Seventy-two comments

The Ivy House

Further to my recent discussion contributions regarding the Ivy House,
we have secured Tuesday nights starting 9pm. First session is Tuesday 10th September. No great fanfare, just a group of local players. All other competent players are of course welcome also. Looking forward to this.

Travel by public transport

I should have added this is not the easiest pub in London to get to by public transport, but of course it’s well worth the effort. There are a few rail stations (not exactly) nearby; the nearest being Nunhead, 0.75 miles away, and no direct buses from the station to the pub on Stuart Road SE15.
However you can alight at Peckham Rye rail station which is also on the Overground, then catch a No. 343.
Or get train/Overground to Brockley then get a No. 484.
Or there’s Honor Oak Park by train/Overground, then a P12 to Inverton Road then walk down a few hundred yards. But you might be as quick to walk from HOP Sta (about 1 mile.)

First night of the Irish Trad session.

A great session. I counted: 6 fiddles, 2 banjos, 1 pipes, 1 flute, 1 button accordion, 1 concertina, 1 bodhrán, 3 whistles and 1 piano….played between 12 players. Thanks to all who turned up. It will be on again next Tuesday, 9pm, but in the front room this time, where the acoustics will be much better.

Visiting London next week

Hello … I play at my local sessions here in the U.S. (Colorado) and will be in London next week. Do you take overseas session visitors? I’ll be staying near the Earl’s Court area and don’t really have a sense of how far you are from there or how long it would take via train/bus … any input would be very helpful. (Nice transportation directions, by the way.)

Hi Lisa, you’d be most welcome, and though it’s a bit of a hike by public transport from Earl’s Court, it’s not impossible. Getting back later at night might be more challenging though.
By looking up Transport for London - Journey Planner you might get an idea:
Here’s an example, for what I got from Earl’s Court Underground:
Take District Line eastbound to Blackfriars. Change, get on train towards Sevenoaks, but get off (way before 7oaks) at Denmark Hill. Get bus 484 to Stuart Road.

Yeh that’s true, FreedomPass, thanks for your input, but I was just thinking it might be a bit confusing and possibly daunting for a tourist to navigate and walk that distance at night. But I wouldn’t have thought dangerous, if that might have been a concern of Lisa’s.

Thank you

Thank you both for your input. I’m in London now and loving it … haven’t been back here in decades. I ’m very comfortable navigating public transport but am finding that my mum, with whom I’m traveling, is very worried about the idea of me crossing the city at that hour. I’ll have to consider carefully for her sake. You all sound so friendly and helpful … Thanks so much.

Front bar last night. Wood panelled walls. Great acoustics.
11 musicians: 1 pipes, 3 fiddles, 2 banjos, 3 whistles, 2 flutes, 1 guitar, 1 bodhrán, 1 button accordion, 1 concertina. Great stuff. The manager is very pleased. Free drinks for players.
Same again next week. We could consider the side bar then.

Front bar again tonight. Session table out in the middle of the floor. Excellent session. 10 players. The bar was also quite busy. Extraordinary that this session is actually getting *better* after the initial honeymoon period. This bodes well for future sessions.

Nice session again last night.
We were joined by the One and Only Yhaalhouse, who is the John McCririck of Irish Traditional Music. Besides some expert playing of the full range of all three chords on that most ancient and revered Irish traditional instrument, the Ukulele, he gave us a rather loud and rousing rendition of that most ancient and revered Cockney drinking song, Knees up Mother Brown, much to the consternation of the neighbours, but also much to the amusement of the assembled clientele.
Even so, a jolly night was had by all.

Great session last night.

I was the guitarist at the session last night. I really enjoyed it and hope to play often. However, I read some threads on this site titled things like ‘What to do about a terrible guitarist…’ that kind of scared me. I’m just learning the songs and know I have a way to go but no-one asked me to stop playing last night so hopefully I’ll be welcome again.
I wouldn’t be offended to be told what I’m doing wrong and I’d be super grateful for any pointers.

Hopefully see you next time.


Hi Ian,
I have just sent you an email via this site. To pick it up you need to be logged on then click on Your Profile.

Another pub, The Honor Oak, with the same idea….

