Black Swan Folk Club launches virtual club nights amid surge of revised gig dates UPDATED

Chris While and Julie Matthews: A special concert for the Black Swan Folk Club’s virtual folk club night

YORK’S Black Swan Folk Club is filling the void in the Coronavirus lockdown by organising a “virtual folk club night” on YouTube every Thursday.

Club co-organiser Chris Euesden says: “We started about a month ago and quite a few people seem to be tuning in. A new one is posted each Thursday at around 7pm, and so far we’ve included a special concert from Chris While and Julie Matthews, bluesman Brookes Williams and the late Vin Garbutt, among others.

“We aren’t deleting anything, so all the old club nights, which go back about six weeks now, can still be viewed on YouTube for the duration of our shutdown if you’ve missed any.”

To access the club nights, go to and search for the Black Swan Folk Club York UK channel. The direct link is:

“There you select ‘Playlists’ and that brings up all the club nights,” says Chris. “Each one is listed as a separate Playlist.

“We’re trying to stick to the club format as close as possible with videos of a few songs from resident singers and then a main spot from whoever would have been the guest that night.

“The nights are made up from a series of clips, some especially recorded for the club night and others already available on YouTube, but specifically recommended by the performers themselves.”

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Chris continues: “The familiar format is not always possible and there are some changes, but it’s close. Of course, the thing about a ‘virtual’ club night is that you can bring in some special guests who normally wouldn’t have been there.

“If you enjoy viewing the videos, please subscribe to the channel or ‘like’ the clips and that will give us a good idea of the audience we have.”

Coming next will be a guest set from Irish-influenced musicians Roisin Ban on Thursday (May 14), when they would have been playing the Black Swan under pre-Covid circumstances. Lined up later for the “virtual club” are American singer-songwriter Katy Moffatt and Australian duo Sadie and Jay.

“We’re also hoping to do something special to replace what would have been the City of York Folk Weekend – to be renamed The Roland Walls Folk Weekend from this year – which was to have taken place from June 5 to 7,” says Chris.

“It’ll be a Virtual Folk Weekend special with footage from many of the bands, singers and musicians who would have been involved.” 

Meanwhile, a few revised folk gigs in York have been confirmed, to be followed by “a review of where we stand at the end of this month,” says Chris.

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Dates for the diary are:

Drever, McCusker, Woomble, at The Crescent, York, August 24, 7.30pm; tickets from

Maz O’Connor, Basement Bar, City Screen, York, September 9, 7.30pm; tickets,

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, National Centre for Early Music, York, November 17, 7.30pm; tickets, 

Eliza Carthy Restitute Live, The Crescent, York, January 24 2021, 7.30pm; tickets,

Grace Petrie, The Crescent, York, May 18 2021, 7.30pm; tickets,

Scheduled to appear at the Black Swan Folk Club later this year are: Anthony John Clarke, September 10; Christine Collister and Michael Fix, special club night, September 18; Sam Kelly & Jamie Francis, October 8; Lucy Farrell, October 15; Sam Carter, October 22; Charlie Dore & Julian Litmann, November 19, and Martin Carthy, December 3.