The Nights At The Circus folk club – Birmingham’s newest attaction


The Nights At The Circus Folk Club is the newest edition to Birmingham’s heritage of guest-booking folk clubs.

Starting in January 2017, the club has brought a hugely varied programme of nationally touring folk artists to the Second City, including such renowned names as Sam Kelly, winner of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Horizon Folk Award, and David Campbell, son of Birmingham-based folk revival legend, Ian Campbell.

According to club founder and organiser, Chris Cleverley, the club’s mission is quite simple:

“We started the club with the aim of creating a monthly Contemporary Folk and Roots night to showcase the next generation of breakthrough artists from the new British Folk Scene. NATC offers a platform for some of the UKs most innovative, honest songwriters and dynamic interpreters of traditional song, bringing the breakthrough names of the modern underground scene to an attentive, artist focussed environment.”

Upon its inception, NATC joined the likes of The Red Lion Folk Club & The Black Diamond Folk Club, to become Birmingham’s newest member of the organisation Folk 21, a national voluntary group which promotes, supports and provides a voice for the guest-booking folk club circuit across the UK.

NATC has fully embraced the current National Folk Scene as it develops into the 21st Century, with a programme of artists that spans generations and myriad sub-genres. In doing so the club has exposed some artists to Birmingham’s music lovers by hosting their first live, headline appearances in the city.

Photograph by Tony Birch

September’s headline act is Russian songwriter Daria Kulesh, described by The Times as “Haunting and Enigmatic”. With her striking voice and strong Russian and Ingush heritage, Daria Kulesh is a rising star and a unique character on the UK folk scene. Daria’s new solo album Long Lost Home is mainly inspired by Ingushetia (Ghalghai Mokh) – the lost home of Daria’s grandmother Fatima Akhrieva. But above all, Long Lost Home is an album for our times, exploring themes of displacement and (in)tolerance, identity and integrity, humanity and strength in the face of adversity, hope against hate. The September audience can expect powerful, timeless human stories beautifully told in an eye-opening and profoundly uplifting musical experience.

The club is hosted by The Dark Horse in Moseley, which offers a spacious, modern environment, to perfectly reflect the progressive and innovative nature of the artists appearing on the programme. The experience is further enhanced by the pub’s cornucopia of world beers, making NATC one of the few settings in Birmingham at which audiences can enjoy live folk music and craft beer.

For more information about the club, including further dates in our Autumn programme, please visit