RIP Jim Irvine

Although Liverpool is far away, especially in these Covid Times, three of the OFB organisers loved visiting the Button Street Badger Band session in the White Star pub. Sadly guitarist Jim Irvine passed away on 7 November after a short illness. We will miss him terribly and of course hope the other members of the band will continue their sessions post Covid 19. Here Jim sings San Franscisco Blues and joins in an instrumental in May 2019

Ado Matheson launches new CD

Look out for news of Ado Matheson’s latest CD launch. We are looking at the weekend of 28/29 February at Orpington Liberal Club or Crofton Hall.  Ado will be performing on the night with other artists. Although the album will be available in CD format, downloads/streaming will be available from various sites.

Early Return to Liverpool

Dave Harper will be accompanied to Liverpool by Diane Radigan to visit the Everyman Folk Club and the White Star Session for the first time on 28/29 January. Special thanks to Michael Locke for  rounding up the Button Street Badger Band earlier than originally planned. Other might yet also go……

The setting of the Rising Sun

On Monday, 16 December 2019, it was announced at the monthly sing-around at the Rising Sun near Kemsing would have its last session on Monday, 20 January 2020. Landlady Michelle, who OFB helped spruce up her pub about four years ago told the gathering that the pub was no longer viable to run. However the good news is that from Monday, 17 February, the new venue will be the Bell, High Street, Kemsing. Our old pals Brin Parsons, Sandy Roberts and Jenny Webb will still be our genial hosts.

Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms

When Liz Simcock rolled into town on Friday, 8 November and gave a great performance, it was left to OF&B regulars Robin Slater, Dave Harper and John Edwards to act as support. Here Dave and John combine to sing “Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”

Great Gala

We had a stonking autumn showcase on Saturday, 26 October with Bexley Ukulele Band, Angela McCarron, Walking The Witch, Brian Miller and Paul Brown. A composite video is above

Autumn Trip to Merseyside

Jenny Barnett, John Edwards and Dave Harper Visited the Everyman Folk Club on Tuesday, 1 October and performed some excellent numbers.

The following day saw our erstwhile trio troop into the White Star pub off Button Street for the Button Street Badger Band session.

Liverpool Trip

Dave Harper, Jenny Barnett and Gill Roberts spent a couple of sunny May days in Liverpool where they performed at the Everyman Folk Club and then shared the platform with the Button Street Badger Band and other regulars

“One of the best sessions we have had in a long time. Look forward to your next visit.” – John Hayes (BSBB)

Gill Roberts leads on Wild Mountain Thyme at the White Star, Liverpool on 22 May 2019


After our appearance at FAB House on 7 March, we have been invited back again this time for two hours of music between 14.00 and 16.00 on Thursday, 4 April, 2 May and 6 June.

The venue is FAB House (Formerly Finch House) 258 High Street, Orpington BR6 0NB. Enquiries John Edwards on 07515 486379.

Open and Shut Cases

Saturday,  11 May promises to be a busy day with two Open Mic sessions. First up is an afternoon session in aid of Friends of the Earth at Petts Wood followed by an evening session at South Croydon Sports Club – see poster below.

Sonny and the Harp triumph at Christmas event

It was a rock and roll extravaganza at Orpington Liberal Club on 18 December as the normally fairly sedate OFB staged their Christmas bash in front of a packed audience who enjoyed their mince pies and mulled wine whilst listening to some scarily good music.

First up was John Edwards on guitar with the Orpy String Band with Rik Lawson on mandolin. With banjo player Matt absent, Jenny Barnett filled in with ukulele and vocals plus the talented multi-instrumentalist Grahame Hood.

Inevitably the set included “Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms” as they gave way to the welcome of return of #Hashtag who performed “Prickle Eye Bush” and concluded with “Deck The Halls”. Richard Thew (vocals, mandolin and guitar) and Dave Harper (vocals, guitar, whistle and harmonica) were supported by vocalist Gill Roberts. Here is the trio performing Prickle Eye Bush.

Frank Bigham travelled up from Cornwall to give a few foot stomping numbers, aided by Jenny Barnett on her custom built washboard before the main act.

