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Your Feedback Home Page Past Guests Folk Club Programme

meets every Wednesday in the Pontyclun Institute Athletic Club,

Castan Road/Palalwyf Avenue, Pontyclun CF72 9EH at 8.30pm

Welcome to Llantrisant Folk Club, which has celebrated more than 34 fantastic and inspiring years of serving up home-made acoustic music to the communities of Llantrisant and Pontyclun - and here's to the next 34 years! Originally founded in The New Inn in Llantrisant by Mick Tems, Pat Smith, Stuart Brown and Siwsann George, and now based in Pontyclun Institute Athletic Club, the Club has staged over 1,000 intimate concerts with singers and musicians from all over the world, which is an amazing achievement. Artists from near and far love to perform at the Club, which is famous for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, its belting, wonderful harmony choruses - and its wonderful food, cooked by Pat!

The Club is blessed with all manner of poets, singers, raconteurs and musicians, who can turn an ordinary Song And Tune Night into a wonderful  and magical experience. However, if you want to sing and perform but are terrified of your first "floor spot", then don't worry - we're a friendly bunch! We love to introduce new performers, and new audiences as well.

The Club is located in the Lounge Bar of The Athletic Club, with perfect accessibility and facilities, a welcoming atmosphere, real ale and a comfortable lounge (turn right at the club’s main entrance, and you’ll find us in the first door.) It's a perfect place to spend a Wednesday evening!

Talbot Green, Pontyclun and the Llantrisant area has many good pubs and restaurants; The Bute Brasserie promises good food, many real ales and Gwynt y Ddraig ciders; and why not enjoy a meal and the finest of ales in The Boar's Head in the hamlet of Tyle Garw?  La Trattoria, in Talbot Road, Talbot Green, serves up superb Italian fare, while The Miskin Arms in the village of Miskin has an extensive menu. You won't go hungry in Pontyclun itself; there are local brasseries and Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian and fish-and-chip eateries within a stone's throw in the village, plus the Taurus restaurant in The Windsor Hotel.

Llantrisant Folk Club supports

Llantrisant Folk Club has been making glorious music for well over 34 years, and you are invited to The Session! The Club offers an exciting year-round programme of international artists from these islands and the whole world over. Performers are always welcome if you can sing or play your instrument, be it a guitar, fiddle, melodeon, crwth, pibgorn, concertina, whistle, bagpipe, tabwrdd, bodhran, triple harp or hurdy-gurdy - anything goes, and we always welcome audiences who just want to watch and revel in the spine-tingling atmosphere of a genuine acoustic event.

When no artist is appearing, Llantrisant Folk Club offers Song And Tune Nights, where members and non-members swap songs and tunes in an informal singaround basis. Showcase Nights offer a chance for musicians to stretch their legs in a 20-minute spot or spots.

A night out in Llantrisant Folk Club won't hurt you in the pockets, too. You don't have to become a member - but if you do, we can promise you fantastic savings. Take a look at our prices:

Artist nights 

£8 (non-members)

£5 (members)

Showcase nights  £3
Song & Tune nights  £3 
Membership fee £7 per year - a bargain!

We pride ourselves on booking an ambitious and go-ahead programme, but occasionally and inevitably this means an increase in the price. We'll inform you as soon as possible.

It is normally not necessary to pre-book - just phone or email Pat Smith (details are below) or just come as you are! 

 

FORTHCOMING ATTRACTIONS

August 12, 2015   

 

Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar

Winners of the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award and the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar are two of the most talented and up-and-coming folk musicians in Britain. Combining fiery fiddle, mandola and guitar, together they draw on a range of influences to create strong, proud songs and blissful, scalding-hot tunes.  They recorded a CD entitled The Call, and Fellside Records released a live DVD at the end of December 2014 called Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar In Concert - watch the DVD trailer!

