Gig History

Gig History  |   | 




Mostly solo appearances, including festivals at Whittlesea Straw Bear, Cheltenham, Bracknell, The National Folk Festival, Tamworth, Lincoln, Rochester Sweeps, Chippenham, The Festival at The Edge, Whitby, Walton on the Naze, St Ives, Chiddingly, Tenterden, and The Baring Gould Festival and Study Week.

There are also a couple of rare gigs in Scotland, a short tour of Spain, and a concert at the Tall Ships Race in Brittany – on a tall ship!

At the Crawley Folk Festival, and at Ludlow Folk Day, as well as doing spots as himself, JK also acts as jovial MC for the day.

At a special local concert, in Presteigne, Powys, JK does a few numbers in a duo with son Benji Kirkpatrick.

Brass Monkey undertake a short tour, with additional festival spots at Cheltenham, Holmfirth, Gower and Wooburn.

Several gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey, including festival spots at Middlewich and Priddy, and a flying visit to a festival in Denmark.

Three concert gigs in a duo with Alistair Anderson, including The Purcell Room on London’s South Bank.

John Kirkpatrick’s Bumper Ceilidh Band makes a final ever appearance at one of the Oxfolk Ceilidhs.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle does ceilidhs all over the place, and from now on (apart from a very occasional lapse with Brass Monkey) is the only dance band that JK plays with.

Tunes From The Trenches - The Remembrance Day event at Bishop’s Castle this year turns into a concert party, with JK leading and accompanying thirty local singers, specially combined for the purpose, in a programme of songs from the two World Wars.

The Concertina Quartet - an occasional gathering of Anglo concertina players - makes the first of a few rare appearances at local events around South Shropshire – JK, Richard Beaumond, Tim Weaver, with Sally Kirkpatrick on Bass Anglo.

JK is one of a five-piece band assembled by fiddler Paul Burgess for the ballroom scene in the TV dramatisation of “Wives and Daughters”, along with Floss Headford, also on fiddle, Tim Hill on clarinet, and Geoff March on Cello. The beautiful music this ensemble recorded was not used in the final film, and there is just one shot of JK’s fingers wiggling on the concertina to prove that he was there at all!


Solo appearances here, there, and everywhere, including replaying the role of jovial MC for the day at both Crawley Folk Festival and Ludlow Folk Day, as well as concert spots at both places. JK is also seen at festivals at Chester Folk Day, Brampton, Sidmouth, Whitby, and the Baring Gould Study Week, and at Fellside Recordings’ special birthday celebrations in Keswick.

Several gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey, include Folk Festivals at Cheltenham and Sidmouth.

Brass Monkey has a busy year, with a final appearance with the band by trombonist Richard Cheetham and a return to the fold of Roger Williams. They appear at festivals at St Neots & Cropredy, do a spot at Martin Carthy’s 60th birthday bash in Oxford, and have a full autumn tour.

JK & Martin Carthy do one duo gig in Guildford.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle does numerous ceilidhs, including festival appearances at Grantham and Sidmouth.

The Concertina Quartet creeps out for a bit of surreptitious squeezing in their hidden Shropshire fastness.


Mostly solo stuff, including festivals at Cromer, Weymouth, Chippenham, Sunderland Kite Festival, Sidmouth, Dartmoor, Whitby, Towersey, Gainsborough, and a spot on the Howarth Folk Train.

JK acts as jovial MC as well as concert artiste at the Ludlow Folk Day.

JK is also seen amongst the throng in the concert version of “Grandson of Morris On”, with Ashley Hutchings & Pals at Sidmouth Folk Festival.

Martyn Wyndham Read’s brainchild Songlinks has a first splendid outing at Sidmouth – where JK is one of a large company of singers from England and Australia trading different versions of the same songs.

As a member of Nigel Stonier’s Reel & Soul Association, JK looms menacingly in the background on the band’s appearance on Top of the Pops 2 on BBC TV.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle play a good handful of ceilidhs.

JK is also one a select group specially formed to play for a ceilidh in the foyer of The South Bank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, as an adjunct to a concert of music published by John Playford - part of Phil Pickett’s Early Music Concert Series. The band comprises Phil Pickett on recorder, Alistair Anderson on English concertina, Simon Nicol on guitar, and JK on accordion, with Alistair & JK sharing the calling.

Brass Monkey appear in a TV special, filmed at London’s Union Chapel, celebrating the life and work of Martin Carthy. They also pop up at Sidmouth Festival.

