Who we are top
The Raven Folk Club was founded in 1978, at The Raven pub in Farndon. Since then we have had several homes, most notably Chester Rowing Club and here at The Bear and Billet. Its founder, Dave Russell is still a regular at the club and until very recently was a member of the resident band, Full House. Nick, who took over the running of the club in 1980, is still one of the organisers together with Chris and Debbie Lee who joined in in 1987.
The club runs every Sunday and, with one or two notable exceptions, we are never closed. These exceptions are a) for Chester Folk Festival during the late May bank holiday weekend and b) over Christmas when we have our Christmas party on the Saturday before Christmas instead. In recent years though the organisers have got together for a session in the Cross-
The club has always had a loyal group of supporters, regulars who have attended for many years, whether to perform or to listen, who have become part of the club’s our extended family. We encourage new performers -
We have also always been very lucky with the quality of the performers who come to the club. Many play their first public performances for us, and become regulars at the club. Some of our regulars have even gone on to soar the heights of the Folk Scene -
What to expect top
The club has a mix of singers’ nights with guest nights every month or so. Singers’ nights are free whether you’ve come to perform or to listen. Performers will find we use an ambient mike system. You don’t have to get up close to it -
These nights are run in concert format, with performers putting their name on the list to play, and then getting up at the front of the room to perform a couple of songs. If there aren’t many performers on the list, you might get to do an extra one in the second half.
There is an admission charge for guest nights, varying depending on the guest, and occasionally we may have a ticket only event -
A list of upcoming guests will be found on our main page and also on our Facebook page www.facebook.com\RavenFolkClub -
Membership? Rules? top
We don’t have any signed up members as such, just people who come down regularly to enjoy a night of unpretentious live music, and everyone is welcome. So, no membership charges, no obligations (and no perks, unfortunately.)
Neither do we have any rules really, merely common courtesies toward performers, be they professional or amateur, and other audience members who have come to listen.
We ask people not to interrupt performers while they are onstage. Professional performers have a right to expect this, and non-
Unless you are causing a real nuisance, no one is going to ask you to leave if you breach one of these courtesies, but watch out for heads turning in your direction to let you know.
There are two flights of stairs, so if you have difficulty climbing stairs you may want to check it out first, or get someone to help you. Unfortunately, this means that we cannot provide disabled access to the room or to any of our events.
The room can get very warm, and we are told that part of the licencee’s conditions are that windows are kept closed whenever there is any music playing. So be prepared, wear layers that you can remove if you find you are getting uncomfortable.