Paying it forward – our wheel of kindness and what it means.
We’re so pleased that our ‘Wheel on Kindness’ is now in regular use. Folks dropping in are either paying forward a hot drink or soup for somebody else, or picking up a peg from the wheel to use a ‘payment’ for a drink or lunch.
There’s something beautifully normal about sitting in a cafe having a hot drink or a bowl of homemade soup. One of the things that is difficult for people in crisis – be they vulnerably housed, homeless or in financial difficulty – is the loss of so much that we take for granted. That feeling of being part of the day-to-day life of a community, and not an outsider.
We believe that our space is for everyone, which is why at The Art House you can ‘pay forward’ a hot drink or soup for anyone who can’t afford to pay. The ‘wheel’ enables anyone who needs it to place an order just like any other customer, and the service and welcome is exactly the same, regardless.
This is what mutual aid looks like – generous, warm, open-hearted. We like to think the whole world could look like this.
Thank you so much to each and every person who pays forward drinks, support us as a regular donor or just comes in and buys a cuppa.
These small acts of kindness and connection can mean the world to somebody who is having an awful time.
Thirty years and eight albums on, we are delighted, once again, to welcome Southampton band Mary Jane Folk Rock to The Art House to play their unique blend of high-energy prog/folk/rock – upbeat, sunny, bouncy folk tunes with rock rhythms. We love bringing great live music to the Cultural Quarter in Southampton and these fine folks are some of our favourites.
The band’s most recent releases include the studio album ‘Eve’ in 2010 and a compilation titled ‘Brigit’s Daughter’, both on the Talking Elephants label.
Mary Jane are:
Jo Quinn / Vocals, Flute, Tin Whistle, Clarinet, Bodhran
After previous sell out shows the J Fashole-Luke trio returns to The Art House with Lewis Treasure on Bass and Ted Carrasco on drums.
These incredibly talented musicians have performed all over the world at the top festivals and jazz clubs and have performed with legends such as Marcus Miller, Jim Mullen, Gary Crosby, Isaiah Sharkey, Gilad Atzmon and many others!
With such diverse influences, this group really has something for everyone, drawing inspiration from sources as varied as Ravel, Radiohead and Ray Charles.
The non-binary vegan anarchist magick-practising metalhead returns to The Art House with their new and acclaimed show: Geburah. Expect an unpredictable rollercoaster of an evening savouring the showmanship and the silliness that make their gigs so special.
Raucous, erratic and absurd, Andrew always delivers a set stuffed to the gunwales with diabolical humour, with their own brand of meaningful nonsense that you shouldn’t struggle too hard to try to make sense of but should leave to wash over you, like jazz.
They maintain a fast pace, underpinned by firm beliefs and a raw talent for writing, with an infectious, weird, and opinionated style, positioning them as a voice for necessary change.
Andrew is no stranger to the screen appearing in Good Omens, Never Mind The Buzzcocks & more, & on radio with the award-winning ‘Pharmacist Baffler’ & ‘Damned Andrew’ (both of which they wrote & performed for BBC Radio 4.)
“I like this Andrew O’Neill. They feel freshly minted and honest. There are so many ideas that perhaps they do not all get the attention that they should, but even themselves out. They are dealing with a lot here.” – The Scotsman
“O’Neill struts around the stage bounding from one moment of madness to the next.” – The Wee Review
A huge thank you to Stella, Duncan, Alistair, Bruce and Douglas who have sponsored food collections this month so far.
Each week, Graham does 5 collections from local co-ops and from our partner charity, The Big Difference. Each collection costs £10 which covers Graham’s wages and travel, plus a little for essential admin and food safety processes.
We have fallen behind this month on donations to cover these collections, with 18 for the month of November not funded.
Can you help by chipping in as much as you can to this goal?
Raspy vocals, hard-driving harmonica rhythms, sublime bottleneck slide on steel-bodied resonator guitars and lightning finger-picking skills on 5 string banjos…..
“Big Joe Bone” (A.K.A. Danny Wilson) plays what he calls “Blues-Grass” music…..a mix of Delta Blues, Bluegrass, Oldtime, Gospel and Hillbilly music utilizing his raspy vocals, hard-driving harmonica rhythms, sublime bottleneck slide guitar playing (on steel-bodied resonator guitars) and lightning finger-picking skills on 5 string banjos….. all held together by a very heavy stomping boot!
Originally from London and now living on the Mid-Wales coast, Danny started playing guitar as a schoolboy and has now been travelling all around the UK playing his fast, furious Roots music to eager audiences since 2012.
As well as playing songs from great Roots musicians like Son House, Dock Boggs, Bukka White, Flatt and Scruggs, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Charlie Parr, Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James, Robert Johnson …..the list goes on and on!, Danny also plays his own songs, which fit right in to his eclectic set…..which shows that when it comes to roots music, he really “gets it”.
Although “Big Joe Bone” is a relatively young act compared to some, Danny has a lifetime of music behind him and has thrown himself into what has become a very busy schedule of gigs since he hit the road in 2012. “Big Joe Bone” is an act not to be missed!