A handful of gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey.

The Concertina Quartet make a final foray around their Shropshire haunts.


Loads of solo work, including appearances at York Live Music Festival, Sidmouth, Whitby, and Deal Folk Festivals.

JK is one of the many singers taking part in live performances of “Songlinks” – Martyn Wyndham Read’s project comparing versions of similar traditional songs from England and Australia. There are events at Sidmouth and Whitby, and a CD launch concert at Cecil Sharp House.

JK masterminds the musical arrangements and recording of Fanfare for the South West – a piece specially commissioned by Folk South West, comprising traditional West Country songs and original melodies by Gina le Faux. JK conducts a performance by the combined choir and orchestra workshop participants at Sidmouth Folk Week, and leads the band in a second outing at the special weekend at Hambridge celebrating the centenary of Cecil Sharp’s collecting his first folk song.

At the Sidmouth performance, JK is presented with The English Folk Dance & Song Society’s Gold Badge, with a citation read by Eddie Upton, and the pinning on of the badge undertaken by Mike Wilson Jones.

Quite a handful of gigs here and there in the duo with Roy Bailey.

Brass Monkey have a lengthy tour in the early spring, including a spot at Cheltenham Folk Festival.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle are at it in ceilidhs all over the place, including a ceilidh and workshop about playing for dancing as part of the “Clogfest” weekend in Gargrave, North Yorkshire.

At Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival in August, JK is one of several who jump up to play with Dave Swarbrick in a spot to promote his latest CD, “English Fiddler”. JK then joins the cast of thousands who reinforce Fairport for their encore “Meet on the Ledge”.

As one of the tutors on the “Passing Notes” mentoring scheme, sponsored by Huntingdon Hall in Worcester, JK plays a few numbers in a final concert with his pupil, Paul Scourfield.

The duo of JK and Paul Burgess does a tour of Primary Schools around Bristol in the first of several annual trips with a view to stimulating creative writing by the pupils.


JK’s solo work includes festival appearances at Moulton, Sidmouth, Whitby, The Festival on the Moor, and English Heritage’s Festival of History at Stoneleigh. JK plays a spot and is the jovial MC for the memorial concert for John Smedley, in Sevenoaks, Kent.

Father and son John & Benji Kirkpatrick play a few numbers together as part of Sidmouth Folk Festival’s “Across the Generations” concert.

Brass Monkey undertake a big tour to promote their new album, “Flame of Fire”, taking in festivals at Holmfirth and Cromer, but trumpeter Howard Evans is taken seriously ill and has to leave the stage during the fourth gig, at Nettlebed Folk Club. The band continues as a four-piece (including an appearance as such at Chippenham Folk Festival), assuming that Howard will recover enough to re-join the tour, but instead he has to go for a long spell in hospital. After these gigs, Brass Monkey goes on ice, waiting for Howard to regain his full health and strength, but sadly he never plays again.

JK does a couple of gigs with Chris Foster & Bara Grimsdottir, exploring the Icelandic repertoire of their new album “Funi”.

The world sees the first few gigs by The Sultans of Squeeze - the new duo with fellow squeezebox player Chris Parkinson, including a spot at Whitby Folk Week.

JK does a special one-off concert in Cornwall’s Eden Project accompanying locally based singer Mike Bosworth for a live recording of songs collected by Baring Gould.

JK has quite a run of gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey, including a tour of Nottinghamshire village halls.

The duo of JK and Paul Burgess undertakes another tour of concert spots for unsuspecting youngsters in a selection of Bristol Primary Schools.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle plays loads of ceilidhs.

Steeleye Span invites Martin Carthy and JK, as well as Ralph McTell, to join the band for a couple of gigs in their December tour. The warm-up gig at Southend goes swimmingly, but our hero trips up and scrunches his chest on the corner of his melodeon case next day. JK has to miss The London Palladium gig, and spends the next fortnight in absolute agony.


Solo work includes festival appearances at Chester, Cleethorpes, Frome, Warwick, Sidmouth, Whitby, Ludlow Castle Gardening Day, Guernsey Maritime Festival, and English Heritage’s Festival of History at Kelmarsh Hall. JK also begins a regular stint going around England’s village halls with a special Christmas Show. This year JK doubles as concert artiste and jovial MC for the Carol Concert at Cecil Sharp House.

