Past Guests

Past Guests include:

 "CAPELLA"      16th February 2017 8-00 pm    A delightfully enjoyable night of song and laughter was had by all, as was only to be expected!

Tony and Lesley Petty are two of the finest exponents of traditional Song from the British IIsles as well as some from America, France and further afield in wonderful harmony. They have travelled England and Wales, playing at clubs and festivals, and have also appeared in France, Holland and the USA. They hold a house concert once a year, held over a weekend, in the middle of the fields of North Kent, in the house if chilly or in the barn if warmer. The concerts and singing are augmented with BBQ, horse shoe throwing (highly competitive!), boules (even more competitive!!) and SPLOT.  They have, until recently, lived up to their name and sung largely unaccompanied, except with an occasional bodhran, but, shock horror, last week at Faversham Folk Club Tony played a guitar on one song  is this an indicator of more accompaniment to come?!

They were to have come to us in July 2017 but they have very kindly stepped into the breach at short notice.

TOM LEWIS                                     12th January 2017 8-00 pm  Another great night with Tom!

I am delighted to have Tom back with us again, as he showed at Deal Friday Folk last month he is an incredibly versatile and exceptionally knowledgeable folk performer and it would be entirely wrong to label him as a purely maritime performer! Tom is a 24-year veteran of Her Majesty's Royal Naval diesel submarines; although now he's comfortably located on dry land, well he is living on a narrow boat!. His maritime songs cover a wide range of nautical topics, from life on board H.M. ships, through the loneliness and lure of the sea, to traditional shanties and classic nautical poetry, set to his own, and others' melodies.  Having been based in Canada for twenty plus years with regular visits to UK he is now doing it the other way round!  It is great to have him back at  the club.

STANLEY ACCRINGTON   1st December 2016 8-00 pm

Stanley has appeared at Folk At The Drum on two previous occasions, once on a regular booking some time ago and more recently as an emergency replacement for a booked guest who fell ill at the last moment but very kindly found his own  replacement!  What can I say about Stan, he is an amazing performer in all senses of the word and you would do best to visit his website (following the link above) to get a flavour of all his humour and singing ability.  He is a very funny man with a huge fund of stories and songs, some serious, but all cleverly crafted.  This is really one who must not be missed as he will give you a great start to your Christmas period!  As I predicted we had a hilarious night with very clever songs written and performed by a master craftsman!!                                              

JOHN & DI CULLEN   10th November 2016 8-00 pm
John and Di Cullen have been described as “an inspirational music partnership” performing contemporary and traditional material with harmony, humour, guitar and bowed psaltery. Their first CD, " Moonlighting", is available plus their second, "Two For The Road", which was released in November 2015.  I have known them for a while through both Tonbridge Folk club and formerly when they ran "The Beacon" at Tunbridge Wells where they ran a very fine pub and were deeply involved with the running  of the fortnightly Beacon Folk Club with Peter Collins.  Two nicer people you couldn't wish to meet and their highly entertaining and accomplished performance is thoroughly enjoyable!  Sadly I missed the night as I had to be elsewhere but I know that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

BARRON BRADY   13th October 2016 8-00 pm.  Refreshing new self-penned songs mixed in with wonderful renditions of traditional song and a mix of instruments including two different harmoniums, or should that be harmonia?  The larger of the two is over 100 years old and has a glorious sound.  All this led to an extremely enjoyable and entertaining evening by two delightful people.
Barron Brady are Si Barron and Ros Brady, I saw them in 2014 at the Teignmouth Folk Festival when they were the support act for Martyn Wyndham-Read and I knew almost instantly that I wanted to book them.  It is difficult to define what drew me to their music so quickly but I think it was their respect for traditional music and the traditional folk sound.  If you look on their website you will see phrases like "interpreters of traditional English Folk Songs" and "contemporary songwriters".  These are phrases that would normally make me wary but I am glad to say that from a personal and FATD perspective their performance dispelled any concern which I may have had on that score.  Their musicianship and singing are excellent and their songs, whether traditional or self-penned tell stories on wide ranging subjects which really hold ones attention.  Guitar, whistles and harmonium accompany their singing but the song takes precedence not the accompaniment which, in my view, is just the way it should be!

Follow the link to their website and I recommend that you look on the reviews page at the words of Kathy Dunn the Swanage Folk Festival Director who has summed them up perfectly.  Then I suggest you go to the Listen page and do just that,  I strongly recommend that you listen to all four tracks to get the range of their work!

I am confident that we shall have an extremely good evening with these two highly skilled young performers as our guests.