When the music press describes someone as an ‘Incredible acoustic talent’ and ‘Peerless – no other word for it…’ and when people like Jean-Christophe Novelli and Madonna are booking them for their private parties, then you know that something pretty special is going on.
Welcome to the world of UK acoustic guitar phenomenon, Clive Carroll.
Our intimate #Bunker178 performance space is the perfect venue for this incredible artist – with up close seating so you don’t miss a detail of his immense performance. Expect a rapt audience with no chatting, just a room full of focussed fans enjoying Clive’s epic skill.
We always sell out when Clive plays here, so book early to avoid missing out!
“Top shelf virtuoso playing” – Acoustic Magazine “Incredible acoustic talent” – Guitarist Magazine “Clive sets the benchmark that other acoustic players then try to achieve … it’s tempting to wonder if there is, in fact, any acoustic guitar style that Mr Carroll hasn’t mastered” – Guitar Techniques
“The great thing about Clive is that his breathtaking playing and ever-impressive technique is never allowed to triumph over intense musicality and listen-ability. Peerless – no other word for it” – FRoots Magazine
“Probably the Best and Most Original Young Acoustic Guitar Player and Composer in Britain” – Acoustic Guitar Magazine (USA)
“The art school bloke told me I had ‘a remarkable eye for trivia’ – like it was a bad thing.”
It’s been 7 years since Chris Wood played at the Art House & we’re thrilled to have him back. Chris is an award-winning, versatile singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his soulful performances & keen lyrical observations. an artist of depth & dimension who (seems to) effortlessly blends traditional English dance tunes with a variety of influences including French & Québécois folk & is open to musical experimentation, including collaborations in folk-rap with Dizraeli. He was a part of The Darwin Song Project, contributing songs that celebrate science while refuting the notion that science & atheism lack love & mystery.
“If i had a towel i’d throw it in” – Chris Difford (Squeeze)
Chris is a master of multiple instruments, including the fiddle, viola, & guitar, which add a rich sonic layer to his performances. He has collaborated with folk legends like Andy Cutting, Roger Wilson, & Martin Carthy, & Joan Armatrading personally chose Chris as her opening act for her British tour. His musical settings have even been covered by Sting. One of his first recordings was playing bass and percussion on “Jack’s Alive” (1980) the first album by the Oysterband (at that time called the Oyster Ceilidh Band). Chris has been recognized multiple times by the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards & received glowing reviews from the likes of The Guardian & Folk Radio UK. His albums like ‘Handmade Life,’ ‘None The Wiser,’ & ‘So Much To Defend’ have been highly praised for their lyrical & musical depth.
”Chris Wood is one of Britain’s most uncompromising and original singer-songwriters.” – The Guardian
His music is straightforward & genuine & he takes his time with his delivery. While some artists might make the song’s themes feel too mushy, Chris keeps it real. His music is both heartfelt & thought-provoking without ever being mawkish. creating a complex tapestry of character studies crafted with nuance, wit, & poetic insight. In the folk music scene, where sincerity is already a big deal, he stands out for the right reasons.
Chris often paints a grim picture of English life, political despair, evolution, & alienation. But every now & then, he lightens the mood with tales of love & making it through tough times. In “The Sweetness Game,” he mixes strong political views with a deeply personal love story. With “Thou Shalt,” he delivers one of his most raw & heartfelt songs & also gives a fresh, down-to-earth take on the classic “Jerusalem” by Blake.
A huge thank you to everyone who donated to our pantry during October, covering our costs for November! Here is the roll of honour of everyone who chipped in to raise the money we need to keep running the pantry this month.
Donations go to cover the cost of collecting surplus food and having it delivered, buying ingredients for paid-forward soups and extras for the pantry and bathroom box, cleaning supplies, staffing, insurance, rent, electricity, rates, waste collection and water.
This is no mean feat and we could not do it without the generosity of people who chip in one-off or regular donations from £2.50 to £500
Gawain, knight of Arthur’s court, takes up a fate-filled challenge from a stranger wreathed in green; it will lead him far from feast and fellowship, through winds and wilds, to a castle in a forest – but while help lies in strange places, dangers come from both outside and within… Intertwined with frost-touched folktales from far and near, this is a spoken-word feast of magic, firelight and the depths of the greenwood.
Jon Mason is a Brighton-based storyteller known for his captivating delivery and love of tales connecting our history and our present, our landscapes and ourselves. He performs regularly at festivals, online, in schools, and at storytelling clubs across the UK. He has appeared in the
Brighton Fringe Festival (2017 and 2022); his telling of the history and legends around the Uffington White Horse, Chasing the Sun, sold out three times in 2020; and he has created storywalks and podcasts for the University of Sussex (2018-21), Brighton Festival (2019-21), and Surrey Hills Arts (2021).
He was shortlisted for the national Get A Word In Edgeways Step Up Commission in 2023.
