Thursday, November 19, 2009

Top Tracks # 7 Chris Wood – The Cottager’s Reply

Regular readers will know of my folk fetish, so this week’s top track pays homage to one of the best folk artists around, Chris Wood. Part of The Imagined Village collective (a truly unique multi-cultural folk supergroup that’s given the whole genre a nice kick up the arse) Chris is the reigning Folk Singer of the Year (he defeated Eliza Carthy in the third round after a cracking left hook) and recipient of Folk Album of the Year to boot.

Folk’s been (in my eyes and ears at least) enjoying a well deserved upturn in popularity over the last decade or so, helped no doubt by ‘sexy’ Seth Lakeman as well as groups like The Unthanks (hubba hubba…I’m sorry …I have a thing for clogs) and the aforementioned Imagined Village. Birmingham’s very own ‘Moseley Folk Festival’ has showcased some of the very best in ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ folk and their Lunar Society seem to be putting on some stonkingly good shows at the moment (I’ve added them to the Promoters list to the left). I missed the bonkers but quite brilliant Beth Jeans Houghton (she found my silly ‘tache most amusing at this years Folk Festival) the other week, but have firmly pencilled in the next big Moseley Folk presentation which is, by a happy co-incidence, none other than Chris Wood.

With a voice as warm as Christmas punch and a set of songs that respects folk’s past but still manages to keep one foot firmly in the present, if you’ve not seen him before you’re in for a treat. Actually make that a double treat as this is his very first tour with his own band (featuring several fellow Imagined Villagers). Of all his songs the track I’ve chosen here is the one that moves me the most. I won’t spoil it for you by wittering on about its subject matter (whether you’re a fan of folk or not, give it a listen) but it neatly sums up the very best and worst of contemporary Britain (it gets bonus points for featuring the best use of the letter ‘f’ since The Who’s 'My Generation' too). Enjoy.

Chris Wood’s Handmade Life plays Moseley All Services Club on Friday 4th December 2009. Tickets available (I’d be surprised if it didn’t sell out, so get in sharpish) from

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