Category Archives: Folk

Cunning Folk Activities


After a busy & successful Bermondsey Folk Festival. Cunning Folk are not resting on laurels. There is a chance to see Cunning Folk perform on the Golden Hinde on Friday October 7th as part of the bill of the wonderful Tiller Flat Folk Club. There is also a talk called “A Beginner’s Guide To Folklore”, promoted by Cunning Folk, on Thursday October 13th. Follow the link for more details…

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Folk Synthesis: A free event in April celebrating folk music & analogue synthesizers in a great independent record shop.


Cunning Folk are delighted to announce an afternoon of collaboration between folk & electronic musicians on Sunday April 17th at Rye Wax in Peckham.

Folk Synthesis is a simple concept, folk musicians, poets & storytellers perform alongside experimental electronic musicians.

This afternoon is free & boasts an excellent line-up.

Katy Carr is an award winning Anglo-Polish singer

Stick In The Wheel are an award winning folk band

Vanessa Woolf (A.K.A. London Dreamtime) is a highly successful storyteller

Mark Pilkington is a renowned electronic musician who will be performing as Teleplasmiste

Jack Ellister is an up & coming Psychedelic songwriter

Cage & Aviary are cosmic electronic musicians

GentleFolk are a progressive folk band

Sand Snowman combine synthesis & folk music so are obviously suited to this event

The Delta Ladies are renowned exponents of country blues

follow the link for more details…

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Bermondsey Folk Festival: Full line-up!


Bermondsey Folk Festival: a week of free folk music in the heart of South East London.

Southwark Park Road is a stone’s throw away from Bermondsey Underground Station. On the first week of September there is a programme of free folk music from established performers in & around Southwark Park Road.

Featured performers include acclaimed Irish Traveller singer & storyteller Thomas McCarthy, much loved old time American player & singer Tom Paley, veteran folk & blues player Wizz Jones & the excellent Steve Tilston.

Here is the full line-up & schedule with links to more details:


TUESDAY 1/9/2015 At The Queen Victoria,

148 Southwark Park Rd, London SE16 3RP




WEDNESDAY 2/9/2015 At The Old Bank

239 Southwark Park Road, London SE16 3TT




THURSDAY 3/9/2015 At The Blue Anchor,

251 Southwark Park Rd, London SE16 3TS




FRIDAY 4/9/2015 At The Ancient Foresters

282 Southwark Park Rd, London SE16 2HB



SATURDAY 5/9/2015 At The Blue Market,

Market Place, Bermondsey, London SE16 3UQ




1:10-1:40 NIALL KELLY


2:20-2:50 BLACK SCARR


3:40-4:20 KATY CARR

4:30-5:10 WIZZ JONES



SUNDAY 6/9/2015 At The Biscuit Factory

100 Clements Road, London, SE16 4DG



12:30-1:10 BARA BARA BAND


2:20-3 TOM PALEY

4-4:20 HANK DOG





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Bermondsey Folk Festival is in 3 weeks time!


“A free folk festival in Bermondsey on the first week of September?” we hear you ask.

Yes indeed; Cunning Folk, in association with Blue Bermondsey Bid & Grosvenor, is delighted to present the first Bermondsey Folk Festival.

An incredible calibre of folk performers playing for free in locations a stone’s throw from Bermondsey tube station.

If you like folk music & are in London on the first week of September this is the place to be.

Expect more details very soon….


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Wizz Jones at Sutton House


Behind the door of the Tudor Pile on the evening of April 17th was magic


Vanessa Woolf told a chiller of treasure & an ill favoured tongue


GentleFolk trod the old boards & sang about the ancient woodlands


Then Wizz Jones gave a masterclass in what it is to be a lifelong Troubador

If you were there you know how good this night was.


Cunning Folk will no doubt return to Sutton House soon.

In the meantime a season of talks about aspects of folk, world & roots music are being scheduled so watch this space.

Also Cunning Folk is putting on a guided walk of South East London with a difference on July 4th. Follow the link for more details…

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Wonderful times at Sutton House


Sutton House, on Homerton High Street, is wonderful. It’s a Tudor house looked after by the National Trust a stone’s throw away from Hackney Central. It’s the oldest house in the East End & venue for Cunning Folk. On Friday we had a lovely evening of folk music & storytelling.

Laura Smythe & Ted Kemp from Nigel Of Bermondsey on Vimeo.

Laura Smythe & Ted Kemp sang beautiful traditional songs accompanied with cello, banjo, guitar & squeezebox.



