Thursday, 29 August 2013

FolkEast - Saturday 24/8/2013, Review

Now I say this is a review of the Saturday at this year's FolkEast festival, but truth be told, I was only there from about six o'clock onwards, but I will review what I can from what I saw.

Firstly, the location, Glemham Hall, was a perfect setting for the festival. With the large house overlooking the site, and small coloured lights amongst the dotted trees, it looked incredible in the darkened light.

So, Monster Ceilidh Band (main stage) were the first people I saw when I arrived. I have to admit that, before the festival, I had never really listened to them, but I really enjoyed them all the same (and have listened to them quite a lot since). They really got the crowd going considering there really weren't that many people there, and their catchy tunes got a few dancing as well.
At risk of this sounding like a story, we then went in search of food, and had a rather good pizza. The food section of FolkEast really was great, as I later had a fantastic crepe, but anyway, back to the music.

Next up, I saw Sam Lee & Friends (broad roots stage), though unfortunately I only caught two songs. From what I saw though, Sam Lee has an incredibly strong voice live, and the arrangements amongst the instruments were hypnotising.

We then headed up to the main stage to see the Wayward Band. This was what I had been looking forward to out of the whole weekend lineup. We arrived a few minutes early in time for the sound check and to witness Sam Sweeney singing a few verses of 'The Voice' which was fantastic and got cheers from the audience even before the show had begun. As they began, a thick mist descended on the Glemham Estate, making the whole show even more exciting and memorable. And when they did begin, they didn't disappoint. They started with two songs sung by Jim Moray, and then invited on Eliza Carthy to sing the rest of the songs (if my memory serves me correctly). They played just about an hour, including favourites, 'Mr Walker', 'Gallant Hussar' and 'Willow Tree'. The whole band are excellent musicians, making everything they do look easy but sounding incredible. Once they had  finished, cries of 'encore' were heard from the crowd and everyone wanted more. Clapping and cheering went on for ages until people sadly realised that they weren't coming back - this was the last gig of the Wayward Tour - and I was so glad that I was there to see it.

I then went to see Spiro, with a cup of tea in hand, and enjoyed their beautifully complicated tunes for a little while until The Dhol Foundation were due to come on. Like Monster Ceilidh Band, I had never listened to TDF before, but I knew that they would be good from articles that I have read and the fact that they were headlining! And what a show it was, they really were amazing. Everyone was dancing and at least attempting to sing along, shouting out whatever we were told to and jumping around. Seeing as I had never listened to them before, I couldn't tell you what they played, but I can say that it was very good indeed. Half way through the set, Eliza Carthy and Jim Moray were invited back on stage to sing a song with TDF, which everyone was delighted by, as they hadn't played for extremely long with the Wayward Band. This was amazing, we then all sang Happy Birthday to Eliza Carthy as it had very recently been her birthday, and they play some more 'dancy' tunes. They really were incredible - I'd definitely see them again if given the chance.

Acts that I would love to have seen if I had been there earlier or on a different day would have been: Spiers & Boden, John Ward & Mario Price, Sam Carter & The Big Sky Choir, Ahab and The Young'Uns.

Anyway, it was a fantastic festival, definitely living up to last year.
Monster Ceilidh Band
Sam Lee & Friends
Wayward Band - Eliza Carthy & Saul Rose
Wayward Band - Jim Moray & Eliza Carthy

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