A Brief History
The Friday The 13th Folk Club was formed after the venue of an earlier
club was lost - with a change of venue came a change of name as the result
of the bizarre dominance of the number 13 on the clubs first night
After losing our first (excellent) venue we wandered around in
the wilderness for forty years (well not quite) before we found
another. It was upper floor of a converted barn in the grounds of
The Knox Arms, Knox Lane, Harrogate. Our first meeting was in December,
on (you guessed) Friday 13th. On her arrival, Lindsey, one of our
members, noticed that the staircase leading to the room consisted
of 13 steps. After 13 people had arrived nobody else turned up and
in the terrifying sound that followed (No, Ray was not singing at
the time) a name was born. More people did turn up later but during
that space our fate had been forever sealed, and so our name entered
the first year of its life.
Since then the club has become a popular venue and has been host
to many excellent performers, both amateur and professional, welcoming
all types of acoustic music. Recently the club has relocated to
the Empress in Church Square where in the early 1960's Harrogate's
first Folk Club was born. This was where various performers including
Roger Knowles and Robin and Barry Dransfield first "cut their teeth".
The reasons for this move is to bring the club nearer to the town
and enjoy more comfortable surroundings, though it is also taking
the club "back home".
FRIDAY 13th FOLK CLUB OBITUARY NOTICE
Friday 13th Folk Club will cease to exist after Christmas.
I worked as hard as I could to create what
I envisaged a good club to be and achieved only a third
of that ideal.
My feelings about a good folk club is that it should serve
three basic functions, all of which we
seemed to manage at one time, but not any more. They are:
1. PARTICIPATORY: The Performers' and Listeners' evenings should give
a chance for people to
share songs and banter with an audience and with each other. As these
have not been very well
attended I assume my opinions are not generally held ones.
2. PROVIDING A PLATFORM FOR LESSER KNOWN TALENT: Giving gigs to talented,
not-yet-famous artists should be a very strong feature of any folk club.
Every time we try this we
lose a lot of money by failing to get a decent sized audience. These
performers are stuck in the
world's smallest vicious circle: They can't get a gig 'til they get a
name, and they can't get a name
'til they get a gig.
3. BRINGING "BIG NAMES" TO TOWN: This works a treat, we are
already more than half sold-out
for Vin Garbutt in December and well on the way to being completely
sold-out for Spiers and Boden
Unfortunately "big" gigs are only one aspect
of the club and not enough for me to go on giving
up so much of my time for. I do not make any money from
the club, I do it for love. Put in maudlin
terms: I feel as if my "lover" has let me down.
There is now a CD recording of some of our regular performers from
a couple of Performers and Listeners Evenings - click
The club finally closed on Friday 16 th December 2005.