Monday, June 30, 2008

How not to plan a festival schedule?

Having just concluded that perhaps I should have chosen to go to Glastonbury, I've just been looking at the latest list of performers at Latitude 2008 with an eye to trying to work out my preliminary schedule. Last year I didn't even attempt it until the Thursday evening, by which time I was in my tent and armed with the festival program. This year, despite the fact that I've thought about it at the point when last year I had just decided to get a ticket and go, the situation looks more problematic! I suspect that I'll end up making some decisions on the fly but at least I'll have considered the possibilities that will give rise to the greatest conflicts.

As it happens I don't have to wait until Latitude for some live music, although of a somewhat different slant. My longstanding liking for folk-influenced music has probably already become apparent on at least a few occasions in this blog and I've got a ticket to see Seth Lakeman live at the "Cheese and Grain" on 9th July, as part of the 2008 Frome Festival. While Latitude 2008 will involve a round trip of almost 500 miles, this is about as convenient as it could get; I can be at the venue twenty minutes after leaving home and that is on foot!
His latest album Poor Man's Heaven (his fourth) was released today.

The one I want to hear first however is 'Kitty Jay' (2004), his first album. The title track is a telling of a well known, although very indistinctly chronicled, Dartmoor story (probably dating from the 17th or 18th century) thus making it good for elaboration.
Kitty Jay apparently killed herself due to the infidelity of her lover and was buried at a remote crossroads, lying on the boundary of parishes and remote from any settlements, because suicides could not be buried in consecrated ground. That much is, in so far as it is possible to say, fact.
That the grave remains to this day, at the crossing of a minor road and a bridleway, still remote from any settlement but always with fresh flowers, is really quite surprising. The fact that this is the second, completely distinct song, attempting to tell the tale is remarkable. The other song I am aware of is 'Lady Jay', which was on the fifth album by Wishbone Ash (another band with Devon roots) There's The Rub (1974).

That it is the last day of the first half of 2008 has reminded me that no-one has asked about my favourite albums of 2008 yet, which is good, but I will say that I'm not anticipating having any shortage to choose from come the appropriate time. It does however prompt me to consider what I would like on my listening list in the next month or so. I've just been thinking while writing this and I'm a bit lost, which has much to do with my comment above concerning the amount of new music I already have.
I have had to single out one album completely unheard (well sort of, but I'll try to add more later in the week) based on their first album and seeing them live last summer, it would have to be 'Donkey' by CSS:

It is not going to sound like their first, Cansei De Ser Sexy, but if it is anywhere near as catchy it will be a winner and, given the reports from Glastonbury 2008 it most probably is. The latest release date that I am aware of is 21st July in the UK.

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