The Ballad Room

When's the next group meeting?

Our sessions are currently on hold after Clubhouse made alterations to their app meaning we can't advance schedule sessions. We're hoping to find a workaround for later in 2024.

The Ballad Room History

Back in 2021, when we were all still reeling from the effects of Lockdowns and the pandemic, a group of people came together on a new app called Clubhouse to talk and sing all things folk. In the first place, folk performer Eliza Carthy set up The Folk Club on the audio-only app and on Wednesday nights from 7-8pm we all 'met' ('we' being assorted folkie types from across the world!) to discuss folk music. Not long after a traditional singing group was added to the online club Called 'The Ballad Room', it was run by Piers Cawley and took place on Thursday nights from 8-9pm. Admittedly the term 'ballad' was only loosely applied - it was there to encourage singing of songs from the traditional folk repertoire of whichever country the singer wanted to sing. And if someone didn't want to sing, then they've always been welcome to be the audience to encourage those who did sing. Singers joined from across the world. As life changed and gigging and folk clubs reopened many of the online groups disbanded, however, The Ballad Room remains. I took over the organising in early 2023 as Piers had family commitments to attend to and we now have a team of volunteers to host the group.

Moving Forwards

The group carried on meeting weekly for the first half of 2023, but with so many people having work/home/life/music etc commitments it became harder to find hosts to commit. Added to the this, in 2023 Clubhouse made changes to their app which prevented ordinary users from advance scheduling events, We had previously been able to schedule rooms and send out invites to users across social media and email but it was now much harder to give people links to sessions as the link would only be available once each Ballad Room session had started. So in July 2023 we decided to take The Ballad Room to more irregular sessions and furthermore, set up a page here in order to provide information. We're also looking to move to something other system instead of the Clubhouse app. 

What Can I Sing?

Whilst many of the more regular singers are from the UK, Ireland and USA and singing in English, we welcome singers from across the world singing in any language. All we ask is that you are mindful of what songs you sing to minimise causing offence - although we are more than aware that many folk songs belong to a different time and place! If you're not sure, we always advise introducing your song first!

The folk genre is massive, and we're not overly worried about how traditional the songs are - there are many 20th Century songs which we'd class as 'folk'. And any traditional song doesn't have to be sung in a confined way, we welcome new renditions of old classics. Most of the singing is unaccompanied but if that's not your things then don't worry - we have regulars who accompany themselves with guitar, autoharp, fiddle, handpan, cello, dulcimer etc. If you're not a strong singer, we welcome you with open arms as it's a non-judgemental group and we're hugely keen on encouraging new singers (as we've all been there.....some of us more recently than others!) Furthermore, if you're not a singer and just want to listen, you're massively welcome too as an audience is important! 

Anyway, celebrating music is key!