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Cambridge Folk festival 2014 - Saturday | FESTIVALPHOTO

Cambridge Folk festival 2014 - Saturday



The first act I caught on Saturday was father and daughter duo Martin and Eliza Carthy. It's very good folk music - you'd expect nothing less from two musicians of this calibre. They both sang, generally only one singing on any given song, while martin played acoustic guitar and Eliza played the fiddle.

David Bromberg and larry Campbell put in a good set on the main stage before heading over to stage two for the festival session where they were playing alongside other acts. With just the two of them both playing acoustic guitar most of the time plus fiddles their set had a fairly laid back intimate feel.

North Mississippi allstars were an act that really impressed me. They play blues rather than folk and were great musically, but it's the sheer energy and enthusiasm that they put into their performance that impressed me most. It was interesting too to see them use one guitar that looked home-made as it consisted of a tin can and piece of wood with the strings attached. At one point they came off the stage and decided to run through the crowd (with all of them still playing). This band were definitely one of the highlights of the day for me.

Sarah Jarosz was on stage two, flanked by two other musicians as she played banjo plus guitar and sang. I only saw a few songs of her very good performance before I headed over to the main stage to see The Full English. I knew I'd be seeing her on the Sunday on main stage which made the decision to see The Full English instead a lot easier.

The full English is a band put together as part of the FUll English project, which aims to create the most comprehensive searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world. The band has taken some of these old folk songs and is giving them new life. With members including Seth Lakeman, Fay Hield, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr and ore, it's an extremely talented lineup and they put in a great performance.

Moulettes were next, and they were the band I'd been looking forward to seeing today since I love their album, Constellations. It's one of those albums that is a real mix of musical styles - pop, folk, rock and more and they all just blend perfectly together to form a really enjoyable sound. Their set was everything I could have hoped for and more with the various different instruments (including harp, fiddle, bassoon, washboard, cello, guitar and drums) all contributing to a complex but thoroughly enjoyable sound. A great performance from this excellent band.

Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle seem to be everywhere this weekend, between them playing all three days of the festival, including a slot on the main stage on Saturday.

Loudon Wainwright III clearly has some enthusiastic fans including an over-excited one who keeps shouting out the words before Loudon has time to sing them. Before long he stops and as the crowd boo the fan for disrupting the performance, Loudon Wainwright III comes out with the funniest line I heard all weekend..."Now now people, remember we're at a folk festival, so lets all sing Kumbaya...then kick the shit out of him". Needless to say there were no more interruptions. Ass well as being a superb singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III is a funny charismatic man and it's very clear that the crowd loves him and it's obvious why he keeps getting invited back.

Next for me was a trip to see Eddi reader on stage two. The former Fairground Attraction singer had a great crowd and was clearly a popular booking by the festival. I have to be honest and say that I haven't actually listened to her solo material before, but what I heard tonight was very good, and I'll certainly be checking out some of her stuff in future.

Roseanne Cash was tonight's headliner. The eldest daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, she's had a long musical career of her own, having released 15 albums so far. Tonight's set is built around her latest album, and I did like the way she took time before each song to introduce it and to explain the background to it, something that made it a lot more interesting when listening to the songs. A very good set.

Photos of the bands:


Skribent: Anthony May
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