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 Chippy Folk & Acoustic Club is back in Chipping Norton! In the splendid barn room of The Chequers.  It’s a well known and genuine pub with a great atmosphere. 

The following text is taken from their website for those needing to park:

The pub is on Goddard Lane, right at the heart of the town, which can be easily accessed via the A44, A361 or B4450. Free short stay parking is available just a stone’s throw from the pub, or there’s long stay parking available on New Street and Albion Street – both of which are less than five minutes walk from the town centre.

 

February 2024

Valentines week and there was standing room only for the theme of ‘Love and Romance’ in the excellent back room of the Chequers. We welcomed many old friends and new. Father and daughter duo, Daisy and Ian kicked off with a lovely rendition of North West Passage to the Sea and that was followed by some nice ‘a capella’ singing in true folk tradition. A super rendition of The Maid of Llanduff( Trevor) led nicely into Peter and Pen singing a Love Song to The Land. There were smatterings of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, John Prine and Colin Pitts to name but a few!!

Compulsory chat and drinks refills for renewed energy in the second half where there were songs in Welsh and Swahili!  ‘Lefty’ rocked us on his 12 string with a rousing chorus and we wound up after everyone’s bedtime at 11pm. A good night was had by all and the Chequers were very long suffering.

Mandy C

January 2024

It was ‘Blues Night’ at the Folk Club for the first meeting of 2024… and a very fine evening it was too.  There were just a few ‘classic’ 12 bar blues but plenty of great blues related songs including sightings of slide guitar, harmonica and mountain dulcimer, plus some notable oblique references to the [strictly optional] theme…   Eclectic as ever, the gathering was treated to some exceptional whistle playing as well.  Also good to welcome a new face or two demonstrating the incredible depth and breadth of local talent. 

The Chequers continues to do us proud.. so good for the Club to be back in Chippy at a proper pub.

It all augurs well for the year ahead.

Rosie & Paul C.

December 2023

A warm and festive time in the packed Barn room of The Chequers for our Christmas bash, including chips, sausages & mince pies..
Songs on a festive theme, accompanied with a smattering of Christmas jokes and
stories…and a song about pirates! We heard The Fairy Tale of New York (a
tribute to Shane McGowan) accompanied by ukulele, a beautiful solo lament on
the cello, some fine guitar playing and a lot of ‘sing-alongs’ that kept our
voices and fingers busy. Too many performers to mention by name – but you know
who you are!

Looking forward to seeing everyone on January 8th for ‘Blues Night’ (although
all songs/styles will be welcome!).

All welcome to sing, play, recite or just listen. Free entry. 

Rachel Chai

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November 2023

A suitably wet and windswept evening for this month’s theme of ‘Winter’ at Chippy Folk Club in November. Happily the foul weather did not deter our faithful troubadours, the house was full and busting at the seams.

Rachel Chai started us off with a lovely rendition of ‘Ready for the Storm’ by Dougie Maclean then we moved around the room to a great variety of music and songs accompanied by guitar, concertina & ukulele plus some a capella contributions – great to hear Pete and Pen’s melodic voices and lovely harmonies again. An impressive rendition of ‘Diamonds & Rust’ by newcomer Lizzy, with impromptu expert guitar accompaniment by Dave; Pete Joshua changed the mood with a lovely jazz standard and his nimble finger picking guitar.

Some beautiful songs and voices as always and a lovely ambiance – an evening to warm the cockles and defy the gloom of a wintry night.

Claire Johnson

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October 2023

The folk club has a new venue! The Chequers in Chipping Norton hosted our club in a cosy room at the back of this lovely pub. Our theme this month was Conflict and Peace. A fitting, subject, given the news over the last couple of years. The room was full to the brim with musicians and audience, eager to share their songs. These ranged from Springsteen’s “My Home Town” played on the banjo, to songs about the Crimean War, nineteenth century Afghan wars (Kipling), WW1, and a beautiful rendition of the Skye Boat Song and the aftermath of Culloden. There were contemporary songs too, from the likes of Dylan, Ralph McTell and Sinead O’Connor. The musicianship was excellent, and the words thought provoking. It was a great evening with a lot of laughs. But what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding? You might ask. I suppose, the answer is blowing in the wind.

