FRIDAY 21 JUNE 2024,

“I never fail to be amazed at the quality of artists that Downend Folk & Roots is able to attract”, enthused one local music lover on social media recently. That sentiment could surely never be truer than it is this month, as genuine folk royalty Nancy Kerr & James Fagan headline the June concert.

They are a duo that team behind the monthly concert series have been keen to book ever since the early days, an astonishing ten years ago, but the dates have never quite aligned … until now!

Nancy & James are one of the best-known and most experienced folk duos on the British circuit today. Outstanding musicianship, a lifelong grounding in traditional singing and instrumental playing, acclaimed original compositions but most noticeably a visceral chemistry between these two make them a perennial favourite at festivals, venues and clubs across the country.

They met in December 1995, and formed the duo and life partnership that has become the backbone of their professional career in music ever since. They won the inaugural Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2000, and were also the first ever recipients of the Best Duo Award, which they won in 2003, and again in 2011.

The duo have toured internationally, most notably in the British Isles, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. They have thousands of fans and despite now having two children, they continue to work and tour constantly from their home base in Sheffield. Their duo shows are now special and sought-after events… so it’s great to have them coming to South Gloucestershire!

Opening the evening will be David Mitchell, who describes his guitar playing as “folk-classical fingerstyle”, combining these genres to create a beautiful and unique take on some well known pieces as well as performing his own original compositions.

As well as being a talented musician, David is also a skilled luthier, usually playing a lovely nylon-stringed Classical Guitar that he crafted himself. David also plays other stringed instruments as well as whistles and recorders.

Upon hearing David perform at Lyme Folk Weekend, Ralph McTell was heard to say, “I wish I could play the guitar like that.”

Tickets for the concert, which takes place at Christ Church Downend on Friday 21 June 2024, are available online via the website and from Melanie’s Kitchen in Downend (cash only). They are priced at £14 each in advance or £16 on the door. Doors open at 7.00pm and the music starts around 7.45pm.

There will be a bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and real ale from locally- based Hop Union Brewery. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own glass/ mug/tankard, as well as reusable bottles for water, as part of the drive to be more environmentally aware; there is a 50p discount for those that do. There will also be sweet treats available at the bar courtesy of the Radstock-based Great Cake Company, as well as a prize draw, which helps to fund the support artists for each concert. 

For further information, please go to downendfolkandroots.com or find them on social media.