August 26, 2015

 

Mike Moyse

A bass player, guitar player, singer and songwriter - born in Lowestoft, he started playing guitar at an early age but quickly switched to bass and was once described as “the best bass player in East Anglia”. He went on to perform in the award-winning sixties tribute band The Yarebeats, and then retired from music for 25 years. Now he has returned to the music scene with a particular love of folk music - he is now performing on the folk club and festival circuit with fellow singer-songwriter Linda Watkins and is in great demand with other musicians. He also performs solo, entertaining with a range of music which includes some of the lesser-known songs from the sixties, through James Taylor, Mark Knopfler and his own original material. He is also in demand as an MC.

September 2, 2015

 

Showcase with Tori Lang, Calum Ross & Conor Gricmanis

Cornwall/South Wales acoustic duo Tori Lang and guitarist Calum Ross (Ross & Lang) have been singing together for about three years in the Cardiff and Welsh hinterland music scene; they are friends of Llantrisant Folk Club and occasional floor singers/musicians, where they provide flashes of brilliance whenever they come through the Club door - in fact, Tori is the daughter of a Cornish shanty singer. They are joined by Baroque violinist, morris dancer, instrument collector and actor Conor Gricmanis, young musician of the Royal Philharmonic Society who has just been awarded a grant for a Baroque violin bow by the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation. Conor began his interest in music amongst the rolling hills of rural Shropshire, where he spent his youth on his family farming estate. He took a keen interest in the violin since the age of four, after being involved in music as a boy soprano at Hope C.E. primary school. At the age of 11, Conor gave his first solo performance - the famous largo from Vivaldi's winter concerto at Bishop's Castle Community College. Since these early years, Conor has remained involved in musical performance. He jointly founded the local Stringendo string quartet in Bishop's Castle, which has performed in concert and at many events, and studied with the famous violinist Michael Bochmann.

Watch a video by Ross & Lang and a vimeo by Conor Gricmanis.

September 16, 2015

 

Harpeth Rising

Harpeth Rising named themselves after the Tennessee river because water is both dynamic and powerful, which describes the music created by Jordana Greenberg (violin, vocals), Rebecca Reed-Lunn (banjo, vocals) and Maria Di Meglio (cello, vocals). Unapologetic genre-benders, they fuse Folk, Newgrass, Rock and Classical into a sound that is organically unique. Reviews: “Tender virtuoso violin solos... Andrews Sisters-like harmonies... Harpeth Rising play their cards with class and conviction” (Lee Zimmerman, No Depression) ... “They break new ground virtually every time they pick up their instruments, forging their own path as the vanguard of a new species of progressive folk” (Jason D. Hamad, The No Surf Review)

Hallmarks of their music include expansive three-part harmonies, consummate musicianship and a deft yet soulful lyrical perspective. Harpeth Rising’s roots run deep, from their varied ancestry across Eastern Europe to Nashville, the musical hotbed they now call home. JORDANA, born in Ontario, Canada, began her violin studies at eight years old in Indiana University, and she toured the US, Canada, South and Central America, France and Japan as a 17-year-old solo violinist with the University's symphony orchestra. Her classical training mixed with many bluegrass sessions in rural Indiana have developed Jordana's playing into a unique style. She now lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky. REBECCA grew up listening to Mahler, Edith Piaf and Bob Dylan in her home town of Davis, California, and taught herself banjo from Pete Seeger videos while studying viola in graduate school in Indiana University. She was Miss February in the 2012 Women Of Banjo calendar and now lives in Nashville. 'Cello teacher MARIA comes from Brooklyn but now is a Nashville resident. She performs folk, classical and contemporary music from Eastern Europe and the Americas, and has recently completed her Master's Degree at Indiana University.

Watch this video, then book up early!

