartmans Conspiracy. With Dutch guitarist B J Baartmans making up the other half of the duo they'll be playing songs from their latest album 'Distant Chatter' released on Talking Elephant.
'Open Mic-Singers and Musicians with a feature spot from DAVID SWANN
17th February 2022
£3 pay on the door no advance tickets. 3
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Another 'open mic' evening with a feature spot from one of our favourite local performers. David Swann is a folk singer and songwriter from Pickering. He writes story and comic songs about the people and places of North Yorkshire as well as songs about love lost & found. David accompanies himself on guitar and Ukelele. He's won the BBC Radio York 'Song For Yorkshire' competition, the anthem writing competition for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the inaugural songwriting competition for the Harvey Blogg Cup at Bedale Acoustic Music Festival.
PETE MORTON
24th February 2022
£11 adv. (inc booking fee) 11.
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
A man who's given us some fine evenings at the Black Swan Folk Club. Pete Morton began his musical journey after he came across a Buffy St Marie record. It was from that moment on he decided to become a folk singer. Discovering the songs of the early sixties protest movement, it inspired him to write and take his songs into folk clubs and beyond. For thirty years, Pete has been performing to audiences all over the world. Throughout that time he has been regarded as one the best on the contemporary roots music scene. His latest album 'A Golden Thread' has received rave reviews with eight newly self penned songs, a Pete Seeger classic 'Oh Had I A Golden Thread', and versions of the traditional gems, 'Barbry Allen' and 'The Farmers Boy'. Often referred to as an old time troubadour he has a compelling stage presence and approachable style that delivers an unruly mix of humanism, politics, love, social commentary and humour all wrapping its way around the folk tradition
BOB FOX
3rd March 2022
£13.20 advance 13.20
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
For more than 40 years BOB FOX has been regarded as one of “the iconic voices” of British folk song. Deeply influenced by the working class culture and industrial folk song prevalent in his native County Durham he has become a first rate exponent of storytelling through song. A career that began during the vibrant “folk revival” of the 60s and 70s in England led BOB into regular and extensive touring throughout the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand, firstly with fellow North Easterner Stu Luckley in their groundbreak-ing acoustic duo and later alongside such musical heavyweights as Ralph McTell, Richard Thompson, Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention.
BLAIR DUNLOP (Concert at the Crescent Club)
6th March 2022
£13.20 (inc. booking fee) 13.20
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.
For a man still in his twenties whose debut album Blight & Blossom, won the coveted Horizon Award at the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, whose 2010 debut EP is now a collector’s item, and who was declared the “vital bridge between Brit folk’s first and latest flowerings” by Q Magazine, one might think it easy to rest on the laurels of an already successful career but that’s certainly not the case; constantly searching for new sounds and techniques, Blair’s new music is already sounding unlike any of his previous releases. “I finally feel established enough to not need to talk about ‘folk references’ or ‘Americana references’, but to just write beautiful songs. Back to basics and simple presentation of melody matched with intensity of lyric will be the way forward for the forthcoming EP.” To support the new release Blair will tour extensively throughout March and April 2021 in the format that his fans love him best: one man and one guitar! Intimate selected venues have been chosen to allow the simplicity and sincerity of Blair’s songs and spellbinding live performances connect with his audience in the way Blair does best.
LUCY FARREL with special guest Iona Lane
10th March 2022
£11.20 inc booking fee 11.20
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Odd, unconventional melodies, poetic, sophisticated song-writing and the bewitching clarity of Kent-born,Canada-based Lucy Farrell’s voice are made elegant with sparse, careful accompaniment on tenor guitar and occasionally viola, carving out a unique niche for an artist at the forefront of ontemporary English folk music. Finding an international audience among artists like Julia Jacklin, Emily Portman, The Weather Station,The Unthanks and Eliza Carthy, the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner is not only awarded as a renowned composer and singer, but also as viola/fiddle/tenor guitar-player. Her work as a band member and collaborator with such artists and projects as Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band; Gluepot; Modern Fairies; The Furrow Collective; Carthy, Oates, Farrell & Young; and her duo work with Andrew Waite and Jonny Kearney, respectively has meant releasing a collection of her distinctive solo work has had to wait – until now. Songs from Lucy’s debut solo album, recorded at Wenlock Abbey in Much Wenlock, will soon be available.
