Archive for the ‘Information’ 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

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

Cobbles Collection raised £68 for Sport Relief

Thanks to all the regulars and diners at the Cobbles who boosted the donations to £68 after we announced that the money would go to Sport Relief on Friday March 23rd. Normally, any donations are towards club funds. Special thanks to those who popped in the £20 and £10 notes!

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Kelso St James’ Fair 2010 – soundbytes

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Join us in 2010

KELSO Folk & Live Music Club welcomes everyone – there’s no ‘membership’, you become a member just by turning up at our meetings. In 2010, with some exceptions for pub holiday closures and ‘high days’ in Kelso’s civic calendar, you have a choice of two different venues every Friday night to suit early or late.


Our Open Mic (organised by Peter Fry) starts at 7.30pm in the upstairs room of the Black Swan Hotel – if you can’t find the stairs just ask at the bar (or go in under the sign, the right hand door and up). The room is just for the club meeting – though anyone can come in and join the audience, or volunteer for the open mic. There is a bar and a range of seating, from big sofas at the far end near the bar, tables in the middle, and seats at the performance end.

The Open Mic has a small PA system to help with vocals and acoustic instruments. It’s quiet but conversation is not banned (just move up to the bar end of the room) and performers may invite others to play or sing along with what they are doing. The evening ends around 11pm. There is no admission charge but donations (towards club funds and guest artists) are welcomed.

The format at the Black Swan is one number at a time in turn, round the room, with the usual flexibility in running order if you happen to be at the bar or tuning up and need to swap your turn. It’s a very democratic and informal approach, all levels of skill are welcomed, as are all genres of music.

The Black Swan is also the venue for most guest concerts planned in 2010. To receive information on these, email David Kilpatrick to be added to the club’s announcement list. The Black Swan offers excellent bar meals downstairs from 6pm onwards, and can also offer B&B accommodation which is right in the heart of Kelso and very reasonably priced. It’s a good idea to stay if you are visiting and also want to come to the Cobbles Inn open session afterwards.


The Cobbles Inn is an award-winning restaurant and Friday nights can be busy! Our session does not start before 9.30pm and on most typical Fridays, 10.30pm is when you are likely to catch the music and songs really getting going. If you want a seat, remember that tables are often vacated by diners, but there is also a table reserved for the musicians. Please don’t be offended if we try to rearrange your seating and swap chairs round, the ones with arms are very comfortable for sitting in but impossible for a guitar player or fiddler.

Although there is more traditional and tune-driven content at the Cobbles Session, it is not just folk or celtic and a very wide range of material can be performed. Completely unaccompanied or solo stuff can fit in as well, despite the tradition of all competent singers and players joining in almost everything. We generally have a small amplifier and one microphone, which can help if it’s a busy night.

The music is at the far end away from the bar, it’s a great atmosphere and changes as we pass midnight – loud chorus songs are more likely early on, quiet personal performances 0r experiments with new stuff later on. Chucking out time is normally 1.00am with last drinks at 12.45pm.

As with the Black Swan, dining before the session is possible (ask for a table downstairs and you can keep it for the session). The Cobbles Inn does not offer accommodation. In addition to the Friday night sessions, we have concert nights which may coincide with bank holiday, civic festival and other weekends. These are often on Saturdays. There are also traditional Scots sessions occasionally on Sunday afternoons or evenings.

– David Kilpatrick, Chairman

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

St James’s Fair 2009 programme

There will be a busy weekend of music centred round Kelso Folk and Live Music Club’s sessions and guests, alongside the buzz of St James’s Fair in the town square this weekend. Here is our full programme:


Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

YouTube features…

Allan Connochie has a video up – home recording – for his song ‘Queen o’ a’ the Merse’:

Pet Shop Pete has a very professionally made vid, courtesy of Dave Mullen who also added the keyboards, for his own self-penned song ‘Full Circle’:

Iain Petrie with Gypsy Soul Experience released a debut single ‘It’s a Beautiful World’ and made this video, including a shot taken during a Le Jardin club night:

Our thoughts go out to Iain, who has suffered a tragic loss, and his children – he’s one of our favourite frequent visitors, and we hope the music will still be with him.

