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THE HISTORY OF THE WURZEL BUSH


The Wurzel Bush Folk Club was founded on the 19th February 1972 by Dave Sampson. In those days you had to pay 10p to be a life member of the Folk Club as it was a way of getting around the strict entertainment laws which were designed to stop people having fun.
Admission for members was 30p and the first guests were Finbar & Eddie Furey.
A pint of M & B Brew ll was 16p but if you went down stairs to the Public Bar then it was only 14p. Our first venue was the Denbigh Arms at Monks Kirby but as their upstairs room only held about 100 we soon moved to the much bigger Fletch Hotel in Coventry where we remained for most of the 1970s. Jasper Carrott was our first guest artist at The Fletch Hotel in 1975 he recorded his first hit record Rabbits On & On at The Fletch It reached number 5 in the album charts and he ended up on Top of the Pops with a song called Funky Moped. Chris Tarrant who in those days worked as a reporter an ITV news programme ATV Today was a member of the audience. Electical engineer Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) was a regular member of the audience during the 1970s .Sting who was a student at Canley teachers training college also came to the folk club but as far as we know never performed. Show of Hands star Steve Knightley who was a student at Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic did do floorspots at the folk club. Another local student who did a floor spot whilst a student at Warwick university was Keith Donnelly who appeared with another student from Warwick Martin Orvill they caused a sensation and were booked to be the main guests just before Christmas. Word of this duo who went under the name of Waterfall got back to Jasper Carrott who subsequently signed them up to be residents at his legendary Boggery They were subsequently joined by Jill Darbey and went on to appear all over the world under the later name of Nothing by Chance. A new landlord moved into the Fletch and the Wurzel Bush had to make way for his plans to use the venue for weddings. As Dave Sampson now lived in Brinklow the folk club moved to Brinklow where it remained for over 30 years. There is no longer any function rooms left in Brinklow so now the Wurzel Bush is held on a Tuesday night at The West Indian Club, Railway Terrace, Rugby. CV21 3HE. Dave Sampson very much hopes to keep the folk club running till February 2022 so that we can celebrate 50 years since The Wurzel Bush Folk Club first opened. .