MENTION the words “folk club” and you could be forgiven for conjuring up images of bearded men in Aran sweaters who know their hurdy gurdy from an Appalachian dulcimer.

But an altogether funkier folk revival is under way — and Bolton is blazing the trail.

Folk music is rising in popularity once again and finding favour with a younger crowd.

And tomorrow night they will be showcasing their talents when the inaugural Bromley Cross Folk Club is launched.

Even though the first gathering is yet to take place, the club, which will meet monthly at The Railway pub in Bromley Cross, is carving out a reputation.

It has attracted world class folk talent who are lined up to play in the coming months, such as Martin Carthy — revered as a genius in folk circles and a man who inspired Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.

Club member Francis Roe said: “There was a big revival of folk clubs in the 1960s, some of which are still going.

“Generally speaking, the folk club movement did fade away to a degree, but we think we might be seeing the beginnings of another revival.”

Lesley Marsden, who has released two albums under her own name and with her band Twa Corbies, said: “I think it’s brilliant, I think it’s what Bolton needs. A lot of folk clubs have fallen by the wayside.”

And folk clubs are not only for the older generation, as Emily Roe, aged 17, pointed out.

“My dad got me interested in folk music and I go to a summer school,” she said.

Fellow member Chris Nash said: “It’s great to be able to get big names like Martin Carthy down. He’s been really good to us and dropped his price so that we can book him.”

He added: “We’d like to get a lot more young people and a lot of local people involved — there’s a lot of community spirit in these clubs.”

Friday’s event, which has almost sold out, sees accordion virtuoso John Kirkpatrick present his interpretation of English folk music.

More information can be found at the club’s website,