Orpington blues and folk clubOrpington blues and folk club

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is held at

Orpington Liberal Club
7, Station Road,

Would you like to play at

Send an e-mail -
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or just turn up at one of the sessions

Next Meetings 14 and 28 June 2016

 Next meetings of "Grand Ole Orpy"  7 and 21 June 2016

OF&BC meets on the

2nd & 4th Tuesdays

of each month

Music starts at 8:15pm - Listeners welcome

Admission is £2 and there is usually a raffle

Club nights with an optional PA are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month at the Orpington Liberal Club premises which are ideal as they have a CAMRA rated bar with real ale, the music room is separate and there is good accessibility by public transport. The club is close to the Orpington War Memorial and opposite Tescos. A small amount of parking is available on the forecourt otherwise there is the Tesco Car Park or nearby street parking. Orpington Station is further up Station Road (see map)

Music is the main priority in a pleasant, friendly and supportive atmosphere. The aim is to give people the opportunity to perform well and to be entertaining. With this in mind we discourage dirges with 49 verses and ask those who wish to catch up with chat or to tune their instruments to use the bar next door. This maximises playing and singing time for all and helps the evening to run smoothly.

The club has no religious or political affiliations and should not be used as a vehicle for promoting such causes.

Frank Bigham is well known around the Folk and Open Mic sessions of North-West Kent and South-East London, with his steel guitar and upbeat songs.

He regularly takes part in many different events locally he and two friends Jenny Barnett and the late Mark Riley wanted to set up a folk and blues club that not only promoted "roots" music but encouraged and supported participants in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Orpington Folk & Blues Club was officially launched on 24 April 2012 and is run by an enthusiastic committee of friends.


Opening time is 8pm. This is to allow time for tuning up, and practice, so we can kick off promptly at 8.15. The idea is to allow a little more time for all those songs and tunes we know you are desperate to perform.

Occasionally we invite performers who reflect our Folk and Blues ethos such as Rag Mama Rag and Hughie Jones of the Spinners together with Swinging The Lead (five part sea shanty group)

Every summer we hold a festival in the garden with a barbeque and range or real ales. Music is supplied by regular musicians together with talent such as Mississippi MacDonald or Jagger Folk. It is always popular and we have been giving part of the proceeds to charity - lately to the Guide Dogs For the Blind Association.

Annual Summer Festival August  29th

We had a great day in spite of late afternoon rain with good variety of performers, BBQ food and an impressive range of beers and ciders. Morris dancers managed well in the little courtyard. Thank you to all who contributed up front and also organised behind the scenes. Due to the generosity of people, plus raffle and BBQ takings, we are able to donate £150 to the training of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Click on the artist to see some of the afternoon performances.

Peter Thomas
Tony Field
Ric Lawson
Russ Kearton
Sonny and the Harp (John Boy James and Santino Duo )
Sue and Gill
Ivan North
Johnny Mathews
Pam and Paul Button
Nick Edwards
John Handley
Christine Heartsong
Gary Kelly
New Levee Breakers
John Edwards and Jenny Barnett
Dave Underwood  (tbc)
James Hodder (tbc)


Grand Ole Orpy on 6 January 2015

http://youtu.be/OorhBXTZTbE is a longer version

O87AaP4UDiM is a version of Worried Man Blues

IAHRVkLvD5Q is a version of Hand Me Down My Walking Cane

Grand Ole Orpy
resumes September 29

We are pleased to announce that as a result of demand from our fellow musicians there will be a trial relaunch of the ORPY session.  
Bluegrass and Skiffle music may not have been to everyone's taste and it is everyone that we want to attend and enjoy. Therefore the future for this session will be to encourage any music style with an emphasis on trying out your new material so you can improve your confidence and standard of playing in front of supportive fellow musicians.
 We all know how easy it is to play at home and yet more difficult in front of an audience. The session is an opportunity to play with supportive musicians who suffer the same issues with new and even old material.
This will be used as a development session rather than a general sing around.
The last sessions were difficult for the quieter players as more confident players often drowned out the performer. Therefore players will be encouraged to use the simple PA set up that we will provide. Other musicians are welcomed to join in and try and enhance the performance BUT THE KEY WILL BE RESPECT THE PERFORMER. Understandably, we will therefore expect you to be able to hear your instrument without over overpowering the person next to you.
Please bring along your songs and tunes you would like to develop or, as some might say your “work in progress”. We hope that fellow players will be able to offer constructive comments and perhaps even help you to develop the tune further.
Don’t forget the evening will all be about fun. We welcome any standard and any instrument too and, if you have the desire to improve, the session will be a great platform to achieve your goals within a  friendly and supportive learning environment.....all  for just £2 a session (to cover costs), so that can't be bad........ onwards and upwards!!!!!"

