Monday, June 16, 2014

Behind The Castle Festival 2014 - Part 2 - The Main Stage

The four main stage acts were scheduled that they did not coincide with those on either Stage 2 or the MAS stage, which hosted acts simultaneously. This resulted in two things; it was possible to see all of the main stage acts in entirety without sacrificing anything else and that there was almost no down time in which there was no live music taking place. Another advantage is that never could the sound from the main stage bleed over into the other two stages whilst allowing the site to be compact but never feeling overcrowded.
The first artist on the main stage was one I had never seen live before - Irish acoustic songwright Paul Brady. I must admit I knew shamefully little of his work before Saturday and it was probably an omission, and certainly a mistake on my part, not to check it out before the event once I that I was aware that he was playing.

The early afternoon slot saw most of the crowd sat on the grass, which was a shame.

After another hour interlude on the other stages, about which more in 'Part 3', it was time to head out to the main stage for Newton Faulkner. He again is someone that I had never seen live before but at least I was well aware of his catalogue and so with baited breath I wondered...
In the glorious mid-afternoon sun there would be no danger of the soporific attitude mentioned above. It was some set and I was well impressed by the good-natured fervour of many of his fans - this was less folk festival than many might have thought. 
His set was text-book showmanship without actually showing off. That is a fine line to tread.

After another sojourn it was the time for the prolific Seth Lakeman to take to the stage. It seems that hardly a few months pass during which he does not release something or other in one of his guises and collaborations. I have seen him live on several occasions and you are being lectured by one of the converted - it's my blog and so I can be biased in it! Indeed my bias largely determines all that is covered, including Behind The Castle Festival.
Much fierce fiddle playing included. 'Solomon Browne' saw the tenor guitar bought to bear.
It is a tale of a tragic modern disaster told in the traditional folk idiom.

The festival was finished in style by a band that deserve the epithet legendary - The Levellers. When in 1991 their second LP 'Levelling The Land' was released it did what it said - it changed the map. The Pogues had done this kind of thing, and to some degree so had The Stranglers and others, all with great success but this really album bought it home to roost.
It was hot on that stage.

I'll finish with a quote overheard... "This is absolutely f*****g amazing."
It was. Exactly that. He was quite right to be proud of it.

[Behind The Castle Festival - Part 3 will follow soon.]

No comments: