Archive for the ‘Diary Dates’ Category

Hungrytown concert May 25th – ticket price bonus

STOP PRESS – some posters with one price have been sent out, and Friday looks like being a scorcher… barbecue time for many… so we are now DROPPING the ticket price to the lower one shown on a number of posters. That is – the Club will pay the ACE centre room fee, and admission is now only £3 for concessions or club members, £5 for all others.

If you have a flyer or information stating £5/£7 don’t worry, you will only be asked for £3/£5 on the door. There will be a raffle and our usual hour of open mic starting at 7.30pm.

Plus – we are admitting UNDER-18s (who are known to the Club or the ACE Centre, or accompanied by parent/s) free of charge. We appreciate that we often have great guests but our regular under-18 performers, who are always admitted free for the open mic, can’t always pay to enter. Exposure to live music of many kinds is vital when you are forming your own style. So – for this night, free entry.

US acoustic duo Hungrytown provide a great close to May for the ACE Centre club Fridays. We do not usually have two guest acts within one month, but when a chance comes up to fit in with a UK tour by US artists, we can be flexible. May is a lovely month in Kelso too!

To find out more about Ken Anderson and Rebecca Hall, visit their website:


Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Our Friday evening menu

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.

For information and guest artist first enquiries, contact Diane Henderson, (ACE Centre) or 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.

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 – Dave and Ben McIntosh, Pete Gillespie. 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, 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.



Friday, November 4th, 2011

Dave Gibb – a great guest

Everyone was delighted and much cheered up by Dave Gibb’s two-half set at the ACE Centre on Friday May 20th. Here’s one comment:

‘I am stepping out this morning with a renewed sense of well being and a silly grin on my face as I recall Dave Gibb’s most engaging and entertaining performance last night – it was an absolutely brilliant evening. His easy fusion of blues, jazz and folk finger work on the fret board, coupled with a truly “west coast” sense of humour and timing had us all totally absorbed and rolling in the aisles – in many cases at the same time.’

Need more be said? Thanks Dave!


Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Easter Egg raffle raises £136

Thanks to an Easter Basket (made by The Chocolate House, Jedburgh) donated by a club member, the raffle held at the ACE Centre and Cobbles Inn on Friday (April 22) raised £136 for club funds. The winners of the raffle, drawn at 11pm at the Cobbles, were Elaine and Pete Winstanley. It’s was Elaine’s birthday in the morning so she had an early chorus of Happy Birthday (©all rights reserved the Harry Fox Agency etc) and Easter present together!

Thanks to Diane Henderson, Peter Fry and George Weatherly – and the taxi drivers who bought tickets but went home eggless…


Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Sarah McQuaid – March 11, +workshop

Kelso ACE Centre concert
Friday, March 11th 2011
Doors open 7.30pm for open mic support
£5 on the door / £3 concessions
Club Members Free

Guitar workshop at Cobbles Inn (upstairs)
Saturday, March 12th 2011
10.30am for 11am – £10 (maximum 15)
Book at Pet Sounds, or at the concert, or email

About Sarah

Renowned for her warm, engaging stage presence, Sarah McQuaid is a versatile and beguiling performer. In addition to her own elegantly crafted originals, she interprets traditional Irish and Appalachian folk songs, Elizabethan ballads, 1930s jazz numbers, surprise covers and lively guitar instrumentals with panache and poignance.

Born in Spain, raised in Chicago and holding dual Irish and American citizenship, Sarah spent 13 years in Ireland and now lives near Penzance.

As might be expected of one who has led such a peripatetic existence, Sarah developed a taste for the road early on: From the age of twelve she was embarking on tours of the US and Canada with the Chicago Children’s Choir. In 1994, Sarah moved to Ireland, where she became a weekly folk music columnist for the Evening Herald and a contributor to Hot Press magazine. She is also the author of The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book, described by The Irish Times as “a godsend to aspiring traditional guitarists,” and has presented workshops on the DADGAD tuning at festivals and venues around the globe.

Her debut solo album, When Two Lovers Meet, was re-released in Ireland and the UK in 2007, a year that also saw Sarah touring as a solo artist for the first time. Tracks from the album were included in FolkCast’s “artists of the year” podcast and in Crooked Road host Mike Ganley’s Top Ten picks for the year.

