19th July – Steve Kritzer

All the way from San Francisco in the US of A, Steve Kritzer is the special guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 19th July. While his will be a new name to many, there are a number of people who will have heard Steve in Irvine either at the Club or at Marymass.
Steve describes himself as an internationally recognised singer and songwriter who also has five CDs to his name, is a producer, a studio musician, a band member, music teacher, worship leader and a proud Dad. He also croons to Senior Citizens on a regular basis – in fact he does 100 shows a year in Care Homes.
Whilst Steve can pretty much play anything with strings on it, he is best known for his skills on Acoustic Guitar and Mandolin. As comfortable playing Bluegrass and Celtic music as he is with Trad Folk, Country, Rock, Contemporary and Big Band Swing – Steve just likes to sing good songs no matter their origin.
Those who have heard Steve play in Irvine will remember his fondness for various kinds of headgear. It appears since he was last in Irvine, this tendency has developed!
For an easy-on-the-ear kinda night and lots of singalong opportunities, be in the Irvine Folk Club audience on Wednesday 19th August at 8pm to hear Steve Kritzer. The Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road and it’s BYOB.
And finally, programmes giving full details of The 50th Marymass Folk Festival are now available. The Festival runs from Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th August and it’s looking good. Programmes are of course available at Irvine Folk Club, but if you can’t find one then visit or phone Joyce on 01294 551047

5th July – Ella Munro and Catriona Hawksworth

Ella Munro & Catriona Hawksworth are the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 5th July. One is from the Isle of Skye, the other is from Kilwinning and both have much admired musical talent.
Skye born Ella was a Finalist in this year’s BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Trad Musician of the Year. She is a very talented singer and is currently studying Scots Song at The Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow. A student for five years at the National Centre of Excellence in Trad Music at Plockton, it was there that she and Catriona first met. As well the duo with Catriona, Ella also fronts the Ella Munro Band and a debut EP is imminent.
Catriona is a gifted piano player who began playing at a young age, learning classical as well as folk and trad music. She attended the then RSAMD Junior Academy and now studies at Newcastle University. As is customary these days, Catriona also plays as one half of a duo with Fiddler Sally Simpson and their debut album is due for release this Summer.
Ella is attracting attention across the Scottish Folk circuit such is her fine singing of Scots and trad songs. But she really is a fan of good songs whatever the vintage and includes material by Dick Gaughan and Angus McNaughton.
Ella Munro & Catriona Hawksworth are well worth hearing. Be in the audience for 8pm on 5th July at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road for their Irvine Folk Club debut. It’s BYOB at the Club and there’s also a Café.
Elsewhere, Jed Grimes is the guest at The Star in Glasgow on 4th July and if you are in the North East area around the 6th – 9th July, make time for the Stonehaven Folk Festival or from 7th – 9th July in the beautiful South West, it’s the Newton Stewart & Minigaff Trad Music Festival. Closer to home, for budding and improving acoustic guitar players, on the first Thursday each month at 6.30pm Guitar Nights are in The Melbourne Café in Saltcoats.

21st June – Franc Cinelli

Franc Cinelli
Italian-born Londoner Franc Cinelli is a new name for Irvine Folk Club and Wednesday 21st June is the date to hear for the first time in this neck of the woods this much-travelled artist.
Having arrived in London aged 4, it was his Mum’s Album collection that made a strong impression on Franc as he grew up. Springsteen, The Police, Pink Floyd and Bob Marley was the music he was exposed to and after abandoning Violin lessons at 10 he took up the guitar some years later. Like all good troubadours, Franc spent a lot of time on the road. From Hastings to Stornoway and throughout the East Coast of the USA and his native Italy, Franc played and listened and observed and learned.
He cites Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues – as his songwriting hero and that may explain why he went under the name of Goodtimes Goodtimes before playing under his own name. Franc describes his musical style as freewheeling alternative Folk. This means that the Irvine audience can expect to hear uptempo blues, lovestruck serenades and defiant prison outlaw ballads. The Marvel Age is Franc’s new album and was recorded in his own studio in London after extensive tours in 2013 and 2014.
Wednesday 21st June – the Summer Solstice – is the date to hear Franc Cinelli at Irvine Folk Club in Quarry Road. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB. Franc has had sold-out shows in New York and London, has played the Albert Hall twice ….and now he is due to be playing in Irvine. Plainly a man who likes to be on the road and sing wherever the road takes him.

