Archive for the ‘Diary Dates’ Category

Programme for 2016

Kelso Folk and Live Music Club guest bookings  can be found by looking at our Calendar, including a history of past appearances. As of early 2016, we have some uncertainty about available dates for our possible choices of venue in the town, and guest concert plans are not finalised.

We would like to present at least four guests on selected nights during the year, in addition to any special events coinciding with local high days and holidays such as St James’s Fair, Civic Week, motorcycle and scooter meets; and our calendar special nights like Hogmanay, Burns’ Night, St Andrew’s Night.

With both an early evening acoustic meet at The Oak Room of The Cross Keys (8.00pm) and a pub session with open mic at the Cobbles every Friday night (10pm), Kelso is a great place for any singer or musician to add to weekend or vacation itineraries. Since our regulars play and sing every week of the year, and the format is informal, we will often find a slot to allow talented visitors to do two or three numbers solo, as well as joining in in turn or together with others. There is no club rule in Kelso to prevent accompanying something you know – our audience members sing along, our musicians frequently create fine arrangements ‘from the floor’. We know when to let a solo singer or instrumentalist have no accompaniment at all and our regulars are good at ‘reading’ others!

This is a very friendly folk club and our decision to put ‘and Live Music’ in the name was deliberate – there’s almost no limit to the genre of music you are welcome to try out as long as it suits a small room setting. We would like to meet you, and we hope you would like to meet us. Just be sure, if you are new to the club, to make yourself known to others.

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Dana and Susan Robinson – VIDEO

Here’s the encore finale from Dana and Sue at the club – with plenty of singing from the audience!

A great pre-St-Andrew’s Day gig for the club from two lovely people who had come many thousands of miles to be here!

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Beppe Gambetta on December 7th

Our final concert for 2012 featured the Italian-American flatpicking wizard Beppe Gambetta.

Beppe’s set was of course one any guitarist would love to hear, but he also intrigued the audience with his combination of Italian tradition with American bluegrass, blues and beautifully mixed-up roots. He gave us an insight into his own interesting continent-hopping life and was a happy, charming and friendly guest artist.

We can recommend Beppe highly for any club considering booking him. It’s a pity that we were not able to arrange a workshop this time, he went on to do short tuition engagements at leading UK university music courses. He is quite simply one of the fastest ACCURATE pick players on the planet – not a note out of place – and a master of polyphonic illusion from that single-note plectrum.


Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Our Friday evening menu

The Kelso Folk and Live Music Club holds two weekly Friday night sessions which are open to all. Membership is free by registering your email details with the club; small admission contributions (£1-£2) may be requested for sessions.

* Email updates
* For musicians and singers, information on external club gigs such as concerts for local village halls or other organisations, where participation is invited
* Voting rights
* Becoming involved and help with activities as one of the team
* Club polo shirt or sweatshirt – order your own by calling in to Promotif on Bridge Street in Kelso, pick your garment and get the club logo embroidered on it!
* Buy the Club CD for a reduced price of £3 (normally £5 to visitors)

The early session (8.00pm-11.00pm) at The Cross Keys Oak Room, is an informal acoustic singaround. Full bar and dining facilities are available.

The late session (10.00pm or a little earlier until closing) at the Cobbles Inn, Bowmont Street, mixes traditional tunes and songs with popular acoustic evergreens on an ‘all join in’ basis with the occasional standout solo, or a wee group doing something too difficult for the rest of us. A good built-in PA system is provided. The last Friday of each month is dedicated to purely acoustic – no PA!

The Cobbles offers excellent lounge bar or upstairs dining room meals before the club session. Our anchor team normally occupies one table, in front of the fireplace of the lounge bar (section to the left after entering the pub) which is reserved for musicians from 9.30pm. Find yourself a table close to this if you want to join in.

For information and guest artist first enquiries, David Kilpatrick, (Cobbles session).

On Friday April 1st 2011 the Small Hall Band, which had been given a grant towards their West and Islands tour by the club in 2010, performed a guest concert set at the ACE Centre.

