Downend Folk Club’s Autumn/Winter programme kicks off on Friday 17th September with a visit from The Magpies. It has only been a short space of time since the trio burst onto the UK folk scene, but they have already made a huge impression with their fresh brand of transatlantic neo- folk and have been "making waves wherever they play", according to Phil Beer, of Show of Hands.
Three accomplished musicians in their own right, The Magpies is a combination far greater than the sum of its parts. Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award winning guitarist, banjo-player and singer Bella Gaffney, clawhammer banjo player and singer Kate Griffin and acclaimed fiddle- player and tunesmith Holly Brandon draw on their wide-ranging influences to create a unique blend of transatlantic folk.
In their live performances The Magpies have been exceptionally well-received. 2018 saw them perform at festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival and on main stages at Wickham Festival, Towersey Festival and Deer Shed Festival. 2019 saw their first international shows, with performances at Folk Alliance International in Montreal, a successful tour in Ireland and performances at Costa del Folk in Portugal. And the summer saw many more festival performances including Glastonbury, Larmer Tree, Warwick and Shambala.
Their debut album Tidings was released in June 2020 to critical acclaim: "effervescent" (The Sunday Times), "folk with finesse" (The Daily Mail), "check that album out" (BBC Radio 2). A rich and varied showcase of the live show, the album draws on a range of influences and delivers a sound that can only be described as contemporary. The album is full of songs which explore uniquely female experiences in unpredictable and surprising ways, bringing a fresh voice to the current milieu.
The club are also re-introducing support acts to our evenings, and opening for The Magpies will be Bristol-based Dutch singer-songwriter Maaike Siegerist, who will perform a short five-song set.
After attending a songwriting retreat in Scotland, Maaike left her life in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam behind to study music in the UK. Armed with her acoustic guitar, she moved to Bath, where she recorded and self-produced her debut album Born Before the Wind. Tom Robinson selected several of its tracks for airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music, praising the closing track Keep It in the Dark for its "delicate vocal, poised production, gorgeous chord changes." Maaike moved to Bristol in 2018, and has since won the songwriting competitions of Glastonbury FM and the University of the West of England. She writes songs about places, people, love, and recently, endangered species.
Tickets for the event, which takes place at Christ Church Downend on Friday 17th September 2021, are available online at www.downendfolkclub.com. They are priced at £15 each and must be purchased in advance. We are also pleased to be re-introducing our bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and locally-brewed real ale from Hambrook-based Great Western Brewing Co. The stealth-raffle will so be back, with prizes including CDs, gift boxes of beer and sweet treats. Audience members are encouraged to bring your own glass/mug/tankard/bucket, as well as reusable bottles for water, as part of the club’s drive to be more environmentally aware. There is now a 50p discount for those bringing their own receptacles.
There are 60 tickets available for the moment but the club hope to be able to make more available soon. But book now to avoid disappointment! For further information, please email [email protected]