September 23, 2015    

Ewan McLennan

 

Ewan came to Llantrisant Folk Club for his debut performance a few years ago, and it was a stunner; everybody is looking forward to his second gig here. He has come to be known as a guitarist at the very forefront of his generation; a troubadour, balladeer and storyteller cut in the old style, a singer that can move audiences with his passion and pathos, and a songwriter for whom social justice is still a burning issue. By the time he began playing the folk and acoustic music clubs around Britain in 2010 he had already been playing music for years - guitar and piano and all kinds of styles, but with a strong interest in folk songs. He was signed to Fellside Records also in 2010 and recorded his first full album, Rags & Robes. It received critical acclaim, put him firmly on the folk circuit and in 2011 won him the prestigious Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards. His second album, The Last Bird To Sing, was released two years later and again was enthusiastically received. He continued to win awards off the back of this - two Spiral Earth Awards in 2013 and then the Alistair Hulett Memorial Prize for Political Songwriting the same year. This also led on to him being asked to be part of the acclaimed BBC-4 Transatlantic Sessions in 2013, which saw him performing and recording alongside some of the world’s finest folk musicians. This Transatlantic Sessions video sees Ewan singing 'Whistling The Esperanza' in the illustrious company of Jerry Douglas (slide guitar), Donald Shaw (harmonium), Mike McGoldrick (whistle) and John McCusker (low whistle). Ewan finally released his third album, Stories Still Untold, recently.

 

September 30, 2015    

Sunjay

You could be forgiven for thinking at first listen that singer/guitarist Sunjay is older than his 21 years. With a relaxed and confident manner, vocal style and mastery of his instrument he walks onto a stage and addresses the audience as though he is sitting down to play music with a group of close friends - a completely natural approach for a young man who picked up the guitar when he was just four years old and hasn’t put it down since. Drawing from a rich, musical and cultural background, it is hardly surprising that Sunjay has quickly become recognised as one of the UK’s rising stars on the folk and acoustic circuit. His performances have been described as “mature and confident”, while his guitar playing has been hailed as “superb, brilliant, experienced, intricate and faultless”.

Winner of the Wath Festival Young Performers Award, nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2012 and at the British Blues Awards 2014, he has caught the eyes and ears of many venues and festivals across the country. Sunjay clocked over a hundred tour dates in 2013, supporting Martin Simpson, Passenger and Terry Reid. With two albums to his name -
Seems So Real (2011) and One Night Only (2013) recorded live at the Woodman Folk Club in the Midlands - Sunjay has just recorded his third release.

October 14, 2015  NEW!  

 

Showcase with Rod Thomas and Lyndon Jones
October 21, 2015  NEW!   An Tri Dipop (from Brittany)

with Dylan James (Mike James' son)

 

October 28, 2015  

Ninebarrow

Jon and Jay are a Dorsetshire duo, and they have been in high demand and have been receiving bookings at a plethora of folk clubs, music venues and festivals across the country including Towersey Festival and The Stables in Milton Keynes. As well as headlining in their own right, Ninebarrow have also provided first-rate support for Dave Swarbrick, Blair Dunlop, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, Bob Fox, Reg Meuross and Ray Cooper; most recently, they were invited to support Seth Lakeman at The Electric Palace in Bridport, where Seth described them as ‘a fantastic duo!’.

In 2013, Ninebarrow released their debut EP,
Kingdom; since then, Jon and Jay have gone on to record their debut album, While the Blackthorn Burns. Recorded and produced by the duo themselves, the 12-track release has been hailed as ‘a landmark folk album of its time’ (Folkwords.com), ‘exceptional…totally wonderful’ (Fatea Magazine) with harmonies that are used to ‘stunning effect’ (Brightyoungfolk.com). It’s also received airplay on Mike Harding’s Folk Show where he said: 'I've had lots of requests for this next duo...Beautiful, lovely feel to this. I love it.' In May 2014, Folk Radio UK posted the opening track of the album on their website, and within four weeks it had received over 20,000 plays world-wide and jumped to number 1 on SoundCloud's Folk chart. Engaging, charismatic and humorous - Ninebarrow are winning new fans wherever they go. See them live, and you’ll quickly understand why - in fact, Jon and Jay recorded this video of a concert at Poole Lighthouse, where they sang 'Bold Sir Rilas' and 'Farewell Shanty'.

