Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 Festivals - Cambridge Folk Festival

I probably mentioned that this is my "newbie" for 2015 - it is in fact the 51st year that Cambridge Folk Festival has been held, making it one of the world's longest continuously operating music festivals.  It took a certain recommendation, from one who is a pro, to persuade me to take the plunge however.  For me however it will be all new and I'm very much looking forward to it. I have two 'warm-up' festivals before it - Behind The Castle Festival and Truck Festival so come the weekend that spans the end of July and the start of August I should be well into the festival mentality. Now for some thoughts... one of which is that starting posts is often the hardest part. In a way this reminds me of the thing I most hated in school lessons - how to start a story. Another thing I disliked was revision - re-named research, in this case about the artists already announced for Cambridge Folk Festival, that seems way better.
I always liked making and keeping lists. I still do and so not long ago I was making a list of acts or artists that I would most like to see this summer. Pretty much at the top of it was this artist; about a week ago she was announced for Cambridge 2015.

I have been a big fan of Carolina Chocolate Drops since back when, but have never seen them play live. There will be clashes a-plenty, I can see that already, but she will be on my list of things to see.

Beyond that the question is simply where to start and only then beyond the astonishing trinity of Peggy Seeger, Joan Baez and Joan Armatrading. I have seen none of them live before.

The prolific Bella Hardy, whom I saw live at Frome Festival 2012, releases her latest album 'With The Dawn' this coming Monday and another that I would really like to catch live again. Cambridge Folk Festival is a world away from the Westway Cinema, Frome, although I mean no discredit to either venue.
This LP is almost entirely her own original songs rather than interpretations of traditional material.
If you think that that is an odd shift of emphasis then here is 'The Herring Girl', a Bella hardy original from the 2011 album 'Songs Lost & Stolen'.
Beyond that... well there is just so much I would like to see. I have seen The Unthanks four times before but that is not to say that I wouldn't wish to see them once again, not least because it has been a couple of years now and, never ones to rest on the laurels of past successes, they bring new album 'Mount The Air' into the equation.
To state the obvious that isn't even the half of it. I can see The Willows at Behind The Castle but likely as not I will want to see them again less than two months later. The one certainty is that I won't be able, however determined I might be, to see everything that I want to see. That however is the mark of a really good festival, without the shadow of a doubt.
That decision to keep listening and beat the tiredness any way you can; I have caught forty winks somewhere or other in the arena between bands on many an occasion before. I don't see any reason to stop now.

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