Sting’s singer suits Roots

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A longstanding Doncaster music club is preparing to welcome “a fabulous pair of folk musician/singers” for its latest show.

Damien Barber and Mike Wilson, who were nominated in the best duo category at the 2010 Radio 2 folk awards are appearing at the Roots Music Club tomorrow.

Damien is described as ‘a stylish and accompanied singer, either unaccompanied or using guitar or concertina’.

Mike is the youngest member of the famous acapella singing family The Wilsons, who were hired by Sting to sing on his latest album, The Last Ship.

The pair are just the latest line in a long list of acts to appear at the weekly club, which is held at Doncaster’s Ukrainian Centre on Beckett Street.

Jonti Willis, who runs the club as booker and promoter alongside Stuart Palmer, who is in charge of sound, said: “It’s nearly 2 years since the Roots Music Club moved into Doncaster and there have been many memorable live music gigs staged since then.

“Ironically our first gig in Doncaster – October 4, 2012, with Peter Donegan, son of the legendary Lonnie Donegan, was held at Doncaster Deaf College as The Ukrainian Centre was booked.

“The aim of Roots Music Club is to put on live music of the highest quality that you won’t hear anywhere else in Doncaster on such a consistent basis.

“Many of the bands and singers are from overseas and apart from some support artists – and Sheffield’s Martin Simpson – none of the main bookings are local.

“There are many good local artists, but we are not in a position to book them when there’s every likelihood that they may well be playing in town the following weekend at a free-of-charge, non-ticketed gig.

“All Roots gigs are ticketed with professional sound and lights in an informal but theatre protocol atmosphere.

“Roots Music Club is not really a club, everyone is welcome to come and enjoy our gigs without any membership thing getting in the way.

“Roots is not a folk club, not a blues club, not a jazz club. Neither is it a traditional music club nor an electric rock and country music joint but we have presented all these genres and more.

“If it’s high quality live and eclectic music you like you will find that Roots Music Club provides it.

“To make a list of whose played and whose booked would make a dull article, but with a roster that includes Greg Trooper, Steve Earle’s favourite singer from New York, Bob Fox, for four years the Songman in the West End Stage hit Warhorse, and Peter Knight, from Steeleye Span, it all starts to make sense.

“Then of course there is Wizz Jones who we welcome back next year – the Wizz Jones that influenced Nick Drake and Rod Stewart who toured with him. The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards used to skive art classes so he could learn blues licks from Wizz.

“Also when Bruce Springsteen opened his show in Berlin 2012, his first song, When I leave Berlin, was a 1973 song by Wizz.

“So, we move in great musical company at Roots Music Club.

“Check us out sometime for a high quality live music experience but don’t wait until you see a name on our roster that you recognise. We could be waiting a long time to meet you.”

The Roots Music Club is at the Ukrainian Centre, Beckett Road. Always 8pm on Fridays, always Excellent.”

Advanced tickets for Roots Music Club shows are available from or