Who’s gigged in Francis Yard?
We created a space for in Francis Yard for musicians who write and produce their own material. In return we offer a space where the audience listen!
Jack Garratt is perhaps currently our most famous name to have emerged from this place. He started gigging here when he was just 15. He’s the only Drawingroom musician to have been given a residency, supporting all the headline acts over a period of about six months….But I have news! There is an even bigger name on the way…and it is Joe Slater. I spent the first few hours of Monday 16th July, the first day of recording and working with Grammy and Emmy award winning producer/writer Kipper…recording his first album.. mark my words, Joe is someone who will make a big impact in popular music….on a global scale. Seen here on stage at Isle Of White 2018, he followed Suzanne Vaga and nailed it.
Julie Felix and Simon & Garfunkel are amongst the most famous to have gigged here in the Yard albeit 50 years ago! This was as a result of a certain Rob Francis (then just 18yrs old) who with friends established the Trap-Door Club, a folk club, located in the loft of the stables beside his family home,Botley House, in Francis Yard. You can read more of this extraordinary and interesting story here.
Tony Moore (formerly of the Cutting Crew and The Kazbah Club) who made The Bedford one of London’s premier ‘new and emerging’ music venues – opened and closed the first ever gig at The Drawingroom, finishing with an ‘unplugged’ version of ‘I just died in your arms.’
Since then we have grown and developed. Below is a list with as many links as I can give to those who have played here, remembering that some were as young as 10 years old….To those who have played here…thank you to: and in no particularly order…(many of these entries have been copied from the posts advertising the events and remain unedited.)
15th Sept 2018 Joe Slater with support from Octave Lissner
18th The Dunwells & Natalie Gelman I caught The Dunwells playing at The Bedford, Balham, stunning. Consisting of two siblings, a hardworking duo from Leeds and they are preparing to release their new EP, COLOUR MY MIND, which will be released December 1st. The single off of that album (by the same name) will be released on October 13th. Big voices, big guitar and stunning tunes. Highly recommended.
Natalie: Raised in the old West Village, NYC stomping ground of songwriting greats, Natalie Gelman grew up amidst artists and true bohemians. She borrowed a friends guitar at 16 and started writing songs on it immediately and began busking on subway platforms soon afterwards when she grew tired of pretending to be 21 to play clubs in the city. She played here a few years ago and has since supported Bruce (the boss) Sprintein before deciding to return to the UK this year. Cant wait!
1st Me for Queen and Sansha
Me for Queen aka Mary Erskine is inspired by people and their stories. Growing up feral in rural Fife/Scotland in a big old house near the sea, she started writing songs when she was 13, around the same time that she started dressing herself.
Years of classical training together with a Blues guitarist for a father make for an interesting mix of Soul and Folk. Me For Queen’s piano-based songs draw obvious comparisons to Regina Spektor and Carol King but manage to fuse hints of Kate Bush and Laura J Martin. Mary cites Judee Sill & This is the Kit as a few of her favourites and says Me For Queen is “a sort of sketchpad for whatever’s happening in my head. I just try to write songs that talk to people.”
11th The Kings Parade
Their name is already on the Drawingroom Hall of fame ‘TKP in The Cameron Gallery. Their music; Detroit Blues at its finest and a truly original sound. Headliners at our 15th birthday last year and their rise seems unstoppable having been signed to Talentbanq, the people who are behind Joe Slater.
Support comes from James Bakian a 14 year old musician and singer-songwriter and producer! He is simply driven by everything about music: listening to it, singing it, writing it, producing it and performing it. James play here earlier this year, his début . Pretty impressive and he’s been picked up by BBC Introducing…one to watch out for certainly.
Aug 4th Ninety One Nights and The Strange Valentines
Blend the heart of an ‘80’s Australian rocker with the soul of a maritime kitchen partier, and you might get a sense of the brand of ‘folk music for the twisted soul’ that is the duo, The Strange Valentines. Now based in Canada, they are in demand and playing extensively out of Saskatchewan venues and festivals over the past 2 years, the duo has built a steady following. Their strong melodies, soulful stories, quirky humour, and rich harmonies, has been described as if the Kinks jammed with Fleetwood Mac using only acoustic instruments in a folksy type backdrop.
July 28th 2018 Frederika Alesina & Mark Hole
See their show here
FrederikA, is a singer-vocalist-musician, exploring beyond her limits. She wanders through her inspirations, her yearnings and the multiple worlds she brings together.
From concerts and performances, solo to Big Band, Jazz to Electronic music through Body Percussions (Company Humanophones), Circus music (“Möbius” jugglery show) or World music (“Medianoche” spanish and flamenco music show), creator, composer, arranger or player, her voice and her music strech, spread, either mischievous, either meaningful, crazy, electric, tender or sharp… like lemon drop candy.
