Saturday, August 08, 2015

Cambridge Folk Festival 2015 - Part 1 - Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker

I have to start somewhere with what turned out to be a very memorable long weekend. It was my first visit to this long-running festival and the first time that I have visited Cambridge that has been attended by good weather.
I haven't really decided how to group all the various highlights and so having mentioned Orkney five-piece Fara, who opened proceedings on the stages on Thursday evening, I thought I'd go with this, also from Stage 2 on Thursday evening.
It is a couple of years since I have seen Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker live and that was at The Bell in Bath. Nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 'Best Duo' in 2014, they lost out to Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin.
They triumphed at the same, in the same category, in 2015 and here they are.

Ben Walker and his guitar. Only a few I have seen live play guitar in such a mystifying way.

Josienne Clarke on vocals.
We learnt a couple of other things too; Ben has a lovely singing voice but refuses to use it in public performance, and that the secret to being an award-winning duo is to have more than two members. In the picture above is Jo Silverston on 'cello and out of shot to the right Anna Jenkins on viola (both formerly members of Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo).

Josienne played guitar as well as confessing to a miserabilist song-writing tendency.

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