Village Folk Roots Festival

New this year 2017 will be the Chapel Allerton Village Folk Roots festival. It is being programmed by the person behind the Chapel A House Concerts, Alan Gibson, and will run from Thus 31 Aug through to Sat 2 September. Top of the bill are Leeds folk-rockers Maia in Regent Street on Saturday night  (see picture). There will also be a“Café Run” on the Saturday with acoustic bands doing short 20-30 minute sets in the cafes and bars of Chapel Allerton to help provide a festival atmosphere in the village and publicise the events in Regent Street.

Thursday 31 August

Brian Houston

Seven Arts 8pm - 10.30pm - £10/£8/£5

As a songwriter and performer, Brian Houston, has shared stages with the likes of Van Morrison, Robert Plant, Chuck Berry and Elvis Costello. Hailed as one of Britain’s great songwriters by veteran DJ Bob Harris, Houston recently relocated back to Ireland from Raleigh, North Carolina.

“If Ron Sexsmith and Elvis had a baby, then gave it to Bob Dylan to raise but then hired Van Morrison as a nanny, they'd name him Brian Houston!” Drew Marshall Radio Show

“A Belfast brogue, silky voice and some bloody great songs, Houston plies all his charm and charisma”. Toxic Pete

“The audience went mad after he did a live session on my show” Janice Long - BBC Radio 2

‘warmth, honesty and a great sense of humour … from Van Morrison to Country to Folk’. Bob Harris BBC Radio2 


James Dey

Seven Arts - 8pm - 10.30pm  £10/£8/£5

James grew up in Bradford with four brothers, the house was full of music. James released 'Landing Lights' in 2005, composed for theatre companies for several years before finally completing his second album 'the night-time' in 2016. He aims to write music of “hushed beauty, telling small stories of seemingly unremarkable things”

James Dey is also playing:

Sat 2nd Sept Cafe Run


Friday 1 September

Jonny Walker

Mustard Pot 7.30pm - 11pm - Free (with collection)

Acoustic folk rocker, singer-songwriter, popular busker, sometime balladeer, occasional poet...

'Performing music has been my daily calling for nearly seven years now, come hail or uncharacteristic British shine. It is both my lifeblood and my livelihood! Lately, I've been focussing increasingly on writing, recording and transforming my own stories into songs. It's fair to say, I haven't led a linear life and don't intend to anytime soon.

I love the interplay between words and melody. Great lyrics mean just as much to me as a fantastic tune, sometimes more. Following in the footsteps of the old storytelling musicians, I would like to appeal to people's intelligence and their hidden depths.

It has been an incredible adventure and privilege for me these last few years to perform on the streets of England and beyond. I recently started the Association of Street Artists and Performers (ASAP!) and have campaigning for public spaces that are open and allow a sense of community to emerge.'

Gerry Cooper

Mustard Pot 7.30pm - 11pm Free (with collection)

Cooper plays acoustic blues, ragtime tunes, and other good hand-made music. Gerry has worked with and supported a wide variety of musicians, including Steve Phillips, Brendan Croker, Roger Sutcliffe, Steve Tilston, Allan Taylor, the late Maggie Boyle, Harvey Andrews, Wizz Jones, Lucy Zirins, Tom Attah and Dave Kelly. The title track of the latter album, recorded in Phil Snell's Limbo Studios, was nominated in the Songwriter category of the British Blues Awards in 2013.

Lara Rose

Mustard Pot 7.30pm - 11pm Free (with collection)

Lara Rose plays an unique acoustic roots RnB live solo guitar performance. Rose has worked and collaborated with a host of artist worldwide, and has been called an 'underground urban diva'. She also recorded and toured with the James Taylor quartet JTQ, releasing the single "Free". Rose has also appeared in musicals including the Carnival Messiah at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Harewood House and the Royal Albert Hall and played a number of UK music festivals including Beatherder, Beacons and Sheffield's Tramlines. On a recent BBC interview, Lara was likened to a cross between an acoustic version of Anita Baker and Alisha Keys. Lara’s got everyone stumped, you just can’t put her in a box!

Lara Rose is also playing:

Sat 2nd Sept Cafe Run

Saturday 2 September

Cordner & Rudolph

Inkwell 7pm - 9pm Free (with collection)

Rodney Cordner and Jean-Pierre Rudolph are perhaps one of the most unique acoustic-duos around, combining the wit of the Irish with the romance of the French, having written songs and toured for over 25 years.

Their musical style is Contemporary Irish/Celtic folk music with a strong flavour of swing jazz.

On stage they use fiddle, guitar, flute, mandolin, tin-whistle and bodhran to perform traditional and original instrumentals and songs, strongly laced with social commentary, humour and audience participation.

The duo have released 9 Albums and have toured extensively throughout Europe and the USA; working in more than 18 Countries.They have also shared the stage with Pete Seeger, Luka Bloom, The Incredible String Band, Tommy Makam and Tommy Sands; and once performed on the same TV show as Johnny Cash.

Cordner & Rudolph also playing:

Sat 2nd Sept Cafe Run


Chris Milner

Inkwell 7pm - 9pm Free (with collection)

Described by the late Keith London of Hinkley Act as a 'true journeyman', Chris Milner epitomises the classic, semi-professional singer-songwriter.  In recent years Chris has played to audiences in Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany, Turkey and Africa, as well as at music festivals throughout Britain and Europe, but his career spans over thirty years performing in venues as diverse as bars, folk clubs, church and village halls, and theatres.

Chris Milner is also playing:

Sat 2nd Sept Cafe Run

Cafe Run

Café Run venues in Chapel Allerton - 2-4pm free (with collection)

As part of the new Village Jazz & Folk Root fringe activities , we will be organising the Chapel Allerton Festival “café run” on Sat 2 September between 2-4pm. Local cafes in the area will be visited by artists who are performing over the weekend to play/sing short acoustic taster sets. The artist performing include James Rey, Chris Milner, Lara Rose and Cordner & Rudolph. The cafes involved include Cafe Nero, Cafe Opposite, House of Koko, Bucca di Pizza and although not a cafe the Performance Area in the main festival in the upper car park. So enjoy your coffee's whilst you can chill and listen to the music and hopefully you will come along and visit the festival later to see what else is going on.

James Dey

Cordner & Rudolph

Lara Rose

Chris Milner


Regent Street main Stage

Headliners on Saturday night 2 Sept

Plus folk music workshop at the nearby School of Philosophy 5:00 - 6:00 (free). If you are interested reserve your place, by signing up through the contact page

Self proclaimed inventors of Psychedelic Sci-fi folk Leeds band Maia create a genre busting mix of sweet stunning vocal harmonies over funky blissed out grooves; punctuated by echoing banjo, guitar, shimmering mandolins, spooky brass,deep bass and keyboards.

Distorted Banjos and folk elements play over symphonic psychedelic slam jams whilst  ornate  jungle guitar and electronica reverberate across the surface of  stomping turbulent grooves ….

"Maia a boisterous mix of Robyn Hitchcock and Mercury Rev, killer three-part harmonies and a mad electric banjo, don't tell your parents about this discovery because they will only mess it up. It was that special" - Bag Thing 2016?