15th September 2016  8-00 pm.  Nick entertained us all with stories of his life in song collecting and working with wood and Gypsy caravans in particular.  The previous night at Faversham he had promised not to repeat any songs whilst he was with us and he was true to his word with a highly entertaining evening of superb guitar playing and singing story songs.
Nick Dow has been a professional musician since the mid seventies and has many LP's to his credit. His career began in South London where he was a regular at The Bird in Hand folk song club, in Forest Hill. Nick is an all round professional Folk Singer and Folklorist whom I have seen on several occasions, most recently at the Teignmouth Folk Festival in 2015.  I have always thoroughly enjoyed what he does and the way he introduces and presents his songs.  Not only is he a great performer but he is also a great craftsman whose work building and repairing Gypsy Caravans is greatly admired.  As a consequence he is a fascinating man with whom to talk when time permits.

Nick doesn't have a website so I have used the hyperlink on his name above the picture to link to him singing "Through Bushes and Through Briars" on You Tube.  If you follow the link you will find lots of other songs by Nick but also some of his Gypsy Caravan activities and an interview with him on Radio Lancashire about the caravan he refurbished as a present from Ronnie Wood's wife for her husband.

JIM RADFORD   18th August 2016  8-00 pm.  A highly entertaining evening was had by all when Jim came to entertain us with stories and songs from his amazing long life.
Jim is the youngest member of The Normandy Veterans Association, he was just fifteen on his first trip to sea on 6 June 1944 when he found himself as a galley boy on an ocean going rescue tug, "The Empire Larch", off Gold Beach on "D Day" !  Since then he has been an activist in many areas of life, in particular as a peace campaigner.  He became a folk singer and later a song writer when he first went back to Arromanche on an anniversary of "D Day".  This moved him so much that he wrote his first and most famous song "Shores of Normandy", I first heard him sing it at the Walton-on-The-Naize Maritime Song Festival in 2004 and it moved me to tears.  Jim has been a friend of mine for more than twelve years since we met at The Yarmouth Maritime Festival over several years singing Sea Songs and Shanties in The Beer Tent along with Capstan Full strength who ran the singaround.  The festival guests came to us and we didn't have to move, close to my idea of Folk Heaven!!  Since then Jim has moved on to greater things having twice sung "Shores of Normandy" at The Royal Albert Hall in 2014 once at The British Legion's own festival and then later in the year at the Festival of Remembrance in front of the Royal Family.  Last year he came to our Lifeboat Concert at Dungeness and sang it there.  Most recently he was guest at the "Pig's Ear Folk and Ale" on 4th and 5th of June this year.  Jim has his own Wikipedia page which is very interesting and you will find a number of his songs on You Tube, including his performance at The Royal Albert Hall which has had over 91,000 hits!

JOHN WATERSON AKA "FAKE THACKRAY"   14th July 2016  8-00 pm.  What a great night we had with John, not only does he perform Jake's songs superbly but he is a highly talented performer in his own right.  There were tears before the end of the evening, tears of laughter!!  We shall definitely be having him back before too long!

I first saw John Waterson, aka Fake Thackray, live at “The Pigs Ear” Festival in 2014 and his performance confirmed the view I had formed by listening to clips on You Tube, I wanted to book him as his presentation live is outstanding!

John has performed the songs of Jake Thackray at festivals, concerts, clubs, after dinner venues and – most especially – to members of Jake’s family.   
Jake’s songs are exquisitely funny, satirical, incisive, irreverent, witty and gloriously un-PC – and sometimes all of these at the same time. Jake was a one off, his poetry broke the rules yet worked beautifully. He was a true craftsman of the English language, and his legacy of scores of songs continues to delight audiences of all ages today. 

Here are a couple of appreciative quotes:

“My family and I really appreciate your approach to Dads work and hugely enjoy watching your performances, which, whilst in your own entertaining stage style, are very reminiscent of Jake - particularly in your timing and rhythm. Thanks very much for keeping Dads songs alive.”
Sam Thackray

“Wonderful stuff, bringing some of Jake's long-forgotten gems back to life. Brilliantly performed songs, with uncannily precise enunciation, and accurately capturing the unique Thackray guitar style. If Jake was right, and there really is an afterlife, he'll undoubtedly be looking down and giving his gruff approval”.
Victor Lewis Smith, Producer 'Jake on the Box' BBC 4