GentleFolk sang songs of the Greenwood & told tales of Herne The Hunter


The evening was topped off with a stellar tell from the wonderful Sarah Rundle. Tales of food & cunning washed down with bread & butter, pistachio flavoured turkish delight & cake!

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 16.40.42

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Good Tides on Deptford Creek & More Folk in a Tudor House

Thomas McCarthySarah Lloyd & Ian Kennedy

Molly, Ian & Jess Molly & Elizabeth

Folk on the Water on the Minesweeper in Deptford Creek was pretty special. Fantastic singing from the floor & amazing feature spots from Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd, & for Molly Carroll (joined by her friends Jess & Ed).

Here Jess is dancing while Ed plays gourd banjo & Molly plays ukulele.

Thomas was amazing: folk tales & folk singing of the highest order. He is worth seeing if you haven’t yet, do!

 Here is Thomas performing Johnny Barton.


Coming up on Friday is another Cunning Folk at Sutton House which promises to be an excellent affair. We have the wonderful Laura Smyth & Ted Kemp performing a set of traditional songs.

Here is a chat that Nigel from GentleFolk, the other musical cat on the bill, had with them earlier on this month.

& here is what they sound like.

GentleFolk will be playing a set too.

GentleFolk have been described by the comedian Stewart Lee as “Good” & by the folk band Stick In The Wheel as “a psychedelic folk Steely Dan”.

There will also be stories of food & cunning from the storyteller, Sarah Rundle.


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Talking Folk with Forbes-Moncrieff (in advance of their gig at Sutton House on Feb 20th)

Cunning Folk spent a fine hour on Saturday 24th January in the Refectory of Southwark Cathedral with Cas & Ste, AKA Forbes-Moncrieff in advance of their performance at Sutton House on the 20th February. Fine coffee & tea was drunk and we chatted… Cas was just getting ready for a trip to Canberra where she grew up, so first we established where Canberra was (about 3 hours drive from Sydney) & that Canberra is the capital of Australia (I did not know that.) Cas’s Mum is English & was a singing teacher & taught her folk songs from an early age.

Cas & Ste have been playing & singing folk music for 5 years now & their 2014 album The Green Lady is a real treat. The title track is inspired by the excellent book The Chime Child by Ruth L. Tongue, which Cunning Folk have on the folklore shelf of the library. They recorded the record in Wild Goose studios in Hampshire, a fine experience punctuated with libations of gin & assorted refreshment.

Cas & Ste are currently researching & writing new material with an aim to record late summer. They are looking at bringing in more storytelling into a show arc. We join the conversation as we start talking about storytelling in song & ramble on from there. Please excuse the sound quality; next chat will involve some kind of production value.

(Interview by Nigel Of Bermondsey)

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Folk On The Water 2: Further Adventures On The Minesweeper

photo 3

Hardy folk ventured onto the Minesweeper in Deptford Creek on Saturday 17th for a truly excellent session. Here we see Garry “The Slide Man” Smith with Ian Kennedy on Bodrum.


Gemma Khawaja sang to us as the hulk gently rocked in the tidal creek.

photo 6

Robin Grey & friends were charming as always.

It may have been frosty outside, but the wood burner roaring in the cabin & the ales & ciders made for an extremely cosy night.

photo 4

Our evening concluded with Andy Hank-Dog coaxing some wonderful tunes from a weathered guitar.

We are so looking forward to our next event on the Minesweeper on March 14. Follow the link

for more details…


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Cunning Folk At Atlantis
We had another fantastic Cunning Folk event on Friday, this time at the Atlantis bookshop on Museum Street. It was one of our favourite gigs of the year. Plenty of mulled wine, esoteric poems, stories & songs. Nigel Of Bermondsey & his merrie band, Gentlefolk, sang some adaptations of Crowley & Graves poems & a few originals too. You can see them performing a song about Badbury Rings hill fort in the little video above.

The wonderful Tim Cumming gave a reading from one his published collections. If you are unaware of his work you will have a chance to see him at future Cunning Folk events. Here is a flavour for you…

Vanessa from London Dreamtime gave a great seasonal tell which was appropriately magical.


Vanessa will be back at Cunning Folk in April with folk & blues guitar legend Wizz Jones.

Many thanks to Geraldine & Bali at Atlantis for looking after us so well!

More Cunning Folk music & spoken word events are being sorted for the new year, starting with one on the 17th January on the Minesweeper in Deptford creek.

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