Gig History

Gig History  |   | 




Solo gigs, including Bracknell Folk Festival, the Gateshead Garden Festival, and a tour of Lincolnshire village halls.

A few gigs in the duo with Sue Harris, including festival appearances at Beverley, Warwick, and Sidmouth.

One single gig with Roy Bailey.

English tour dates with the accordion trio with Riccardo Tesi and Marc Perrone.

A few ceilidh band appearances with The JK All-Stars, with Dave Whetstone taking over the guitar role, and Sue Harris ceasing to appear. From now on the line-up is very fluid, including at different times Chris Wood (briefly), Alan Harris, and Paul Burgess.

JK appears live on stage singing, playing, and getting in the way, in “The Dirty Hill”, a documentary play at The New Victoria Theatre, North Staffordshire, devised and directed by Peter Cheeseman and Rob Swaine. As Musical Director, JK devised songs, harmonies, and choreography for this piece about open-cast coal mining.

On BBC Radio, JK is host presenter for Jim Lloyd’s “Folk on Two” for three weeks, and co-presenter with regular host Sandra Kerr on the schools’ programme “Music Box”.


Extensive solo touring, including festival appearances at Newtown, Ely, Whitby, and Kendal, and a month-long tour of the USA and Canada.

Long bouts of touring in the duo with Roy Bailey.

A couple of duo gigs with Sue Harris, including The Albion Band Day in Cheltenham, and half a dozen or so in a trio with Sue Harris and Dave Whetstone.

English tour dates with The Richard Thompson Band.

A couple of ceilidh band appearances with The J K All-Stars.

On BBC Radio 2, JK presents the first of three series of his own programme “Squeezing Round The World”.

He also assembles the ten-piece John Kirkpatrick’s English Folk Band, presenting a one-off session of arrangements of traditional tunes for Jim Lloyd’s Folk on Two, with a view to establishing some kind of National Ensemble. It never went any further!

JK is invited to be one of the adjudicators for BBC Radio 2’s Young Tradition Award.


Extensive solo touring, including festival appearances at Petherton, Beverley, Whitby, and Crewe and Nantwich, and several ceilidhs as a caller.

JK has to cancel a planned month-long tour in the USA and Canada through illness.

A couple of ceilidh band appearances with The JK All-Stars.

The one and only appearance ever of The Kirkpatrick Family Band, playing for a dance in their local village in Shropshire. JK on accordion, with sons Jobie on bass guitar, Benji on mandolin, George on selected percussion, Fergus on drum kit, with their mother, Sue Harris, on hammered dulcimer.

Three performances of The Test Valley Tapestry Suite – JK’s arrangements of traditional Hampshire tunes, commissioned by TAPS for the Test Valley Borough Council – performed by JK & Sue Harris, with four musicians from The Bournemouth Sinfonietta – Suzanne Kingham, Jane Koster, Andrew Baker, and John Ewart. Two shows are preceded by a concert spot from JK & Sue Harris as a duo. This was the last ever appearance with Sue Harris.

The Basque Kepa Junkera takes over from Marc Perrone in the accordion trio with Riccardo Tesi, and the three of them are now called Trans Europe Diatonique. Concerts and tours in Italy, France (twice), and England.

JK does workshop sessions at Wyndham School in Egremont, Cumbria, with their Crabapple Band, leading to a public dance in Workington, with him leading the band.

JK adjudicates the folk music section of the Thanet Speech and Drama Festival in Broadstairs, Kent. All day sessions with an evening concert spot.

JK gives a talk about the history of The Shropshire Bedlams at an all day event called “Border Roots and Revival”, in West Malvern, Worcestershire. Later reproduced in The American Morris Newsletter.

JK is seen being interviewed on a Channel 4 TV programme “Spirit of Trees”, discussing Aston-on-Clun’s unique Arbor Tree.

Frequent gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey, and the first ever appearance, at Beverley Folk Festival, of Roy’s supergroup Band of Hope – with Roy, Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick, Stefan Hannigan, and JK. Four other gigs by Band of Hope.