 

November 11, 2015

  

 

Huw Williams

From the South Wales valleys town of Brynmawr, now living in Pontypool; clog-dancing Eisteddfod champion and workshop/schools teacher; BBC Radio Wales and Radio 4 presenter; Welsh bagpiper; harper; super guitarist; erstwhile partner of the brilliant touring duo Huw and Tony Williams; manager of super-cool Welsh band Calan (of which his daughter Bethan plays accordion and clog-dances superbly); mesmerising solo performer; top-drawer and highly original songsmith. He withdrew from touring gigs in 2001, but he's out on the road again - and Llantrisant Folk Club will be queueing up to see and hear one of the most entertaining acts in the world today.

Huw began his professional career as a singer-songwriter. He toured and recorded with Tony, and his songs were covered by many other artists here in Britain, the USA and Europe - including Fairport Conventions’s 'Summer Before The War' and 'Rosemary’s Sister'. He also is a regular presenter for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Wales. He tells the story of how a woman working in the dole office accidentally changed his life, how he wrote a song about a train that he still doesn’t understand - and why £2,000 mysteriously turned up in his bank account.
 

     

 

November 25, 2015

Martyn Wyndham-Read

Martyn was born August 23, 1942 in Sussex and is a must-hear, must-see collector and singer of Australian folk songs. He has been involved with folk music for over 40 years; In his late teens he left his mother’s farm in Sussex and headed off, with his guitar, to South Australia where he worked on a sheep station, Emu Springs. It was while he was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands at Emu Springs; he became captivated by these songs, with a growing  desire to know more of them and where they came from.

He returned to England in 1967 and met up with the renowned singer and song collector Bert Lloyd, who himself had spent time in Australia. Martyn was asked by Lloyd to contribute to the album
Leviathan on the Topic label. Soon afterwards he started recording for Bill Leader. In the early 1970s he started the Maypoles To Mistletoe concerts, which portray the seasons of the year through song, music, dance and verse. This show has been performed for the last 40 years and has in itself become a tradition at Christmas-time in and around the Sussex area.

Martyn is also the instigator of the Song Links Project, consisting of two book-and-CD sets which celebrates English traditional songs and their Australian variants. Song Links 2 compares and contrasts English traditional songs with versions that have travelled over the Atlantic and been sung in North America. He is working with Shirley Collins and Pip Barnes on a production called Down The Lawson Track, featuring stories, poems and songs of the Australian poet Henry Lawson. He has recorded over 30 albums and appeared at folk festivals in Australia and around the world; Wayne Richmond shot this video which shows Martyn and Iris Bishop performing 'The Shearer's Lament' and 'Orotaba Waltz'.

NEW! December 2, 2015 NEW!

The Garth Mountain Boys annual Showcase

The Garthies are based in Pontypridd and Cardiff, and the current line-up is: Laurence “Lance” Williams (guitar & mandolin), Richie Smith (Rich Pickins, banjo), Steve Porter (Steffan LaPorte, mouth organ), Robert “Budgie” Budge (bass) and Alan "Finchie" Finch (fiddle, guitar and mandolin). Professor Chris Tweed, on the dobro, is reported to have emigrated to Ireland; all the band would like him back again... 

The Garthies say: "We play American favourites, traditional and self penned Bluegrass music with fiddle, banjo, mandolin, bass, accoustic guitar and harmonica - foot-tapping stuff - we like it when you dance. We can play any size of venue from intimate to large halls and open air venues." 

December 16, 2015 NEW!