Contacts for these evenings are:

Frank: - frankbigham@hotmail.co.uk
Pete:- Surfpete@msn.com



http://youtu.be/e_XoQqMIEns Angela McCarron and the Levee Breakers perform Cripple Creek

Orpington Folk and Blues had arguably their best ever night on 10 February 2015 with a superb range of musical talent, the highlight being Kim with his version of Day-O. The previous event on January 27 saw Les sing his version of Lindisfarne's hit "Meet Me On The Corner"

"Kim" sings "Day-O" on 10 February 2015 to rapturous applause


Well would you know it, those who turned up on 24 February had a simply amazing set from the musicians.


Our thanks to the following

  1. Dave Harper   
  2. Ken Bridgford 
  3. Rick
  4. Sunrise          
  5. Frank and Ivan
  6. Alex
  7. John Edwards
  8. Tony Field
  9. Johnny Mathews
  10. Pete Thomas
  11. Alison
  12. Alan Richardson
Second Half
  1. Dave Harper    
  2. Dave Underwood
  3. Tim
  4. John Handley (aka Rod Stewart!)
  5. Christine Halpin
  6. Peter
  7. Pam and Paul
  8. Dave, Frank and John   

Grand Ole Orpe 7 June


For this special session we also have a short tutorial by one of our regulars who is an experienced teacher. The tutorial part of the session will look at Chords, Harmonies and Scales.

Those on our circulation list have an attachment that shows what will be covered and I, for one, was initially taken aback by what looks like a foreign language (I play but I'm no music student), but please don't be put off by the content as all will be explained in the short session. Any experts reading this please note that there are some calculated omissions from the attachment and this will be explained on the evening (so please don't email me and say our volunteer teacher has it all wrong!!).
So if you fancy a  sing around and an expert short tutorial  come along to our friendly non-pressured session at the Liberal Club in Orpington at 8.00 this comingTuesday (only £2 entry to cover costs).


Ivan takes a tumble

Accordion player Ivan North took a tumble at the start of his floor spot on 9 February, missing his chair and landing on the floor, legs akimbo. Frank Bigham and John Edwards were on hand to help the shaken but not stirred Ivan up who gave us a superb set as usual.


Showcase Night on Friday, 22 May


String Quartet

The String Theory Quartet - featuring Matthew Sear

Matthew and Suzanne Sear plus Alison Ruscoe put in a brilliant performance on 22 May. Click on the link above the picture for a taster!

Formed in 2013 – ‘String Theory’ perform original jazz/blues, world music, as well music in the style of Django Reinhardt, Stephan Grapelli and The Hot Club Of Paris!  http://www.matthewsearguitarist.co.uk/

Special Guests on Friday, 19 June

Allen Family Band

Allen Family

Fabulous Allen Family - click link below for audio


 Friday, 19 June will go down as one of the top music nights ever at the Orpington Liberal Club as the Allen Family came to town. Despite Ruby being missing from the line-up, the Ramsgate based bluegrass band attracted rapturous applause from the 70 strong audience. The family's youngest member Geary (16) in particular gave a dazzling display on the banjo after playing guitar in the first half. Thanks were also given to the support act Tony Field, (below).

Tony Field

Hello Pete,
Thanks for writing and for your kind words! We had such a great time playing for you and all the wonderful audience. We are so thankful for your hospitality and warm welcome!
It was our pleasure and we would love to see you and play for you all again, with Ruby singing too!
All the very Best,
The Allen Family

Keep watching for more special guest nights!

John Handley sings his protest song Jerusalem 2



New Levee Breakers with Old Joe Clark

Robin Slater sings 500 miles (part)




Peter Thomas          Pete Thomas is a driver of Grand Ole Orpy

Richard Thew

Richard Thew works hard on the music



Email feedback from 24 February evening

Subject: Last Night

Thanks for a great night at Orpington F & B last night.  So many really good performers - the club deserves to be so popular.                It was good of some of the regulars to make way - I hope they get a good turn on other nights.
You seem to have the PA system just right too - the guitars sounded very good through the instrument mic.
Last night was the first time I was able to be there this year and I won't
be able make another one until at least the end of April.
Meanwhile, all the best to you all.