Santino Fabbricatore (Sonny) on vocals and guitar along with John James Appleyard (Johnny Boy James) on guitar and harmonica have been playing together professionally in South East London and Kent as “Sonny and the Harp” for quite a while – see

They were joined by three other talented musicians on double bass, lead guitar and drums for a near-deafening first half of rock and roll, plus R&B. “Whisky In The Jar” and Galway Girl” were also featured along with Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecelia”

Their second half had the audience dancing at the back as they rocked the night away, concluding an epic night with “Bye Bye Love”.

No it wasn’t folk but it was a barnstorming performance by the quintet and a great way to finish 2018.

We shall put up some more video links hopefully later today.

Spinners Legends Treat

Those of you who were lucky enough to come to the Spinners Legends gig on 8 September will be interested to know that there is a double CD just out featuring the songs based on that concert.

You could of course order copies from The Chantey Cabin but there will be a limited number available on 13 November at Orpington Folk & Blues at £10 saving on p&p.

September Evening

Our Liverpool friends, the Button Street Badger Band kindly provide a list of musical numbers at their weekly get togethers at the White Star.

Here is our list of songs at our September 9 evening that was much quieter than expected:

1st Half

John Edwards, Grahame Hood and Rick Lawson – Sail Away Ladies

Tony Field – Mrs Skeffington and the Thunder Rose

Graham Hood – The Lonesome Boatman and Country Gentleman

Nick Matthews – Three Jovial Tailors and Spanish Ladies

Jenny Barnett – You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive and Summertime

Robin Slater – Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway and Oh No John

Carol: Stand By Me and The Tick Tack Song

Dave Harper – Hard Case and The Bonny Ship The Diamond

Les from Hungary – Two harmonica solos

Pam and Paul – I’m In Love With You and Georgia

Rick Lawson and John Edwards – Get Along Cindy and Black Eyed Susie

Richard – Come On You Maidens Fair and Morningtown Ride

Heather – Harvey and Sheila, Lucy and The Cow

2nd Half

Tony Field – It’s Hard to Be Humble

Graham Hood – Song of Vitamins

Nick Matthews – Walter Waltzing

Jenny Barnett – Mule Skinner Blues

Robin Slater – She Wears Black Clothes

Dave Harper – In My Liverpool Home

Les from Hungary – Harmonica Blues

John Edwards, Pam and Paul – This Heart of Mine and Have You Ever Seen The Rain

Richard – Durham Town and Take Me Home Country Roads

Leo – Bolan Beau

Graham Hood and Leo – Wake Up Little

Jenny Barnett – Perfect Day

Les from Hungary – Harmonica tune

Dave Harper – Jamaica Farewell

Pam and Paul with John Edwards and Richard – 8 Days A Week

Liverpool Bound

One of our fun trips involves a midweek visit to Liverpool. Our next visit in on 30 and 31 October as it doesn’t clash with either Grand Ole Orpy or our Folk & Blues evening.

Dave Harper, John Edwards, Pauline Llewellyn will be playing at the Everyman Folk Club on the Tuesday evening at the Cross Keys pub in Earle Street before hitting the White Star pub (just round the corner from the Cavern) on Wednesday for the noon singaround session hosted by the Button Street Badger Band. This gives us an opportunity to sing up to five songs each as well as indulge in some pies and sandwiches.

We were pleased to see Susan Turner and her husband Mark act as host and engineer respectively on 8 May. A quieter night than of late, possibly due to being the fag end of the Bank Holiday but a late showing by Paul Brown who sang Boom-Bang-A-Bang was very welcome. The evening closed with the Orpy String Band – see video below.

Our last OFB on 24 April saw another great night. It was a warm welcome back to Angela McCarron who performed some new songs and finished by talented musician Paul Brown who gave us his take on Hi-Ho Silver Lining.

We also saw Frank McConnell return after a too long absence. The evening was opened by the Orpy String Band but one casualty of war with a sore throat was Robin Slater who sat back and enjoyed the evening.

Looking forward to our next event on 8 May, our hosts are expected to be the Gillies with Jackie Santo on the door and John Edwards at the sound controls.