Folk in the Barn
Gig Diary

Show of Hands - The Best One Yet

Thursday 28th October 2021

St Mary's Arts Centre, Sandwich

Declan O'Rourke

Friday 12th November

Canterbury Cathedral Lodge

The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican

Saturday 20th November 2021

Colyer-Fergusson Room, Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Usher's Island

Sunday 28th November 2021

Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Martyn Joseph

Saturday 4th December 2021

Waterstones, Canterbury


Ashley Hutchings MBE - SOLD OUT

Sunday 17th July 2016

The Black Robin Inn, Kingston, nr Canterbury

Doors 6pm, concert start 6.30pm

£14.50  Online
£16  Offline
£17  On the door

From Psychedelia to Sonnets – a Life in Words and Music – the Remarkable Journey of Ashley Hutchings.

For this new show Ashley is joined by talented singer/multi-instrumentalist Ruth Angell (Rainbow Chasers) who will accompany his music on guitar, violin and harmonium.

“Ashley Hutchings is the single most important figure in English folk-rock ”Bob Dylan (August, 2015)

Ashley Hutchings is the founder of Fairport Convention and other successful folk-rock bands including Steeleye Span and The Albion Band (in all its many guises and reincarnations). In fact he is acknowledged as ” The Guv’nor” in this form of music. He was also a music director at the National Theatre for a period of four years.

What is less well known about Ashley is his talent as a wordsmith. In 2014 he published his first book, Words, Words, Words, a personal selection of his song lyrics, poetry and other writings that both span his career and tell his story.

An evening in Ashley’s company is an opportunity to listen to him read from the book, tell the stories behind the writings, add detail to the history of the bands he has created and describe some of the many projects he has brought to fruition, both musically and theatrically. Although the show features Ashley’s book there is of course plenty of music and songs in the performance.

"Unmissable, I was entranced"
Fatea Magazine

"If 45 years ago someone had predicted that a rock bass player would almost single-handedly transform the image of Morris dance in this country and provide so many of the sparks that have led to a tectonic shift in the way England looks at its own musical traditions, they would have been called crazy. Call me crazy, but having known Ashley for 47 years, having been the beneficiary of his acute ears in tipping me to the music of Nick Drake, as well as having enjoyed many collaborations with him over the years, I have to say that nothing he accomplishes surprises me"

~ Joe Boyd, Record Producer & Writer

Hutchings has won numerous awards including the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s Gold Badge Award, the Good Tradition Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award at Italy’s Premio Ciampi. And this year he was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List for his services to music.  Ashley has visited Folk in the Barn a number of times with the wonderful Albion Christmas Band, we are really looking forward to this very special evening.


If you’ve had the good fortune to attend one of Ashley Hutchings’s spoken-word shows or even if you’ve maybe just had a chat at a gig - you’ll know what an engaging speaker he is. This isn’t just down to what he says, but also to that wonderful, perfectly modulated voice that seems to play every speech as if it were a tune.

Following the publication of his first book Words, Words, Words, Hutchings embarked upon a tour unlike anything he had done before. Though featuring contributions from Becky Mills (vocals, guitar) and Ruth Angell (vocals, violin, harmonium, guitar), the core of the show consisted of poems, lyrics, reminiscences, anecdotes and personal philosophy. Recorded at Wigan Parish Church earlier this year, double-disc From Psychedelia To Sonnets offers an excellent recording of one of these gigs.

For me, it’s worth it just to hear ‘About Dawn’ stripped back to its shining lyric, but the whole is testament to what Hutchings defines as ‘the need to speak whenever poetically possible’. Yes the musical accompaniments are as fine as one could wish, but the heart and soul are words, words, words.

Oz Hardwick R2 MAGAZINE

 The pub will be open for meals from 5pm

Ruth Angell grew up in the beautiful heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire. "Surrounded by green fields, dry stone walls, sheep, cows and lots of wind and snow in the winter, this environment encourages the mind to chill out and wander, protecting you from the real world. So when I finally left college I felt a bit of a fish out of water. Luckily Ashley Hutchings (of Fairport Convention, Albion Band, Steeleye Span etc) was looking to start a new acoustic group and Joe Broughton recommended me. The rest is history." "Thanks to Ashley and him forming the Rainbow Chasers I have had a career in music. This band has allowed me to play my violin/fiddle, learn guitar, sing, write songs, record and co-write with other artists. I have performed in countless concerts/gigs in this country and in Europe and have met and played with some of the best musicians on the scene." "I also play with four piece acoustic band The Rainbow Chasers, 16 piece Jazz ensemble SURGE, my own solo projects and many other artists from time to time. Sid Peacock and myself have recently started our own record company Peacock Angell Records formed an acoustic duo, tracks for listening can be found on the music page."
- Date Added 14/06/2016