Praise for past gigs:
“Jon captures the spell, his voice conjures the pictures, his tone reveals the emotion… And we believe it… This is wildly ambitious exuberant storytelling” – Brighton Source
“You really brought those stories to life and it made me wonder why we don’t all know these stories of this beautiful land beter. I want to go and visit those places now!” – Guesthouse Storytellers, Newhaven
This event will be live-streamed and recorded on a private Zoom channel. You can buy an online ticket via the link above if you wish to join us from your device.
Patreon supporters will receive this link via a Patreons-only post half an hour before the event starts, and as a link in the private Facebook group just before we go live. You will receive this link if you buy an in-person ticket.
The cafe will be serving soft drinks, alcohol and snacks. Card payment is preferred.
To see what measures we are taking to keep our space Covid safe, click here
We have a comprehensive FAQ page here with info about what the space is like, accessibility, parking etc
As the nights draw in, we have a lovely selection of events to entice you out for an evening.
Grant Sharkey launches his 21st (we think! album of his 20 year project to make 40 albums – 2 per year. We host a special open mic to remember local poet and regular at our Moving Voices event, JPF Goodman. Stuart Blakeledge returns with some musical improv comedy and we welcome Watching the Buzzards, Sine Star Project and Lucy Kitchen for an evening of music – rounding up the month with the return of Spitdust and Moving Voices featuring special guest Bryony No.
Local poets gathering to remember one of their own in the best way – by sharing poems.
Join us for an open mic celebration of poetry including that of the late JPF Goodman – and raise some funds for the Stroke Association at the same time. An opportunity to remember and praise in verse those close to you, those who have been close to you, and those who may yet become close to you! A eulogy to life as much as a remembrance of JPF and others who have gone. Hosted by John Bruce, who will read some of JPF’s work, and run as an open mic – all contributors welcome!
Shouty, ridiculous and off-the-cuff musical comedy.
Join comedian, broadcaster, lead singer of The Sweetchunks Band and full-time shouty man, STUART BLAKELEDGE as he creates a live album on the fly with ideas from the audience and stories from his successful run of festival shows including Beautiful Days & travels around the UK, using only his disturbed mind and tiny guitar. (Or is it the other way around? – Bik)
Joined by special musical guest Brian Stone, expect a quick witted, unique and hilarious evening of music, improvisation, surrealism and stories from the cardigan-wearing eccentric troubadour* where the audience are part of the show, adding to the madness. Each show is raucously different and not too be missed.
*We have asked that he wears more than his cardigan this time.
Watching the Buzzards are a Hampshire based band featuring the music and lyrics of Songwriter Mike Davies (Spitdust/Alaskan Pipeline). Reminiscent of classic English folk and Americana. Sophisticated compositions and bleak lyrics reflect a growing disaffection with the modern world.
In a musical world that seems ever more dictated by fad and fashion, driven by bluster and bombast, concerned with big statements and immediate responses, it is reassuring to know that there are still artists unaffected by such concerns.
Lucy Kitchen is everything that the usual modern approach is not. Her songs are deft and delicate, built on clean-limbed and gentle lines and embellished with only the absolutely essential sonic details. Beats are minimal, textures subtly woven and the music feels nothing more than gossamer and smoke-like layers skilfully interlaced to maintain a musical weightlessness.
Sometimes something comes along that jumps out of the speakers and hits you right between the ears. Sine Star Project sound like they’ve been beamed down from another planet, which is the sort of statement that can get you into trouble if you haven’t got the songs to back it up.
Peter J Croissant – multi-instrumentalist, multi-talented creative savant, is one of the few true originals of modern music, although tellingly, neither he nor anyone else quite knows it.
Sine Star Project is the sound of avant-garde rock music played with a free jazz attitude and a razor sharp set of songs with soaring melodies and breathtakingly beautiful words.
Spitdust create cinematic soundscapes from a patchwork of modern experimental rock and original dream-like folk from the fields and hedgerows of the British countryside.
The resulting futuristic sound takes you on a journey quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before. They often draw upon the retro-futurist nostalgia of 1960s and 1970s counterculture and science fiction. Their 2019 album Mirror People was a reimagining of traditional English music in a post-industrial age. In their latest album The Silent Star, the world has come to an end, its echoes drifting through outer space.
Our longest running event, poetry and song open mic.
Moving Voices is Southampton’s longest running open mic, for poetry, song, storytelling and all things spoken word. Featuring monthly special guests and loyal regulars alongside total newcomers, this evening never fails to inspire and uplift with voices that will move you to tears and laughter.
Hosted by RKP with special guest Bryony No
About our special guest:
Bryony No is a self-diagnosed Wizard: hewn from the bleak limestone cliffs and rusted iron of Portland, brought up on a diet of peregrines, ravens and slow-worms before being tempered in the long, loud, lonely darkness of Weymouth’s musical nightlife. He slept in the slow, suburban solitude of Bournemouth before finally finding a voice, a home, and a people amongst the diverse, unapologetic, powerful poets of Southampton.