Dave Oakley

 

August 2023

With a number of folk away there wasn’t a huge turnout for the meeting of Chipping Norton Folk Club on Monday 14th August held in the delightful garden of the Crown Inn at Church Enstone. However, it was nonetheless a very good fun evening and enjoyed by all. The optional theme was ‘Summertime’ and the evening kicked off with George Gershwin’s famous song of that name.

Some people’s choice of songs [and poems..] were closely associated with the theme, some not so much, but it was lovely to have some old favourites where everyone could join in with voice and instrument with the likes of Wild Mountain Thyme, Scarborough Fair, Under the Boardwalk, and sadly linked to this particular summer .. James Taylor’s Fire and Rain.

The next meeting is on Monday, September 11th and will also be at The Crown, Church Enstone starting off at 7.30pm

Rosie Cherry

 

July 2023

It was great to be back in the garden room at The Crown in Church Enstone, where we spent several happy sessions a year ago. It’s a lovely airy space with a roof, so we stayed dry despite the summer rain and enjoyed hearing songs on (and around) the theme of ‘My Favourite Place’. Stuart started with ‘The bonnie banks of Loch Lomond’ on the uke, followed by one of Cathy’s bespoke poems – this one about the Yorkshire Dales. Richard’s favourite place was anywhere with Bob Dylan and Craig followed with ‘The Last Resort’.

Special welcome to Ian, joining us for the first time, who gave a beautiful rendition of ‘The Last Train to Fleetwood’, then Steve followed with a song about Derry (London Derry). More crackers from Colin, singing beautiful songs about his home town of Evesham (new album ‘The Beach’ available now – and well worth a listen!).

It was great to meet Steph and Jill, also coming to us for the first time who give us songs about Queen Jane and English Tea. Mandy and Rachel offered Laura Cantrell’s ‘Two Seconds’ (unashamedly not on theme!) and The Crown made the evening extra special by serving delicious chips at half time.

Apologies if I’ve got anyone’s name or song title wrong – but rest assured – every contribution was appreciated and it was great to welcome guests and listeners as well as performers.

Rachel Chai

 
 

New Year Special: Appropriately themed ‘Friendship’ the evening was cheered – on a gloomy January night – by nearly thirty folkies filling up our old venue (but now sporting a new look).  There were three ukeleles, several guitars, trad unaccompanied folk singing, poetry reading and – never to be missed – a solo Kazoo! Colin Pitts (from Evesham!) kicked off with one of his own songs and we went from there to some winter themed songs and across the water with a smattering of Bob Dylan and Loudon Wainright, ending the first half with a rousing version of “Come all without, come all within…..you’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn”

Chips were a very welcome addition while everyone topped up their drinks and energy for the second half. No-one left. The friendship theme continued with a huge variety of interpretations such as McTells ‘From Clare to here’ and finishing the whole set with an afterthought from MC Patrick with ‘Picture in a Frame’ (Tom Waites)

[Mandy C.]

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Sorry again that the Christmas special had to be cancelled at rather short notice.. next meeting on January 9th 2023

[

NOVEMBER 2022: Well that was another great musical evening for The Chippy Folk & Acoustic Club at The Harrow.

We had several talented singer song writers in our midst plus other singers and musicians performing covers, also the spoken word by Sylvia and Cathy.  All together there were seventeen performances throughout the evening.

The evening was MC’d by Colin Greenway who kept the pace lively, introducing each act to the stage.

There was music from Bob Dylan to traditional folk, Battlefield to Seashore, love songs to blues – in fact a good eclectic mix of generic songs! 

People travel far and wide to come to this popular club so do join with our regulars, guests and audience for music making,  fun and friendship on the 2nd Monday of each month at The Harrow Inn Enstone.

Jean G.

