The Kelso Folk and Live Music Club holds two weekly Friday night sessions which are open to all. Membership is £5 per year. Members benefit from:
* Email updates
* Concessions on entry for some paid events (club members normally pay just £3 extra for a guest concert, non-members pay £5 – some concerts will be free to members)
* 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 (7.30-10.00pm) at the ACE Centre, Ice Rink, Abbotseat is an open mic with an informal stage corner and acoustic amplification. There’s a comfortable café environment next to the club’s meeting. A £2 entry charge is payable by members and visitors alike, shared between the ACE Centre and the club, and includes ‘corkage’ if you wish to bring your own wine or beer. No food or snacks, or soft drinks, can be brought in – these are available, and are very reasonably priced and great quality too thanks to the home cooking and baking. You can have baguettes, burgers, fish’n'chips and a range of other light meals during the early part of the evening. What’s available depends on – what’s available!
The club has provided a ‘house guitar’ which is available to members who have not brought an instrument of their own.
The late session (10.00pm 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! Personal mini amplification is welcomed as the pub can be busy, happy and noisy but everyone still wants to hear the music. A small PA system is normally provided.
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.
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.
The club’s AGM was held on November 1st 2011 and a new committee and officers were elected.
Chair – Andrew Hunter (succeeding David Kilpatrick)
Vice-Chair – Diane Henderson (unchanged)
Secretary – TBA
Treasurer – Ted McKeown (succeeding Peter Fry)
Guest Concert Bookings – David Kilpatrick and Diane Henderson
Publicity – Allan Conochie (succeeding Lesley Riseam)
Stage Management & Sound – volunteers are always welcomed, to help set up and knockdown the ACE Centre PA system for Friday night open mics.
Cobbles Session traditional anchors – Martin & Liz Marroni when available. If you have the repertoire to anchor or lead a session or a couple of sets, we welcome variety and our regulars like to take a wee rest!
Regulars – singers you can expect to meet include Allan Conochie, Bob Strachan, Alec Douglas, Pete Gillespie, Graham Dunn, Dave McIntosh, David Kilpatrick, Dave Mullen, Andrew Hunter and also (at the Cobbles) 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.