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Gren Bartley confirmed as April guest at the Gillow

John Freeman

Lancaster's Robert Gillow pub has landed another top act for its folk nights. They've just announced that Gren Bartley, the rising star of the British folk scene, will be appearing there next week (Thursday 5th April).

A "phenomenal guitarist and singer", Gren is deeply rooted in old folk and blues traditions whilst stamping his own style on the genre.

Whilst the first thing you'll hear is his virtuosity on guitar, it is his mature vocals and poetically crafted lyrics that will ensure the longevity of this young musician's career.

His first full solo album “Carry Her Safe” was a collection of original songs and tunes, played on guitar and banjo. His second CD "e.g.", with fiddle sensation Tom Kitching, led to a record deal with folk stalwarts Fellside Records. He is often compared to the likes of Richard Thompson, Nic Jones and Kelly Joe Phelps - an emerging talent not to be missed.

Also lined up next month are:

Thursday 12 April - John Harper

It is only a couple of months since John’s last performance here but, due to public demand, the Gillow are pleased to have arranged another visit from this exceptionally talented guitarist and singer.

John Harper ( is a regular Lancaster entertainer who always dazzles everyone with his powerful renditions of British and American contemporary songs, his own compositions and traditional folksong.

His new CD is currently being mixed and mastered in the Dublin studio where it was recorded earlier in the year – the event organisers are not sure whether he will have copies with him or not, but you could go along and find out!

Thursday 19 April - Howard Haigh and Patrick O’Sullivan

Howard Haigh ( will be known to all acoustic music fans. He plays classical, flamenco, folky, jazzy guitar with an exceptionally large dose of genius.

He has a degree in Performing Arts and a University of London master’s degree in Music and Composition.

Howard has worked at the English Contemporary Dance School, English National Ballet and Royal Ballet; written for string quartets, orchestras and choirs; had his pieces performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room and Saddler’s Wells – and has danced with Gloria Gaynor.

For this event, he teams up with the Irish guitarist and singer Patrick O’Sullivan to present a cross-cultural evening of songs and tunes, duets and solos, Latino rhythms and Celtic melodies.

Thursday 26 April - Mal Gibson

Steeped in the traditions of the blues Mal ( was formerly known as Charlie White and is a singer and guitarist with a growing reputation at clubs and festivals across the country. He will perform a solo set of country blues, some home-grown material and a large wodge of slide guitar. He has also said he’ll play a few tunes on the banjolele. A set to sing along to – or just listen, drink and enjoy.

• The Robert Gillow is at 64 Market Street, Lancaster, LA1 1HP. Tel: 01524 36092