Another local pub, recently shut down, is going to try to go down the same road as the Ivy:

I’ll keep all informed of further developments, particularly wrt any Irish music sessions which may arise from its rebirth.

Last night: 5 fiddles, 2 flutes, 2 whistles, 1 box, 1 banjo, 3 bodhráni; smaller, but still perfectly formed. Even so, a very nice “pure drop” sound was achieved at its most consummate moments.

more than a pub

Yes, great vid, Danny, thanks for posting.
Hope everyone who plays on Tuesdays watches it - very inspiring and shows what can be done when people work together. Fair play to the local community there. It shows that there are viable, human-scale alternatives to big business, with its environmentally destructive greed, corruption and profit-driven tunnel vision.
Not just a session pub, they have all kinds of music during the week.
And they keep some excellent beers!

One of the bar staff joked that we might have to change the session to a different night from Tuesday. Because at the end of the night players say to one another: “See you next Tuesday” . Very rude.

i find this site and want to play irish songs with people.. I come to play with you now.
I live in forest hill and this is not big journey.

Sorry, but I think you should come along to listen first before you decide wheather or not to join in. The music clips you gave on your bio seem very much like beginners. If you joined in at that level, don’t you think you might ruin other players’ enjoyment don’t you think?

Posted by .

Very nice bijou sessionette tonight, apart from a minor tsunami - thanks folks.

Actually Danny, the Tsunami is usually played in e minor.
I know I have.

Ah yes, the curse of the a minor tsunami. That’s why it put a damper on things. Would’ve been better with a dry-tuned chromatic one.

Lovely session this week. Pipes, fiddle, box/flute, banjo and bodhran. By candlelight in the ballroom. Great evening.

Nice session tonight - 6 regulars playing pipes, flutes, whistles, box, banjo, fiddle and bodhrán.
^^Please note: there WILL be a session next Tuesday Dec 24th ie Christmas Eve, so come on down!^^

Lovely session last night, next to a roaring fire. Looking forward the Xmas Eve session!

You’ll have to learn the tune, Christmas Eve, by then Mr Wave! See you there.

Session On Tonight!!

Despite it being Christmas Eve, we have every intention of playing a session at The Ivy House tonight, usual time 9.00pm, so come on down all ye regulars and not-so-regulars.

Hogmanay….New Years Eve - a possible session…even if not, it sounds like a fantastic night in the offing…

Hogmanay..New Years Eve: Dunno if I can make it, but The Ivy House is attempting to cover all bases on Hogmanay, fair enough, as I couldn’t commit to trying to organise a session, but if anyone fancies playing a few fiddle tunes or whatever please feel free…sounds like it could be a great night…..

“Once again New Years Eve falls on December 31st. The Ivy House will be open, non-ticketed, into the wee, small hours of 2014. There will be ales, wine, food (up to 9pm), log fires, bonhomie and music - we have an eclectic party playlist of sounds from the 1950s to 2013 ready to go, plus if anyone fancies supplying their own live form of musical entertainment, please feel free to come down with your instrument of choice - that includes voices.”

….So get yerselves down!!

After the Break….

Tues 7th Jan ’14
Ivy House session back on track 9pm tonight. You all up for it?

….is the type of firebrand people down here in SE London, who fought and won to keep our local hospital open, and the type of people who organise to keep open this local pub, by making it a community run establishment. Just thought I’d throw that youtube vid in 🙂 very proud to know her.

French music session

Tonight (Wed 29th Jan 2014) 8.30pm: Once a month French Music Session, with John Offord and friends.

Session on Tuesday at 9pm

Look forward to seeing people out for the session this coming Tuesday. I was in at the pub this evening and the fireplaces were roaring and the atmosphere great. Great place for tunes.

Learner’s session 8pm - 9pm Tuesday

I’m told this should be taking off soon (ie, as of mid-June 2014). Should be suitable for newcomers to the world of sessions, or if you already play but are trying out a second/third instrument.
But please remember: at 9pm the main session starts, which is probably not suitable for most novices. But you would of course be welcome to stay around and listen….and maybe even join in those tunes you do know (that is, if you can keep up, as they tend to be played at quite a brisk pace.)