She is an enigma, singular, surprising and unique, who has played hundreds of concerts across France and abroad…prepare for something a little ‘more than!’
Mark Hole is a returning favourite, who has headlined on numerous occasions. He is a singer songwriter with an extraordinary voice and personality to match. Powerful, funny and great tunes with great lyrics…this will be a night to remember. At the time of writing, only 30 places remain.
Saturday 14th July 2018:
Jon Kenzie returned and smashed it.. breath-taking…and Joe Slater literally straight back from Cornbury Festival… It was a stunning evening and with the summer of 2018 on our side…bliss reigned. See the show here
7th Jasmine Rodgers and Saskia Maxwell: See the show here
Jasmine Rodgers, she is someone whom I can really describe as an enigma…she writes, performs (with World class musicians – Scott Mathews…to name but one) and plays her own material, with passion, with humour, with soul and honesty, World music with a truly unassuming style….she has played here before, many times (I believe in this girl)…and what a true professional artist she is. She was front woman to rock band Boa, which to this day has a loyal international following due to their single ‘Duvet’ used as opening theme song to award winning Japanese anime ‘Lain Serial Xperiments’.
Jas gave us a truly special and exclusive performance here last autumn of her life’s passion…her music .. I am honoured this show took place here… it is one which will be featured in documentaries one day. When these documentaries, whether about truly special shows or how good live intimate music is, this was one such show.
30th Mark Sullivan
New to The Drawingroom! May I really urge you to come and see this amazing musician, Mark Sullivan and his four piece band. Mark played an outstanding set and we had an enormous evening. It was made special too by the début of 11 year old Ruby Wellsted seen here jamming with Mark at the end of a faultless, note perfect performance.
His music is full of energy and anthemic sounds, tunes you will get your head around in no time. His very real enthusiasm comes through as a truly entertaining sound and performance. He is huge fun too, a larger than life character with a big laugh you cannot help but be drawn into.
23rd Tom Hingley Ben Corby & Treana
The one and only Tom Higley(formally 90’s chart topping band Inspiral Carpets) He’s a pro, through and through, stunning and powerful guitar with his rich and powerful voice, strong music and great tunes. Supported by two other singer songwriters Ben and Treana. Treana was formerly Lead singer of the Wire Daisies before writing, producing and teaching music. She has scored music for TV as well and has been a frequent performer here. Ben holds the title of being the youngest musician to have performed here aged just nine. He’s inspired by Ed Sheeran and Jack Garratt...and writes about some pretty mature stuff for someone not yet 14 yrs old…and in an adult song-writer competition, he’s currently down to the last ten out of the many thousands who entered… Why am I not surprised?
9th June 2018 Little Brother Eli and Lucy Mair
Little Brother Eli are an energetic 4-piece band from Oxford – combining rock, disco and electro sounds with hip-hop rhythms. The band who played here last year have toured extensively since their conception in 2013. I saw them recently at Sofar Sounds Oxford…they have so much energy. Think growling guitars, danceable beats, electro breakdowns and catchy hooks.
Lucy Mair writes and plays some amazing tunes which are simultaneously complex and simple. On guitar and keys, she loops both her voice and instruments, weaving an intense sound blushed with a classical jazzy soulful mix….‘def. one to watch’..would not be at all surprised if she created an absolute classic if she has not written it already.
“Bittersweet and haunting”
May 26th 2018 Hannah White & 91 Nights
The unique and special sound of Hannah White’s voice has a bitter sweet pain to it. I’ve only heard this in two other artists, one being Dolly Parton and the other Stephanie O’Brian. Her songs are rich with stories of experiences and people who have been in her life. She is accompanied by Kieron on guitar and together their melodic and anthemic music will follow you for days.
I am a big fan of these two…
91 Nights (Maxine and Mark) they have played here previously, Maxine originally ten years ago, then known as Maxine&Mandy…massive voice, huge range and soulful too.
19th Arielle with Lucas Laufen to support. Singer/Songwriter/Guitar player Arielle who currently attends ICMP London – The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance She spends her time between Austin Texas and the UK. She’s already attracted a huge amount of attention having won a US wide guitar competition last year. Lucas(from Oz) Laufen’s music is the sort that makes us stop and breathe: sombre falsetto melodies married to shimmering guitar; elemental orchestrations that yearn and plunge the coastal poetry of the wild Australian imaginary.