'Open Mic' with a feature spot from RAMSHACKLE
17th March 2022
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
CLIVE CARROLL
31st March 2022
£12.10 (inc booking fee) 12.10
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
Another visit from this legendary guitarist. Born in England, Clive began his musical journey in Chelmsford, Essex. His parents had a taste for American country and old time music and it wasn’t long before Clive was playing in the family band on a homemade banjo. By his early teens, guitar in hand, he was traversing the worlds of soul, pop, funk, and traditional Irish music, balancing his affinity for Slayer with the etudes of Tárrega. This breadth of musical curiosity was to become one of his strengths. As a child Clive was comfortable playing with a group of folk singers, jamming along to Nirvana or performing standards with the Essex Youth Orchestra. He went on to earn a 1st Class Honours Degree in Composition and Guitar from the famed Trinity College of Music in London, all the while balancing his classical work with forays into the world of the steel string guitar. By the time he graduated from Trinity, Clive had not only penned orchestral works, he had written an album’s worth of solo acoustic guitar music. A chance meeting with English guitar legend John Renbourn proved the catalyst for Clive’s debut album, “Sixth Sense”, which Renbourn deemed “a milestone in the journey of the steel-string guitar”. He subsequently took Clive on the road with him and the pair toured North America and Europe together, launching Clive’s solo performing career. Since then, Clive has established himself as one of the world’s premier acoustic guitar players. He has toured across Europe, Australia, the Middle East and North America, garnering praise for his sublime performances of everything from 16th and 17th century lute music to Jazz standards, Blues, Irish reels and his own groundbreaking compositions. Lauded guitarist Tommy Emmanuel has also taken Clive on the road, and similar nods to Clive’s musicianship have been given by everyone from classical guitarist John Williams, to pop icon Madonna. To date, Clive has released four solo albums; “Sixth Sense”, “The Red Guitar”, “Life in Colour” and "The Furthest Tree". Clive has also written music for television and film, most notably composing the music for the film “Driving Lessons”, which features Julie Walters and Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame.
PEGGY SEGER and CALUM MacCOLL (Concert at the Crescent Club)
6th April 2022
£19.80 (inc booking fee) 19.80
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.
Making a very welcome return to The Crescent on her rescheduled ‘First Farewell Tour’, the charismatic Peggy Seeger – singer, songwriter, feminist, icon, Ewan MacColl’s partner and muse – is the undisputed queen of folk and political song. Join Peggy and her son Calum MacColl, an exceptional musician in his own right, for a glorious evening of up-close performance by these two world class musicians. Expect to hear some of Peggy’s new songs from her hugely successful ‘First Farewell’ album, some old favourites, a few surprises, and plenty of relaxed family banter. ‘Peggy may be folk royalty, but there’s nothing either reverent or nostalgic about this joyous and intimate performance.’ The Guardian ‘Glorious – Peggy is a commanding presence’ The Times
DEN MILLER
14th April 2022
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
SAM CARTER
21st April 2022
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Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
'Open Mic' Singers and Musicians
28th April 2022
Pay on the door. .
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
PETER KNIGHT'S GIGSPANNER BIG BAND (Concert at the Crescent Club)
30th April 2022
£24.20 adv(inc booking fee) 24.20
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.
