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 respectd 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 22nd NOVEMBER with guests

Jinder / Stevie Jones & The Wildfires / Irene Rae





Sara Ashley


Matt Carter


George Breakfast

Soloman Smith Trio

Annie Dressner



RECENT PHOTOS (click to expand)



  As Kontra regulars will know, we get some absolutely sensational singer-songwriters at the club, but there are none better than the solo tour de force from Dorset that is the mighty Jinder. Playing his own original brand of hypnotic, blistering folk-blues-Americana, this most persuasive and passionate of troubadors has a string of critically lauded albums to his name and is one of the UK’s very best singer-songwriters. With beautiful songs that are exceptionally visual, Jinder is not only a great musical talent, he is also a wonderful performer and an extremely entertaining raconteur!

Stevie Jones & The Wildfires

Local legend Stevie is well known to lovers of acoustic music in Northamptonshire, for as well as being one if its leading singer-songwriters and performers he is also one of its most respected music promoters. Over the years Stevie has carved out a collection of down to earth, infectious self-penned songs, and his recent work with the Wildfires has in particular won considerable acclaim. With a unique blend of acoustic-driven rock their sound is often hard to categorize, but think Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, New Model Army, John Butler Trio or Ryan Adams and you’ll be getting close. With passion, raw honesty and urgency, Stevie is one of Northants’ acoustic treasures and we’re delighted to welcome him and the Wildfires back to the club.


Irene Rae

A regular visitor to Kontra, it’s always great to have this terrific and very popular singer-songwriter play for us. Irene has built up a solid reputation over the years and rightly so: her voice and playing are spot on, and she creates fine slice-of-life songs with distinctive narrative stories. She’s been going from strength to strength of late, her recent excellently reviewed albums revealing a new reflective maturity in voice and lyrics. Irene has very kindly stepped in at late notice to replace the previously advertised Esbe, who we have rebooked for the spring.


Kontra Roots Promotions