20 May 2012

What a fantastic night - the Jaywalkers were stunning!

We knew they were going to be good – finalists at the BBC Young Folk Awards 2009, invitations to 18 Bluegrass and Folk Festivals, radio appearances – but what exciting, polished, professional performances from such young, confident musicians.

Right from the start with the fast instrumental "Ah Spring" they had us captivated. Jay demonstrated her musicianship with her guitar playing and singing and excelled with her fiddle playing. Mike sang, played guitar and got great applause for his breakneck speed mandolin playing. On top of that he wrote some of their songs including my particular favourite "Cool my body down". And holding it all together was Lucy playing slap bass. How does she do that without breaking her wrist?

It was a tremendous mixture of bluegrass tunes (Brilliancy) and songs (a heartfelt rendition of Wayfaring Stranger) as well as their own compositions and a well received Hot Club number ……..

No wonder an encore was demanded - Rueben/Goodnight to even more applause.


Reviews of our guest artists.....

Kieran Halpin


12 Feb 2012

To read a review of Kieran Halpin’s gig at the Brussels Folk Club go to www.rootstime.be click on LIVE and then click on Kieran.

Many thanks to Antoine Légat for the review



10 June 2012

What a treat! Andar were so good!!

Throughout the evening we enjoyed beautiful, lyrical songs and absolutely cracking jigs and reels that had the audience involved from the very start. Despite struggling with losing her voice (what do we do to people at the Brussels Folk Club? The same thing happened to Bram Taylor!!) Helen delivered some wonderful Robbie Burns ballads as well as traditional and contemporary folk songs. My particular favourites – "There is no peace for me" and of course "Storms" – the title of their new CD, a lilting and professional perormance from the group.

Dave and Philip demonstrated their superb musicianship in a series of slow airs, jigs and reels. Beautiful, controlled slow airs that lifted the heart and invited reverie followed by jigs or reels that had everyone joining in and even made some want to dance! Dave on accordian and piano not to mention his vocal harmonies and Philip on guitar and citern as well as vocals, giving a very entertaining rendition of "Green grow the rushes Oh!".

As well as the music they were a very entertaining group with good stories to introduce the songs and tunes. They finshed with an increasingly fast set of reels and, after calls for more from the audience, treated us to an encore of a very upbeat and pacey version of "Slip Jigs and Reels" and straight into a last set of reels that left the audience still wanting more.

With nights like this, Brussels Folk Club can only go from strength to strength!


Jez Lowe


16 Sep 2012

We wanted something special for the 2nd anniversary of the Brussels Folk Club – and we certainly got it! Jez Lowe was absolutely fantastic! We knew he would be (people don't travel from Cologne or New Zealand for nothing) but Jez more than fulfilled our expectations. From his first song "Will of the people" to his last "The Hartlepool Monkey" he had us enthralled, captured, singing along as well as shedding a tear with his love songs.  

His well crafted industrial songs "Small coal", "Taking on men", "Jack Common's Anthem" for example, record the social and economic changes to his home area of County Durham but speak to all of us, describing a changing landscape and way of life and managing to express our own personal mixed feelings about our times. His unusual take on love songs "Another man's wife", "Yellow hair", "London Danny" were moving and entertaining and always humorously introduced. 

And of course he couldn't get away without doing everyone's favourites "Old Bones" and "Durham Jail". (He wrote "Old Bones" in 1985 - how come he still looks exactly the same?)

And just a mention for "All Clear", where he compared our iconic, arched cellar Folk Club venue to a bomb shelter! Well maybe there's something in that!!

But what stole the show were his humorous songs "The Ex-Pitmen's Pot Holing Pub Quiz Team" was not only funny but beautifully observed; The Darwin Song Project "We'll Hunt Him Down" definitely endearing him to Middle America and the much requested "Hartlepool Monkey" – I'm still smiling about it now! And all this from such a nice guy! Despite car free Sunday, we could not have asked for more on our 2nd anniversary. Many thanks to Jez for making it such a great success.


Albert Niland


14 Oct 2012

We were fully booked and we had a waiting list - that's only happened to us twice before at the Brussels Folk Club! But what could we expect - Albert was the first artist that we've asked back for a second visit and that was by popular request. To say he didn't disappoint would be a massive understatement!

He went straight into his first set with an impressive performance of "The Cuckoo Clock" demonstrating dramatic voice and spectacular guitar, setting the standard for the rest of the evening.

His guitar work ranges from rock to flamenco and his vocal style from husky ballad renditions to belting performances. "21st Century Hobo" featured driving rhythm, astounding finger picking and whistling – "harder than it looks!" he joked. "Get Out Of My Way" was another fast paced piece featuring flamenco guitar, and "The Hungry Ghost" gave us an explosive start to the second half.

But we also had beautiful lyrical ballads – "My Heart Beats For Her", "I'll Be Seeing You" (dedicated to the late, great Mr John), "Spanish Heat" with gentle flamenco and "The Core, The Heart, The Glow" – which featured wonderful guitar picking and which he felt he should include because it mentions a Belgian café. My particular favourite of the night was his arrangement of the Irish traditional "The Parting Glass" with beautiful guitar work. Also notable were "The Kings of Kilburn High Road", melodic with stunning guitar and the instrumental piece "Out on the Ocean".

Of course he couldn’t leave out "Wuthering Heights" –  it’s legendary, what more can one say? He finished his set with a heartfelt performance of Mr John's "Latino Moon", but we couldn't let him go and he gave us two encores – the captivating "Poland In A Three Piece Suit" beautifully sung, wonderful instrumental, and finally a husky performance of "Dirty Day".

The whole evening was just dramatic, stupendous, uplifting.....