 

 

1st Christmas party with Rapsquillion

It's Christmas Party time, with plenty of laughter and good cheer, carousing and merriment - and the best recipe of all is Rapsquillion! The Raps were formed in 1998 when, as a result of a strange celestial juxtaposition, Keith Thomas (an ex-alumni) and Trevor Hedges met and decided that they would stand more chance of surviving the monthly folk session at The Miner’s Arms up at the village of Priestweston (in the English/Welsh borders of Shropshire) if they presented a united front.

Rapsquillion tries hard to be democratic; the band has no leader, and anyone can say what they like at any time (e.g. “I can’t bear that song; let’s try it with bagpipes”). Everyone mucks in – Kay Smillie (who is from Bristol and speaks like a pirate) deals with fashion matters, Jenny Wright keeps the wine topped up, Nancy Ketchen keeps up the rhythm on the bodhran, Dave Wright provides expert critiques, Trevor handles complaints and Andy Ketchen spends all his life speaking to computers.

The band says: "We do have a hard-won reputation for building gradually to a climax throughout a performance; our invigorating harmonies and rhythms are at their impressive best towards the ‘witching’ hour, when, bellies bloated and all cares and sheets to the wind, we tear off our inhibitions and display our crinkled credentials to the world." Llantrisant Folk Club welcomes The Raps - back by demand!

December 23, 2015 NEW!

2nd Christmas party with: Ourselves!

 

January 13, 2016

 

 

 

The Sam Kelly Trio

"Sam has such a beautiful voice and sings with so much soul. I've seen him perform live a few times and he's amazing" - Cara Dillon

'A captivating performer, Sam Kelly has one of the best young male voices in British acoustic roots music. Seriously...Check him out!" - Sean Lakeman

Sam is a 21-year-old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who originally hails from Norfolk. As a young child, his only link with folk music was through the Gaelic songs that his Irish grandfather taught him. But he has never lost his love for traditional music, and this passion pours out of him in every note he sings. Sam's debut EP, entitled
Your Way Home, was released in March 2013, featuring Beth Porter (Eliza Carthy Band) on cello. This created a buzz of interest in the folk scene for Sam's music, being described by Bright Young Folk as a "captivating introduction to a name we'll be sure not to forget", and gaining him support slots with the likes of Cara Dillon, Jim Moray and Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman. So far, Sam's musical journey has taken him from being selected for the first ever EFDSS Artist Development Scheme to becoming a New Roots Finalist in 2013. He is now touring with his band, with Jamie Francis on banjo and Evan Carson on bodhran. The Sam Kelly Trio are receiving glowing reviews from audiences at every gig they play.

Watch The Sam Kelly Trio on video, performing The Golden Vanity.

 

March 16, 2016 NEW! Allan Yn Y Fan
April 27, 2016 NEW! Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer
May 25, 2016

 

The Hut People

 

June 16, 2016 NEW!

Ritchie Parrish Ritchie

The world got one hell of a lot brighter for fans of the long-running but now disbanded Tanglefoot when Steve Ritchie, Al Parrish  and Rob Ritchie joined up once again in a new configuration, expanding their musical horizons beyond Canadiana and adding a shot of plugged-in to their sound. They also added a percussionist, Beaker Granger.

Playing festivals and concerts in Canada and the USA, RPR is gathering momentum throughout North America. They recorded Transatlantic, their new album at Park Head Studio, while in the UK on their last tour. It's now out in Canada and getting great reviews, such as this from The Beat Magazine: "They sing raucously and passionately with big stirring harmonies... at times with roaring vigour at others with sparse intensity, creating many moods... songs full of humour, pathos and love."

Here's a review from Beth Auerbach and Norm Stewart, organisers of Sleepy Hollow Folk Concerts, Falls Church, Virginia: "As longtime Foot-heads, we were thrilled to present RPR to kick off the 20th year of our Sleepy Hollow Folk series. RPR is not a "Tanglefoot-lite." Despite a sprinkling of very entertaining anecdotes from life on road, RPR expands the breadth of its songwriting beyond Tanglefoot's trademark Canadian history. The new repertoire ranges all over the board, the creative original lyrics brought to life with electric energy or leaner, quieter arrangements to complement them. It was a treat to experience these exciting performers close-up in an intimate setting."