RIBBON ROAD   16th June 2016  8-00 pm  We had a lovely night with this very gentle style of protest song and the harmonies were every bit as good as I remembered!!
"Ribbon Road " is a Family Folk Group who hail from the Border Country of Northumberland consisting of Husband and wife team Geoff and Brenda Heslop and their daughter Jill.  Brenda is a wonderful songwriter, she and Geoff play guitar, Jill plays keyboards and all three sing with lovely harmonies.  I saw them at Broadstairs Folk Week in 2014 and knew immediately that I wanted to book them for Folk at The Drum!  I saw them several times at the Festival and became even more determined to book them.  For over twenty years Brenda has been one of the underground talents of songwriting, she has a captivating voice which draws the listener into her stories of life in its many guises.  Her songs are stunningly beautiful conveying compassion, triumph, sorrow and hope mixed with anger at those who abuse their power.  She is also a working shepherd looking after hundreds of sheep on the hills of Northumberland!  Geoff may be better known to you than you think having produced over a hundred folk albums in the last forty years with performers like Bert Jansch, Dick Gaughan, Allan Taylor and many others.  A recent review of their album  "No Redemption Songs " of 2012 states: "The overriding quality of the album comes from the strength of the vocals from the three members of the group.  There is some understated instrumental accompaniment underpinning the songs but never distracting from the stories which are being woven."  I say "Amen" to that as for me that is the very essence of Folk Music and it was exactly the reason that I was instantly attracted to their performance.  On top of that they are three really nice people!!  Do not miss this rare appearance in the South of England.

BOB KENWARD   12th May 2016  8-00 pm      A terrific night with Bob who had kindly stepped in at short notice!

NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN   14th April 2016  8-00 pm        As was only to be expected with twice winners of the Radio 2 Folk Awards "Best Duo",

                                                                                                  We had a superb night with these two thoroughly professional and delightful performers!

JON HESLOP   17th March 2016  8-00 pm

Cornish resident JON HESLOP has been recognized as a major force in contemporary songwriting for over a quarter of a century. His songs are full of powerful beauty set to tunes firmly rooted in the British tradition, picked up and passed on wherever singers gather. In the UK and Ireland, and from St Austell to Australia, he and his songs are known and loved. Jon has also been a member of the Cornwall Songwriters collective since their inception in the 1990’s, appearing in all three of their ‘docu-dramas’. The Cry of Tin, Unsung Heroes and Cornish Lads as well as pursuing a successful solo career.

His stage presence is quiet and gentle, belying a sharp wit and droll sense of humour which surfaces in his between song chat – and even in some of his songs! Equally at home accompanying himself on guitar or bouzouki or  singing a cappella, Jon’s idiosyncratic approach has made him a much loved and respected character in the world of folk music.

You may not have heard of Jon Heslop but if you regularly attend folk clubs or festivals you will have heard his songs. His latest album, “NOW and AGAIN” is selling well to both established fans and newcomers to his work.

Both serious and very funny” Folk Diary (Sussex)    Jon can be contacted on  07531255914 or at


TROTWOOD   25th February 2016  8-00 pm        We had lots of fun with this lovely French Family!

This delightful French family group have been to Deal Friday Folk many times and to other Kent clubs including Tonbridge but this is their FIRST
appearance at FATD!  Having spent some time in Ireland, and returned frequently to top up their experience the family play and sing wonderful Irish tunes and songs.  They also do some Scottish songs and delightful renditions of both The Skye Boat Song and "Wild Mountain Thyme" can be found on You Tube.  The easiest way to access these and other "Trotwood" items on You Tube is to go to their website either by double clicking on their name above the picture or copying the link below into your browser.  Once in their website click once on their name in the line
of buttons at the top of the page and this will bring up a link which takes you directly to one of their performances on You Tube


PORCH SWING BLUES   14th January 2016  8-00 pm        A brilliant evening was had by all!!

Dave Ferra and Chris Berry need  no introduction to Folk At The Drum!  They combine to produce authentic good time music from New Orleans and beyond.

THE CAPTAIN SWING BAND  3rd December 2015 8-00 pm        They delivered a highly entertaining and educational evenings performance!

The band came together to perform the Captain Swing Show about The "Swing Riots" in Kent, a project devised, written and driven by Bob Kenward with a team of his friends who have sung with him in various guises over the years.  First is Roger Resch who sang with Bob as "The Wealden Ramblers" for many years next is Sue Watson who runs Deal Folk Club and who has sung with Bob on many occasions, then comes Liz Randall, a highly accomplished singer and musician who is a stalwart of the Tonbridge and the former Beacon Folk Clubs and is well known throughout Kent and further afield.  Last but by no means least is Alan Castle "Mr Tenterden Folk Festival" and mastermind of the Tenterden Folk Club.  Alan is the narrator for the Captain Swing Show who provides the links between songs.  Bob himself is a singer songwriter well known and highly respected throughout the country and many fine singers are proud to include a Bob Kenward song in their repertoire.  Bob found he was struggling to find traditional songs about Kent, he is a Man of Kent, so he set out to write some and after many highly successful songs he came to the Captain Swing project, highly enjoyable songs which shed light on some important Kentish history!