As far as we are aware, this lovely little pequeño beag mały bijou sessionette will still be happening throughout the World Cup. So come on down, all ye who can actually play tunes….

Learner’s session 8pm Tuesdays

Yes as Danny mentioned the learner’s session at the Ivy House officially kicked off a couple of weeks ago. Hosted by myself (uilleann piper) from 8-9pm, and will carry on weekly unless I am away. All levels are welcome, but the focus is on slow steady playing, repertoire building and building confidence. It’s a friendly event so don’t be shy!

No session July 15th

Just a note that there will be no session on Tuesday 15 July as the Ivy House is closed all week for a film shoot. Sessions will resume as normal the following week.

Ivy session back this week

Now that the film crew has finished, the Ivy Session session will be back as usual this Tuesday. Learners session at 8pm followed by main session at 9m.

Great session last night

Great session last night at the Ivy, and lots of new faces. We moved the session to the front bar for a change, and it was a pleasure to have loads of people around us drinking pints and just enjoying the tunes. To all the new players, thanks for coming out and you are very welcome back anytime!

I didn’t get back from hols till gone 9.20pm and was too knackered.
Great to hear it went so well. I prefer the front bar to be honest.

This Saturday! (23rd) 3pm til 5pm

It’s the Ivy House’s first birthday this weekend so the regular Tuesday session is making a guest appearance on Saturday afternoon (23rd) as part of the celebrations. 3 til 5.

Best one yet

7 fiddles, pipes, flute and box. Just pure, unadorned tunes. Nothing else was required. Brilliant.
Tonight’s session was indeed its first anniversary.

Happy birthday Ivy session! And a new SoundCloud profile.

Great night of music last night to celebrate the first birthday of the Ivy House session. In honour of the annivarsary we have set up a soundcloud profile with clips of some of the music

Lots of nice and different tunes tonight

Thanks again to our regulars but special thanks to Chan and Mary, semi-regulars/semi-guests 🙂 Lovely playing and great tunes. To be repeated in the Talbot tomorrow?…..

Beginners session on hiatus

The 8pm beginner session that has preceded the main 9pm session will end for a while. It may start up again in the new year depending on interest. The 9pm session roars on as usual!

No session 30 Dec

No session at the Ivy House on December 30th. Music is back the following week. Happy New Year

Session on tonight (Jan 6th ’15)

Rick and I - and hopefully the gang of other regular players - will be playing loads of tunes from 9pm onwards tonight.

Come back ye previous regulars!!

Would be good to see a lot more of the previous regulars coming along again. I know it’s just the beginning of January, so we wouldn’t expect the place to be brimming with sessioneers of a Tuesday, but we were rather thin on the ground last night. The last thing we want is to lose this session due to poor attendance by musicians.

USE IT OR LOSE IT, people!!

Great session last night. 6 fiddles, 2 whistles, 1 bodhrán, 1 box, 1 flute. But we need to keep up the momentum, folks!

No session on Tuesday, 20th Jan 2015

The Ivy House is closed this Tuesday, 20th Jan, for a belated staff Christmas party, so no session. This is a one-off. We’re vaguely thinking of a nearby pub for a one-off stand-in venue, will keep you posted. Sorry about that, but best I let people know well in advance.

Actually I must clarify - the pub is open till 9.30pm so because of that the session has been cancelled. But just for that night.

Ivy House session back on tonight

…well, myself and at least 3-4 others will be there anyway!

Great night last night

Great music last night. Nine of us in total. Flutes. Fiddles. Whistles. Box. Banjo. Pipes. That’s two weeks in a row with nine players coming along. Looks like the days are getting longer, and the musicians are coming out of hibernation.

It was indeed a nice session last night, Dr. T.R. Wave. Hoping the momentum gets kept up.

St Patrick’s Day

Starting 8pm on St Patrick’s Day 17th Mar 2015. Irish dancers should be in attendance also!

No Irish dancers, but a lovely lively session; a nice busy, but not rammed, pub atmosphere; thanks to all players and listeners who turned up.

Visitors to the Ivy House session

We are passing through on Tuesday June 19. Will you (or the local laws) allow my 16, 15 and 13 year old daughters to join your session? They are on flute, fiddle and fiddle/guitar and they love playing traditional Irish music. They are solid intermediate players.