Crow Coyote Buffalo, an album of songs co-written by Sarah with fellow Penzance resident Zoë (author and performer of 1991 hit single ‘Sunshine On A Rainy Day’) under the band name Mama, has also been garnering rave reviews since its January 2009 release; one critic described the pair as “Two pagan goddesses channelling the ghost of Jim Morrison”. (For more on Mama, see

Now busy with upcoming tours and concerts in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the USA, Sarah is currently assembling material for her third solo album, provisionally titled The Plum Tree And The Rose, once again with Gerry O’Beirne producing and Trevor Hutchinson engineering. Sarah is also slowly but surely working on a novel for which she’s received two Irish Arts Council Bursaries in Literature. She hopes to finish it one of these days.


“Sparkling guitar and compelling alto voice … reminiscent of Pentangle’s best efforts … a gentle
and magical recording that I will return to time and again.” — Sing Out!

“Likely to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.” — Aled Jones, BBC Radio 2

“An unreserved thumbs-up. Captivating performance, great songs, playing and singing. Sarah was
also totally professional, charming and low maintenance. What more could you ask for?”
— Gerry Evans, TwickFolk, London

“She sings with so much beauty – and with utmost respect for the folklore behind each song and
ballad.” — Gene Shay, WXPN, Philadelphia

“A must for everyone who loves a CD you can put on again and again, and never tire of it.”
— Roz Larman, FolkScene, Los Angeles

“Pure magic!! We are running our folkclub for 16 years now but I never experienced such a thrilling
interaction between artist and audience.” — Piet Snellen, De Fookhook, Netherlands

“Her singing has shades of Baez minus the operatic warble and Gillian Welch without so much Nashville twang.” — Spiral Earth

“Some of the loveliest songs you’ll hear all year.”
— Living Tradition

“A masterclass in restraint and subtlety. Authoritative singing and quietly insistent arrangements make for a sumptuous whole.”
— fRoots

“Her own songwriting is beautifully spare … a melancholy but somehow celebratory collection.”
— The Irish Times

“Highly recommended.” — Americana UK
“Spine-tingling.” — Hot Press
“Quietly expressive and supremely affecting performances … a truly lovely record.”
— NetRhythms


Friday, March 4th, 2011

Jackie Leven – November 26th 2010

Scots singer-songwriter Jackie Leven plays a solo acoustic set at the ACE Centre on Friday November 26th 2010. This will be the second ACE centre Kelso Folk & Live Music Club concert, following the great acoustics and atmosphere of Wizz Jones’s gig. It’s a really comfortable space for the audience and performer alike, even down to the café lounge as a laid-back listening option.

Album cover

Jackie is another big name in a line-up of top folk and acoustic artists we have been lucky enough to book for the 2010/2011 season. This is guaranteed to be a great show and the ticket admission for non-members is £5 (£3 concession), doors open 7.15pm for open mic at 7.30pm followed by two sets from Jackie, raffle between. Folk club membership will be available on the night for anyone wanting to join – we now have membership cards, and membership will entitle you to free or reduced price admission to guest nights.

Read Jackie’s powerful life story – not an easy ride – here:

And his Blog here:

See you on the night!


Monday, November 1st, 2010

Wizz Jones at the ACE Centre

One of the great learners and teachers of acoustic guitar, Wizz Jones, is our guest at the ACE Centre (Ice Rink, Abbotseat) on Friday October 1st. The evening starts at 7.30pm with our open mic, and Wizz takes the stage at 8.30pm. Admission is £5, but regular club members pay only £3.

Wizz learned his guitar in the late 1950s, influenced by the great American blues and ragtime players like Big Bill Broonzy (his most commonly quoted source). From the beatnik scene to the folk revival, he in turn had a great influence on British musicians including John Renbourn and Eric Clapton, both of whom acknowledge Wizz.

His songs are often gentle but carry strong messages, and his guitar playing is immaculate – the best of British fingerstyle.

Wizz will be giving a guitar workshop for club members mid-day Saturday, at the ACE Centre, before leaving for his next gig.


Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

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

Borders Festivals 2010 calendar

Including the 2009/10 winter festival ‘The Light, the Land and the Locals’ this PDF leaflet covers all the coming folk club and town festival events for 2010.

Download and view – you can also obtain a printed copy from the organisers or the tourist offices.

TraditionalMusicFestival09 FINAL

You will need Adobe Acrobat or a compatible PDF viewing application to read and print the brochure.

We also have added a permanent link in the left hand sidebar to the Border Union Showground 2010 calendar of events:


Thursday, December 10th, 2009