October 2022:  Ben has bought the ArtYard/PupYard and very sensibly reverted to the original name for this well know hostelry – The Harrow Inn at Enstone.  All the best, Ben for your venture. Dave Oakley MCd with customary aplomb. Here’s his write up:

“People travel great distances to attend a folk club. On Monday night John and Margaret came all the way from Doncaster to give a galloping rendition of Christy Moore’s Ride On. They claimed they were cat sitting, though there was no sign of a cat. Rashide travelled miles from Bedford to play blistering versions of Telstar and a very obscure Status Quo number. Most of us guitarists require frets to get our fingers in the right place, but not Tash. She played some impressive clawhammer on a fretless banjo. Sylvia read some Pam Ayres poems (good job we looked after our teeth), and Ian broadened the eclectic mix of instruments by playing a bouzouki. Colin summed up modern times with Dylan’s Things Have Changed and the old depression years classic, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out. Music pulls people together and things have changed.”

September saw us back in Enstone with a great evening MCd by Brock  & Vixen [‘Turning Signs’] although the restyled ‘PupCafe’ ArtYard proved to be a v. short lived phenomenon !  See October..

AUGUST:  On another warm summer’s evening, we were made welcome by Jason at the Tite Inn, Chadlington. There was a good turnout for our outside session: some regulars, some who hadn’t been since before lockdown and some new faces (participating or just listening). Once again, the music was a mix of folk, rock (always good to hear The Grateful Dead at a folk club), traditional, solo singing (Bethan with an amusing Welsh tale of a black pig sung in English) and a response to Mary Beard’s comment on grey hair (thank you, Ginnie). We also had some original songs (including Love of We by newcomer Ridhima from New York), lovely duets from Rachel and Rosie, interesting accompaniment from Lefty on the cajon, and songs where we could all join in, until it grew too dark to continue..

Rosemary O.

Colin Pitts with banjo, July

July 2022.. perfect summer’s eve at The Tite Inn

After a false start last month, we were delighted to return to the hospitable Crown on 9 May – and we had a cracking evening! Thanks to Brock and Vixen (of Turning Signs) for MCing, and happy birthday Vixen. We had songs in English and French, accompanied on accordion, guitar, ukulele, cajon, Buddhist meditation bell AND kazoo! We enjoyed every contribution – including Cathy’s wonderful poems, Patrick’s yodelling and Lefty’s bar chords. With the doors wide open onto the lovely pub garden, another highlight was hearing Steve accompanied by the blackbirds outside.

Next Meeting.. JUNE 13th

Chippy Folk Club rides again (after a false start!)

Sorry we had to cancel Folk Club at very short notice on Monday 11 April. At the last minute, the venue were not able to host us due to sickness.

However, we’re confident we‘ll be meeting in May. Weather permitting, we’ll be outside in the lovely pub garden (under cover if needed). 

All welcome at The Crown, Church Enstone, OX7 4NN on Monday 9th May at 7.45pm.

Jan. 21st 2022

A somewhat belated Happy New Year to all subscribers…!

We are still ‘pausing’ our monthly meetings for now, but will let you know, of course, in good time when we’ll be starting again.  Meanwhile, we hope you may have been able to find some good opportunities to sing and play..

Here [and on the ‘news and links’ section of the website] are some upcoming events and links:-

Friday 18 March 2022: Festival Folk Night at The Chequers, Chipping Norton

Part of Chipping Norton Music Festival

Chipping Norton Music Festival – Chipping Norton Music Festival (cnmf.org.uk)

 

22 – 24 April 2022

Folk Weekend Oxford  – multiple venues and events

https://www.folkweekendoxford.co.uk/

 

Wychwood Folk Club: Do please keep supporting Mark & Elaine and their booked artists .. all events are listed on their website:

https://www.wychwoodfolkclub.com/

 

 

The Fox in Middle Barton has recently re-opened and is keen to establish the pub as a music venue. They have asked John & Sue West to get together musicians, singers, poets, or anyone who wishes to go along and join in the sessions. If interested please contact John via e mail:  Jjwest4684@gmail.com

 

