Well known area singer and musician, Chris has been a longtime organizer of the Cheltenham Folk Club., held Sundays in the Sandford Ale House in Cheltenham.



   Ask Blondes With Beards to describe what they do and the first thing they’ll tell you is “We’re not a drag act.”  They are, in fact, a four piece harmony group singing a mix of accompanied and a capella material.  The lead vocals come mainly from the girls, Jan and Jo (The Blondes,) with additional vocals, guitar and string bass accompaniment from Richard and Paul, (the Beards).  Their differing musical backgrounds are reflected in a varied repertoire encompassing folk, light country and blues with acoustic arrangements of some classic pop numbers, a bit of humour and some self-penned material.  The group is still developing and feel they have only scratched the surface of what they want to do.

      A resident of Montreal, Briga’s music is a reflection of her fragmented identity. She’s a creator, a composer, a producer, and a tastemaker…She’s a violinist, multi-instrumentalist, and a vocalist. Recipient of the Stingray Rising Star Award, and nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Québec’s ADISQ awards, and the Juno Awards her songs are half instrumental, half written in French and English, of which all are accompanied by her fervent violin firmly rooted in eastern European and Romani folk sounds learned from the days her father played the piano to put the children to sleep. Her body of work includes four albums: Diaspora (2009), Turbo Folk Stories (2012), Wake (2014), and Femme (2017), along with numerous performances across Canada, the United-States, Europe, and North Africa. Her unique sound is described as bringing a Balkan/Quebecois mash-up of music, delivered with a Turbo Folk edge, wrapped up in heavy grooves that drive her wailing violin and sweet voice.
Concert at the Ale House Saturday 8:30pm.Free Admission.


   Gwilym Davies is one of the most active folk song collectors in England, and of the 1,200 plus songs that he has collected, the majority have been found in Gloucestershire. He has recently been one of the leading figures in the creation of the online database Gloucestershire Traditions. Today he will talk about the songs of Gloucestershire and the collectors who have collected them over the last 100 years.



Jeff Gillett is an experienced folk guitarist and singer. As well as performing solo, he worked for many years as an accompanist for nationally renowned folk singer Ron Taylor. Elaine has been a enthusiast of traditional folk song for many years and performs regularly in local folk clubs.Together their voices combine to create beautiful harmonies and sensitive interpretations of traditional and modern folk songs, enhanced by Jeff’s supremely tasteful, restrained yet inventive accompaniments. Their repertoire includes traditional music, new interpretations of familiar songs and William Blake’s poems sung to Jeff’s original tunes.


   Dursley Music Session has become a well established event in the Severn Vale. The session, set up by Anne & John Roberts, takes place on alternate Tuesday nights, 8pm onwards at Ye Olde DursleyHotel, Long St, Dursley. The session regularly attracts about 10-15 musicians offering a good mix of traditional, more modern folk tunes, and a few songs thrown in. Musicians and listeners always welcome.  For further details contact Anne & John on 01453 548860, or message FB.

FRAN WADE & KEVIN BOWN   c/o Pheonix Ceilidh Band

   As well as being members of Commonground, Grand Union and Flying Clouds they have played on the ceilidh stages of all the major folk festivals in the country, including regular appearances at Sidmouth and Whitby. They have been part of Phoenix for five years, working with Rod Stradling and Martin Brinsford at major folk events and recording with them. Their work with the Scottish Band Dalriada has taken them further afield to festivals in France, Poland ,Sardinia and New Zealand. They have taught harmony singing through their involvement with the Prince Albert Consort in their home town of Stroud.

Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith

    Multi-instrumentalists Jimmy and Sid play traditional and original folksong of the British Isles. Heavily influenced by the songs and singers of East Anglia where they both grew up, their music also reflects the diversity of voices within the folk and acoustic world. They tell stories of hardship, joy, struggle and celebration, political resistance and the decline of industry, held together with driving banjo and guitar arrangements and close vocal harmonies that will send a shiver down your spine!
Their second album ‘Night Hours’ was released in December 2016 to great reviews across the board and has fast cemented their place of longevity within the folk scene. The duo became festival favourites last year and their success is set to continue with a new album released this summer.  @ Ruskin Mill, Old Bristol Road, Nailsworth, GL6 0LA


    The Diamonds formed in 1988. Over the years the line-up changed but always included Andrew Taylor and Rod Penlington, until Andrew’s death. Last year Paul Carter and Robin Burton joined Rod, and Debra Hannis became the fourth member. The shanty group are all fine singers with a wide repertoire.