 

Sepember 14, 2016 NEW!

The Jigantics
October 5, 2016 NEW!

 

Zoë Conway & John MacIntyre

Hold onto your hats! Llantrisant Folk Club has been waiting a very long time to bring you this wonderful and exciting eclectic fiddle and guitar music, hand-made in County Louth. Zoë and John bring to the Club brilliant arrangements of traditional Irish music, compositions and songs old and new. The husband-and-wife duo draw pieces into their repertoire from other genres such as classical, jazz and world music and express this material in way which not only displays the sheer range and knowledge of both instrumentalists but also exhibits the wonderful versatility of their instruments. The release of their critically-acclaimed album entitled Go Mairir I Bhfad/Long Life To You has brought international attention to the duo, and so they are increasingly in demand in Ireland and abroad. Twelve leading Irish composers were commissioned to each create a piece specifically for Zoë and John, for fiddle and guitar. Liz Carroll, Máirtín O’Connor, Steve Cooney, Frankie Gavin, Andy Irvine, Charlie Lennon, Donal Lunny, Tommy Peoples, Peadar O Riada, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Niall Vallely and Bill Whelan were all involved in this amazing project, and the album received a glorious five stars from The Irish Times.

Zoë, born in Dundalk in 1981, has performed with an impressive list of international shows and artists including Riverdance, Damien Rice, Lou Reed, Nick Cave and Rodrigo y Gabriella. She has been a key figure within classical music circles in Ireland and abroad, appearing as a soloist with acclaimed orchestras such as The Irish Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. John grew up in the Cooley Mountains of northern County Louth where he took up guitar at eight years of age. He began his career as electric guitarist with the successful indie band The Revs, with whom he performed on many famous stages and festivals including Oxygen, and Slane in Ireland, Reading and Leeds in the UK, and toured extensively in USA, Australia and Europe. He has worked alongside many world renowned producers, and is now also producing and recording in many genres. John studied classical guitar and piano for many years, and from early childhood, he was immersed in the songs and traditional dance music of south-west Donegal.

Watch these three videos: Zoë playing 'The Drunken Sailor'; Zoë and John imitate Grapelli and Rheinhardt in 'Tyger Rag'; and Zoë and John play for The Gathering traditional festival in Killarney. Enjoy!

 

   

 

DON’T FORGET:

All other Wednesdays are Song And Music Nights, starting at 8.30pm

For past guests, click here

 

For booking Information & general enquiries...

 

Pat Smith Mick Tems 

Telephone

01443 226892

Telephone 01443 206689

Mobile

07989 209824

Mobile 07531 812100
Email (click) Pat Smith Email (click) Mick Tems

 

 

  ABOUT LLANTRISANT FOLK  CLUB... 

The Club's symbol is Dr William Price of Llantrisant,  the great 19th century free thinker, social fighter, druid and cremation pioneer. There's a larger-than-life-size statue of Dr Price in Llantrisant Bullring, gazing out to Caerlan Fields, scene of his first ground-breaking act of defiance where he cremated the body of his baby son, Iesu Grist Price. The Club's first haven was The New Inn in Swan Street, Llantrisant, but nowadays we're based in nearby Pontyclun, at The Athletic Club. 

You don‘t have to become a member - but if you do, you become entitled to a range of benefits including reduced admission fees and the chance to take part in trips and special events. A newsletter is e-mailed to all members.

The club welcomes families and has produced a string of young performers.

We're proud of our achievements during our first 30-plus years - We've staged more than 1,000 guest concerts from all over the world and brought to our part of Glamorgan a sense of culture and purpose. 

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Page last updated 30 July, 2015

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