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Club AGM

We normally have an AGM every year and the last one was February 2021 (over Zoom). Because we are not meeting at the moment, here is a very brief ‘AGM Update’ instead

Committee: Your committee members are:

Rachel Chai (Chair), Paul Cherry (Treasurer), Rosie Cherry, Amanda Cooper, Patrick Moores (Secretary), Dave Oakley, Ginny Redston

If you have any questions, comments or ideas, you are welcome to contact us via

info@chippingnortonfolk.org.uk

Accounts
The Club accounts have been made up for the period 1 Nov 2020 – 31 Dec 2021 and approved by the Committee.  No change to the balance in the account. Thanks to Treasurer, Paul.

Keep up to date with our news at:    http:/www.chippingnortonfolk.org.uk/

Best wishes, until we meet again

 

New get together organised by Ben Whittaker

1st November 2021

Dear Members & Subscribers..
After much soul searching arising from the present rising Covid levels, and the need in the late Autumn and Winter months to be inside, we have reluctantly decided it is best to ‘pause’ on our monthly meetings until Spring.  Put simply, we’ve not been able to find a venue where we can satisfactorily and safely accommodate the likely numbers of performers on our chosen evening and timetable.

We are extremely grateful to The Crown at Enstone for their support and especially allowing us to use the garden on many occasions this year.  
Any news and updates will be by newsletter and please keep looking at the website.  We’ll be back … and would stress that there is every intention to re-commence meetings as soon as feasible for our thriving Club.

All the very best for now

 STOP PRESS: We are now meeting at The Crown at Church Enstone, ..next meeting, October 11th.. INSIDE !

Below are some ‘write ups’ from 2020 & 2021

July 2021 at The Crown

On a July summers evening, in the garden of The Crown at Enstone, our folk club brought their ‘A’ game. Accompanied by free-wheeling swifts overhead, the ladies of ‘Under One Umbrella’(literally… under one umbrella) were in really good voice sitting alongside Julia and Rosie who followed with some lovely a capella numbers. Colin from Evesham digressed from his norm and played a sea shanty on the Appalachian dulcimer, also performing some of his own compositions later on guitar which were both heart -warming and amusing! More excellent playing followed, in particular a great version of Joanie Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ from Rachel and Ginnie to round off the first half. MCs for the evening kicked off with some old time Americana with Rosa and Patrick on uke, Dave O on guitar and Mandy on vocals and egg! Brock and Kim (aka Turning Signs) gave us  ‘Un Gamin de Paris’ on accordion and guitar and finished up with the rousing ‘Hey Mr Dream Seller’ (Lindisfarne). The evening would not be the same without a Pam Ayres reading from Sylvia, ‘In Fear of The Butcher…’

 

JUNE 2021

After a year of Zoom sessions, it was lovely to see people In Real Life, especially people who had found us online, during lockdown, whom we had previously ‘met’ only on screen. The evening in the garden at The Crown, Church Enstone, was a pleasant melding of Chippy regulars, musicians who had found us in the Zoom months, and visitors from other local folk clubs who had decided to attend for the first time. As a special bonus, the established singer-songwriter, Colin Pitts of Evesham, joined us as well. His was one of a group of fine performances from Mandy C, Brock and Vixen, Craig M., John and Gillian S. and many others. An added pleasure was the way a local blackbird accompanied a couple of our female vocalists as they sang their songs in the mellow evening dusk. It was a joyous session and SO good to meet ‘live’!

Ginnie

Well – we’re still Zooming, but nonetheless we had a good time! Colin Pitts returned after a long absence and treated us to his new song, ‘Glass’ and some of our local songwriters performed fine songs of their own – especially Rosie and Paul C. All attendees were in excellent form: Milo performed a jazz solo on his double bass, Bethan performed tunefully in fluent English and Welsh, while Rosemary sang ‘Africa Blue’, a beautiful song which mingles African township phrases with English. The spoken word was represented by Gillian, with her witty, thoughtful poem ‘The Mock Turtle and the Griffin’, and by Sylvia, who read a sharply observed piece by Pam Ayres. Simon E, Hannah, Mandy C, Rachel and John S were all in good voice, and the fascinating variety of their songs ensured the success of the evening. Next month we Zoom again, but after that, who knows?