  Martin and Shan Graebe sing traditional songs, mostly from the south of England and, mostly, unaccompanied and in harmony. Many come from the Devonshire collector, Sabine Baring-Gould, on whose work Martin is an authority. Martin has also written a number of songs that have become popular with folk audiences worldwide. They live in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Ken Langsbury & Kate Dean

Ken 28a

Ken Langsbury grew up surrounded by the songs and stories of the ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary!) people of Gloucestershire. Though rejected by the school choir, his love of singing led him to entertain his comrades during national service in Malaya and to join the renowned Cheltenham-based group, The Songwainers. As well as singing, Ken enjoys telling stories, many of which are so familiar to his fans that they will join in with key phrases. Today he describes his life, his songs and his stories in a chat with Martin Graebe. He will be joined by his daughter, Kate Dean, a very fine singer in her own right. Kate Dean also plays saxophone, clarinet and guitar and is in a band, called ‘Waiting for Kate’. They play annually at the Prince Albert in Rodbrough. She love’s singing songs the traveling people sing


Norma Mills (Bees Knees, Ukestroud)  will host this session. All styles welcome and there will be some music for part playing. Bring a tune to share.

Brad McEwen (artistic director of the Mill Race Folk Festival, Cambridge, Ontario)

      a third generation Canadian, descended from Irish and Scottish immigrants. Accompanying himself on cittern, his solo repertoire consists of Canadian variants of British ballads as well as songs from Canadian traditional historical sources. The rich tradition of Canada is often overlooked and Brad hopes to raise awareness of his country’s history and contributions to the world in songs and stories. Supported on Double Bass by well known local musician Kevin Bown.

Sarah McQuaid, with support from Natalie Holmes     (FB Page)       Sub Rooms page

   Born in Madrid (to a Spanish father and an American mother), raised in Chicago and now living in rural England, Sarah McQuaid has played major festivals like Sidmouth and Trowbridge, and in 2008 she released her second album, I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning. In contrast to the first album’s focus on Irish traditional songs and instrumentals, the follow-up was a celebration of old-time Appalachian folk, with Sarah’s arrangements punctuated by her own fine compositions and a cover of Bobbie Gentry’s classic “Ode to Billie Joe.”

Sarah McQuaid seduces her audience with cheeky banter, stunning musicianship and a voice that’s been likened to malt whisky and melted chocolate. Her new album Walking Into White is her most adventurous work to date, with a depth and texture of soundscape that are reflected in her beauifully crafted live shows.

Natalie Holmes (Support)     (FB page)
   Bristol-based singer/songwriter Natalie Holmes writes beautifully honest, level-headed pop/folk tunes brought to life with a delicately angelic voice on a canvas of acoustic guitar and piano. An independent artist building her fan base entirely from scratch, she kick-started her musical career by uploading songs and now has over a million hits on YouTube, thousands of subscribers and a loyal following on social media. Although just into her twenties, Natalie has clocked up three successful EP’s: The Simplest Things, Child and Over & Out, all of which featured in the iTunes and Top 10 Singer/Songwriter Charts.

     Anglo-Irish alt-folk duo The Portraits are husband and wife songwriters Lorraine and Jeremy Millington from Galway and Bristol respectively. 2016 saw The Portraits play at Glastonbury Festival, and complete work on their seventh studio album Global Heartbeat, released on 21st April 2017. The album is a call to the world to unite against hatred and heal its divisions. The first single, Nobody Can Ever Murder Love, was the duo’s instant reaction to the horror of Jo Cox’s murder in June 2016 and led to an invitation to play and chat about the song live on Clare Balding’s BBC Radio 2 show Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2 in April 2017. Uniquely, the duo’s new CD album is purchasable not with money but with a promise to spread the word about the band by becoming part of The Portraits’ new ‘PPP’fanclub:

HOST of the AIR     (Mick Toher & Friends)
     Mick hails from county Cork and therefore especially loves the music of Sliabh Luachra and loves accompanying people on guitar with these tunes. Nothing beats a good slide or polka in his mind. Songs in Gaelic are also a reference point in his repertoire. with a special fondness for the Cork ballads of Jimmy Crowley.

DOUG WATT   (FB page)

   Double graduate musician, local folky, border morris box player, retired cricketer, not retired businessman and sometime singer of silly songs.




Named after the industry of walking stick and umbrella handle manufacturing in the Chalford  Valley in the 19th and 20th century. We are a Morris side who specialise in dancing jigs in the Cotswold tradition and are based in the Stroud Valleys.



