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 25th OCTOBER with guests

Katy Hurt / Ward & Parker / Louis Brennan




Chris Ronald

Phil Riley & Neil Mercer



Stevie Jones & Wildfires






RECENT PHOTOS (click to expand)


Katy Hurt

  We’re delighted and fortunate indeed to welcome this sensational, multi-award nominated country act to the Kontra stage. Still only 20, Katy Hurt has lived a lot of country in her short life, with American culture stamped on her soul from a childhood living there before returning to England. With songs impressing fans by combining the honest lyrical content of country with the riffs and raucous vocals of southern rock, BBC Radio 2’s Paul Sexton acknowledged her skill as a songwriter and also noted that “among other successes she’s a vivacious and magnetic performer… check her out now whilst you can still get to the front row.” Katy has supported many high profile artists in her career so far, most notably closing out 2018’s summer festival season opening for Liam Gallagher at Pilton Party, and supporting Jools Holland at Kimbolton Castle. She has also played alongside the likes of Jose Feliciano, Mac McAnally and Toploader. As if that wasn’t enough, her award nominations over the last two years literally run into double figures and can be checked out at

Ward & Parker

Since making their debut at the club last year, this sensational duo have made a BIG impression in the region, building up a huge fanbase with regularly sold out gigs. John Parker, previously of Nizlopi (JCB Song fame) and Cliff Ward, co-founding member of acclaimed folk band, The Willows, now seem like an act that destiny brought together two highly experienced musicians sharing the same musicality and sense of humour. Performing Cliff’s enormously attractive and very memorable original 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 and are definitely not to be missed.


Louis Brennan

London based Dubliner Louis Brennan is a singer-songwriter in the folk tradition. His folk however aren’t the field hands and travelling minstrels of yore but the repressed middle managers and ennui-ridden urbanites of late stage capitalism. They populate tales of bad sex, half-drunk commutes and interpersonal claustrophobia, delivered in Brennan’s beautifully cracked baritone, at times intimate, at times broad, peppered with pitch-black humour. "A master storyteller with a voice like rolling thunder." GQ / "His wry tales manage to make that which is moribund sound full of life." R2 / "His ability to twist and turn a simple phrase can render the most innocent line into something utterly heartbreaking." CLASH / “Searing lyrics, darkness so bleak you feel you’ll never find a way out, but then laugh out loud moments that are life-affirming in their intensity." AMERICANA UK.


Kontra Roots Promotions