[Ginnie]

No less than fifteen keen folkies tuned in to zoom on March 8th for a relaxed and friendly evening of song and banter. The question posed was…did we want “bouncy or melancholy” ?!  As melancholy is our default position we set off with an amazing range of music from trad unaccompanied folk to a lovely song written by Claire called The Hawk Stone, after the Knight’s burial stone that you find if walking between Dean and Chadlington. This epitomized the true meaning of folk music.  The man with the purple guitar (Simon)  gave us  really soulful versions of the ballad Find me in the River and Christy Moores’ Easter Snow with Brock and Vixen upping the tempo on a robust rendition of a Seafaring song by Brock on Accordion and guitar not to mention a stint on Kazoo by Kim! After the customary tea/or something stronger break one of our regular audience (Sylvia)  joined in with some  Pam Ayres poetry, which no one could ever call melancholy.

We were pleased to achieve good attendance at our February meeting, which this month was ably led by Rachel Chai. As usual we enjoyed a lively and varied selection of material, traditional and modern, including original work as well as songs by Ralph McTell, Richard Thompson, jazz from Bethan featuring double bass accompaniment, and an entertaining ‘Lockdown Blues’ shared between Rosemary and Catherine. We also heard some thought-provoking poetry from Gillian, Simon and Ginnie, which added another dimension to the evening. Although some members left after half-time, a nucleus comprising Gillian and John, Simon, Brock, Vixen and Ginnie, stayed on for a very relaxed sharing of music and ideas; all in all, a particularly creative session!

[Ginnie]

At the start of the evening, we also had our Annual General Meeting where the Committee were introduced, annual accounts to October 31st 2020 discussed and comment from everyone welcomed.  All in order.

Friend Jim Driscoll has recently been appointed Creative Director of Folk Weekend: Oxford, which runs this year from16th-18th April. Here is some further information from Jim about what’s on:-

“There will be a range of online concerts, talks, ceilidhs and sessions, and we hope to be able to livestream some events from the North Wall Arts Centre (with a small live audience if conditions permit). The details of the programme are still being finalised, so keep checking the website at www.folkweekendoxford.co.uk for updates, or say hello on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/folkweekendoxford/)

We are looking for local performers for our Facebook livestream over the festival weekend. If you are interested, do get in touch through the website or Facebook page (or with Jim direct, on jim@folk-arts-oxford.co.uk).”

January’s New Year session welcomed no less than fourteen performers along with two loyal audience members. There was a great array of talent and instruments whose skills have obviously been honed over the last few months.It was great to hear some two part harmony from Peter and Pen who steered the folk club for so many years and their mining song was inspiring. We then went from Steve Earle to Tom Waites, round via a Shakespeare sonnet to a sea Shanty from John Summerscales. Stevie gave us a lovely dulcimer rendition of Spanish Ladies (at least I think that’s what he was playing!) and the evening was made by the super duo ‘Turning Signs’ playing a brilliant version of Donovan’s Catch the Wind on accordion and guitar “In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty….” Pretty much sums up how we all feel at the moment. Keep Music Live!

Mandy.

Christmas Special.. Monday 14th December

If you were there it was really a splendid evening.. if not why not ?!

Virtual Club Meetings 2020

We had 17 people at our October zoom meeting. Thanks to everyone who sang and played – and made it such a good evening. Particular highlights for me were Patrick’s mellow banjo playing (which inspired Rosie to start learning the banjo!); encouraging chats in between songs and in the ‘zoom chat’; the support of our enthusiastic audience and special appearances from some gorgeous dogs who joined us from various homes! Special welcome to Simon who joined us for the first time and always great to hear Lara all the way from the USA.

[Rachel C.]

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Another virtual meeting in July. We seem to be getting the hang of it now, and with the odd glitch here and there, we got to hear a song from everyone who wanted to sing. Super to see and hear from Marcus, a long standing member of the Club. As in other months, we had a good selection of songs, genres and a very sociable time.

