Category Archives: Music

Ritual Land Uncommon Ground. Album preview at South East London Folklore Society on December 8


For the December South East London Folklore Society meeting, Cunning Folk will be performing songs from the upcoming album, Ritual Land Uncommon Ground, & talking about themes which inspired the piece.

Britain has been settled for millenia. From time to time we leave evidence of our part in this island story. This presentation will  address our relationship with the land, how our identity is shaped by geography & the magic which springs up in forgotten corners as a result

Thursday, December 8 at 8 pm at The Old King’s Head, King’s Head Yard, 45-49 Borough High Street SE1 1NA
Entrance is £3/1.50 concs

you can stroll up on the night or email to guarantee a place


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Filed under Music, South East London Folklore Society

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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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!

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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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Filed under Folk, interview, Minesweeper, Music, Sutton House

Talking Folk with Harry Harris

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Harry Harris is a great singer-songwriter from Wales, presently resident in London, who has just released a great album called “Songs About Other People”. Here is a link to a review which came out the other week in the Telegraph. Cunning Folk really like Harry & are delighted that he will be playing the very first Marylebone Folk & Roots Club on the 24th. Here is a nice chat with the man & a song to boot..

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Folk On The Water 2: Further Adventures On The Minesweeper

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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.

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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.

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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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Cunning Folk are up the creek again: Folk On The Water 2

After the wonderful event we had in November at the Minesweeper in Deptford Creek we thought we would have another! For your pleasure, on the evening of Saturday 17th January 2015 starting at 8pm, we have a lovely line up of talent.

To kick things off we have the wonderful Gemma Khawaja, Norfolk based singer of traditional folk songs.

We shall then proceed to Garry “The Slide Guy” Smith, one of the best slide guitarists you will ever hear. He is that good. We’re not laying it on too thick: he is amazing.

The 1st headline artist of the evening is Robin Grey.
Robin is a great folk singer who draws from traditional & contemporary influences to make genuinely likeable original pieces & reworkings of traditional favourites. We are delighted to have him and his band join us on the boat. He is a rising star so catch him now!

The 2nd headline artist of the evening is local hero Andy Hankdog. Andy has run nights in pubs in South London for many a moon: his Easycome is a staple of the Nunhead & Peckham scene. He is a great singer & performer in his own right & we would like for you to hear him.

This party will be held on the Minesweeper on Deptford Creek. There is a suggested donation of £5 to pay the artists & contribute to the upkeep of the boat. If you want to come but feel you can’t run to a fiver we don’t mind: just give what you feel like is a fair concessionary rate.

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Filed under Blues, Folk, Minesweeper, Music