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SCFC Session held every Thursday night - All Welcome to join in!

Port Noarlunga Bowling Club - Hunt Park, River Road - Port Noarlunga

Session starts 7.30pm - drinks available at the bar

Our weekly session nights are great fun and everyone is welcome to join in or just come along and listen to some great music!

Approximately once per month we transform the club into a concert venue and often feature visiting International and Interstate performers. See our CONCERT PAGE for details.

In 2018 we're celebrating 5 years at our current venue - we’d like to thank the Port Noarlunga Bowling Club for making their hall available to us and for their wonderfully warm welcome!

SOUTH COAST FOLK CLUB - meets every Thursday night at the Port Noarlunga Bowling Club from 7.30pm till late

CELTIC CONNECTIONS SESSION - Wednesday nights - 7.30pm to 11pm - Mick O’Shea’s Irish Pub on Main South Rd, Hackham


After spending a couple of (work) nights each week travelling 45mins to and from Adelaide to join in sessions and play their beloved music, Pete and Annie Thornton set about starting the South Coast Folk Club (SCFC) as a means of promoting folk music (and spoken word) in the outlying areas south of Adelaide. That was back in 1988 and the club is still as strong as ever, promoting folk and other genres of music not only in South Australia and Australia but also world-wide.

Sadly Pete passed away in June 2017 after a long battle with cancer. In 2016 he was inducted into the SA Music Hall of Fame Adelaide Collective for his contribution to music and the music industry. He was a very accomplished musician playing the button accordion and Anglo concertina. He was always eager to sing shanties and seas songs and traditional bush songs, as well as recite his favorite Les Barker poems. The Peter Thornton Memorial Award for Traditional musicianship played on a traditional instrument is awarded each year to a young person performing at Fleurieu Folk Festival.  Annie is continuing to organize the sessions and concerts at South Coast Folk Club with the help of some amazing ‘members’ and volunteers.

Although Pete & Annie were the driving force, the club is considered to be owned by the people who attend as there is no official membership.  This idea is encouraged and accepted by all and is the main factor behind the club’s continuing success.  It gives people a sense of belonging and camaraderie and it gives them a role to play by having an input into decision making regarding activities and ventures, whether they are a musician or not. There is never any shortage of volunteers when something needs to be done!

Our 30th Birthday Anniversary Concert is to be held on Sunday 26th August at the Pt Noarlunga Bowling Club, Hunt Park, River Road, Pt Noarlunga. It will be an amazing concert presenting a smorgasbord of musical genres. Annie has been contacting bands and performers who have evolved from the Club in the past 30 years and so the concert will be both entertaining and nostalgic!

After twelve months of meeting at ‘The James Craig Inn’ now ‘Mick O’Shea’s’, the club moved to the local Workingmen’s Club  at Morphett Vale which had separate areas suitable for both sessions and formal concerts. Informal (free) sessions were held there every Thursday night and monthly concerts on a Sunday afternoon at which a small fee was charged. After six years, change of management and the advent of poker machines it was time to move. In 1995 the club began meeting at the Pt Noarlunga RSL Club which had a comfortable function area suitable for sessions or concerts, a sizeable stage, friendly bar staff and no pokies!  On 14th December 2012 the club once again moved, this time to the beautifully furbished Pt Noarlunga Bowling Club where the South Coast Folk Club has been welcomed by the friendly committee and bar staff. After 6 years at the Bowling Club we are still having great sessions each Thursday, some amazing concerts and the bar prices are the best in Adelaide!

South Coast Folk Club has always been closely affiliated with the Fleurieu Folk Festival held in Willunga on the last full weekend in October (26-28 October 2018). Performers who have been involved with SCFC have always been keen to help out with fundraising concerts and enjoy performing at the Festival. SCFC volunteers also have a great time volunteering at Fleurieu Folk Festival and do so year after year.

Pete and Annie have always encouraged young people to take on musicianship, singing, songwriting and performing, just as their mentors did with them when they were young. Young performers are often asked to be a ‘support act’ for an interstate or overseas act. This gives them exposure to a ready-made audience and experience on a
stage with a readily set-up sound system and sound engineer.

Members of the club get together every Thursday night from 8pm till late for a free mixed acoustic session that is attended by an average of 50-60 musicians, songwriters, reciters, listeners etc. No formal structure is applied to the session and each song or item is followed by another. We have however, developed an etiquette that everyone is encouraged to participate and given a chance to do so. A talk break at around 9pm allows us to make formal announcements about up and coming performances and concerts and happenings at other sessions and local folk clubs. It’s also an opportunity to draw the weekly raffle, welcome any new faces and choose someone to recite a poem of their choice at the next week’s session.

As mentioned above, concerts were initially held on a different day (Sunday) to the sessions on Thursday night. Even though the format has changed we are still able to hold concerts on a Thursday night on a regular basis (not always every month) featuring performers from Overseas, Interstate and of course our Local acts as well.

Some famous folk acts who have performed at the club include Peggy Seeger (USA), Vin Garbutt (UK), Jez Lowe (UK), Linpridd (Estonia), Fanche la Marrec and Jean Paul  Ferrec (Brittany France), Felpayu (Esturia Spain), Les Barker (UK), Tony McManus (Scot), Martyn Wyndham-Read (UK), and from Australia Eric Bogle, Jeanette Wormald, Felicity Urquart, Danny Spooner, Warren Fahey, The Borderers and many more.

For the past 5 years we have run (with the help of our dedicated volunteers) a Concert Series of about 6-8 concerts each financial year, which has been sponsored by the Onkaparinga Council. Thanks Onkaparinga Council for your amazing support!
Thanks also to Corey Thornton for taking over the sound from Pete and providing the PA for the 2017/18 Concert Series.

We are constantly working on ways of improving the South Coast Folk Club and we welcome new musicians and listeners any time.

“Thanks”, to all those who have supported and performed at the South Coast Folk Club over the past 30 years. We have enjoyed your friendship and music!

Pete’s catchphrase was always “are we having fun yet?”

Annie Thornton

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