At a special event at Cecil Sharp House, JK is one of a good number of stalwarts who are awarded the EFDSS Diamond Jubilee Medal for their “Contribution to Folk.” Afterwards JK accompanies Damien Barber singing a couple of songs, and the two of them meet and chat with the President of the EFDSS, HRH Princess Margaret.


Extensive solo touring, including festivals at Towersey and Otley, and gigs in France, Belgium, Germany, and Spain. Several ceilidhs as a caller.

One ceilidh appearance only of the JK All-Stars.

Lengthy touring in the duo with Roy Bailey, and a long summer tour with Band of Hope, including festival appearances at Dranouter, in Belgium, and Bilbao in the Basque Country.

Trans Europe Diatonique tour in Spain (four times), Belgium (three times), France (twice), and Italy and Germany.

On BBC Radio 2, JK presents series two of Squeezing Round The World.


Extensive solo touring, including festival appearances at Sutton Bonington, Barnard Castle, Cheddar, Felixstowe, Chester, Sidmouth, Whitby, Kendal, and Tenterden.

One or two ceilidhs as a caller, plus a few outings by the JK All-Stars, who gradually morph into JK’s Bumper Ceilidh Band, with sons Jobie and Benji appearing more and more often.

Trans Europe Diatonique squeeze in tours in Spain, Holland, France, and Belgium. The group ends in a whimper, as on their last ever appearance in a short tour of Germany, Kepa Junkera was unable to come at the last minute, so it finished as a duo with Riccardo Tesi and JK.

A few gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey, including a tour of Belgium and Holland.

Band of Hope do a full English tour, and play at a festival in Lisbon, Portugal. JK leaves Band of Hope after this, to be replaced by Chris Parkinson.

Brass Monkey re-unites for a single concert at Sidmouth Festival. Not seen again until 1997!

The John Kirkpatrick Band makes its first folk-rock concert appearances – with Graeme Taylor, Paul Burgess, Dave Berry, and Michael Gregory. Alan Harris replaces Dave Berry on bass for the first couple of gigs.

JK sets to music the words of some Shropshire poets, and performs the subsequent songs live at a launch of “Along the Line”, a collection of work inspired by and relating to the local railway branch line.

ON BBC Radio 2, JK presents a one-off programme celebrating the concertina – “The Musical Threepenny Bit”.


Great swathes of solo gigs, including festival appearances at Whitchurch, St Neots, Mangotsfield, Marlborough, Beverley, Crawley, Whitby, St Ives, Crewe & Nantwich, and Rotherham.

Solo tours in Scotland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, and at the week long Kaustinen Festival in Finland.

The John Kirkpatrick Band does extensive concert tours, including festivals at Felixstowe, Towersey, Padbury, and at Rudolstadt in Germany.

Steeleye Span has a big London concert for charity. In the evening all the line-ups of the band re-unite for short sets. In the afternoon, when various members of the cast display what they’re currently up to, The JK Band makes an appearance.

A couple of gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey.

JK’s Bumper Ceilidh Band plays several times, with the cast list dwindling to just one of the two drummers.

Wassail! - the stage show of traditional Midwinter and Christmas material, commissioned by Folkworks, tours for the first time. The house band is JK, Rosie Cross, Jane Threlfall, Carl Hogsden, George Faux, and Richie Taylor, with a guest choir and a guest team of sword dancers each night.

In Shropshire, a special single concert of “A Christmas Miscellany” with JK sharing the stage with historian and folklorist Charles Kightley and poet Roger Garfitt.


Solo work includes festivals at Chippenham and Whitby, and trips to Holland (twice) and Belgium.

A special Harvest Concert in Bishop’s Castle combines the talents of JK with historian and folklorist Charles Kightley.

The John Kirkpatrick Band is hard at it, with festival gigs at Dorchester, Padbury, Cambridge (where they outsold all the other acts on the CD stall!), Sidmouth, Broadstairs, London’s South Bank, and Swanage.

Frequent dances with JK’s Bumper Ceilidh Band, including Rochester Sweeps, and Festivals at Chippenham and Faversham.