5th Hope and Mark Hole
May (2018) 12th Duotone and Me For Queen
“A hidden gem.” – The Observer / “Seriously spellbinding.” – fRoots ***** Songlines / ***** Maverick / **** Telegragh
Just some of the accolades and honest observations of Duotone (the alias of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and live looper Barney Morse-Brown) releases his spellbinding new album A Life Reappearing on 4th May. Like an alchemist Duotone weaves a plethora of instruments of an epic orchestral power – including his pioneering and unconventional cello playing – with a masterful use of a looper for his gentle vocals, which wraps each song in a blanket of intimacy.
Mary Irskine Me for Queen is a super intelligent songwriter…you can hear it in both music and lyrics. A multi instrumentalist who has captivated audiences inside and out in Francis Yard.
Two massive voices, both writing and playing their original sounds. Hope breaks hearts each time she plays here and Mark is perhaps one of the greatest showmen to have played here. Both on Keys and with their own original music..of course!
February 15th Eleanor McEvoy
This is the girls whose music ‘A woman’s heart‘ became the biggest selling album in Irish music history. So many amazing voices and musicians of World acclaim have accompanied her.
Will Mcnicol …now on his second UK tour, supported this legend!
Feb 1st 2014 Caroline Harrison
““A voice of gold” is how Swansea’s Evening Post defines Singer-Songwriter Caroline Harrison….and she did not disappoint.
January 18th 2014…our first gig of the year and what a party..Jack Garratt turned up to play…and what a show, Jack James and Harry.
Saturday night! James Kirby and supported by Harry Phillips…who came back from Uni to play for you
Sat 07/12/2013 the gig will be opened by Gaeten Buisson. ‘So what?’ you ask? Well he was just 10 years old and playing his own work.This is how stars are born! Headlining was Paul Liddell
|Listen to this.|
and Support for Paul was Nic Bennett….. listen here
Sat 16/11/2013 Georgie Bird (whose father Dickie taught Tony Moore to fly)
Paul Handyside TAKE A LISTEN
who you will also find on Facebook here!
“Haunting vocals, oozing with the pain of heartache and beautifully humble production make Jazz’s records an enthralling listen – Music Week”
Thursday 7th November A returning giant and pro,
In addition to the album, you can buy limited edition artwork, lyric sheets, a new electric album and copies of his book, ‘Carpet Burns’.
Sat 02/11/2013 Richard Walters and Steve Folk
Odi This girl was honoured at being good enough to perform at the closing of the Paralympics. She has completed a mammoth tour in 2013 and as this is her second visit, you will understand, she is that good. and Jon Kensie …well here’s a story; it’s taken seven yeas to get Jon to play here…I discovered him at Glastonbury 04/05 and by a quirk of events, he was instrumental in helping Juju (LittleFish) in her career… really looking forward to hearing him again.
Carnival time….with Don Perera
21st No gig
28th April 2018 The Portraits & Emma Ballantine
Jeremy and Lorraine have played here on numerous occasions, both have become dear friends over the years and I am delighted to see them evolve and continue to write engaging and beautiful memorable music. Feature on National Radio as well as a plethora of regional BBC radio shows, the band which came out of Glastonbury, these are two truly special artists worth your attention. Folky and melodic, tunes you can walk away with, lyrics that mean something, and a force for good.
With a no. 1 album and recognition from Q Magazine and Glamour, Emma Ballantine is rapidly attracting acclaim for powerful songwriting and a ‘shapeshifting vocal gift’ (Gigslutz). Her music is inspired by artists including Suzanne Vega, Tori Amos and Kate Bush, weaving together folk and contemporary influences to create her distinctive, storytelling style. This will be her first Drawingroom appearance; I am really excited about this girl. She has a rich warm and powerful voice, this is a Malbec of the finest order..come hear!
A finalist in the 2016 UK Unsigned Songwriter of the Year competition, her music has been played by BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing, and she has been described by Resonance FM as ‘a unique voice among modern songwriters’.
Sat 05/10/2013 Dan Wilde has been making a name for himself on the UK acoustic folk scene for the past 5 years, performing his own brand of richly observant folk all over the country with appearances at Cambridge and Beverly Folk Festivals.
…and, he was just the most lovely and charming of musicians to have played here. An instant hit and he’ll be back!
and the one and only… .Hannah Scott returned..in spite of her cold, she was brilliant.
Sat 21/09/2013 Franc Cinelli and the stunning sounds of Sean Taylor, with his new album…what a treat!