The Black Swan open mic is now up and running Fridays from 7.30pm to around 11pm – upstairs (enter by the door off Woodmarket near the public loo and phonebox), no charge, all welcome. The Cobbles session continues late night from 9.30pm onwards, the start time depending on how busy the pub is.

– DK

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Le Jardin June 5th

Due to the noise from Le Jardin’s refrigerators, recordings of song performance were not so successful on Friday June 5th. Here, though, is an instrument which can mask the sound of a humming fridge with ease – Ian Croall on Deger electronic smallpipes!

– DK

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Cobbles Inn & Le Jardin dates ahead

From Friday June 5th at Le Jardin we will showcase the individual talents of members and visitors in an open mic format. Although the spotlight is just right for one performer, participation may be requested to back up solos – and duos, trios or small groups are welcome to do the slot, which should be limited to three songs or tunes/sets. A single microphone and small amplifier will be provided.

Anyone interested in contributing a 15-minute maximum set should contact David Kilpatrick ( The open mic will run from 7.30pm to 10.00pm, followed by our usual late night session at The Cobbles Inn.

This new format is at the request of June and John of Le Jardin. They have new plans for July onwards, our regular arrangements for the early Friday session may need to change and we are keeping in touch about this. No future bookings or guests are affected

On Monday June 15th we have the chance to present a duo gaining a big following – Chris and Thomas. They have been compared to the Byrds as well as to Simon and Garfunkel, as a visit to their website will show you. The Cobbles Inn is not normally open on a Monday, but this time it will be, and the concert will be held downstairs in a true pub atmosphere with table seating – admission will be £8 on the door, and the public will not be admitted to the pub for this special night!

chris and thomas live on Morning Becomes Eclectic, 89.9 KCRW

Doors open at 7.30pm, and there will be a short floor spot opening from 7.45-8.15pm. Club members who would like to do a spot should notify David Kilpatrick in advance, and must arrive before 7.30pm. Chris and Thomas are perhaps the most ambitious act the club has booked and they are dedicated to getting a studio quality sound regardless of the venue. This really will be a special night as well as the first time we have dared schedule anything for a Monday. It will not end late – you can expect to be off and away not long after 10pm. They will be doing a single 90-minute set.

On Saturday June 20th we have another guest – this time, free! David Leask, Border singer and guitarist who is now well-known in Canada, returns to Kelso – 20 years ago David had a regular gig at the Cross Keys Hotel. This is an extra night on our programme, David will do a two-half set starting around 9.30pm downstairs.

Then, on July 11th when the first Saturday of Civic Week and the arrival of the British Motorcycle Federation meeting coincide, we have a fantastic upstairs Saturday concert followed by an extra downstairs session. Our guests are one of the top Scots folk names, North Sea Gas – in the tradition of Silly Wizard, Battlefield Band, and the Corries they combine excellent musicianship with powerful songs. This will be a £5 admission concert.

Completing our arrangements so far for 2009, our Friday night Le Jardin guests for the St James’s Fair weekend (September 4th-6th 2009) are the Matt Seattle Band. Matt is an old friend, and his new band is underpinned by Donald Knox on guitar, another familiar face from his appearances as part of Carlenjig. Here’s a poster for their Sunday April 26th 2009 Denholm Meet gig.


At the Cobbles, we then have a St James’s Fair Saturday night downstairs free concert from Sandy Brechin and Ewan Wilkinson – again, top Scottish vocal and instrumental talent. We will also have a Sunday afternoon traditional session again for the fair weekend, guest anchors to be confirmed.

– DK

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Dave Mullen sings ‘On The Nickel’

On The Nickel

Here’s a YouTube video from club member Dave Mullen, who appeared in a solo performance on Friday July 11th 2008.

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008


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