Regulars – singers you can expect to meet include Allan Conochie, Bob Strachan, Alec Douglas, Pete Gillespie, Graham Dunn, Dave McIntosh, David Kilpatrick, Dave Mullen, Jas Mackinnon, Andrew Hunter and also (at the Cobbles) Martin & Liz Marroni, Heather Nicol, Darren Scurfield, Roger Platfoot. Regular session musicians include Martin & Liz Marroni, Scott Turnbull, Bob Liddle, Arthur Cross, Steve Tees, Steve Dent, Kirsty Tees, Darren & Helen Scurfield, Ian Croall, Jimmy Nagle, Carly Blain and many others.

The club raises funds to support guest appearances and invites artists passing through the Borders, or local to Kelso, to contact us. We can not book large or fully amplified groups and our venues are best suited to solo, duo, trio. We are interested in tuition and workshop proposals. The club may, subject to committee decision, make grants from our fundraising to other organisations or events. The club welcome grants or funding from outside bodies in turn, to develop outreach events and extend the scope of its existing activities. In 2011 a grant of £400 from Youth Music Scotland helped bring in more young members for an allocated open mic period, with the lasting effect of more performances from this age-group.


Friday, September 7th, 2012

Guests of the club

In July 2011 it was a pleasure once again to welcome Kieran Halpin. Though a songwriter of international reputation, Kieran is based in the Borders and thus always lets us know when there’s a quiet period in his busy touring schedule. A packed house was not disapppointed and as ever the sound quality was awesome, Kieran’s a real perfectionist when it comes to delivering the goods to his audience’s ears.

US acoustic duo Hungrytown provided a great close to our Spring season in May 2012. We do not usually have two guest acts within one month, but when a chance comes up to fit in with a UK tour by US artists, we can be flexible. May is a lovely month in Kelso too!

To find out more about Ken Anderson and Rebecca Hall, visit their website:

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Dave Gibb – a great guest

Everyone was delighted and much cheered up by Dave Gibb’s two-half set at the ACE Centre on Friday May 20th. Here’s one comment:

‘I am stepping out this morning with a renewed sense of well being and a silly grin on my face as I recall Dave Gibb’s most engaging and entertaining performance last night – it was an absolutely brilliant evening. His easy fusion of blues, jazz and folk finger work on the fret board, coupled with a truly “west coast” sense of humour and timing had us all totally absorbed and rolling in the aisles – in many cases at the same time.’

Need more be said? Thanks Dave!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Easter Egg raffle raises £136

Thanks to an Easter Basket (made by The Chocolate House, Jedburgh) donated by a club member, the raffle held at the ACE Centre and Cobbles Inn on Friday (April 22) raised £136 for club funds. The winners of the raffle, drawn at 11pm at the Cobbles, were Elaine and Pete Winstanley. It’s was Elaine’s birthday in the morning so she had an early chorus of Happy Birthday (©all rights reserved the Harry Fox Agency etc) and Easter present together!

Thanks to Diane Henderson, Peter Fry and George Weatherly – and the taxi drivers who bought tickets but went home eggless…

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Sarah McQuaid – March 11, +workshop

Kelso ACE Centre concert
Friday, March 11th 2011
Doors open 7.30pm for open mic support
£5 on the door / £3 concessions
Club Members Free

Guitar workshop at Cobbles Inn (upstairs)
Saturday, March 12th 2011
10.30am for 11am – £10 (maximum 15)
Book at Pet Sounds, or at the concert, or email

About Sarah

Renowned for her warm, engaging stage presence, Sarah McQuaid is a versatile and beguiling performer. In addition to her own elegantly crafted originals, she interprets traditional Irish and Appalachian folk songs, Elizabethan ballads, 1930s jazz numbers, surprise covers and lively guitar instrumentals with panache and poignance.

Born in Spain, raised in Chicago and holding dual Irish and American citizenship, Sarah spent 13 years in Ireland and now lives near Penzance.

As might be expected of one who has led such a peripatetic existence, Sarah developed a taste for the road early on: From the age of twelve she was embarking on tours of the US and Canada with the Chicago Children’s Choir. In 1994, Sarah moved to Ireland, where she became a weekly folk music columnist for the Evening Herald and a contributor to Hot Press magazine. She is also the author of The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book, described by The Irish Times as “a godsend to aspiring traditional guitarists,” and has presented workshops on the DADGAD tuning at festivals and venues around the globe.

