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 27th MARCH with guests

Sandy McLelland / The Campbells / Bernard Hoskin



Nick Corney &

The Buzz Rats


Hannah Woof


Ady Johnson

Crowes Pasture

Nina Lifely


Sandy McLelland

The Campbells

Bernard Hoskin



RECENT PHOTOS (click to expand)


Sandy McLelland

Throughout a long and respected music career, Scottish singer-songwriter Sandy McLelland has contributed to the artistic achievements of numerous artists and projects throughout the world: pop, rock, film music, symphony orchestras, all have benefitted from his considerable expertise. Accomplished across many diverse musical styles, his own music - often full and vibrant, sometimes achingly bare and personal -  represents the culmination of a lifetimes' work, unashamedly paying respect to the American country, blues, folk and soul music he absorbed in his early days in Glasgow. His remarkable debut album, Cross The Line, released in autumn 2019, immediately attracted stunning reviews and promptly went to the top of the iTunes Country charts. A remarkable late-flowering talent.



Bernard Hoskin

    The return of one of the club’s oldest friends, who always goes down a storm. Bernard is an excellent singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Cambridge, whose distinctively English songs blend world music rhythms with folk and blues stylings.


The Campbells

    One of our very favourite local roots bands, this Northampton based bluegrass trio have gained an enviable reputation for being an excellent live act. Featuring guitar, mandolin, banjo and bass, the group perform primarily original songs and do so in considerable style, a heady mix of bluegrass and Americana, meaningful stories drawn from rich life experience. Great songs, superbly performed.

Kontra Roots Promotions