The Folk Forecast: 19–25 July 2021

An evening with songwriting legend Robb Johnson, plus Martin and Eliza Carthy, Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman and more.

Hello, and welcome back to The Folk Forecast! Sorry it’s a bit late in the day - as many of you have probably found too, it takes a bit of adjustment to get back into post-lockdown life, and it’s been a very busy few months so I’ve needed a bit of a break.

With festivals and summer holidays in full swing, it’s a bit of a quiet one this week, but the gigs that are in store are absolute belters, from Robb Johnson and Martin and Eliza Carthy to Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess and Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman.

Whatever you’re up to this summer, I hope there’s sunshine and music where you are. Speaking of which, here’s this week’s playlist!

Listen to the playlist


Robb Johnson* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Robb Johnson is widely regarded as one of the UK's finest songwriters. Writing about the issues facing us all today, he’s certainly had a lot to write about over the last year and a half, and released Pandemic Songs in September. You might not have heard Robb perform live before, but you will almost certainly have heard his songs, which have been covered by everyone from the late, great Roy Bailey to cabaret diva Barb Jungr. Don't miss the chance to hear him play live, right to your living room.

Tickets £15, with options to pay a bit more or less depending on your circumstances.

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Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Benji Kirkpatrick is well known for playing in some of the biggest bands in folk, from Bellowhead and Faustus to Steeleye Span, plus collaborations with Seth Lakeman and lots more. Over the last few years, he has been cooking up plans for his own project, Benji Kirkpatrick & The Excess, giving him the chance to bring his own writings to life. The band is ordinarily a trio, but for this gig Benji will play as a duo with bassist Pete Thomas.

Tickets £15, with options to pay a bit more or less depending on your circumstances.

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Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman* — 8pm BST

English Folk Expo / Exeter Phoenix

Partners in life as well as in music, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have established an enviable class act of imaginative songwriting and musicianship. Bold and innovative, they mix traditional song arrangements with their wide-ranging self-penned material. This gig will be available to view in person at Exeter Phoenix as well as being livestreamed by the brilliant Northern Cowboy Films, whose beautifully filmed streams almost make you feel like you’re there.

Tickets £12 plus booking fee.

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We Are Muffy — 7.30pm BST

Rosslyn Court

Cornish indie-folk duo We Are Muffy play a live set for Rosslyn Court. The first hour of the performance will be livestreamed, with the second half being exclusively for the in-person audience. If you’re local to Margate, you could also go along in person.

Livestream free to view, with donations encouraged.

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Ethan Johns with the Black Eyed Dogs — 8.30pm BST

Green Note

Green Note in London are starting to run some hybrid events, which is great to see. On Thursday, join Black Eyed Dogs for an intimate trio show helmed by one of the fathers of Americana Ethan Johns, with band members Nick Pini on bass and Georgina Leach on fiddle. In-venue tickets are sold out, but you can still catch the livestream from wherever you are.

Tickets £10

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Martin & Eliza Carthy + Bertie Armstrong and Niles Krieger — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

Legendary ballad singer and guitarist Martin Carthy has influenced generations of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. For over 50 years, he has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators. Meanwhile, his daughter Eliza is one of the most engaging performers of her generation, twice nominated for the Mercury Prize and winner of innumerable other accolades over a 20-year career.

For this gig, support will be provided by Bertie Armstrong and Niles Krieger, a duo who transport the old-time sound of fiddle and banjo into creative, new dimensions inspired by sources from both sides of the Atlantic.

Tickets £9.50, with the option to pay more to support the artists and venue. Stream is available to view for a week.

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Regular events

This week’s playlist

Head over to this week’s playlist to hear a selection of tracks from artists featured in this issue. Listen to something new, and see which gigs you might fancy going to!

Find out more

Record of the week

Record of the Week is Dragon’s Out by Ceitidh Mac. With a dreamy soundscape layered up as a backdrop for lyrics of pure poetry, this track explores the complex relationships we each have with our own minds. Taking the idea that we each have our own inner demons, Dragon’s Out is a song about understanding and accepting our inner workings rather than fighting them - “Dragons in my brain, don’t need the night to slay them, or even try to tame them; I will get to know them till the fire keeps me warm”.

Dragon’s Out will be released on Friday 23rd July, and you can pre-save it now. It is the third single to be released from Ceitidh Mac’s upcoming EP, I Reach for the Pen, which will be out on 27th August.

Pre-save the single

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The Folk Forecast is created for artists, for audiences and for the UK folk scene. All information is correct to the best of our knowledge. If you have queries about the events listed, please contact the artists or promoters. If you have any suggestions for inclusion in future newsletters, please email We may not be able to include absolutely everything, but we’re interested in UK folk events with a broad appeal, and would particularly welcome suggestions from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Folk Forecast is compiled by one person, so please bear with me if I can’t get back to you right away.

* Alongside The Folk Forecast, I’m associated with other organisations on the folk scene, including Folk on Foot, Fancourt Music, Live to Your Living Room and English Folk Expo. Events where I have some involvement with the promoter or agency are marked with a star. Although I have other affiliations, I strive to be fair and inclusive and tell you about anything I think you’ll enjoy!