Tony McManus and Julia Toaspern video

In concert for the folk club, May 27th 2022, playing ‘three jigs’.

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Kelso Folk & Live Festival 2022

The main venue for the festival – the Old Parish Church

September 2nd to 4th

The Kelso Folk and Live Music Club is pleased to announce that plans are now more or less finalised for this year’s folk festival. As in past years, this will be a weekend of live concerts featuring award-wining bands and artists, combined with sessions, workshops and open mics offering a showcase for local talent. This year there are four great concerts to catch. On the Friday night we kick off with the wonderful Scottish singer, harpist and composer Corrina Hewat accompanied by pianist extraordinaire David Milligan. With them on the same bill are Dallahan, a four piece band who draw on numerous musical genres to create their own brand of world music. On the Saturday night we have the celebrated English songsmith and guitarist Steve Tilston, accompanied by bassist Hugh Bradley. To end the concert we have not one, but three, recent ‘Alba Young folk musician of the year’ winners in one band: Eryn Rae (fiddle), Michael Biggins (piano) and Charlie Stewart (double bass), with Stephen Henderson on percussion – a night not to be missed! Finally our Sunday lunchtime concert features the irrepressible and award winning duo of Mairearad Green and Anna Massie whose camaraderie and sheer enjoyment of playing together makes for a hugely entertaining show of musical virtuosity on accordion, guitar and fiddle.

In addition we will have a Best of the Borders showcase concert on the Saturday lunchtime, and there will be opportunity to participate in our sessions, singarounds and open mics, whether you are a singer or musician or simply wish to listen to some great live music. All are welcome to join in, and you are sure to find like-minded musicians/singers. For those wanting to improve their skills and gain inspiration, there will be an A Cappella workshop on Gaelic waulking songs (sung to the rhythm of pounding tweed cloth!) and instrumental workshops. All this is going on in the beautiful Borders town of Kelso, a great tourist destination!

Programme at a glance (see concerts for more details)

Friday 2nd September

Saturday 3rd September

Sunday 4th September

  • Traditional tunes session at The Cross Keys, Kelso, 11.00-12.30 pm.
  • Lunchtime Concert at the Old Parish Church, Kelso, 1.00-2.30 pm. Mairearad Green & Anna Massie
  • Farewell singaround sessions at the Cross Keys, 3.00-4.30 pm.
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Kelso Folk Festival 2021 – a great success

Despite Covid and worries that concerts and sessions might provide difficult to stage or even be cancelled at the last minute, the Tait Hall enjoyed about as close to a full house as social distancing permitted during the weekend from September 3rd-5th. The good news is that weather won’t be an issue from September 10th when the weekly Oak Room singaround returns at 8pm.

North Sea Gas at the Tait Hall

After a year’s absence the usual 1st weekend in September welcomed us with weather just fine and warm enough to allow outdoor sessions at Rutherford’s micro pub in the square and the cricket pavilion in Shedden Park. In the Tait Hall, there were two double bill evening concerts – on Friday night, the Siobhan Miller Band and Maggie MacInnes joined by Anna Massie; on Saturday, Martin and Eliza Carthy and Luke Daniels and The Cobhers. There were two lunchtime concerts, with North Sea Gas on Saturday and Absolutely Legless Irish dance on Sunday. The festival closed with an indoor concert at the Cross Keys offering an open stage to club members. Photographs: David Kilpatrick.

Our thanks to everyone who attended, all the session players and especially the club stalwart Ron Hastings who anchored sessions in a musical marathon.

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Rowchester (Greenlaw) mini festival Sat August 21

Calling all Kelso Folk Club members and friends!

Next Saturday 21st August there is a free music festival at Rowchester near Greenlaw …take the Kelso Stichill Road and follow the R signs. It would be great to get there for our Kelso acts on from 12 – music line-up…. Kelso Folk Group (Allan, Pete, Ron, David, Steve Dent and Andrew Hunter followed by Natalie Bays with David Kilpatrick, then Andrew and BB. Other acts include Lilla & Scott Krueger, Rebecca Williams, Evan Anderson, Banned for Life!, Drenched, The Retrophones and finally Fire in the Middle. No ticket just donation for charity. First live outing and a great platform for Kelso Folk Club. Please support if you can and keep music live.

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Club CD ready now!

The club’s second CD – Cobbled Together Volume 2, the first CD had that title back in 2008 – is called Across the Cobbles to mark our recent double value Friday nights. First the Cross Keys Oak Room singaround and then a short walk over the paviours and setts (no cobbles now really!) to The Cobbles Inn for the open late night session.

You can buy the CD for £7.95 collected (Hastings Legal Property Shop at the foot of Roxburgh Street has copies now – discounts, £13 for 2, £18 for 3, £5 each for additional) or for £10 sent by post including p&p (discounts – 2 CDs, £15; 3 CDs, £20; additional £5 each). Club member David Kilpatrick can accept Paypal payment to via the Paypal Menu below.


If you want to pay by bank transfer, or need more than three copies sending to a single address, please email with your request.

The CD is a glass-mastered commercial quality release with 21 tracks adding up to 1 hour 20 minutes of great variety from our expanded circle of club members and friends. It’s an ideal Christmas gift as it’s easy to post to anywhere in the world, and the same size as many cards. The tracks range from Scottish traditional (with a contemporary twist) to blues, original songwriting, folk, country and a hint of rock and pop but all with the solo or collaborative small-venue intimacy the club is known for.

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Cross Keys traditional

Here’s a video from October 2017 catching the informal traditional session in the Cross Keys main bar on a Thursday evening, with Andrew Smith – who organises the new annual Kelso Folk & Live Music Festival – playing the hammered dulcimer

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Club posts

Old articles and photographs from this site have, regrettably, been deleted during updates in 2018. Many reports and photo-sets can still be found by visiting the Wayback Machine archive at this URL, which shows most of the content as it was in September 2016. This is not active web content and may be lost. Our thanks to all those who contributed albums of photographs, commentary and content – the door is open for future contributions.

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