Karen & Tony entered our Band Competition. Although they didn’t win, their sound impressed us so much, we booked them for our local bands showcase on Friday night. They each have a myriad of musical influences and together bring fun, vocal tenacity & great talent to the regional folk scene delivering original material & innovative arrangements of songs. Karen’s luscious singing is complemented by Tony’s skilled harmonies & accompaniment on guitar.


From an early age Karen Johnson sang wartime and music-hall songs with her dad, on family outings to Margate in the old Zephyr, but she never performed publicly until 30-something. She was discovered in a singing evening-class, and invited to perform at Bishop’s Stortford Folk Club, who nourished her exceptional talent. There she met singer/song-writer, Tony Day, who invited her and Tony Clark to form Courier’s Delay in 1995.

Tony Clark had been a regular at the club, aka. Stortfolk,, and emulated Paul Metsers, Geoff Higginbottom, Jez Lowe, Dougie Maclean and Jake Thackray. The associated Beerfordbury Barrel Tappers & Wine Tipplers taught him much about dressing up in Tatters and Wassailing loud and flat in pre-Christmas pubs

Courier’s Delay played “contemporary” folk – covers of anything from Jon Martyn, to traditional folk, and the best of Boo Hewerdine and Eddie Reader on the way, and original tunes and songs by the talented Mr Day. The band had residencies at Stortfolk and Hitchin Folk Club, performing at festivals and clubs in Herts, Cambridge and Essex. They were privileged to support Lindisfarne, The Strawbs, and Edward II in successive years at Broxbourne Civic Hall. They ran a successful concert club and music session at the Half Moon in Bishop’s Stortford.

More recently Karen and Tony Clark have performed as a duo, their mission to have fun performing at local venues, and any others they happen to visit. Highlights: winners of Southwell Folk Festival open mic competition in 2009; at Cambridge Folk Club supporting Church Fitters, Chris While and Julie Matthews, Christine Collister, and later Clive Gregson; also two weddings, a funeral, and a concert in a Library. In 2010 they adopted the name Barefoot Roses, but pruned it in 2012. They have recently joined Bishop’s Stortford Ukulele Society.