Coup for folk club

Published on: 03 Mar 2014

bella harding

A NEW music club set up in Downend has pulled off a coup with a gig from one of the UK’s biggest folk singers.

Downend Folk Club has managed to attract folk musician and song writer Bella Hardy as part of the solo leg of her Thirty for 30 tour.

Last month Bella won the prestigious title of Folk Singer of the Year at BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards.

The 29-year-old’s lyrical talent has even been compared to the likes of Lennon and McCartney.

Bella, from Derbyshire, will play at Frenchay Village Hall on Friday May 16 as part of Downend Folk Club’s monthly gigs in and around the Downend area.

The venture was set up by 37-year-old Ant Miles who felt there was nothing going on in folk music in South Gloucestershire.

The idea behind the club is to bring good quality folk and acoustic music to local venues.

Ant said he was delighted to have attracted a musician of Bella Hardy’s calibre.

“We are truly honoured to be welcoming an artist of this quality,” he said.

“It’s really exciting. It’s quite a coup.” 

Following the release of Bella’s acclaimed second solo album In the Shadow of Mountains, English Dance and Song magazine wrote “It’s astounding and somewhat daunting to realise this is only Bella’s second album...Surely no-one has any right to be writing songs with the sophistication of Sylvia Sovay so early in their career...lyrical portraiture that brings to mind no less than Lennon and McCartney.”

Downend Folk Club’s opening night takes place on Saturday April 19 when Sheffield trio Bright Season play Christ Church, Downend. Confirmed for Friday June 20 is up-and-coming singer/songwriter Ange Hardy who recently won the Fatea Magazine Female Vocalist of the Year award.

The club has also announced that acclaimed songwriter Gren Bartley will be Downend Folk Club’s guest on Friday July 18

To find out more about Downend Folk Club, buy tickets or to offer use of a venue, email or visit the club’s Facebook page or website

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