Folk - Jim Bainbridge

Jim Bainbridge is a melodeon player and singer from South Shields on the banks of the Tyne who has been charming the folk circuit for over 40 years. He started out with the Marsden Rattlers, one of the first bands to come out of the folk revival in the early sixties, and he has regularly appeared at the Lewes Folk Club since then. “It’s a great little place, and it has a lot of prestige on the folk circuit,” he says. “Lewes is in an area famous for its folk musicians from George Spicer to the Copper Family to Bob Lewis and the audience is very knowledgeable, welcoming and appreciative.” Jim abandoned his hometown 40 years ago, and, after a spell in London, moved to West Cork where he learnt to love the haunting beauty of traditional Irish songs, which he started to make the centre of his repertoire.

After a spell in the Canary Islands, where he still spends much of his time, he moved to Glentrool in South West Scotland, a fair way from his beloved Tyneside, but not far enough for him to start being influenced by the music of his birthplace. “Geordie music has got its own particular strain, influenced by the sound of the Northumbrian pipes, and now I’d say half my songs come from the North East," he says. “Though there are no boundaries to my music. If someone wants to hear ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ or some country music, I’ll happily oblige.” Such requests, we feel, are unlikely to come from the Lewes Folk Club audience, but you never know. AL

Toon time: Geordie Jim Bainbridge sings about stotty cakes at
the Royal Oak

The Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50

Folk at the Oak
(w) Website