Sunday, September 19, 2010

North-eastern folk - EOTR - Part 2

I saw a trio of acts that fall in to this general category last weekend and of them I have already mentioned 'Lanterns On The Lake' briefly.  The other two were arguably more traditional even if much of the material was new or at least recent.
I saw a very small part of 'The Unthanks' set at Latitude 2010 and was banking on seeing the full set at EOTR 2010.  This avoided clashes between artists I wanted to catch at Latitude and also it struck me that the Garden Stage at EOTR would be a more suitable setting than the Obelisk Stage at Latitude.  I was lucky - the weather was glorious last Saturday afternoon - in that I made exactly the right decision back in July.

This performance was indubitably one of the highlights of the weekend for me.
 It wasn't a weekend short of highlights, that is for certain.
In some ways they are iconic as regards the popularity of music that is folk and folk-influenced; something which currently commands currency on both sides of the Atlantic.  It is all part of a fascinating dichotomy in music today.

Here is a thought: I doubt that few of the crowd watching this were anything other than quite conversant with music from the likes of Eminem, Lady GaGa and Scissor Sisters -  yet they could also sing 'Here's The Tender Coming' back to The Unthanks when invited to do so.
Last, but certainly not least, Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell performed in the Tipi Tent earlier the same afternoon and I was very glad that I caught that set too.  This set was very well attended, as indeed were all those that I attended in the two smaller venues.  This explains why both the Tipi and Local stages have been significantly enhanced in capacity since EOTR 2009.

Lucy Farrell & Jonny Kearney, Tipi Stage, EOTR 2010, on Saturday afternoon.

EOTR is the kind of place where, should you wish, you can chat (with hitherto complete strangers) about musical influences, chord progressions and signature time changes and no-one will think it strange at all.  Equally improbably, can you imagine GaGa performing in muddy wellies that look as though they might be in daily and not just festival-only use?  It must have been a fashion statement as waterproof footwear was happily quite unnecessary at EOTR 2010.

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