Category When

Bird in the Belly

Bird in the Belly is a Brighton-based folk group consisting of folk-duo Hickory Signals (Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti), alt-folk singer-songwriter Ben Webb (Jinnwoo, Green Ribbons), and multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Pryor. Together the band collect little-known and forgotten lyrics, poems and stories from around the UK, and set them to their own music which is hypnotic and sparse, recalling both the 1960’s folk revival and the acid/folk rock of the early 70s.

Over the last few years the band has released two records (The Crowing, 2018 and Neighbours and Sisters, 2019) to critical acclaim, and has spent a lot of time on the road playing to audiences across the UK. Album number 3 is in progress, with the band using their time (between lockdowns) in the studio, writing and recording.

In early 2020,  Bird in the Belly’s song ‘Horace in Brighton’ was featured on BBC R4 Desert Island Discs as a chosen record of illustrator, Chris Riddell, and the band is currently collaborating on a project with Riddell for release later in 2021. Alongside this, the band performed on and produced a new solo album for folk legend Frankie Armstrong, to be released in January 2021.

“These are songs performed with directness & clarity. The vocals of Laura Ward have a crystal purity; when they entwine with the gruff ,grizzled delivery of Ben Webb, the contrast creates something stunningly beautiful…on the basis of Bird in the Belly, English traditional music is alive and well and has a fine future ★★★★” – RnR Magazine 

“The rapid evolution of Bird in the Belly into one of our finest folk acts is a joy to behold” – Folk Radio UK 

“Laura Ward’s lovely voice sweetens the wilfully jagged edges of fellow singer Ben Webb, as they direct songs about executions, workhouse whistleblowers and traumatised soldiers to the heart” – The Guardian

“Riveting, bleak social history with a modern resonance and a folk album of stone-heavy heft. Intense, hypnotic and true-hearted” – From the Margins Magazine





Saturday 6th February 2021 - Starts 7.30pm


  •   Lovely little place for a relax and chill in a morning! Coffee cake and a magazine. Meeting friends and family - or just a little working morning on my own!

  •   A great local venue, always something on that appeals to all people. Lovely to have a local arts venue and not to have to go to Brighton

    chris b
  •   Have been to several shows at Ropetackle Arts Centre. Plenty of variety for all tastes. It is great that you can sit in the comfort of a table and chair... read more

  •   Another great Sunday Jazz , just love the place, great place To go Sunday jazz is just a delight once a month

  •   This venue is great for a night out. They have an assortment of entertainment, we mainly see bands or tribute bands. The one in July was Eagles tribute and the... read more

  •   Recently saw the South Coast Soul Review at Ropetackle and enjoyed a really good live band. Always a nice atmosphere and you can enjoy a drink inside the performance... read more

    Josie C
  •   Recently moved to Shoreham, and it’s lovely to have an arts centre. There are lots of activities and the cafe provides a friendly central hub. We have attended several... read more

  •   Attracts great diverse acts from nostalgic 1970s acts to new local talent as well as great comedy. Bar and informal restaurant there as well with good ale and appetising home... read more

  •   First visit from Southampton to the Ropetackle for a Jon Boden concert. We had a excellent experience considering covid.

  •   A great local venue, always something on that appeals to all people. Lovely to have a local arts venue and not to have to go to Brighton