At Sidmouth Folk Week, John leads a concert band workshop for the first time, working from his written arrangements of four or five tunes and culminating in a showcase event at the end of the week. This proves to be massively popular, and continues without a break for many years.

JK is amongst the madding throng in live versions of “Songlinks 2” – Martyn Wyndham Read’s follow up to his 2003 project, this time comparing song versions from England and America. There are concerts at Cecil Sharp House, Sidmouth, and Whitby.

Brass Monkey do not appear at all this year, but nevertheless are nominated for one of the BBC Radio2 Folk Awards. They don’t win!

The Sultans of Squeeze continue to amaze and delight, with a run of folk club dates, and festival appearances at Sidmouth, Whitby, Dartmoor, Church Stretton, and Towersey.

The duo with Roy Bailey clocks up dates now and again throughout the year, including festival spots at Winchester and Burntwood, and one special concert as part of London’s South Bank “Folk in the Fall” festival as a trio with Martin Carthy.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle play a load of ceilidhs, including festival stints at Cleethorpes and the St George’s Day event at Dartington Hall in Devon. They also play the first ceilidh at the newly opened Sage in Gateshead.

The duo of JK and Paul Burgess undertakes another tour of concerts around various Bristol Primary Schools.


Masses of solo stuff, including the Folk Music Weekends at Compton Verney House in Warwickshire, and festival spots at Cheltenham, Raunds, Llandinam, Warwick, Sidmouth, Whitby, and Sulgrave Manor Apple Day.

John’s Christmas Show, which continues over the next few years, mainly in village halls, is now called “Carolling & Crumpets”.

John’s wife, Sally Kirkpatrick, bravely takes on the bass anglo concertina to add the appropriate parts in a few duo appearances to tie in with the release on the 3 CD set “Anglo International”. Mr & Mrs K tread the boards together at the festivals at Warwick, Sidmouth & Whitby.

Numerous gigs in the duo with Roy Bailey, plus a one-off performance at Cheltenham Folk Festival as a trio with Martin Simpson, presenting Roy’s new CD “Sit Down and Sing”.

The Sultans of Squeeze keep at it, including festival appearances in Southampton, Sidmouth, Whitby, and Gower. They are also nominated in the Best Duo category in the BBC Radio2 Folk Awards, but tragically see the trophy pass into other hands.

TASC - Traditional Arts Support in the Community, based in Llandinam in mid-Wales – commission JK & Karen Tweed to come up with a set of new dances and tunes to be premiered at the “Seed” weekend festival in Llandinam in June. This is The Severn Suite, with a large band of musicians drawn from the festival guests, based around JK & KT, and a specially trained group of sixteen dancers.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle do a bunch of ceilidhs, including festival spots at Warwick, Sidmouth, and Shrewsbury.

JK is one of a large team appearing at schools and at special folk days all over South West England as part of a project organised by Folk South West to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel – “In The Footsteps of The Little Giant”. JK is usually seen in this context in a duo with Paul Burgess.

JK makes the first of several appearances in Shropshire over the next few years as part of the team presenting The Lords Hill Project’s “Gone to Earth” – Richard Beaumond’s piece of oral history about the impact on local people of the 1947 location filming of the Mary Webb novel. Also amongst the cast are Richard himself, story teller Val Littlehales, Sally Kirkpatrick, and a variety of local folks helping out with readings.


Solo work includes festival appearances at Oxford, The Gate to Southwell, Sidmouth, Whitby, The East Anglian Music Day, and a repeat performance as jovial MC at the Cecil Sharp House Carol Concert. “Carolling & Crumpets” tours the village halls in December.

At a special evening concert at Sidmouth Folk Week to celebrate his 60th birthday, John rules the roost with spots with Martin Carthy, The Sultans of Squeeze, John Tams & Derek Pearce from Umps & Dumps, and a reunion of The John Kirkpatrick Band - with Graeme Taylor, Paul Burgess, Dave Berry, & Michael Gregory. Four members of Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish – Sally Kirkpatrick, Jennie Hughes, Esme Hayeck & Heather Morris - add backing vocals on half a dozen songs as “The Johnettes”.

The Sultans of Squeeze keep on squeezing, including festival appearances at Broadstairs and Whitby. On the way to their gig in Nettlebed, JK got caught in the flash floods, and Chris Parkinson suddenly had to do his first solo gig for years!

JK undertakes a tour of Bristol Primary Schools solo this year.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle keep at it in the world of ceilidhs, with festival spots at The Gate to Southwell and Broadstairs.

