Monday, September 04, 2006

Moseley Folk Festival Moseley Park 2nd / 3rd September 2006

All together now..."Alllllllll around my hat". Yes, yet another foray into Folk for the good Baron. This time a whole two days of it and by heaven it threw up some pretty incredible performances. It was the first Moseley Folk Festival ever, but the organisation was spot on (except the scrumpy kept running out, but maybe that was a good thing).

I won't bore you with a list of all the artists who performed (you can find this for yourselves right here you lazy tinkers) but there are a few that scream out to be mentioned. So, here we go:

Pentangle, fronted by Jacqui McShee, were one of those bands I'd heard about but never really listened to. She has a remarkable voice, just what you want a folk voice to sound like (if that makes any sense) and they were, for me, one of the highlights of Day One.

Andy Votel. Genius DJ, loves his music and a bloody nice bloke to boot.

Seth Lakeman. Mrs Baron wouldn't forgive me if I didn't mention him, but he really is bloody good (that's a photo of Seth in action at he beginning of this piece by the way. Artistic or crap - you decide).

Nick Harper was possibly the finest guitarist I have ever seen. Ever. He played his guitar with his teeth, the side of the stage and even changed a string...whilst still playing and singing. Beat that Jimi. Vocally he reminded me a little of Phil Ochs, an unsung Folk legend who should really be up there with Bob Dylan in my books. If you get the chance to see him live you simply must.

Which is a nice link into another must see...The Toy Hearts. Fronted by sisters Hannah and Sophia they're a remarkable bluegrass band that really deserve to make it big. Fans of the Be Good Tanyas will be in heaven...but then so should anybody who just loves great music. The whole band are brilliant musicians, including the sisters' dad who plays a mean slide guitar and banjo (and who was in the Jerry Lewis film too by the way....see, educational and informative). Bags of energy and the kind of close harmonies that you can only get to hear once in a blue(grass) moon made this a really special performance. Debut album "If the Blues Should Come Calling" is out soon. Buy it and you'll be thanking me forever.

Last, but by no means least, Vijay Kishore who played just a few songs on the Acoustic Stage. You know those voices that suddenly make the hairs on your neck stand up, someone like Jeff Buckley or Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (legendary Qawwali singer) for example, well Vijay is right up there. During the last song he played, Freedom, he held on to the most beautiful note for what seemed like forever. And I kind of wish it had been. In a world full of Blunts, it's time someone like Vijay really got the exposure they deserve. You can make your own mind up when he plays the Birmingham Glee club in on October 27th (check his My Space site for other dates).

So that's it, in a nutshell. I pretty much enjoyed all of the acts, but these were, for me, the highlights.

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