Thurs 19/09/13 The Walkingstick Man . Blusy and on a short UK tour
Sat 07/09/2013 Dan Whitehouse who was described as “sensational!…by none other than Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music) he went on to say ‘what makes me really angry, is if that song had Peter Gabriel’s name on the sleeve it would be hailed as a major return to form..Dan’s music deserves a lot of respect” and Jeremy Vine BBC Radio 2 as “fresh and exciting.” Dan’s second appearance here, long overdue too!
and supporting Dan were… ..an all girl folksy rock and pop band in their late teens who delighted all.
then…on Thursday 29th August: Jason Lucket was here to entertain. Jason (from LA)
Broken Boat & Adelia
Sat 27th July a bonus event all about raising money for Shed in the Park, the ‘all’ inclusive theatre company which has done so much with and for so many kids over the last six or seven years it’s been around.
Shed@ThePark Theatre Company, based at Chiltern Hills Academy, is all about raising the aspirations of local children and young adults irrespective of their background or ability. Their vision is to build a sustainable theatre that brings together many more children and adults, from a range of backgrounds, to create wonderfully innovative, inspiring, inclusive theatre. and supporting this event are two Drawingroom favourites, Russel Joslin and Sadie Jemmett Sat 20/07/2013 Cole Stacey & Joseph O’Keefe guitar, violin and a fusion of folk, rock, classical and intriguing foot stomping music.They had just played at Larmer Tree Festival 2013..They absolutely nailed this show. Never have so many people been on their feet…dancing and singing…wonderful. Supporting them all the way from Holland were SnowApple, a Dutch 3 piece girl band. All of them compleely mad and brilliant with it. A bonus to the night’s party, Royal College of Music vituoso guitarist Declan Zapala slotted between these two. He was warming up for the fringe…and boy, he melted it.Sat 06/07/2013 Jasmine Rodgers and Amrit Sond both delivered their own unique sounds and melodies. Amrit is a Grammy winner and his sounds carry the genes of his heritage, fused with jazz and classical influences. Jasmine who sings and plays with a sound of her own. Formerly lead singer of Boa, whose fame stil ripple around the World. Jasmine is the most viewd musician on Drawingroom videos. whose voice, words and music will touch your very soul. Tuneful melodies and words, taking you on a magical journey whilst sitting in the comfort and safety of this place. It will was totally amazing evening. Along with Katey is Sean Taylor one of ‘Whispering Bob’s’ favourite emerging artists, shortlisted this year for The British Blues Awards for the most Original British Blues song of 2012…..and what a sensationApril 7th 2018 Mr Joe Slater started gigging here a year before he was signed to Talenbanq…his authenticity shines through his like a bright shaft of lightning and Joe’s openness to life itself, makes him an endearing soul to be around. Take a little bit of each of the following…Paulo Nutini, David Gray, Liam Gallagher and some McCartney as well…then draw from this a restless creative soul who is about to explode into the musical future of great music; remember these words, someone special has arrived, Mr Joe Slater. Supprt came fromNaomi Banks came a few months back and seduced us all with her jazzy bluesy sexy voice, along with some great tunes and powerful punchy lyrics….delivered with effortless confidence.
I am continally blown away by the extraordinary talent we are able to host here.
Kimberley Anne was! ..such a great support to Damon Dwyer… Tom Hingley who for the second time gave an amazing performance and told us stories of the Madchester days… We Ghosts our first guests of the year and last year, Mahoney & The Moment delightful people, thank you. When Bob Harris described Sean Taylor as “an absolutely superb guitarist … reminiscent of John Martyn” he was so right! Kenny White … Julie Hawk too -then before this Mark Abis! Mark Abis What a complete delight, the man, the music and his words; crafted words and melody, as perfect as water. Jo Hamilton who graced this yard in 2011 and then again at the 10th Anniverary Party here in 2012. Odi who left us to play at the closing of the ParaOlympics- Les Payne the most gigged musician in GB and father to so much amazing music – Tom Greenwood who co-wrote and played with Finley Quaye for many years. Kirsty Hawkshaw of Opus 3 fame. Hearing ‘Fine day’ unplugged here in the yard summer 2004…it was stunning. Little Fish, one of my most extraordinary finds, and was blown away by her from the moment she struck the first note…they have played here often too. This is one of Juju’s favourite venues and she’s played here since 2006. She like Jo Hamilton , really have the originality and ability to change music. Tinlin played at our first gig back in 2003, several times in between and played at our 10th Anniversary. They rank along side Marvin Gaye and The Beatles in having one of their songs covered by the legendary Paul Carrack , Hannah Scott too has been here on many occasions and is a regular performer now at The