They often get wary looks from the regulars when they ask to join a session (Ireland, Scotland, USA and Istanbul) but usually win all the old men’s hearts by the end of the evening.

We had a nice session last night, although a late start due to a gig on stage next door: myself (flute/box), Mark (fiddle), Sarah (fiddle), Ben (banjo/guitar), Niel (fiddle/mandolin) and Chris Corbett (flute) so quite a different selection of tunes played, many of them Scottish, so rather appropriate for the day after Burns Night.

It’s great that the session can now take off on its own steam, not depending on anchors. (That’s not to say we didn’t miss those regulars who were away. Anyway who am I to talk, absent several sessions towards the end of last year, with nary a sick note!) But apart from me and now Mark, all other players were new people. I’d like to think they’ll be back, and would of course be welcome.

Re: The Ivy House

Dear Ivy players - Seems like there will be some kind of join-in-able session on at the Ivy House tomorrow (St Patrick’s Day 2016.) They’re having an Irish-themed quizz until 9pm then some live Irish music, which allegedly is an open session, till closing time. Not sure if I can make it, as I have another commitment earlier, but if I do it will be after 9pm. I’d be interested to discover the identity of these usurpers 🙂 Nothing at the Blythe, apparently.

Re: The Ivy House

I have upgraded the Ivy House Session *website* now (a bit pretentious, I know) to include the tune list….one small problem remains: although I have added each tune’s link to its URL on The Session, it doesn’t work when you left-click it - however if you highlight the address, then right-click it, then click "Go to thesession.orgxxx whatever number, it will take you to the tune - works for me anyway and I’m no web expert as you can tell. Here’s the link:

Re: The Ivy House

No session at The Ivy House on Tuesday 6th September 2016. But we will be playing at the Waverley Arms, at the corner of Ivydale Road and Limesford Road. More specifically, 202 Ivydale Rd, London SE15 3BU. Also a lovely pub with a fine selection of real ales. This is just a one-off, but we’ll see if it might develop into another session venue.

Re: The Ivy House

“a tale of social resilience in the face of creeping gentrification”
- yeah right.
It’s hardly a bastion of the proletariat these days.

Re: The Ivy House

Just a warning to potential attendees - this session can no longer be depended on to happen on a weekly basis. All too frequently in the past year the session slot, 9-11pm Tuesday nights, has been hijacked by other events occurring at the pub. Often this has happened without the entertainment management notifying the players in advance.

So I honestly cannot recommend this session to visiting players. We are considering making a move to a more welcoming pub but as yet we haven’t found a suitable replacement. The pub itself is still a superb establishment, and on a good night the session there can still be a great event. But we can’t guarantee it will happen every Tuesday, or any given Tuesday, for that matter.

Sorry to have to report this to The Session and sessionistas.

Re: The Ivy House

The ongoing saga of the Ivy House……

(Copied and pasted from an email I sent out to our regular Ivy House Sessionistas)

So, today I called in to the Ivy House and got to speak with Tom the entertainments manager. Straight to the Belly of the Beast, I grabbed the bull by the bollox.

If I were to say I had it out with him, that would be inappropriate. Because as it turns out he is a very decent, clued up, intelligent and well-meaning guy. So instead we had a constructive conversation. Anyway, he only works part-time, 23 hours per week, and usually is finished well before our putative session would have started. Also when he took the job, no-one told him WTF was happening, week in week out. So he was kinda groping the dark. Thrown in at the deep end.

However, he is very keen that the Tuesday night Irish trad session should continue, but occasionally there may be other events. These he will let us know in advance.

So tonight there may well be a session at The Ivy House if more than 2 people can make it.

Having said that, I’m not too sure if I can make it myself tonight!

But now that it is back as a regular fixture, I am happy to keep it going.

Re: The Ivy House

This session is not active at present.
Regular Tuesday night sessions cannot be guaranteed as there is often another event on which takes precedence over our humble gathering, thus interest from players has also waned. I am loathe to say it has finished completely but neither I nor the previous regulars have attended this year, so it doesn’t look too promising for the future.