England’s Glory were formed in 1972, first dancing out in 1973 and are therefore one of the longest established ladies morris sides in the world! We are named after the historic brand of matches manufactured in Gloucester for about 100 years by the Morland family. We practise on Monday evenings at 8pm from September to the middle of April and from May to September, we dance outside pubs in Gloucestershire on Monday evenings as well as visiting folk festivals and appearing at village fetes and other local events.



Mixed Cotswold morris side, loosely based in South Wales. Formed in 1997 from dancers who belonged to other Morris sides in South Wales but wanted to ‘get out more’. The name comes from a small hamlet near Cross Keys. Though there is little to see now, the name lives on in a roundabout on the A367!



Happenstance is a mixed Border Morris side dancing to live music. We are based in Winchcombe, nestling in the shadow of Cleeve Hill. We meet on Thursday evenings in the winter and at various events in the summer months. Happenstance welcomes both men and women of all ages as dancers and musicianship.



  The Gloucestershire Morris Men have been performing traditional Cotswold Morris dances for the last 80 and more years. Today they dance throughout the spring and summer months, each Tuesday night (see this year’s programme) at some of the wonderful countryside pubs we have scattered about the county.

Gloucestershire Mixed Morris

      established in October 2016 by a few members of the Gloucestershire Morris Men and some enthusiastic new recruits! This side is a mixed side, meaning that we have male and female dancers. We dance in the Cotswold tradition with dances from Gloucestershire, we do stick dances, hanky dances and corner dances!




Ragged and Old Morris is a mixed  dance side located near Stroud in Gloucestershire, performing newly created dances in the Cotswold style. Our Facebook and Twitter pages contain further information on recent activities.

Rag Morris
      are the Morris dance team attached to the University of Bristol and we have one of the longest continuous University connections in the country. Rag Morris are an officially recognised society of the University of Bristol Students’ Union, formed in 1981.
Rag Morris has acquired its own inimitable style over the last thirty years – energetic, colourful, comic, a bit ‘off-the-wall’ and certainly never boring. We wear brilliantly coloured ‘rag shirts’ and ribboned bells. Our repertoire comes from the dances of the Cotswolds and the Welsh Borders.



We are a group of clog dancers who meet in Cirencester and perform dances from England and further afield accompanied by live folk music. We are available to dance at events such as village fetes, folk festivals, weddings etc. New members are welcome.



We usually dance on a Monday evening from May until September outside local pubs, but are in great demand to perform at events and festivals both in England and abroad. We’ve featured on Ashley Hutchings’ (Fairport Convention / Albion Band / Steeleye Span) “Grandson of Morris On” album and in the “Morris On” show.


IMG_0279     Styx of Stroud is a mixed Border Morris side founded in 2013 to perform traditional and contemporary dances in the Border style. We wear traditional tattercoats, predominantly black, but with flashes of red and green to reflect the felt-making heritage of our home town of Stroud in Gloucestershire. Our faces are blackened to honour the original Border dancers who would blacken their faces with soot as a disguise to avoid prosecution for begging.

Clocs Canton

     are a North West Morris dance group based in Cardiff, South Wales. We were formed in 1986 and dance North West Morris which is a distinctive type of morris using clogs. We perform at a variety of events – fetes, festivals and in pubs both around Cardiff and further afield.

Winterbourn Down Border Morris
       is a dance side for men and women based just north-east of Bristol, performing mainly self-penned dances in the Border style. Summer evenings see us out and about, dancing at local pubs.

The Knights of King Ina
     are a Morris dance team specialising in the Solo and Duet dances known as Jigs in the Morris genre. The dances are drawn from many of the morris traditions and include dances choreographed by us using the styles and steps collected in the early 20th century. These dances were typically seen as competition or show off dances and only danced by those considered to be the best dancers in a team or side.

Malmesbury Morris
      formed in the summer of 2004 to provide a local Morris Dancing group for the Malmesbury area. Despite the fact that morris dancing in Malmesbury can be traced back to at least 1641, the tradition did not survive the Industrial Revolution. Previously called called Malmesbury Mixed Morris we decided to change our name to Malmesbury Morris in September 2005 We perform mainly Cotswold and Border style dances both traditional and modern.

Fox’s Morris

     a mixed Border Morris Dance side, formed in 1999 and based in the Worcestershire village of Cookley. They dance both traditional dances from the Welsh Borders and contemporary dances in the Border-style



E-mail: Programme Co-ordinator