The Folk Forecast: 21–27 June 2021

Katherine Priddy's album launch gig, plus Hannah James, Ross Ainslie & Tim Edey, Billy Mitchell & Bob Fox and more.

Hello, and welcome back! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend. There’s lots catching my eye this week, from Hannah James on Wednesday to Katherine Priddy’s album launch gig on Friday, so I hope you find something that’s up your street too!

Did anyone catch The Folk Effect last week? Myself and the team at Ondervinden were delighted with how it all came together. If you didn’t catch it, you can watch again here, and if you did catch it, there’s now a bonus video of what the artists had to say about their experiences, if you’d like to find out more!

Here’s this week’s playlist too - have a good one, and see you again soon.

Listen to the playlist


Ross Ainslie & Tim Edey — 8pm BST

MyPlayer / various venues

Award-winning multi instrumentalists and old friends Ross Ainslie & Tim Edey have come together to perform at TPot studios in Perthshire (Ross’s native county and Tim’s adopted home!). The gig is being streamed in partnership with a few different venues on different dates, so you can choose the date that’s best for you. There’s also the chance to join Ross and Tim for a Q&A afterwards for each venue.

Dates this week include:

  • 21 June 8pm - Glassel Gigs

  • 23 June 8pm - Folk in the Barn

  • 24 June 8pm - The Met, Bury

Tickets £10

Find out more


Hannah James* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Described as “a true original” by the Guardian, spellbindingly innovative musician and dancer Hannah James has been one of the key figures in the revival of English percussive dance in recent years. Renowned as one of the best accordionists on the British folk scene, her musicianship extends far beyond the tradition. One of my all-time favourite artists — highly recommended!

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

Find out more


Katherine Priddy: Debut Live Album Launch from St. Paul’s — 8pm BST

Katherine Priddy, streamed via Roots Live

You only get to release a debut album once, and Katherine Priddy is determined not to let the pandemic place any limitations on marking this important milestone in her career. She’ll be playing live from St Paul’s Church in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, including songs from the album plus other favourites from her repertoire. The gig will be filmed and streamed by Northern Cowboy, who have been been doing an incredible job of filming gigs with impeccable sound and visuals. A limited number of tickets are also available for a Q&A afterparty after the gig.

Tickets £10 (or £15 with Q&A afterparty) plus booking fee.

Find out more

Billy Mitchell and Bob Fox — 8pm BST

The Globe Newcastle

A rare opportunity to see Billy Mitchell and Bob Fox perform once again as a duo after several years of highly successful individual work. Both are fine singers, masters of vocal harmony and highly skilled musicians. Among other things, Billy Mitchell spent eight years as frontman of the legendary Lindisfarne and Bob Fox performed as Song Man in War Horse (my absolute favourite play!) so the two of them together is a mighty combination.

Tickets £7.50, with the option to pay more to support the artists and venue. Stream is available to view for a week.

Find out more

Jackie Oates & John Spiers Mini Concert — 8pm BST

Soundbox Acoustic & Roots

Jackie Oates and John Spiers were due to play a gig for Soundbox which sadly can’t go ahead, but they’ll be performing a mini concert on Zoom to help make up for it in the meantime until a new date can be arranged.

Donations encouraged here. For an invitation link, please email

Find out more

Live to Your Living Room Comedy Night, hosted by David Eagle of The Young’uns and Paul ‘Silky’ White* — 8pm BST

Live to Your Living Room

Live to Your Living Room present their Comedy Night, hosted by David Eagle of The Young'Uns and Paul 'Silky' White. This month's guests include Fred MacAulay, a regular on BBC Radio 4 comedy shows, BBC Scotland and national TV shows including Mock The Week, QI and Have I Got News For You.

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

Find out more

St Albans Folk Festival: Opening Concert with Lizzy Hardingham, James Findlay, Kelvin Davies and Eleanor Dunsdon — 8pm BST

St Albans Folk Music Events

Enjoy four fantastic artists in one great line-up this Friday night. Rising star Lizzy Hardingham was recently nominated for Fatea’s Female Artist of the Year and is currently being mentored by Michael Hughes of The Young’uns as part of the English Folk Expo artist mentoring programme. BBC Young Folk Award winner James Findlay is passionate about the songs of his home counties of Dorset and Somerset, with a number of acclaimed albums under his belt as well as theatre work. Young country blues artist Kelvin Davies brings songs of the 20s and 30s to life, as well as an increasing selection of self-penned numbers. Folk harpist and singer Eleanor Dunsdon plays with Oxford-based folk band, Moonrakers, and is set to do a Masters in Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Tickets £10 for single viewers, £15 for 2 or £20 for 3 or more

Find out more

The Isolation Sessions - Song Swap with Piers Cawley and Merav Hoffman — 8pm BST

Piers Cawley on YouTube

It’s time for the next instalment of Piers Cawley’s Isolation Sessions, where he swaps songs with a different guest each week. This time, he’ll be joined by Merav Hoffman.