7th June – Stephen and Pernille Quigg with Ian and Mo Walker

Wednesday 7th June at Irvine Folk Club is believed to be the first time that the Quiggs and Walker duos will have played together. It will be an interesting evening for artists and audience alike!
Stephen & Pernille Quigg and Ian & Moe Walker are no strangers to the Irvine Club. Stephen, Pernille, Ian and Moe have all played as solo performers or as part of duos or bands. No shortage of experience therefore. On the instrument side, expect to hear acoustic guitars, banjos, moothie, bodhran and percussion.
With a career now spanning 40 years already, Ardrossan born Stephen is the local ‘boy’. His established fans know how good a singing voice he has. He also has a knack of choosing good material and keeping his set lists fresh. Since marrying Stephen some 11 years ago, Danish born Pernille has carved a solo career for herself and latterly a duo with her husband. They tour principally in Germany, Netherlands and Denmark and also do some gigs in Scotland. Stephen also keeps up his well established solo career.
The unassuming singer and songwriter Ian Walker used to play a wheen of years ago when the Irvine Club was at The Redburn Hotel – so he has ‘form’ with Irvine! Tolerance and concern for others run through Ian’s songwriting – most eloquently on Hawks and Eagles Fly Like Doves – but he doesn’t preach. Ian has played as a soloist, as part of a duo with Ian Bruce and now with the recently formed Ian Walker Band, the core members of which are his wife Moe and Jimmy Scott. Other musicians are added as gigs require. Moe adds to the vocal dimension and also some percussion.
Two husband and wife duos at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 7th June will certainly be different. The Club meets at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road and starts at 8pm. It’s BYOB and there is also a Café.

24th May – My Sweet Patootie

Tight harmonies, sizzling fiddle and percussion plus monstrous guitar – all adds up to My Sweet Patootie being the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 23rd May. The Band’s name is a slang term of endearment popular in the 1920s and was chosen by them to capture their vintage flavour and the satirical edge to some of their songwriting.

My Sweet Patootie first played in Irvine in 2013 and have been back a couple of times since, including headlining at a Marymass concert in 2014. The Band started off in Canada in 2007 as a duo with Sandra Swannell and Terry Young. They were both former members of the terrific Canadian Band Tanglefoot of fond memory, and so their CVs were always going to be decidedly good! In 2012 they added a percussionist and of late, for UK tours, My Sweet Patootie has Devonshire man John Jackson in the line-up.

Terry Young is a jaw-droppingly good acoustic guitarist, classically trained Tenor and in general, he is a talented multi-instrumentalist. Sandra Swannell is a classically trained violinist and violist and was Principal Violist with the Georgian Bay Symphony. She and Terry share a mutual love of Swing, Americana and Country.

My Sweet Patootie have been described as two parts exemplary musicianship and one part vaudeville comedy. They tell tall tales and corny – really corny – jokes. A kind of modern day music hall. The Irvine audience can expect to hear heart-breaking ballads in between finger-snapping tunes.

Pandemonium, their most recent CD was released in August last year and was recorded at their own Nowheresville Studio near Meaford in Ontario. Their second CD was called Pattootified and not to labour the description, the Irvine audience might well be Patootied-oot, such is the abundant energy and energy of the trio.

My Sweet Patootie are touring the UK in May & June and the Irvine Club is a venue that they enjoy. So, to hear this thoroughly entertaining Band, get along to Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 24th May for 8pm to Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road where it’s BYOB.

Elsewhere, the 35th Orkney Folk Festival dates are 25th – 28th May. Based in Stromness, it’s apparently one of the Festivals on the ‘Go if you can’ list. Closer to home, the annual Folk Night organised by Ardrossan Highland Games is at the town’s Lauriston Hotel on Friday 9th June starting at 7.30pm. The guests will be Andy Chung and Stephen & Pernille Quigg. Phone 07949 811115 for tickets priced £10.

10th May – Tom McConville and Andy Watt

Tom McConville, regarded by many as one of the finest Fiddle players in the British Isles, is the very welcome guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 10th May. This is one most definitely not to miss.

Tom McConville is a performer, session musician and Fiddle teacher – and is in great demand on all three fronts. Born in Tyneside, his first experience of traditional singing and fiddle music was in The Globe pub in Newcastle where he was brought up. It was ‘the watering hole’ for many in the local Irish and Scottish communities on Tyneside and explains why Tom’s repertoire although deeply rooted in his native North East, has strong Scottish and Irish influences.

A scintillating Fiddler, Tom also has rich, warm vocals and a dry Geordie wit. The Irvine Club audience should be prepared for a rollercoaster of fast rhythmic dance tunes through to beautiful slow airs and great singing – with, at all times, his inimitable droll sense of humour in tow.

