Bermondsey Folk Festival 2016

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Bermondsey Folk Festival 2016

Bermondsey Folk Festival 2016 puts folk, roots & blues music in the heart of South East London for the second year running. The free festival showcases some of the finest folk artists performing in Britain today with a series of events on the second week of September in and around the historic pubs of Bermondsey.

The festival is organised by The Blue Bermondsey BID and Grosvenor UK in conjunction with Cunning Folk Music to recognise the cultural growth of the Blue.


The music


Tuesday 6th September |8pm |  The Blue Anchor – 251 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3TS

  Free tickets available here

Vicky Martin sings and plays guitar, banjo, Kandela and Irish Bouzouki. She is the writer of many the Delta Ladies’ original tunes. Vicky was interested in music right through the sixties and seventies and was initially influenced by the great players who were around throughout that period, Clapton, Hendrix whom she met, The Stones, and the music of Miles Davis and Bob Dylan have remained constant favourites.

Dee Stone – plays violin & piano – contributes to many of the Delta Ladies’ original tunes.  She started in the music business working on the Sound Team at Hammersmith Odeon and met many famous names of the day including Elton John, Johnny Winter, Ry Cooder and Bill Munro.

The Delta Ladies, Roots, Americana, Folk, World, Blues.  @deltaladies




Wednesday 7th September | 8pm | The Queen Victoria – 148 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3RP

  Free tickets available here

The band first got together in 2003 to explore the connections between British, Irish and Appalachian songs and tunes that passed back and forth across the Atlantic, carried by waves of immigrants and visitors – morris tunes that cropped up in the Southern Mountains as fiddle and banjo breakdowns, black-face Minstrel songs that took root in the Cotswolds in the nineteenth century, the classic folk ballads whose themes of love, betrayal, murder, revenge and adventure appealed equally to North Carolina mountain people, Scottish Travellers and southern English agricultural workers. Not making a fetish of the crossover idea, however, Rattle on the Stovepipe also play purely Appalachian and purely British traditional songs, ballads and tunes – in fact, whatever they enjoy, feel a connection with, can get inside and want to share with an audience. They have performed widely, including in France and Japan, as well as most years at Whitby Folk Week.




Thursday 8th September | 8pm | The Queen Victoria – 148 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3RP/textmarker]

[button link="" size="large" icon="fa-ticket" side="left" target=“blank" color="a8b7a3" textcolor="ffffff"]Free tickets available here[/button]

Thomas McCarthy comes from Birr in County Offaly in Ireland.  The McCarthys family settled there generations ago.  Thomas describes himself as an Irish Traveller, and come from a long line of old traditional singers and musicians who kept the tradition of singing strong.

[blockquote author="Thomas McCarthy"]I continue singing the old songs myself, I find great comfort in them and in continuing my tradition which I am passing to my niece and nephew who are fine little singers. I am confident that the tradition will continue.[/blockquote]

[button link="" size="large" icon="fa-globe" side="left" target="blank" color="b70900" textcolor="ffffff"][/button][button link="" size="large" icon="fa-twitter" side="left" target="blank" color="466fb7" textcolor="ffffff"]@ThomasTomac1[/button][button link="" size="large" icon="fa-facebook" side="left" target="blank" color="7c90b7" textcolor="ffffff"]thomas.mccarthy.9469[/button]



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[textmarker color="696969"]Friday 9th September | 8pm | The Ancient Foresters – 282 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 2HB

  Free tickets available here

Alasdair Roberts is a musician (primarily a guitarist and singer) who is based in Glasgow Scotland. He has worked with Drag City Records since 1997and  also released music on labels such as Secretly Canadian, Galaxia and Stone Tape Recordings.

His work mainly consists of two parallel strands: self-written song material (which can be heard on albums such as Farewell Sorrow, The Amber Gatherers, Spoils and A Wonder Working Stone) and interpretations of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond (which can be heard on albums such as The Crook of My Arm, No Earthly Man and Too Long In This Condition).

In addition to many collaborative projects,  Alasdair also recently became a member of the English/Scottish folk quartet The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. The group’s first album At Our Next Meeting was released earlier this year. Late 2014 should see the release of a new album of self-written Roberts songs, which is currently being recorded.   @AliRobertsMusicAliRobertsMusic   alasdair.roberts.7




Sunday 11th September | from 12pm | Former Southwark College,  Drummond Rd, London SE16 2BT (opposite The Biscuit Factory)

  Free tickets available here

Both multi-instrumentalists, Laura and Adam accompany strong vocal melodies with guitar, shruti, flute, glockenspiel and a variety of percussion, layering sounds carefully and minimally to atmospheric effect. Together they create a unique live sound and as such Hickory Signals is enjoying a busy performance schedule and a growing following.   @HickorySignals   HickorySignals




Sunday 11th September | from 12pm | Former Southwark College,  Drummond Rd, London SE16 2BT (opposite The Biscuit Factory)

  Free tickets available here

Tim Jones is one of the most distinctive voices on the London folk scene. Able to alternate between mass singalongs and powerful stripped back ballads, his song writing and delivery of traditional material has been likened to that of Peter Bellamy, Nic Jones and Fairport Convention.

He is regularly joined by Ted Kemp (Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp) on concertina and Karen Phillips on fiddle, and the band also run a popular English tunes session in Dalston.

Tim Jones, Ted Kemp, Karen Phillips are also members of the band  @DarkLanterns  




Sunday 11th September | from 12pm | Former Southwark College,  Drummond Rd, London SE16 2BT (opposite The Biscuit Factory)

  Free tickets available here

Hailed as “one of London’s musical treasures, playing the best Balkan and klezmer music in Britain” (Evening Standard), they have spent over a decade absorbing the rich folk music traditions of Jewish Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Balkans.