Free to view for a week, with longer access available by giving a £6 donation.

Find out more

The Heathen Kings — 9pm BST — POSTPONED TO 9 JULY

Folk at the Grove

Folk at the Grove presents The Heathen Kings, an energetic folk trio from Yorkshire. Performing traditional, self-penned and borrowed folk music from the British Isles and further afield, their sound shifts from calm, tender duets to full, high energy pieces, and delicate unaccompanied singing. 

Free to view, with donations encouraged to the tip jar.

Find out more


St Albans Folk Festival: Lucy Farrell plus Arbrevyn — 8pm BST

St Albans Folk Music Events

Acclaimed folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lucy Farrell has been a key member of numerous influential folk acts including Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band, the Emily Portman Trio and The Furrow Collective. She is due to release her new solo album with Hudson Records in 2021, and this is a great opportunity to hear some of her solo work performed live.

Arbrevyn is a new vocal trio made up of Katie Coope and New Roots 2020 finalists Cathy Bennett and Callum McKellar.  They perform songs from Cornwall, Derbyshire and across the UK, and the trio’s name comes from a Cornish word which means ‘we experiment'.

Tickets £15 for single viewers, £20 for two and £30 for three or more

Find out more

Suthering* — 8pm BST

Live to your Living Room

Suthering is the musical alias of Julu Irvine & Heg Brignall. Their harmony-rich songs tell tales of struggle and triumph against all odds; of heroes from both their own lives and from stories they have found. Alongside their captivating original music, the duo seek out traditional songs with female characters at the fore, upholding and unearthing the female heroines of folk. And where the story ends with heartbreak or death for these forgotten women, Julu and Heg have re-written the endings allowing the poor heart-broken maids to rise into triumphant heroes!

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

Find out more


Online ceilidh with Lisa Heywood and Gifford:Brookes — 5pm BST

Lisa Heywood on Zoom

A friendly afternoon of ceilidh-style dancing on Zoom. The dances will be taught by Lisa Heywood, who is renowned for her enthusiastic and creative style. Live music will be provided by Beth Gifford and Matt Brookes. All the dances can be done on your own or with a partner, and there's the option to stay for a social catch-up after the dancing.

Tickets £6, with the option to pay a bit more or less depending on your circumstances.

Find out more

Zoom Bal: Wod & TradTöchter — 5.30pm BST


Gather in your kitchens or gardens to dance, listen and revel in an evening of European Balfolk live from Berlin and Oxford. Music will be provided by Wod & TradTöchter. Wod is a duo made up of fiddle player Jane Griffith and anglo-concertinaist Jim Penny (also of Owl Light Trio). They have spent the last five years exploring their shared passion for the beautiful music of Brittany. TradTöchter (trad daughters) features Vivien Zeller (fiddle, vocals) and Ursula Suchanek (five string fiddle, vocals). Rediscovering and reinterpreting traditional German folk music from the 18th and 19th centuries, they present powerful and virtuosic performances of schottisches, waltzes, mazurkas and much more.

This is an evening of music for you to dance as you feel - there is no caller.

Tickets £12, with options to pay a bit more or less depending on your circumstances.

Find out more

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!

Listen to the playlist

Record of the week

Record of the Week is From Darkness Comes Light, the debut album from superb diatonic accordionist Mel Biggs. The album is filled with beautifully arranged and masterfully played tunes you’ll be dying to learn, but it’s about more than that. It’s also an album rich with meaning, with each track carefully chosen to reflect the overall creative vision. Biggs says, “For many years I have been intrigued by the intrinsic connection between mood and music, and the attachments we have to people, place and nature. Each track is composed to represent a different time of the year. I hope my creation brings you an insight into your own emotions, but most of all joy!"

This album was made possible thanks to a Kickstarter campaign amidst lockdowns late last year, which truly goes to show that from darkness there can come light.

Have a listen

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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, Ondervinden theatre 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!