As well as performing solo, Tom tours with a variety of line-ups and accompanists including Guitarists David Newey & Andy Watt, acoustic Bassist Phil Murray and Accordionists Shona Kipling & Leonard Brown. At the Irvine Club, Tom will be accompanied by Andy Watt. Originally from Callander in Perthshire, Andy is now based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Andy is a star pupil of Guitar maestro Chris Newman and he is also a Mandolinist – which is a new description of saying someone plays the Mandolin! In Andy’s case though, he plays it to an exceptionally high standard! Such are his musical skills that Andy is in much demand and plays in various bands.

After playing the Irvine Club, Tom will be off to Germany for three days of gigs. So, do your very best to be in the Irvine Folk Club audience on Wednesday 10th May at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road for 8pm. It’s BYOB.

Elsewhere, Moniaive has its Folk Festival this Friday 5th May. One day only but full of good stuff and Moniaive is worth visiting in any case. And one week later on 12th May, the Fife Trad Singing Festival – Fifesing 2017 takes place in the glorious surroundings of Falkland. Moniaive and then Falkland plus music and good company. Excellent!

26th April – Sandy Brechin and EwanWilkinson

Ewan Wilkinson & Sandy Brechin are at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 26th April and it will be the first time that the Irvine audience has heard this duo – although they have been playing for over ten years.
They sing a mix of Scottish, Irish and English trad songs as well as some contemporary material and some of their own compositions. Ewan is a powerful baritone who also plays Guitar and is increasingly well-known for his self-penned songs written in the folk idiom. Sandy Brechin played at the Irvine Club a number of years ago as the lead in the ‘Heavy Folk Rock’ band Burach. He can play the Accordion unbelievably fast – but it’s not all fiery and frantic fingering of keys. Sandy can do subtle and sensitive accompaniments and was part of the ‘uber-classy’ instrumental line-up at a Songs of Robert Tannahill concert at this year’s Celtic Connections.
So, get along to the Irvine Club on the 26th to hear for yourself the talented music of Ewan Wilkinson & Sandy Brechin. The Club starts at 8pm in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road and it’s BYOB plus there is a good café.
Last call for Auld Hats, New Heids on Friday 21st April at Vineburgh Community Centre. It starts at 7.30pm. The Friel Sisters are the headline guests at Girvan Folk Festival taking place from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th April. Visit for details. Scotland has a wealth of Folk Festivals throughout the year, all helping to keep music live. Full info on what’s on where from

Auld Hat New Heids

A wee reminder that the Auld Hat New Heids Show will be appearing in Vineburgh this Friday at 7.30pm. Same format as club night – BYOB but café open for teas/coffees etc.
The show will last from 7.30pm – 10pm. Should be a good night. Tickets are £10 available at door. The club is not running this show only helping out and the raffle profits will go to Irvine Folk Club.

12th April – Sunjay

Sunjay made his debut appearance at Irvine Folk Club three years ago, and such was the impact he made that he was immediately booked for Marymass and has had repeat Club bookings. If you haven’t heard Sunjay, make sure you are in the audience on Wednesday 12th April at the Irvine Club to hear this very talented and immensely likeable performer.
From Stourbridge in the West Midlands, Sunjay is a rising star on the Folk and Acoustic circuit. Such are his guitar skills, that some reviewers say he is reminiscent of Ralph McTell and John Martyn. Match that with an authoritative voice that belies his 23 years years and the reasons for the glowing reviews become apparent. Sunjay picked up the guitar aged four and hasn’t put it down since. As a youngster he was introduced by his Dad to the sounds of Don McLean and Buddy Holly and now Sunjay’s guitar picking skills are said to be among the very best. The material played by Sunjay is heavily influenced by the Blues but also draws from Folk, Country and Rock. He also writes some of his own material.
He has a confidence, maturity and ease on stage and is held in high regard by folk world luminaries such as Steeleye Span. Hear Sunjay at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 12th April in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.
Looking a bit ahead, on Friday 21st April, Auld Hat & New Heids is at Vineburgh Community Centre. It’s a specially arranged show featuring Ian & Fraser Bruce, Pete Clark & Gregor Lowry and concentrates on well-loved songs that the audience can join in with. Tickets priced £10 are available from Joyce on 551047 or at Irvine Folk Club.
And finally, from 26th April – 7th May, Tradfest is on in Edinburgh. Described as a feast of folk arts and seasonal customs, there are 131 events over 34 venues. The Box Office is at 0131 556 9579 or visit