Posts Tagged ‘christy moore’

Live Review | Cambridge Folk Festival 2016

Posted on August 5th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

ChristyMoore ©Jordan Harris

Kevin Bourke sampled all the musical delicacies on offer at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival. Photos by Jordan Harris

One of the great things about the Cambridge Folk Festival is that it’s perfectly possible to chart any number of different paths through the weekend’s festivities. You could simply opt, for instance, to see the seasoned folk festival campaigners like Christy Moore (pictured above), who cannily conjured up a version of ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ about local hero Syd Barrett in the midst of a commandingly-delivered set of old favourites, or Kate Rusby, who has virtually grown up in front of these people. So too has Eliza Carthy whose new Wayward Band obviously has an eye on that Bellowhead-shaped hole on the touring circuit. Speaking of that fiendish ensemble, Jon Boden chose to refloat his solo career with a Thursday night headliner that demonstrated he’s lost none of his slightly bonkers flamboyance.

Then you have the dance-friendly crowd-pleasers in early evening slots, like the sinuous Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal, the sunny Caribbean rhythms-meets-industrial Manchester Ballads of Edward II, or the harder-edged Afro Celt Sound System. The new wave of English folk was strong not only in the Club Tent, The Den and the other fringe stages, but with high-profile slots for the ferociously committed but hilarious Stick in the Wheel, as well as Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys and Sam Lee & Friends.

As ever, American music was also well represented. Mary Chapin Carpenter closed out her UK tour with confidence and cool style, while the distinctly earthier The Cash Box Kings determinedly brought a ferocious jolt of genuine Chicago blues to the party. More laidback but just as arresting in her own way, Leyla McCalla undoubtedly won over a whole host of new fans, just as her former Carolina Chocolate Drops colleague Rhiannon Giddens had done in a similar spot last year.

But the ‘I was there’ stories were those of Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton and Darlingside (pictured below). Something extraordinary was obviously going on from the minute Paxton took to Stage 2 on Friday evening. Accomplished way beyond his years and with a droll delivery that belies the way he so fully inhabits the blues tradition, the news of his triumph spread so fast that when he appeared in the Club Tent only a couple of hours later you could barely get near the place. Meanwhile, so popular had the bracing harmonies, free-spirited musical experimentation and jocular stage presence of Darlingside proved with the early evening Stage 2 audience on Saturday that, when Charles Bradley was unexpectedly taken ill, they took over his Stage 1 slot only an hour later. Their appearance there was such a triumph that not only did the on-site CD stall prove unable to keep up with demand for their ‘Birds Say’ debut album but their Sunday signing and busking sessions turned into major events!

Darlingside ©Jordan Harris

 

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The new March Songlines podcast is now available through iTunes

Posted on February 1st, 2014 in Recent posts by .

SL98PodcastImageThis podcast includes highlights from the March 2014 issue of Songlines (#98), opening with music from Angélique Kidjo. Songlines editor-in-chief, Simon Broughton, plays a track by Christy Moore, a bonus track chosen by Andrew Marr as part of his playlist this issue.

Features: Simon Broughton speaks to Angélique Kidjo about her new album, Garth Cartwright on Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records and Tim Cumming with a report on the Nubian group Nuba Nour. Nathaniel Handy brings you the latest news with music by Karine Polwart and more. The podcast ends with a track from Salsa Celtica’s forthcoming album The Tall Islands.

 

The next Songlines podcast, featuring highlights from the April/May 2014 issue (#99), will be available from March 14 2014.

Click here to download the podcast.

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The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012

Posted on February 10th, 2012 in Recent posts by .

As industry folk and, for the first time, members of the public took to their seats in The Lyric theatre at the Lowry, there was some speculation about which celebs would be gracing the stage to present the dozen or so awards this year. It’s the first time the event has been held outside of the capital and the Lowry is within spitting distance of the BBC’s new northern home at Media City, on the quayside of Salford. It came as not much of a surprise that the first presenters were from Manchester’s long-running ITV soap, Corrie. It also seemed fitting that The Dubliners would round off the evening with ‘Dirty Old Town’, written by Salford’s finest singer-songwriter Ewan MacColl. Ralph McTell, who presented The Dubliners with their Lifetime Achievement Award, perfectly summed up their long-lasting appeal, saying that there was “a brightness and boisterousness to their music.”

There were a handful of truly memorable live performances – some for all the right reasons, namely The Unthanks singing with The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band from West Yorkshire, who did a wonderfully evocative rendition of a song about a Derbyshire pigeon fancier. Then there was the excruciating moment when the collective cringing of the audience listening to Don McLean’s badly out of tune guitar was almost palpable. Fortunately McLean, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award, pulled his reputation back from the brink with a second and more in tune song.

Other favourite musical highlights were Christy Moore and Declan Sinnott playing Kevin Littlewood’s nominated Best Original Song, ‘On Morecambe Bay,’ about the tragic plight of immigrant cockle pickers. And Best Duo winners Brendan Power and Tim Edey (who also won Musician of the Year), who I’m ashamed to say have so far been overlooked by Songlines.

And the other winners? Well, the night definitely belonged to June Tabor and Oysterband who collectively won Folk Singer of the Year, Best Album, Best Group and Best Traditional Track. It seemed to be a celebration of the veterans and more mature artists within the current scene, with the recently reformed The Home Service winning Best Live Act. The Songlines office verdict was that this award should have been a shoo-in for Bellowhead, what with their impressively energetic festival shows and seemingly never-ending tour schedule last year.

So it was a relief to see relative youngster Bella Hardy jointly winning the Best Original Song award with Steve Tilston. And of course, the Horizon Award which went to Derby’s Lucy Ward and the Young Folk Award going to the Irish group Ioscaid (apparently pronounced Iss-Kidge) – we look forward to checking these guys out live and also to their debut album.

So, despite the swish new location, a new co-presenter for Mike Harding, Julie Fowlis, who brought a good dose of glamour to the stage, plus some recognition for a handful of new, young names, the evening very much had a ‘tried and tested’ formula about it. Perhaps it’s time to shake up the awards event even more and have an overhaul on the voting and selection process?

You can check out all of the performances (and do your own cringing to ‘And I Love You So’) by visiting the BBC website:
www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/events/folk-awards-2012

 

 

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