7 of the best concerts at Hitchin Folk Club this year

Folk legend Martin Simpson is topping the bill on Saturday night as part of FolkEast's Blaxhall Sessions

Folk legend Martin Simpson - Credit: Elly Lucas

Hitchin Folk Club's concert programme for the season has been announced.

Now based at Hitchin Cricket Club, the opening gig will see Martin Simpson perform at the pavilion in Lucas Lane on Sunday, September 12.

After nearly 40 years at The Sun Hotel in the town, the club was forced to move to Hitchin CC.

However, organisers managed to get in only three concerts at the folk club's new home before COVID-19 shut everything down.

Gigs will start again in September. 

To comply with North Herts District Council regulations, concerts will start earlier at 7.30pm and end at 10.15pm.

Doors are at 6.30pm.

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Here's 7 scheduled concerts at Hitchin Folk Club worth checking out over the coming months.

1. Martin Simpson

Sunday, September 12.

Over 40 years after recording his first album, Golden Vanity, Martin is known as a guitarist of formidable talent.

Equally at home playing English traditional folk, American folk and blues, and his own compositions, he is consistently named as one of the very finest fingerstyle guitar players in the world.

Martin has been nominated multiple times in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  

Tickets cost £15 members and £17 non-members.

2. Richard Digance

Sunday, September 26.

Richard Digance will perform at Sheringham Little Theatre. 

Richard Digance is set to appear at Hitchin Folk Club. - Credit: Richard Digance

Not many guitarists have played a duet with Queen's Brian May, worked with comedian Steve Martin, played an acoustic set with Status Quo, and performed at The London Palladium with the late Robin Williams. Richard Digance has.  

Richard first played at Hitchin in 1973, when he was 24. He is now in his 70s!

He is a BAFTA nominated entertainer and a Gold Award recipient from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. He is also listed in the Virgin Anthology of Music as an influential writer of comedic songs.

Tickets cost £15 members and £17 non-members.

3. Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham

Sunday, October 3.

Aly and Phil are arguably the finest exponents of Scottish traditional music, recognised as such when both were awarded the MBE for services to Scottish music.

Aly is probably the most significant fiddle player in the Celtic tradition, while Phil is a world famous accordion player and composer.

Ticket only, £18 members and £20 non-members.

4. Chris While & Julie Matthews

Sunday, October 24.

Two breathtaking singers, prolific songwriters and musicians, whose energy and commitment to their craft and their audience is boundless.

The multi-award-winning duo's songs cover life as they see it, from the industrial wastelands of the north, to injustice and freedom, matters of the heart, and everything in between.

Tickets are £16 members and £18 non-members.

5. Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies plus Kelly Oliver

Sunday, November 14.

Kimpton Folk Festival 2017 - Jez Lowe entertains the crowds.

Jez Lowe is set to appear at Hitchin Folk Club with the Bad Pennies. - Credit: Archant

Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies have been playing their songs and music of Northern England for years around the folk festivals, clubs and concert stages of the world.

They are one of Britain’s top attractions on the folk/acoustic/Celtic circuit.

North Hertfordshire's Kelly Oliver is also on the bill.

Members pay £16 and non-members £18.

6. Martyn Joseph

Sunday, November 28.

Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph is a unique and mind-blowing artist.

Compared to Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews, he has created his own style and reputation as a mesmerising live performer.

He’s a jaw-dropping guitar player who has developed a unique percussive style, teamed up with a powerful, show-stopping voice.

Admission costs £16 members and £18 non-members. 

7. St Agnes Fountain

Sunday, December 12.

Since their first get together, to record the eponymous St Agnes Fountain album in 2001, the quartet of David Hughes, Fairport Convention's Chris Leslie and duo Chris While and Julie Matthews have brought musical invention and laughter to the atmosphere of the festive season.  ​

Although David decided to leave the band in 2020 to concentrate on solo pursuits, Chris, Chris and Julie will be keeping the Christmas Aggie spirit alive and touring as a trio.

Tickets cost £18 members and £20 non-members.

For more details, visit www.hitchinfolkclub.co.uk