There are just one or two appearances with Roy Bailey, including the Bewdley Festival.

Brass Monkey re-appears as a four-piece band, without a trumpet player, following the sad death of Howard Evans in 2006. They play a few numbers at The Waterson Family’s “Mighty River of Song” at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and at Sidmouth Folk Festival, as well as a full autumn tour.

The Lords Hill Project’s show “Gone To Earth” pops up a few times in Shropshire village halls.


Loads of solo stuff, with festival appearances at Cheltenham, Loughborough, Sidmouth, Bideford, Whitby, and Deal.

John is invited to top the bill at the final concert of the week-long folk music series curated by Shirley Collins on London’s South Bank – “Folk Roots – New Routes”.

The Christmas Show “Carolling & Crumpets” continues to thrill the village halls during December.

And JK reaches a bit of a pinnacle by being asked to entertain the local WI.

Brass Monkey continues as a four-piece band, with a spring tour that takes in the Southport Day of Folk, Cheltenham Folk Festival, and Oxford Folk Festival.

A tour with Roy Bailey results in a few more gigs than in recent years, including a spot at Shepley Folk Festival, as well as looming large at Roy’s special birthday celebration concert in Sheffield City Hall.

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle are pretty busy, taking in appearances at Cecil Sharp House for the Big National Ceilidh in October and the Folk Camps Reunion in November, and the big Christmas Dance at Cheltenham Town Hall.

The Sultans of Squeeze are still at it, including festival appearances at Gower, Grantham, and Whitby.

At a charity concert in Taunton to raise money for the Meningitis Trust, in which JK tops the bill, he joins forces for a grand finale with The Stanchester Quire on his own compositions for the Brunel project of 2006 – “A Bright String of Pearls” & “What a Builder of Bridges”- and his new carol for the Quire, “Shepherds in Their Field A-Biding”.

JK does a final tour solo around Bristol Primary Schools.

The Lords Hill Project puts on a couple of Shropshire performances of “Gone to Earth”.

Following his contribution to her CD release “Seven for Old England”, JK joins Maddy Prior for a live set at “Spanfest”, a one day summer event at Stanford Hall, near Rugby. While he’s around, JK also joins Steeleye Span both there and at the warm up gig at Nettlebed a few days earlier. John also appears as one of the band backing Maddy Prior in a concert at Cecil Sharp House, presenting the songs from the CD. This gig was recorded by BBC TV and later televised as part of their “Electric Proms”.


Solo work includes festival appearances at The Riverside Folk Day in Suffolk, English Heritage’s Festival of History at Kelmarsh Hall, Sidmouth, Whitby, and the Baring Gould Study Week. John also does a “Tunes from the Trenches” special concert in Shropshire to tie in with Remembrance Day.

“Carolling & Crumpets” dazzles and delights leading up to Christmas time, until John loses his voice and has to postpone a few gigs till next year.

The tour of the previous few years around Bristol Primary Schools dwindles down to one day at one school. Blame the cuts!

Mr Gubbins’ Bicycle pedal slowly and manage just one dance this year.

The Sultans of Squeeze are still at it from time to time, with festival spots at Whitby and Shrewsbury.

The Lords Hill Project does the “Gone to Earth” show round a few discreet village halls.

At the memorial concert for Dennis and Sheila Manners in Thame, John does a solo spot before joining forces with Roy Bailey to finish off the evening in their only appearance as a duo this year.

Brass Monkey returns to full strength as a five piece band with trumpeter Paul Archibald joining Martin Carthy, Martin Brinsford, Roger Williams, and JK. They appear at Guildford International Music Festival, Durham Brass Festival, and the Folk Festivals at Chester and Chippenham, as well as doing a full tour in May. Paul’s previous commitments mean he has to put in a former student of his – Shane Brennan – to take his place at a couple of gigs, including Folk on the Pier at Cromer in Norfolk, and Tredegar House Folk in South Wales.

Steeleye Span invite JK & Martin Carthy to join them for a special London gig at The Barbican as a highlight for their Christmas Tour, with a warm up gig at Chichester the night before.

JK pops up on the first series BBC TV's "Victorian Farm", contributing songs, tunes, dances, and folklore. He reprises this role on Harry Hill's TV Burp on ITV, where the comedian takes the micky and attacks John with a polystyrene pig! A second series of "Victorian Farm" is also screened later in the year, and all the programmes are repeated many times over the next few years.

Gig History  |   |