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 and 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. Further info and history below.


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 not only Northamptonshire's premier acoustic roots club, but one of the most popular and respected clubs of its kind in the UK, 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, often 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.

Next meeting FRIDAY 14th FEBRUARY with guests

The Schlagerlouts / Burning Salt / Daryl Kirkland



King's Gambit

Glove Compartment

Davy Poo


Stella Hensley &

Chris Newman

Ian O'Regan



Sandy McLelland

The Campbells

Bernard Hoskin



RECENT PHOTOS (click to expand)


The Schlagerlouts

  Another incarnation of popular Northants folk band Ock ‘n’ Dough. When not singing traditional Northamptonshire material or appearing in their Cajun/Zydeco guise – Doughboy Zydecajun – O’n’D get it down with the Latvian community playing at parties and balls all over the UK as well as touring Latvia. Why? Because band members and brother and sister, Janis and Dace, are from a Latvian ethnic background and the rest of the band have been sucked into this rich cultural tradition. Schlager music (schlager from the German for ‘hit’, hence ‘hit song’, or what us Brits would call ‘pop music’) is characterised by sentimental lyrics and lilting melodies (some would say cheesy!) which were easy to dance to, typically waltzes and polkas. Popular throughout Germany, northern and eastern Europe, the accordion is the instrument most readily associated with this music style. In Latvian schlager music, much inspiration was taken from German songs, translated into Latvian but there was also a melding of Latvian folk music into the schlager style. At its peak in the inter war years, during the first period of Latvian independence (1920 – 1940) schlager music was brought to Britain by Latvian refugees post Second World War. This is the music that Janis and Dace grew up with, with its sentimental waltzes, passionate tangos and exuberant polkas. The music remains popular in Latvia, and if you visit restaurants and bars in Riga or listen to the national radio stations you will still hear it being played after all these years! So come and transport yourselves to the romance of the 1930s, swirl across the dance floor and lose yourself in another age.




Burning Salt

  A collaborative music project headed by Hannah Hull, singer-songwriter and artist, known for her startlingly honest songs and distinctive low-register voice. Fans have described her unusual vocal style as “scraped out of an ashtray somewhere in the early 90s,” and “Friday night meets Sunday morning.” Poetic, raw and alive, Burning Salt’s sound draws on folk, country and blues. A genre-bending approach in the vein of PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Tom Waits. "A major talent." - Folking / "Deeply moving." - The F-Word / "A cult band." - Hot Music Live / Featured on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction. / Nominated 'Rising Star' in Folking's International Folk Music Awards 2019.

Daryl Kirkland

   One of Leicester’s finest acoustic musicians finally makes his club debut. A brilliant songwriter, subtle and classy, and a great all-rounder with a fantastic voice, Daryl has been a popular mainstay of the Leicester music scene for many years. He doesn’t often play away from his home patch so we’re delighted to welcome this excellent musician to the club. Satisfaction guaranteed! 

Kontra Roots Promotions