Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cambridge Folk Festival 2010

Four years later, I'm not sure I have an answer to what folk music looks like in England. But I do know that this year's lineup at the Cambridge Folk Festival was an eclectic mix of acts from all over the world. I also know that it was darn good fun.

Summer music festivals are The Thing in Britain (perhaps Europe?). The most popular are Glastonbury and the BBC Proms, but there are hundreds. I do love music, but I'm not sure I would have ever gone to one if it hadn't been for Ruthie Foster's appearance at Cambridge in 2007. I've been every day, every year since.

Thursday evening, highlights for me were Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends, a 10-man acapella group (note: all videos are shaky, owing to my complete inability to stand still when there's music around):


Port Isaac's Fishermen's Friends from dceditors on Vimeo.

And Lissie, an American whose first album is only out in Europe:


Lissie from dceditors on Vimeo.

Friday at the Folk Festival is always a delightful day for me, because it's technically a work day that I take off, and it feels deliciously evil to be sitting in a field listening to fabulous music while everyone else is slaving away at their computers.

Highlights of the day included my boyfriend Seth Lakeman (in case you wonder why my bike rides have gotten faster, it's in part because this song is on my cycling mix):


Seth Lakeman - Race to be King from dceditors on Vimeo.



And the Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra, a Serbian Gypsy band:

Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar from dceditors on Vimeo.


Another favorite was Imelda May, who performed with Irish folk legend Sharon Shannon. And when I saw Breabach in 2007, they were here playing their first gig outside of Scotland. This year, they opened Friday's main stage program.

 Saturday was JT's one day at the festival. He always has a great time, but isn't so interested in 4 days of Fest. But Saturday's lineup delivered. The runaway hit was Pink Martini, a classy orchestra from Portland, Oregon that delivered a big-band sound:

Pink Martini from dceditors on Vimeo.


We also really enjoyed the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who I got to see again on Sunday:


Carolina Chocolate Drops from dceditors on Vimeo.


The big headliners of the day were Americans -- Natalie Merchant and Kathy Mattea. Both were phenomenal.

Kathy Mattea

Natalie Merchant

It was great to see Dervish live; I've owned some of their CDs for ages. New to us was the Burns Unit and Joe Pug, both of whom we enjoyed quite a lot. The Quebe Sisters were a total throwback to 1) Texas, and 2) the 1920s. Have a listen.


By Sunday, I was really exhausted, but nevertheless got myself to Cherry Hinton Hall. I skipped the headliners -- Kris Kristofferson and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Instead, I hung out at the smaller tent listening to the haunting harmonies of the Unthanks and the footstomping, dancy Dervish.

A little bit of rain throughout the festival made for great wellie watching. Here are some wellie pictures:


This was probably my last Cambridge Folk Festival, but I sincerely doubt it will be my last music festival. I'm hooked.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Wow, that looks like a lot of fun! I like the video clips.