"What a fabulous team they make, together producing a startlingly new musical form with few, if any, antecedents. The flights of musical fancy are staggering in their natural invention" Fatea Magazine "With the Gigspanner Big Band, Peter Knight has assembled a group of musicians intent on making some of the most important and exhilarating art ever to sit under the banner of folk music" FRUK The Gigspanner Big Band are a unique force in British folk music... Their high-energy, virtuosic performances appeal equally to traditionalists and to those looking for something more experimental, and they have garnered praise from publications as varied as fRoots, The Telegraph and The Wire, where they were described as ‘melodically folk-rooted yet open and innovative beyond the constraints of genre’ Beginning life as a trio - with legendary Steeleye Span fiddle player Peter Knight being joined by percussionist Sacha Trochet and guitarist Roger Flack - the line-up has been expanded to form the Gigspanner Big Band, with acclaimed multi-instrumental duo Edgelarks (Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin - BBC Folk Awards 'Best Duo') and Bellowhead co-founder and melodeon player extraordinaire, John Spiers, joining the fray. As collaborations go, it doesn't get much more mouth-watering than this. While Peter Knight, as part of Steeleye Span’s classic 1970s line-up, helped invent a brand of folk rock that is still influential today, John Spiers, has had an equally profound impact on the landscape of traditional music over the last two decades. Characterised by riotous inventiveness, technically gifted individual playing and subtle collaborative interaction, this coming together of several of the biggest names on the folk-roots scene, combines a deep knowledge of roots traditions with a ceaselessly boundary pushing approach. Taking self-penned material along with music rooted in the British Isles and beyond, with the flick of a bow, a finely chosen chord or slip of a beat, they produce richly atmospheric arrangements layered within a wealth of subliminal musical influences “with notes seemingly plucked from the stars and rhythms from the equator” Spiral Earth Unsurprisingly, the superlatives have come thick and fast... "Natural Invention is a stunning achievement - perhaps one of the most sophisticated and enchanting folk albums ever released" From the Margins "They don't play together often, but when they do it's spectacular” 5***** R2 Magazine “Utterly thrilling” Northern Soul "Totally blown away by the spellbinding Gigspanner Big Band. Lost for words..." Folking. Com “A powerfully vibrant act with one eye on the traditional clock for source material and the other firmly focused on the improvisational element of the music echoing Jazz, Classical and World music styles” Irish Music Magazine
ANDY IRVINE (Concert at the Crescent Club)
16th May 2022
£18.70 adv (inc booking fee). 18.70
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.
Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as "a tradition in himself." Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career. From Sweeney's Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, his duo with Paul Brady in the later 70s and then from Patrick Street to Mozaik, LAPD and Usher’s Island, Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.
GRACE PETRIE at the Crescent Club YORK
This concert is now SOLDOUT.
23rd May 2022
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.
KRIS DREVER plus RACHEL BAIMAN (NCEM Concert)
29th May 2022
£19.25(inc booking fee) 19.25
Guest Photo
National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL
This concert takes place at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, YO1 9TL.
On the heels of their respective new solo albums, Scottish folk star Kris Drever (LAU), and Nashville-based Americana artist Rachel Baiman present a joint tour of the UK and Scotland in the Spring of 2022, featuring solo sets from each as well as unique collaborations drawing on their respective original material. Acclaimed guitarist and songwriter Kris Drever has won multiple awards including 7 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, two shortlist nominations for Scottish Album of The Year (with his trio Lau) and much acclaim for his solo recordings and concerts including glowing reviews from The Herald, The Guardian, Mojo and Q Magazine. Kris has collaborated with Cream’s Jack Bruce, Tinariwen, Joan As Police Woman, Jerry Douglas, Danny Thompson, Rosanne Cash, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart, Seckou Keita, The Lost Words: Spell Songs collective and many more. With her 2017 debut Shame, Americana songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman emerged as a fearless voice of the American female experience. “Shame” was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love”, called a “Rootsy Wake-up Call” by Folk Alley, and described by Vice’s “Noisey” as “flipping off authority one song at a time.” On her new full-length album Cycles, Baiman has found a grittier musical medium for her signature unabashed and defiant songwriting, employing a majority-female team including co-producer Olivia Hally, known as the front woman of Indie-pop band Oh Pep! Drever and Baiman are both heavily seeped in folk traditions, yet happily influenced by modern sounds. Together they present a complimentary and transatlantic take on roots music, with stunning vocal harmonies and instrumental prowess.
THE UNTHANKS at YORK Barbican
31st May 2022
£24 plus booking fees 24
Guest Photo
Black Swan, Peasholme Green, York
The Unthanks return to live touring after two years off the road, with the rich and colourful sound of their eleven-piece ensemble, showcasing forthcoming new album, Sorrows Away, alongside favourites such as Magpie, The King Of Rome and Mount The Air.
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