The biggest event on the local folk scene in the coming week or so has enjoyed a sell out audience for the last few years, so I am giving you advance notice and a chance to buy your tickets now. It is the always popular Chester Folk Survivors February Folk Day that takes place next Saturday (February 23) and, considering the wet winter recently, you could say that the organisers have it covered, as all events are held under one roof at Hoole Community Centre, Westminster Road, Hoole, Chester. So no trudging around wet muddy fields for this one!!!

Held from noon to midnight it is really a 'mini festival' and that means concerts, folk club sessions and a ceilidh, all enhanced by home cooked food and real ales, with all ages welcomed, from toddlers to OAPs. In other words, a great day (and night) out for all the family.

The big names of the UK folk scene rub shoulders with the best of local talent and the line-up this year is one of the best so far.

Heading the bill is the Wilson Family, five brothers from Tyneside, who will blow your socks off with the power and sensitivity of their acapella singing. In several decades of performing all over the UK and abroad they have achieved so much and continue to do so. In the last few years they have appeared in one of the BBC's Prom Concerts as well as in the American premiere of The Last Ship, a show written by Sting.

Hot on their heels will be another amazing performer and musician, John Kirkpatrick. John has just about achieved everything in his long and illustrious musical career. Born in London in 1947 he moved from singing with school and church choirs to joining a Morris Dance group by 1959. In his teenage years he became an accomplished melodeon, button accordion and Anglo concertina player. He subsequently went on to perform solo, in duos and acoustic and electric bands amongst whom were The Albion Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Steeleye Span and Brass Monkey. In a remarkable recording career, he has featured on more than 200 albums. Surely some kind of record?

Also, on the afternoon concert, will be Phoebe Rees, originally from Oswestry. She has become a great singer, musician and interpreter of folk songs and tunes. Phoebe grew up in Scotland, studied classical music in Edinburgh and London on viola and fiddle, and is a real find. Last, but by no means least is the very popular and much travelled local Chester Band, Full House, the residents at the City's Raven Folk Club that is held every Sunday Night at The Bear & Billet in Watergate Street. They have many albums to their credit and must surely rate as one of the best local band's ever. It is a mark of the respect in which they are held that singer songwriter Pete Morton chose them to make a joint album with him, Game of Life in 2016. The album was launched on the equivalent day in 2016.

As with all these events the stars perform in the main concert at 2pm and again in less formal surroundings at the Folk Club Session at 8.30pm hosted by The Waite Collective, Mal Waite and her two talented daughters.

This will also feature reprise sets from the afternoon concert artistes too. Dance enthusiasts will also be well catered for by the evening Ceilidh that starts at 8.30pm elsewhere in the building. Hosting and performing at the latter will be the very busy Full House (Ceilidh version)!!!

Tickets for this marvellous miscellany of music and dance are available on the door, online, or by printing a booking form off their website, being £20 all day (concessions £16) with cheaper alternatives for single sessions.

Elsewhere, this coming week, on Saturday (February 16), there is a concert at a newer venue, St Mary's Church, Northop Hall, where Lucy Ward will be the headline act, supported by the talented young North Wales singer and guitarist, Ben Robertson at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 and can be purchased from The Top Monkey pub, Northop Hall (cash only) or through the Facebook page of 'Among the People', where all other details are available.

On the same evening (February 16), at 7.45 pm at West Kirby Arts Centre, the featured artist is singer songwriter Miranda Sykes with tickets, at £12, bookable from the web site. The weekend draws to a close on Sunday (February 17) with the ever-busy Full House hosting another of their club nights at The Raven Folk Club, Chester where they are giving a Big Spot to another up and coming young singer, Jude Edwin-Scott, at 8.30pm. He has earned his stripes over the years, performing at the club's singers nights and now gets his chance to shine for real. Good luck to him. Admission is Free for this one.

Talking about Singers' Nights, there will be another at Wrexham Folk & Acoustic Club, The Nag's Head, Mount Street, Wrexham on Thursday (February 21) at 8.15pm where the club's monthly free admission Singers' Night takes place with Offa hosting an ever-growing variety of talented singers and musicians of all ages. Go along and enjoy.

Finally, a heads up for next weekend's gigs when Heswall becomes a veritable Mecca for folk and acoustic music on Friday (February 22). At Heswall Folk Club, Heswall Squash Rackets Club, Brimstage Road the attraction is a guest spot by a man who has probably become famous through the deeds of his family.

He is Geoff Lakeman whose sons Seth, Sean and Sam are bright stars on the folk scene. Geoff is no slouch either as you will discover if you go along.

Resident for the evening, as usual, will be Brian Jones (of the Tom Topping Band). Phone Anne Jones on 07780 781073 for more details. The 'other' Heswall venue is Heswall Hall, 111 Telegraph Road where the popular Port Sunlight Sea Dogs will be holding a Sea Songs and Shanties evening that will also feature, as one of their guests, the legendary Hughie Jones of The Spinners.

I am also informed that fresh scouse will be on sale before the concert and during the interval. Tickets, at £10 (£8 in advance) can be booked through the website or phone 0151 342 2614 for further details.

Another busy one but, whatever you do and wherever you go, enjoy your music.

By D.C.M.