Promoter Info



tom bliss



lyrics etc









Tips for running a folk club or small venue


The Toms' club concerts are designed for quiet, attentive audiences who have come purely to listen. (They do not typically play free-entry venues, restaurants or noisy bars where people are not going to pay attention - although they may on special occasions).

Club sets typically consist of perhaps 50% original songs (trad-style narrative, strong on melody and emotion) 20% trad songs, 25% trad tunes and 5% original tunes. Both Toms sing (TB takes perhaps 60% of the lead vocals) and their very similar voices create some excellent harmonies. TN takes lead on nearly all the tunes, incuding the TB originals.

The second set usually contains lighter material than the first - but there's humour in the banter throughout, and the evening usually finishes with an emotional coup de gras.

If you would prefer a different balance to the above please let us know.


Please advise if a house PA is to be used (many clubs do not need one). For amplification spec and stage layout, click here. The Toms take a pride in making life easy for sound engineers by using on-stage pre-mixing. However, small ajustments to both monitors and main mix will be necessary, so please provide an engineer to mix throughout the show. At low levels monitors will not be necessary, but for halls please provide two monitor mixes (one each) if possible, or just one if that's all you've got. A back-feed of the main out-front mix is not really acceptable. The Toms may ask to use elements of their own PA (e.g. mics) if they are not familiar with your equipment or the monitors do not suit. Please see notes below. .

PAs of various sizes, with or without sound engineers, are available upon request.

SAMPLE COPY FOR FLIERS (Copy+paste or rewrite as required!!)

"Tom Napper (vocal, tenor banjo, mandolin and octave mandolin) Tom Bliss (vocal, guitar, mandocello, whistle and concertina): Strikingly original story songs, powerful harmonies, terrific banter, plus multi-instrumental virtuosity from the English/Celtic tradition. Definitely one to watch." (Chichester Festivities)

"Brilliant, a fusing of two exceptional talents.. gutsy, rootsy.. actually fantastically good.. spark off each other like an established comedy act.. Go and see this hugely talented duo the next time they come anywhere near you. You won't be disappointed." (various)

"Strikingly original songs and multi-instrumental virtuosity have won this duo favourable comparison with Show Of Hands. Tom B’s perceptive songwriting is inspired by real people and events and he is a strong singer, as we know from his work with Slide, while Tom N is a veteran of many Yorkshire-based bands. Between them they play guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, mandocello, fiddle and more." (Black Swan FC York)

"Excruciatingly talented duo from Leeds. They excel on the folk circuit at home and abroad. Highly respected, worked with the best, can play a shed-load of instruments and got great voices too. Do you need more? "(Kiveton Park FC)

Click here for some reviews to quote

Click here for promoter endorsements

Click here for Tom Bliss solo quotes


Not all clubs consider lighting to be an issue. If, however, it is being considered, The Toms prefer to strike a balance between atmosphere (low lighting, candles on tables etc.) and theatre (people do like to read a performance as well as listen). Bright lights behind the performance area are not usually helpful. The Toms carry 3x 40 watt stage spotlights for use in emergencies, and can provide a larger lighting rig on request.


For amplification spec and stage layout, click here.

TOM BLISS'S MAIN PA: A Mackie system with a 12 channel desk (of which we use 6) and two 450w powered speaker cabs for front of house. Monitoring (up to 4 channels) is provided by two Trace Elliot 50w combos mounted as wedges (excellent for both acoustic instruments and vocals) and/or two 120w Voice Control 'B' powered speakers, and/or a tiny two-speaker Galaxy 150w wedge system, if required.

TOM BLISS'S MICRO PA: The 240w Voice Control 'B' speakers and/or Galaxies (with Behringer 6 channel Eurorack mixer) are typically carried for use in emergencies as a micro-PA and/or for additional monitoring with house PAs.

1 KW+ Much larger PAs can be provided on request.

If you find yourselves on the same bill as The Toms and expect to be using our PA, please click here to email your technical requirements. Regular sound engineers are Rod Holt, Matt Nelson and Trevor Learoyd.


The Toms will usually need accommodation if on tour, or if your gig is more than an hour and a half from Leeds (please check).

The Toms never share a room. They will sleep on camp beds etc though if asked, and TB sometimes sleeps in his camper van in warmer seasons.

Please note that TB is allargic to cats (he does LIKE cats, dogs, gerbils - all pets in fact - but he's allergic to cat hair). Simply keeing the cat away does not solve the problem, but medication does, provided he's been warned in advance, so he can take a pill before he arrives. (Otherwise his throat swells and he can't sing!).


Please send your contract in plenty of time, or we can send our contract to you if you prefer. We are happy to proceed on an informal exchange of emails, but please take note of the following:

Please make sure your venue is licenced for performance, otherwise The Toms may be liable under current legislaton.

Please provide a POST CODE for the venue (and accom) - this is to help with navigation and the return of PRS forms.

An EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER in case of breakdown is useful too.


Payment will usually be by cash or cheque (made out to TOM NAPPER) on the night. If you require an invoice please let us know in advance. If so, payment to be within 30 days of the booking.

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