Friday, August 01, 2014

August and onward.

A one day festival (Behind The Castle) in June. A two day festival (Truck) in July. 
That was just the warm up. In two weeks time I shall be resident in Powys, Wales at Green Man Festival and it will be my first ever visit, which is exciting. Two weeks later comes my annual pilgrimage, since 2009 at least, to End Of The Road (EOTR). There are so many more... this weekend is the 50th Cambridge Folk Festival  and 21-5th August is the 50th Towersey Folk Festival. In an ideal world I would have quite happily gone to all of these and many more too. I have to say that one that has piqued my interest for a couple of years now, although it is in distant south Suffolk, is Maverick Festival. I could list many more that have caught my eye but seven links in the first paragraph is way more than enough. It is time to focus on those that I am going to and what I might wish from them.
It might be leavened with shorter posts on new music.

I'm thinking that this post is something I shall add to over the weekend and it will be thoughts about the acts that I want to see most at Green Man or EOTR and why. 
Reviews such as this certainly don't hurt. Ezra Furman is playing EOTR. Never seen him live nor heard his music that I am aware of.
I'll tell you one, from EOTR, that is right at the top of my list - Richard Thompson. I don't need to justify that.

In my eight years of festival attendance the changing balance is to be struck between artists that I have heard before and those new to me. As my recent posts concerning Truck 2014 may have made clear, my liking for seeing new artists, or ones that are merely new to me live or otherwise, remains undiminished. There is now a new category too - artists in new acts/guises. Maybe that is where, probably tomorrow, I shall start this discussion. I have two in particular in mind right now and, echoing the recent comments of Robin Seamer at Breaking More Waves, I have also been thinking about those end-of -year lists too. I rather suspect that the début albums by both will feature on mine.
Here is an observation that is just mine: in 2007 I started my end of year reviews with EPs and mini albums because that was easy. The weren't many and fewer still that I felt worthy of mention and I said then that I had felt it was a dying format. I suspect that in fact I had caught it just reviving from its death throes. It is true that much of this has to due with the ascendency of digital music but that is only part of the Lazarus story. Even in 2007 EPs were starting to appear on vinyl, 7", 10" and 12", and the story continues to grow to the present. This is a more recent, but you would not guess it, example of a single:

It was released physically only on cassette tape.

I could tell you about more worthwhile EPs from the first six months of 2014 than from 2007-9 in total. I don't think, for one moment, that this is simply because I am better informed, although I am. It is much more significant than that.

What this post does lack is photographs but that is an interesting demonstration of a cascade of consequence.
When I started to blog a problem soon became apparent - I needed more original stuff to write about. The obvious answer to that was to go to festivals. Festivals are about live music, which is an intrinsically visual medium too, so I needed pictures of what I saw and heard. 

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