First ceilidh band appearance by Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle – with sons Jobie and Benji, fellow Shropshire Bedlam Martin Britnell, and Sally Turner (soon to be Kirkpatrick!),including Dartmoor Festival.

JK hogs the radio waves, with contributions to discussions on Folk in the Footlights, Reading Music, Night Waves, and a third and final series of Squeezing Round The World on BBC Radio 2.


Loads of solo stuff, including festival appearances at Leek, Rugeley, Ellesmere, London’s Greenwich Park, Gower, Priddy, Warwick, Whitby, Four Fools at Lowton, Otley, Saffron Walden, and a single festival gig in Belgium.

On BBC Radio 2, JK presents two programmes of Midwinter material based on the “Wassail!” show, entitled “Deep and Crisp and Even”.

To signal the retirement of presenter Jim Lloyd from BBC Radio 2’s Folk on Two, JK is asked to organise the ten winners of the Young Tradition Award into a band for The Last Young Tradition of All.

A single concert appearance in Exeter accompanying singer Frankie Armstrong, doing material off her new CD “Till the Grass Oe’rgrew the Corn”.

The John Kirkpatrick Band tours till May, with a couple of festival spots in Hanover and Biedefeld in Germany, and last ever appearances at the festivals in Cleethorpes and Chester. Gerry Conway deputises for Michael Gregory on drums for these last two gigs.

Brass Monkey re-unites for the first full English tour for eleven years, with Richard Cheetham on trombone.

John Kirkpatrick’s Bumper Ceilidh Band appear a couple of times.

A few ceilidhs by Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle, including one at Bromyard Festival.

On BBC Television, JK is asked to assemble a Dance Band for a programme teaching country dancing to school children. This John Kirkpatrick Band comprises JK, Benji Kirkpatrick, Jobie Kirkpatrick, Dave Whetstone, and Michael Gregory, and “Folk Dancing” is shown nationally every year for the next ten years at least.

In Bishop’s Castle, JK makes the first of a few annual appearances presenting a programme of songs and music from the two World Wars, relating to Remembrance Day – Tunes from the Trenches – The Western Front.

“Wassail!” takes to the road again, with a slightly revised version of 1995’s Christmas Show. This time the band are JK, Rosie Cross, Jane Threlfall, Gina Le Faux, Carl Hogsden, and Michael Gregory.


Extensive solo work, including festival appearances at Chichester Folk Day, Miskin Folk Day, St Neots, Walsingham, Mid-Wales, Stanford in the Vale, Whitby, Towersey, and Lancaster, and a couple of days at The Tall Ships Race in Falmouth.

One single appearance at a festival in Belgium.

John Kirkpatrick’s Bumper Ceilidh Band show their faces a couple of times, including at Towersey Festival.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle notch up several ceilidh appearances.

In Bishop’s Castle, JK presents another programme of songs and music related to the two World Wars to mark Remembrance Day - Tunes from the Trenches – The Eleventh Hour.

“Wassail!” tours again for the third and final time, presenting a programme of English Midwinter songs and music. Cast as in 1997.


Mostly solo work, including festival appearances at Gower, The Barbican Centre in London, Cromer, Cleethorpes, Chippenham, Stainsby, Sidmouth, Broadstairs, Whitby, Fylde, Bromyard, and Haddenham Folk Day.

The John Kirkpatrick Bumper Ceilidh Band plays one dance at Sidmouth Folk Festival.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle plays for several ceilidhs all over the country.

Several folk club gigs in a duo with Scots singer Alistair Hewlett, with JK filling in at short notice for Dave Swarbrick, who was taken ill.

A couple of concerts as a duo with Alistair Anderson.

A few gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey, and just one concert appearance as a duo with Martin Carthy.

Brass Monkey make one single concert outing at Towersey Folk Festival, with Pat Jackman deputising on trombone.

Tunes From The Trenches – Let Me Like A Soldier Fall – a third programme of Wartime songs, in Bishop’s Castle, to coincide with Remembrance Day.

Gig History  |   |