Thanks to all who contributed, and all who came along to listen and support.

[Rachel C.]

PS There is no August meeting, next meeting is September 14th.

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We met again via Zoom for our June meeting, and it was great to be reunited with old friends and new.

It was good to welcome Lara from Texas who sang and played beautifully – and a wonderful aspect of meeting via the internet that we were able to connect with someone living thousands of miles away. It was equally good to see folk from just down the road! And welcome back Terry.. we missed you..

We had a super eclectic mix of songs and styles: We enjoyed Rachel F’s new song, hot off the press, reflecting on these strange times. And comforting to hear traditional songs which have been around for generations, re-created in new ways for new times.

I especially liked seeing everyone on screen joining in with a few well known numbers, the joy of the shared song showing through, despite all but the performer being on ‘mute’!

Thanks to Paul for organising the admin, and to Ginnie for hosting. 

[Rachel C.]

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In May we Zoomed again, encouraged by our successful online gathering in April. At times we battled for bandwidth, but nonetheless we enjoyed a lively and varied mix of musical offerings. Our May ‘meeting’ was well attended and we discovered some hitherto hidden talent, since members at home were able to play instruments that cannot usually be accommodated in a folk club. Thus, besides excellent singing from our soloists, we welcomed Bethan’s instrumental ‘breaks’ on a tuba, as well as Claire’s elegant jazz improvisations at the piano. We were delighted to preserve something of the usual cheerful atmosphere of our ‘live’ meetings through this online session.       (Ginnie)

The April meeting of the Club at The ArtYard Cafe was cancelled due to CV-19

Instead some 15 people contributed to a trial ‘Virtual’ meeting using Zoom. 

“What an amazing experience to share our first ever ‘Virtual’ folk club night, all from our own homes. There was the joy of seeing each other again, the enjoyment of our shared songs and a lot of laughter as we got to grips with the way Zoom works on our particular devices, and coped with drop outs every now and again.
But wonderful as always to hear new songs and old, and strum along in the background. Several people brought new songs that have come out of our current world situation.

Special thanks to Patrick, Mandy and Paul for admin, tech and crowd control!”  {Rachel C.}

 

ARCHIVE MEETINGS

March 2020

It was great to welcome new visitors as well as many familiar faces at Folk Club in March. People often comment on the warm welcome and wonderfully varied music you get every month at Chippy Folk Club – and we would be delighted to see you too on the second Monday of every month. Come and enjoy listening to some remarkably gifted guitarists, singer-songwriters, accordionists, vocalists and many other instruments. Whatever your taste in folk music, if you like hearing good songs played acoustically in a friendly, well-stocked pub then you will have a great time!

[Rachel C.]

February 2020

In these dark and troubled times, like ships taking shelter from the raging storms of adversity, a group of musicians gathers every 2nd Monday of the month at the Art Yard Café, Enstone. Lifting hearts and spreading joy, the Chipping Norton Folk Club is the place to spend a winter evening playing guitars, fiddles, accordions, mandolins. You name it we’ve got it. Blues and folk, traditional and Americana as old as the hills, Oh, Suzanna and Dink’s Song (moves her body like a cannon ball). The Sound of Music Edelweiss continues the mountain theme. With February on the move, My Funny Valentine was a good choice. From the ancient to the contemporary, we had singer songwriters from Evesham and Stratford upon Avon, keeping the flame of creativity alive. And of course, we heard a smattering of Bob Dylan, whose words neatly sum up our evening of beauty in harmony and unity; “without freedom of speech I might be in the swamp.”

[Dave O.]

December 2019 meeting:

A really fine conclusion to the year at The ArtYard for the Club’s Christmas Special.  Pretty much a full house with many festive/seasonal musical offerings.  The Interval saw the impressively rapid consumption of local sausages with chips and ‘home made’ mince pies.  Thanks again to John Clarke and his team for laying this on.  We have now chalked up our 4th Christmas at The ArtYard.   Now for the new decade….

[Paul C.]

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