Their evolution spans the origins of busking at East London’s Columbia Road flower market to performing in the famous concert halls of Europe including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Gasteig in Munich and London’s Southbank Centre. In 2008 we were awarded first prize in the International Jewish Music Festival, Amsterdam, and in 2012 were nominated for Best Group in the Songlines World Music Awards. As well as TV appearances and live sessions on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and World on 3, they have performed at festivals such as Glastonbury, Cheltenham, WOMAD and Sziget (Budapest). They’ve just recorded their 4th studio album due for release in early 2017.   @shekoyokh   Shekoyokh/153147216911




Sunday 11th September | from 12pm | Former Southwark College,  Drummond Rd, London SE16 2BT (opposite The Biscuit Factory)

  Free tickets available here

The Bara Bara Band is a London-based folk quartet playing a mix of their own songs, traditional British folk songs and old time American tunes. Ruth Jacob (banjo, guitar, vocals, harmonica, tin whistle), Rupert Browne (guitar, vocals), Will Dobson (cajon, percussion) and Boris Ming (fiddle, keyboards, vocals)

Hailing from the old mining community of Church Gresley, South Derbyshire, Ruth Jacob started The Bara Bara Band after the split of legendary female folk duo The Lorcas. She joined forces with Rupert Browne of Juniper Leaf fame and the pair started writing songs together.  They are accompanied by Boris Ming (of Juniper Leaf and The Precious Mings) on fiddle and Will Dobson on percussion.  @thebarabaraband  The-Bara-Bara-Band-139489552729442



Sunday 11th September | from 12pm | Former Southwark College,  Drummond Rd, London SE16 2BT (opposite The Biscuit Factory)

  Free tickets available here

Stick In The Wheel are “ripping apart the preconceptions surrounding folkmusic” (Clash Music). Their now-trademark abrasive delivery of both original and traditional tracks, is not bland retroism, or empty nostalgia, but a voice linking now to then. Brought up in the thriving culture of working class London and cutting their teeth in its diverse musical landscape, they now bring those influences and attitudes to their traditional music. Stripped back to their bare components, their songs speak for themselves without ornament, telling tales of everyday life: carboot-swindlers, lorry drivers and London rioters, sitting seamlessly against traditional songs of prisons, hammer-wielding blacksmiths and 17th century madhouses.  @StickInTheWheel  StickInTheWheel



The venues



Bermondsey Folk Festival 2016 venues

Click on the image to enlarge

  1. The Blue Anchor    251 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3TS
  2. The Queen Victoria    148 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3RP
  3. The Old Bank     239 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 3TT
  4. The Ancient Foresters    282 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 2HB
  5. The Blue Bermondsey Area    The Blue Market & surroundings
  6. Former Southwark College (opposite The Biscuit Factory)   Drummond Rd, London SE16 2BT

The weekend events: Discover the Blue Bermondsey & The Summer Fete

In addition to the gigs on weekdays, the Bermondsey Folk Festival runs two special events on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday will give attendees the chance to explore the Blue Market and the Blue Bermondsey with a series of events hosted across the area.

Sunday will be a fantastic finale of the Festival thanks to the collaboration between Grosvenor and The Blue Bermondsey with family activities, community stalls and a traditional old fair attractions.

The organisers

The Blue Bermondsey BID Logo

The Blue Bermondsey BID

Grosvenor UK

Grosvenor UK

Cunning Folk Music

Cunning Folk Music









The Bermondsey Folk Festival is a joint venture of the following organisations:

The Blue Bermondsey   @bluebermondsey   thebluebermondsey

The origins of the Blue Bermondsey BID began with the work of voluntary representatives from local business who got together in the early 1990s as the Blue Market Traders Forum an informal group who continually lobbied local Councillors and Southwark Council on behalf of local businesses to improve the area, which had become run down and lacking investment. These pioneering efforts got the ball rolling, with the Market place getting a facelift and many small community events being established.

he BBBA BID Steering Group was constituted in autumn 2012 to develope the BID proposal and in June 2014 the ballot campaign followed asking eligible businesses to vote yes or no to the proposals. The result was announced on 4th July 2014 with 89% of voting in favour of the BID term for five years until October 2019


Over the last four centuries, Grosvenor has guided the evolution of some of the most celebrated urban neighbourhoods including Belgravia, Mayfair, and the city centre of Liverpool. The company has plans to develop the former Lewisham and Southwark College campus and the Biscuit Factory, two special sites, and create a new part of the neighbourhood that feels both stimulating and rooted.

Grosvenor have spent a lot of time out and about talking to residents, community groups and organisations as well as engaging in community programmes. They fully support the Bermondsey Folk Festival as well as Drumming Growing and other projects with the local community at heart.

Cunning Folk

Cunning Folk is a folk performer & music promoter & also runs the South East London Folklore society.

Cunning Folk puts on regular folk & roots music & spoken word events & talks in interesting places in a mission to bring wonderful interesting music, storytelling, history & poetry to like minded souls. Since 2014, Cunning Folk Music has put on events in Tudor houses, old barges & magical bookshops, woodlands, edgelands and forgotten corners

In 2o15, Cunning Folk organised the Bermondsey Folk Festival 1st Edition followed by this year’s Festival. There are also plans to start the Bermondsey Folk Club. with performances across the The Blue Bermondsey BID area.



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