Her debut solo album, When Two Lovers Meet, was re-released in Ireland and the UK in 2007, a year that also saw Sarah touring as a solo artist for the first time. Tracks from the album were included in FolkCast’s “artists of the year” podcast and in Crooked Road host Mike Ganley’s Top Ten picks for the year.

Crow Coyote Buffalo, an album of songs co-written by Sarah with fellow Penzance resident Zoë (author and performer of 1991 hit single ‘Sunshine On A Rainy Day’) under the band name Mama, has also been garnering rave reviews since its January 2009 release; one critic described the pair as “Two pagan goddesses channelling the ghost of Jim Morrison”. (For more on Mama, see

Now busy with upcoming tours and concerts in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the USA, Sarah is currently assembling material for her third solo album, provisionally titled The Plum Tree And The Rose, once again with Gerry O’Beirne producing and Trevor Hutchinson engineering. Sarah is also slowly but surely working on a novel for which she’s received two Irish Arts Council Bursaries in Literature. She hopes to finish it one of these days.


“Sparkling guitar and compelling alto voice … reminiscent of Pentangle’s best efforts … a gentle
and magical recording that I will return to time and again.” — Sing Out!

“Likely to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.” — Aled Jones, BBC Radio 2

“An unreserved thumbs-up. Captivating performance, great songs, playing and singing. Sarah was
also totally professional, charming and low maintenance. What more could you ask for?”
— Gerry Evans, TwickFolk, London

“She sings with so much beauty – and with utmost respect for the folklore behind each song and
ballad.” — Gene Shay, WXPN, Philadelphia

“A must for everyone who loves a CD you can put on again and again, and never tire of it.”
— Roz Larman, FolkScene, Los Angeles

“Pure magic!! We are running our folkclub for 16 years now but I never experienced such a thrilling
interaction between artist and audience.” — Piet Snellen, De Fookhook, Netherlands

“Her singing has shades of Baez minus the operatic warble and Gillian Welch without so much Nashville twang.” — Spiral Earth

“Some of the loveliest songs you’ll hear all year.”
— Living Tradition

“A masterclass in restraint and subtlety. Authoritative singing and quietly insistent arrangements make for a sumptuous whole.”
— fRoots

“Her own songwriting is beautifully spare … a melancholy but somehow celebratory collection.”
— The Irish Times

“Highly recommended.” — Americana UK
“Spine-tingling.” — Hot Press
“Quietly expressive and supremely affecting performances … a truly lovely record.”
— NetRhythms

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Jackie Leven – November 26th 2010

Scots singer-songwriter Jackie Leven plays a solo acoustic set at the ACE Centre on Friday November 26th 2010. This will be the second ACE centre Kelso Folk & Live Music Club concert, following the great acoustics and atmosphere of Wizz Jones’s gig. It’s a really comfortable space for the audience and performer alike, even down to the café lounge as a laid-back listening option.

Album cover

Jackie is another big name in a line-up of top folk and acoustic artists we have been lucky enough to book for the 2010/2011 season. This is guaranteed to be a great show and the ticket admission for non-members is £5 (£3 concession), doors open 7.15pm for open mic at 7.30pm followed by two sets from Jackie, raffle between. Folk club membership will be available on the night for anyone wanting to join – we now have membership cards, and membership will entitle you to free or reduced price admission to guest nights.

Read Jackie’s powerful life story – not an easy ride – here:

And his Blog here:

See you on the night!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Wizz Jones at the ACE Centre

One of the great learners and teachers of acoustic guitar, Wizz Jones, is our guest at the ACE Centre (Ice Rink, Abbotseat) on Friday October 1st. The evening starts at 7.30pm with our open mic, and Wizz takes the stage at 8.30pm. Admission is £5, but regular club members pay only £3.

Wizz learned his guitar in the late 1950s, influenced by the great American blues and ragtime players like Big Bill Broonzy (his most commonly quoted source). From the beatnik scene to the folk revival, he in turn had a great influence on British musicians including John Renbourn and Eric Clapton, both of whom acknowledge Wizz.

His songs are often gentle but carry strong messages, and his guitar playing is immaculate – the best of British fingerstyle.

Wizz will be giving a guitar workshop for club members mid-day Saturday, at the ACE Centre, before leaving for his next gig.

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010


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