Welcome to Folkroom! We’re live folk music promoters looking to fill your ears with the music the makes us happiest. Or saddest, but in a good way. We’ve been running gigs in London for over five years now, and also ran a (currently dormant) record label for a good chunk of that. We’ve won Folk Awards, hosted festival stages and once we put on a gig featuring nothing but ABBA covers. Who says folk can’t be fun?
Our website is loaded with information on everything we do. We have details of our regular gigs (we hold at least 25 each year!) and information about The Folkroom Rotating Orchestra – the ever-growing circle of musicians we’re proud to work with on a regular basis.
Folkroom Records is run by writer and promoter Stephen Thomas, and award-winning folk duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker. After attracting the finest of the city’s burgeoning folk scene to the trio’s Folkroom gigs, the step to develop a label seemed like a simple decision. Combining their individual skills and shared love of folk music, Stephen, Ben and Josienne are proud to be bringing some of their very favourite acts to a larger audience.
Folkroom is, like any record label and promoter should be, the result of a passion for and dedication to great music. Ben is a renowned guitarist and producer with a number of albums under his belt and a natural ear for drawing the best from the many musicians he works with. Josienne is one of folk music’s fastest rising singers and lyricists, and knows as well as anyone just how crucial another musician’s support of a young artist can be. Stephen has written for The Guardian and Glastonbury Festival, and has been picking the very best of the UK’s folk crop to play his London gigs since he first moved to the city in 2010.
It was, in fact, these gigs in which the trio first met. The ‘Folkroom’, a fortnightly gig in King’s Cross, started as a way for Stephen to showcase the many talented folk acts he came across through his music writing. As it grew and developed, Folkroom took on a life of its own and became something of a community for the singers and bands passing through.
The aim was to create a place where everyone could feel welcome – the musicians, the audience, the extensive collection of photographers and designers who were every bit as vital to the Folkroom as the acts that played it. The next logical step was to find a way to share the Folkroom sound with a wider audience, and with both the internet and wealth of abilities at hand, Folkroom Records came to being. Eager to make sure that they always keep their original principles in mind whilst running the label, the Folkroom gang forged for themselves a manifesto, which can be seen here.
Folkroom Records released their first album in December 2011 – a compilation featuring twelve of the finest bands playing the London scene at the time. Since then, the label has released a stack of EPs/albums and a two further Anthology records. Everything the label has released is available to download now from folkroomrecords.bandcamp.com.
Over the following four years, Folkroom put out a number of EPs, compilations and albums from artists such as Sophie Jamieson, Patch & the Giant and Lucy Cait. Co-founders Josienne & Ben put out three records themselves on the label – 2012’s ‘Homemade Heartache’ EP, the vinyl release of 2013’s ‘Fire and Fortune’, and 2014’s ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’. This latter release brought them critical acclaim, including a BBC Folk Award for Best Duo in 2015. Folkroom were proud to see the pair picked up by Rough Trade records in 2016.
Going forward, Folkroom is excited to be expanding its live output even further – the free fortnightly gigs that started it all continue every other Wednesday at The Harrison in Kings Cross, just a stone’s throw from where it all began. On top of these, Folkroom puts on a number of bigger events each year, be they church gigs, larger headline sets from folk’s biggest new names, or Disney covers nights. Folkroom’s sister night, Crocodile Death Roll, puts on semi-regular gigs allowing Stephen to share all his favourite acts that don’t quite fit the Folkroom banner. Keep an eye out for more expansion as Folkroom eyes up its first regular nights outside of London in 2017!
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Want to get in touch with the Folkroom? You totally can! Check out our Contact page.
We’d love to hear what you’ve got to offer.