Royal Festival Hall due to our relationship with the Southbank at The Real Food Festival- Mark Hole, one of Juju’s favourite performers, has played here often too, and having supported Tori Amos, holding the Albert Hall to rapture…he is one of the finest showmen ever to perform here. Treana formerly of the Wire Daisies is one our favourites too. She’s a wonderful voice and prolific writer too – Skip MacDonald the legend that is Little Axe– Brooke Sharkey – Robert Castellani – Luke Oldfield (Gypsy Fingers) – Jack Garratt – Karima Francis – Jason Luckett – Lisbee Stainton – Jasmine Rodgers – Rokhsan – Jont – Tallulah Rendall – Steve Rodgers – Jo Hamilton – Russel Joslin – Emily Barker – Kal Lavalle – Jack Palmer – Alice Shaw – Ellen and the Escapades – River Seven – Will McNicol – Charlotte Eriksson – Stephen Langstaff – Caesar Goddard – Dan Whitehouse – Jessica Harvey – The Portraits ..some of the lovliest musicians you could hope to meet- Paul Cook ..Simon&Garfunkel + Lennon & McCartney distilled into one man and again recently featured on Dermot O’leary BBC Radio 2. Francis Rodino If ever there were a number one, waiting to be there…Fire. It’s a complete piece of work. Katey Brooks enchanting, passionate and captivating, amazing voice and stage presence – PieFinger totally charming and beautiful music – Creag & Morwenna – Deborah Rose – Estas Tonne – Cara Luft who left here to play for Bob Harris, live on Radio two. Local boys Big Sixes – Jessica Harvey – GeEkgiRL – Littlelostdavid – Reverse E who evolved into BATG- Simon Jof – Rachel Bell Justine Nez & JujuLittle Fish who have evolved into Candy Says – Sadie Jemmett who exclaimed at the end of her set…’Wow, you listened, thank you so much’- The Jim Dolan Project whose first album went into the top 10 on iTunes album charts Deborah Rose – Tom Moriarty – Mahoney & The Moment In 2005 we did the first ‘Moving Art Show, screen across the yard, incorporating some work by Sir Ridley Scott for PRADA, edited by my good friend and Glastonbury buddie Dayn Williams together with a shortfilm premiered here in the UK at The Drawingroom. This film too was edited by Dayn and went on to to be an Academy – nominated film, in the short films category. THere’s been much before, some history lost from the old website…no matter, below you will find still more artist you can link with. Russel Joslin confirmed for OxJam 2013 returns to see us. He first played some three or four years ago and has been much missed. He’s more than a touch of Bob Dylan to him, insightful words and angry music, together with catchy sounds. Emily Maguire (& Christian Dunham) Emily Maguire is an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose songs have been played regularly on Radio 2 and has toured with the likes of Don McLean, Eric Bibb, Roddy Frame and Glenn Tilbrook. Originally from London, Emily was classically trained on cello, piano and flute before she discovered Bob Marley, and taught herself to play his songs on the guitar. When a chronic illness left her stuck at home for months on end, she started writing her own songs to pass the time. … and William Healey both new discoveries ( William via Robert Krczal-thank you) and just 18. He is very much like I imagine I might have found Dylan to be at the same age; raw and emerging with an energy only found at this age, a Jake Bugg …but all his own sound. Sophie Henderson her first outing here. Sophie has been gigging for years and following the birth of her first child, has taken a little break from this, so it’s a huge pleasure to be able to welcome her back to live performance. The English Rose Lisbee Stainton As Lisbee’s UK 2013 Spring tour comes to a close, this will be one of the last times to catch her unless its behind a sea of faces at one of the Festivals you may catch her at during the summer. She is supported by Alex and Rolf Tinlin (the name of the band) and dishing out the beat is Jack Carrack, who have themselves been supporting one of the most famous names on the circuit, Paul Carrack. Rolf&Alex are local boys and have their own original sound; it’s so origninal, Paul chose one of their tracks for his new album…and from their music you will hear sounds of Nick Drake, Simon&Garfunkel the Beatles , yet all distinctly their own. Beuatiful harmonies and tunes. Sat 20/04/2013 Polly Barrett was new to us..she began her music career as a busker on the streets of Cork City. Her mellow, folksy songs and clear, easy voice reflect her love of nature and matters of the heart. Polly’s debut album entitled ‘Mr. Bookshop’ was released in October’11 and is set to cast her as the new jewel of acoustic folk-pop. Hannah Scott has now joined a list of names upon our top table in the Cameron Gallery…as always, 1st class performance and joined by Stephano on Cello…stunning.
In 2005 we did the first ‘Moving Art Show,’ incorporating some work by Sir Ridley Scott for PRADA, edited by my good friend and Glastonbury buddie Dayn Williams together with a shortfilm premiered here in the UK at The Drawingroom. This film too was edited by Dayn Williamswent on to to be an Academy Award – nominated film, in the short films category.