Held on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month at Earls Barton Working Men's Club in Northants, a typical Kontra evening will showcase three varied, top quality acoustic roots acts who play for 45 minutes each approx. The club starts at 8pm and runs through till 11pm, and though it is non-profit making we do charge a token £3 admission to cover costs. We also welcome voluntary donations. Our Earls Barton venue is ideal for acoustic music: characterful and friendly (it also serves real ale) and can be found at 1 Queen Street, Earls Barton, Northants, NN6 0LN (see map at bottom).

From humble beginnings in 2004 as an open mic at a Northamptonshire village pub, Kontra gradually evolved through several changes of venue and format, all the while building a reputation for presenting entertaining and eclectic evenings of quality acoustic music.

It is now acknowledged as Northamptonshire's premier acoustic roots club, attracting some of the best up and coming acoustic talent from across the country, as well as

more established performers from home and abroad.

With an open music policy that welcomes all genres of acoustic roots music as long as it is of outstanding quality, Kontra is a rare success story in these difficult economic times. Run as a non-profit making enterprise, admission to the club is just a token £3, and the acts, many of them professional musicians, play for expenses only. That they do so is testament to the excellent reputation the club has built up over the years, with its friendly atmosphere, large, loyal, and enthusiastic audiences, excellent sound (courtesy of Geoff Bland), and the imaginative programming of organiser, Kev

Buxton. Priding itself on the fact that it sets no musical boundaries other than quality, a typical Kontra session crosses many genres within the space of a single evening: folk, blues, Americana, jazz, world, contemporary and traditional music all find a welcome reception on the Kontra stage.




King's Gambit

Phil Hare

The Secret Magpie



Ady Johnson

Damian Clarke


Boxwood Chessmen

Attila Vural

Melody Causton


Gathering Tides

Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer




The Old Grey Dogs

Dariah Kulesh

Ward & Parker


The Old Grey Dogs

A welcome return to Kontra for this top class and in-demand bluegrass band (now augmented to a four piece) featuring Joe McIlvenny’s gutsy banjo; Bob McLean’s dynamic guitar playing; Barry Ford’s swinging fiddle, and Kevin McNally’s expert dobro. These veteran musicians play with passion and panache, and bring a wealth of experience to the classic bluegrass repertoire. No surprise that they’re in demand at folk and bluegrass festivals throughout the country. Rousing stuff.  


Photos of our acts from the last six months (click to expand).



Dariah Kulesh

With her striking voice and strong Russian and Ingush heritage, "bold, exotic, impressive" Daria Kulesh is a rising star and a unique character on the UK folk scene. Her debut album, Eternal Child, was described as "phenomenal" and named Runner-Up in "Best Album of 2015 from a Female Artist" by FolkWords, among numerous other accolades. Her 2017 album Long Lost Home has won awards in the UK and in Russia, including Laurel Canyon Music's Album of the Year. It has enjoyed national radio play and incredible reviews calling it a "triumph", a "masterpiece" and "a definite contender for the best album of 2017". Mike Harding praised the The Moon and the Pilot as "one of the most beautiful new songs of the last ten years". A hardworking and in-demand live performer, Daria offers her audiences a thoroughly engaging, entertaining and enchanting experience – with 80+ concert appearances in the UK and abroad last year alone, 6 UK tours under her belt so far, and a growing number of venue and festival bookings. A stunning voice and talent, not to be missed. www.daria-kulesh.co.uk

Ward & Parker

John Parker, previously of Nizlopi (JCB Song fame) and Cliff Ward, co-founding member of acclaimed folk band, The Willows, are a duo that now seem like an act that destiny brought together. Coming together (only last year) with the same musicality and sense of humour, between them they hold many years experience on the stage and are excited to be performing Cliff’s extensive repertoire of solo songs: alternative, acoustic jazz/pop with influences from John Martyn, John Butler, Newton Faulkner and many more. The duo create a rich and full bodied sound with memorable songs to boot, and in a short space of time have secured spots at Ely, Warwick, and Moseley Folk Festivals. This June they released their first single Broke My Heart. www.wardnparker.com

Kontra Roots Promotions kev@kcbworld.co.uk