GRAEME KNIGHTS & JIM MAGEEAN  19th November 2015 8-00 pm      Good as ever!!

Graeme was in the area recently when he ran the Dungeness Lifeboat Shanty and Sea Song Concert on 23 May 2015 which was also a memorial for our friend and his, Kerry Hearn.  Jim and Graeme performed at FATD in November 2013. 

Although Jim and Graeme had worked together many times over the years they officially started singing together in 2002 at Whitby Folk Week. Jim had been running the Shanty Sessions there for over 30 years and Graeme kindly offered to help out (it's a tiring and thirsty job singing shanties for 2 hours every day of the Festival) and Jim was glad to accept.They've been running these sessions together ever since and also running similar events at other Festivals around the country - Barnsley, Bedworth, Bromyard etc (and that's just the B's).                    

The two singers are mostly known in association with the late, great Johnny Collins who sadly passed away in July 2009 (whilst on tour in Poland with Jim). Jim had been singing in a duo with Johnny since 1975 and Graeme had also been singing with Johnny since 1999. Sometimes the three singers performed as a trio (they toured Canada as such in 2008) and the last recording Johnny made was the CD ‘Good Times' with Jim and Graeme - so named because they always had such good times together. 

Like Johnny, Jim and Graeme specialize in unaccompanied chorus songs. Sea Shanties, Work Songs, Union Songs, Mining Songs, Drinking Songs etc. Anything to get the audience to join in and ‘Make the Rafters Roar'.

Bring your singing voices with you!

29th October 2015 8-00 pm        A great night was had by all!!

Alistair Bailey and Roger Davenport need no introduction locally, they have been stalwarts at Folk At The Drum (FATD) for about seven years!  They have also headlined at Crabble Mill Folk Nights and at The Star on Romney Marsh and they were also heavily involved in Folkestone's centenary efforts for the First World War writing some superb songs for that event.  They have written songs on many other local issues and perform both these and other traditional songs with splendid harmonies and clever instrumentation. See them perform 'John Barleycorn' through a beer glass on the Admission page.

Our only puzzle for this long awaited evening is guessing just how many instruments they will have between them!!

STEVE TURNER  15th October 2015 8-00 pm

Steve Turner

Steve has been to the club before but not for a while.  After a break of thirteen years he started to perform in Folk Clubs and Festivals again in 2005.  His latest CD, "Rim of the Wheel" was released in 2012 and is very highly regarded.  His website is well worth a visit.  This gig will be a must for all folkies.

17th September 2015 8-00 pm

Martyn needs no introduction, he played at FATD in 2013 and he has been around on the UK and Australian Folk Scenes for a very long time but he is still as good as ever, one not to be missed.

VICKI SWANN & JONNY DYER  16th July 2015 8-00 pm

A really good and very versatile duo who have provided us with a brilliant night of entertainment on two previous occasions.  They are well known in Kent and all over the UK.

BRAM TAYLOR  27th August 2015 8-00 pm

Bram Taylor is an entertaining artist with a distinctive voice and relaxed stage presence who gives an evening "Taylored" to suit his audience. With a constantly healthy gig sheet, annual tours of the USA and appearances at the 2007 & 2009 Mariposa Folk Festival in Canada (alongside Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot, The Proclaimers and Buffy-Sainte Marie).  Bram continues to be a constantly reliable and entertaining performer.
Bram is Fellside Records’ longest serving artist with 10 solo albums and almost an equivalent number of compilation recordings to his credit.  His latest Fellside release ‘Jokers & Rogues’ was extremely well received by the British Folk Music Press.  

LAURA SMYTH & TED KEMP 25th June 2015 8-00 pm   What a great night we had!

MARTIN CURTIS 14th May 2015 8-00 pm  An extremely entertaining evening!

Martin Curtis, New Zealand Singer and Songwriter, lives in Cardrona in the foothills of the Southern Alps, a place that has become the inspiration behind much of his music.

He has been writing and singing songs about his adopted country for over 30 years, and has recorded and released 10 albums, many of them celebrating New Zealand and the people who helped make it what it is today. He has toured extensively nationally and internationally – particularly in the United Kingdom – as well as Australia, Hong Kong, Austria, Norway and even Nepal.

THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND 16th April 2015 8-00 pm

Our Major Guest for 2015!

Three Sheets To The Wind

Derek Gifford (Of the velvet tonsils) and Geoff Higginbottom (The Symphonic Foghorn)

Three Sheets to the Wind

Sea songs and shanties and all things maritime.

Derek (Captain) Gifford, Keith (rank & vile)) Kendrick and Geoff (cabin boy) Higginbottom are: Three Sheets to the Wind (Well – most of the time!) and sing and play authentic traditional sea songs and shanties for the delectation and delight of all and sundry, mostly in rowdy but harmonious form (tho’ less so in the latter as the drink takes effect!) acapela or with various instrumental accompaniment.
Giff can often be seen with ‘Vile’ strolling down Lime Street in search of a Liverpool Packet……….Dunno about the cabin boy…..

Anyone attending their performances should be prepared to be shanghaied or press-ganged and be partial to rum and ship’s biscuit (teeth and constitution permitting!)

Avast there, ye swabs!

ROY CLINGING 19th March 2015 8-00 pm

Picture of Roy Clinging in the forest  He never ceases to surprise us with the variety of his programme:

MAUREEN JONES 12th February 2015 8-00 pm

Our Own Great Local Singer and Song Writer.

LYNNE HERAUD & PAT TURNER 15th January 2015 8-00 pm

LynneGreat friends of the club, it will be great to see them back again, lots of fun and great harmony:

JIM BAINBRIDGE 16th October 2014 8-00 pm

Jim needs no introduction having visited FATD several times. Here he is seen playing the melodeon and leading a miners' gala. 

18th September 2014 8-00 pm

Highly skilled fiddler and singer, first time at FATD 

TOM LEWIS 21st August 2014 8-00 pm

Now back in the UK to stay, it was great to have this formerly Canadian based singer back at the club. 

MIKE NICHOLSON 17th July 2014 
A very fine singer of songs at their best.

Geoff needs no introduction, a great friend of the club.

SCOLDS BRIDLE   15th May 2014 8-00 pm

These Lancash
ire lasses gave us a great night.

DEBRA COWAN                       8-00 pm, Apr 10th 2014

Great American singer and guitarist visiting on her own this time.

 NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN          8-00 pm, Mar 13th 2014   Nancy and James will be with us again 2016!

Fantastic internationally known duo. -
BARRIE & INGRID TEMPLE             8-00pm February 20th 2014
Geordie humour and great songs. -

PORCH SWING BLUES                        8-00 pm, Jan 16th 2014

Dave Ferra and Chris Berry needed  no introduction to Folk At The Drum!.


Maritime, union, mining and drinking songs at their best.

PETE CASTLE                                      Oct 2013

"A storyteller who sings half his stories."

MARTYN WYNDHAM - READ               Sep 2013

Wonderful, legendary performer.


Great concertina and fabulous harmonies.

Jul 2013
Local songstresses with a great variety of songs.

VICKI SWANN & JONNY DYER             Jun 2013
Lots of different instruments and great voices.

May 2013 STANLEY ACCRINGTON            
An excellent singer/song writer/humourist who stood in at the last minute after Steve Turner fell ill.

April 2013 CAPELLA             
Wonderful arrangements and harmonies.

March 2013 DEREK GIFFORD             

'Giff' is a good friend of FATD. He has a fine voice and accompanies himself on guitar & bowed psaltery or sings unaccompanied.

Feb 2013 ROY CLINGING    

A strong vocal style and adept use of the English concertina and acoustic guitar have confirmed Cheshire-based Roy as a highly respected performer and interpreter of traditional music in contemporary settings.

Jan 2013 MAUREEN JONES              
We know her so well and tonight will be an opportunity to hear a lot more from this first class poet and songstress. 


Playing guitar, recorder, English concertina and whistles (including 
policeman's, swanee, and referee's) they still find time to sing.  

   Nov 2012 PAUL SIRMAN             
   Traditional and contemporary maritime songs at their best.
Oct 2012 JIM BAINBRIDGE          

He has collected songs and tunes to sing and play (melodeon) from all over these Atlantic isles. See this Living Tradition article to learn more. 

Sep 2012 LOCTUP TOGETHER                         

An evening of folk and maritime songs with two great singers and lots of harmony. It's their twentieth anniversary.


Aug 2012   HILARY SPENCER       

Wonderful singer, great humour. The voice of 'Artisan'