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.




Phil Hare

Two Coats Colder

Apache John


Fred's House

Benjamin William Pike

Melanie Crew & Ross Palmer


Harbottle & Jonas

Ady Johnson




TC & The Bobcats



George Breakfast

Nick Corney & The Buzz Rats



Ben Smith & Jimmy Brewer





Phil Hare

Two Coats Colder

Apache John


Phil Hare

This legendary folk musician made a big impression when he played the club early last year, and not surprisingly. Phil has been a mainstay of the folk circuit for over 30 years, toured widely abroad and throughout the UK, and has also played with a veritable who's who of folk and acoustic-related acts. He is generally acknowledged as one of the UKs finest fingerstyle guitarists and an "all-purpose guitar hero" as well as being a very fine singer and songwriter, whose songs reflect his strong political convictions, not in a 'tub-thumping' way but in a more thoughtful, often humorous and chorus-based style. On stage Phil is an accomplished performer mixing his virtuosity on the guitar with songs highlighting his rich, husky voice. He is also a hugely entertaining and uses his humorous stage banter to foster a great audience rapport. www.rattlebus.co.uk/hare

'If folk song is history from underneath, then Phil's songs are today's broadsides.' (Daily Telegraph)

     'The songs are British, maybe even Northern English, but this guy is a world class player.' (Dirty Linen)

     'Some beautiful guitar playing from the vastly underrated Phil Hare.' (Living Tradition)

      'His guitar style must be ranked amongst the greats like Carthy and yet different from the standard folk fingerpicking style.' (Swinton Folk Festival)

     'One of the most distinctive and technically accomplished guitarists on the scene.' (International Guitar) 'His guitar playing is dazzling. He has a rich voice and impassioned delivery.' (Broadbeat)

     'A passionate and skilled performer.' (Paul Brett)

     'Excellent voice, guitar work to die for, humorous and engaging rapport with the audience. All in all one very good performance.' (Les Worrall, Market Rasen Folk Club)

     'A brilliantly rounded and entertaining performer.' (Tom Newman, Producer/Engineer Tubular Bells)

Apache John

One of the club's favourite acts over the years, The Apache John Band play a unique fusion of blues, folk and late 60s psychedelia. Sometimes theatrical, sometimes dark and moody, sometimes amusing, this is a band that carries the spirit of the festival with mainly original songs and music which can be sung and played around a camp fire as easily as on any stage. We're delighted to welcome them back. www.apachejohn.com

Two Coats Colder

     A welcome and long overdue return to the club for this quirky, progressive four piece folk band from Essex, who perform a mix of self-penned traditional and contemporary songs featuring an instrumental lineup of guitars, bass, mandolin and harmonium. Two Coats Colder have forged an excellent reputation on the folk club and festival circuit since their formation in 2011, their originality, warmth, and ability to create an ever-changing landscape of rhythm and harmony winning them new friends wherever they perform. www.twocoatscolder.com