Friday 25th April: Grace Petrie, David Rovics, Tim OT and more

Join us for a very special night with some of the very best radical songwriters – from both sides of the Atlantic. On stage at The Cricketers in Kingston  will be David Rovics, Grace Petrie, Tim O T, James Lamb and Stew Simpson. Advance book recommended – tickets here. Doors 7pm.

We are incredibly excited that David Rovics is over from the States with his beautifully crafted protest music -

“Listen to David Rovics…” Pete Seeger . “I’m a big fan” Tom Morello, Rage Against The Machine

GRACE PETRIE is perhaps the best of a new generation of radical British folk singers. From packing out the Cargo in Shoreditch for her recent album launch, to her performances at Glastonbury and Latitude, her performances have been inspiring more and more good folk.

Supporting them will be Tim O T, Stew Simpson and James Lamb. Look forward to seeing you!

Songs from Below: Tuesday March 25th

Songs from Below – Tuesday March 25th – Fiddler’s Elbow, Camden, Doors 7.30pm. 

On stage we have Stew Simpson, an unususal and very talented musician, who mixes his own fairly wonderful songwriting with older northeastern miners songs and more. And he’s fucking funny. We have The Statues, AKA Reuben and Harriet. We also have the equally talented Roger Askew  with his folk blues,  and Ollie & Tali.  Look forward to seeing you all.

Songs from Below Feb 25th: Ben Osborn, Chris Hicks, Maev Mc Daid and Lo Behold

Tuesday 28th January // 7.30pm // Fiddlers Elbow // 1 Malden Rd, London NW5 3HS

First off, thanks to all of you who made the first Songs from Below at the Fiddlers Elbow such a lovely occassion. We have some more fantastic songwriters coming on Tuesday 25th February. In fact so fantastic, I will simply let their music speak for itself. Suffice to say we have our first eer harpist, and some militant Irish music in the show. Look forward to seeing you there…

Chris Hicks

Lo Behold

Maev Mc Daid

And finally Ben Osborne will be there with his brand new band…

And Ben Osborn, who impressed muchly at a previous Songs from Below, will be there with his brand new band…

Songs from Below is back! Jaz Delorean + Noria Bah + Bernard Goyder


Tuesday 28th January // 7.30pm // Fiddlers Elbow // 1 Malden Rd, London NW5 3HS

Songs from Below is back! Now at the Fiddlers Elbow, a fantastic music venue in Camden. Do join us for another night with some fantastically talented songwriters, and acoustic musicians. As always, radical politics included.

JAZ DELOREAN is weird and wonderful, very very wonderful. The front man in Tankus the Henge, he’s been described as a “creepy caberet rock star”

NOURIA BAH and her unusually talented crew of musicians were very much loved by the crowd at Songs from Below last may. We’re very pleased to bring back her acoustic folk hop.

BERNARD GOYDER is clever careful songwriter and guitarist who will draw you in, and in and in. Definitely not to be missed.

Do come and support us at our first show at the big new venue. A great night it will be.

This year you can do something even better than knocking Simon Cowell off number one

Does anybody remember Joe Mcelderry? A peculiarly vacuous figure, even by the standards of X Factor winners, he came top of the pile back in 2009. Music lovers dully rebelled, conspiring to buy RATM’s Killing in The Name in such numbers that they were able to knock Simon Cowell yet another one.

No doubt it was good to see a dent being made in Cowell’s empire – especially by a band with pretty radical politics. Though as acts of cultural rebellion gom this one was pretty shallow. Ultimately it was a battle between one corporate created subculture and another. In the grand scheme of things, not a lot about the music industry was changed. And a track that climaxes with the lyric “Fuck you I’m not gonna do what you tell me” can only be so inspiring.

Now imagine if just half the people who’d backed RATM chose another way to hit back against the current order of things in music. Imagine if just a fraction those of  who downloaded Killing in the Name had instead decided to make a point of spreading the word about an independent musician that we like – or even bought a track or two off them. Imagine, in other words, if we actually did something to enable artists to make a living from their craft, and to contribute to our cultural fabric, without the backing of the big labels

The demonization of Simon Cowell might articulate a widespread, and  righteous dissatisfaction with the off-the-peg, radio-friendly tracks that dominate our musical environment. But it also stops us from asking any big questions about the way music work in Britain: not least why the internet hasn’t yet lived up to it’s it’s great potential to offer space to a different kind of musician.

With all this in mind I’d like to take this opportunity to give a plug to some excellent, radical songwriters, and invite you to do the same, wherever you can. Have a listen to:

Robin Grey

Stew Simpson


and… Lo! Behold

Grace Petrie launch: pics and vids

Thanks so much to those of you who came to see Grace Petrie. You were an amazing crowd, I had a fantastic time and I know that she did too. Fortunately there are plans afoot for Grace to come back to london in the coming months so watch this space.



Photo courtesy of annamaja42/flickr


Photo courtesy of annamaja42/flickr

Our next night: Tim O T + Stew Simpson + Chris Tymkow

Songs from Below is back, with more fantastically talented acoustic musicians, and as always a healthy dose of radical politics

We are very pleased to welcome TIM O T to the stage. Decribed as ‘a classic “angry young man” in the tradition of Billy Bragg and Frank Turner’. “A real talent” according to radio 6′s Tom Robinson. Check him out here

STEW SIMPSON is a fantastic folk musician and songwriter, mixing traditional and modern folk styles to create incredibly powerful songs. Check out his band here..

CHris Tymkow, writer of a celebrated song about the blacklisting scandal, a writer truly excellent songs about love life and struggle.

As always entry is £4 or £11 with a two-course dinner included.
Look forward to seeing you

Our next Songs from Below: Owly Al + Rachel Weston + Christopher Hicks

owlyaldTue. 24th September – 6.30pm – Firebox London – 106 Cromer Street  WC1H 8BZ- entry £4 or £11 with a lovely two course dinner

After Grace Petrie’s fantastic performance in July, and a little August break,we have some more amazing songcrafters for September’s Songs from Below.

Very excited to be hosting Owly Al, a maker of unusually clever, thought bending music about this this age of riots, austerity and repression. A real songwriter’s songwriter , and a great musician. A Check him out at

Chris Hicks who is quite simply a phenomenal singer, song-writer and finger picker…

and finally

RACHEL WESTON Rachel is a talented vocalist who travels the world collecting and performing Yiddish folk and art song. Tonight, she will explore the thematic relationship between Yiddish and Celtic folk traditions Have a listen at…

Entry is £4 or £11 with a lovely 2 course dinner included.

Friday folk song: Sheath and Knife – an olde scottish ballad of incest and murder

I first heard this tune at the Cellar Upstairs, a rather wonderful folk club above the above the Exmouth Arms in Euston. Before the great Leon Rosselson took to the stage, one of the regulars sang us this. Its the story of the Kings Daughter and the Kings Son. They loved one another, and after he got her pregnant he had to take yet more problematic action. Also, the person sing this version has moose horns (ftw)….