42nd Cambridge Folk Festival

Fran Smith's Cambridge

Hello - right here's a post to make everyone who wasn't at Cambridge this weekend really jealous, isn't that nice of me?!
Had the most fantastic time - so fantastic that I know I'm going to run out of superlatives during the course of this blog. Particular highlights of the weekend were:
Cara Dillon - who I have wanted to see live for ages! "There Were Roses" was particularly moving, she sang it so beautifully. She's just so in control of every single note when she sings, it's really inspiring to watch.
Van Eyken - promised Tim I'd go along and see him, and I LOVED it! Every band member is brilliant, it's all English trad but sounds so new and different and exciting, but I couldn't really work out why... It's just great!
Seth Lakeman - ah... those arms! yum. I've seen him live twice now and every time he grows on me. Kitty Jay always seems to be the highlight though - how he sings so strongly and beautifully whilst fiddling like that is beyond me! Got a bit snap-happy with my camera... don't know why... hmm...
Salsa Celtica with Eliza Carthy - They were great on the Saturday and then we went back on the Sunday night to watch them end the festival - and what a finisher! We went a bit mad. Eliza's so fab, she just throws herself into everything she does and enjoys herself, there's nothing self-concious there at all. So she was dancing as crazily as the rest of us, and looked gorgeous.
Jim Causley - brilliant as ever, as was my buddy James Dumbleton - fabulous rendition of "I Mustn't Forget", the children's assembly song, which scarily we all knew the words to!! Though I told Jim off for going on stage with beer spilt all down his shorts.
BUT the three best bits of the weekend were EMMYLOU HARRIS - so beautiful in every way, I could've listened to her all night, she is one of my favourite singers ever ever ever - RICHARD THOMPSON - amazing guitar, voice, songwriting, sense of humour: what more could we ask for?! - and TEDDY THOMPSON - lovely lovely lovely scrummy ginger man who sang Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" and made me fall in love with him just a little bit...
I got to meet Daddy Thompson too, he told me he liked my eyeshadow and I asked him to come on the folk degree, which he said 'maybe' to. (He was due to come and visit us in February but backed out for some reason, so I thought he needed remining!) Was very charming and polite. (Is he also a bit good-looking for a man his age...??)
Also met surprise guest Roddy Woomble in the MOJO signing tent, who I thought would be charmin but in fact came across as a bit "starry" and sullen with everyone, though very polite. Although maybe he was just embarrassed. Still, my friend has had a HUGE crush on him for years and had seen him in concert on the Thursday in Leeds, so thought I'd bite the bullet for her sake and I asked him to say hi to her on the phone so she could tell him how much she'd enjoyed it, and he sweetly obliged... it made her whole year! So he must be a nice guy really. I'm sure I'll be buying the album too, at some point.
But despite meeting these two famous gentlemen (and managing to remain fairly cool, I thought - by my standards, anyway), when I ran into a certain Ms Rusby, whom I have spoken to now on a couple of occasions, including in the local supermarket and in Meadowhall (!), and who is always lovely to me, I still was shaking like a leaf. WHY??? She's nice and friendly and totally un-famous-person-like. But I get SO star-struck... I'm very uncool!!
Maybe it's cos I know that had I not got into her music, I wouldn't have got into folk music at all, and wouldn't now be so determined that I TOO WILL PLAY CAMBRIDGE FOLK FEST ONE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Work at eight in morning - need my bed now. Yawn... only five more days of work and I can start thinking about my next festival - EDINBURGER here I come!!!!!!!!
This article has been taken with permission from Fran's Blog. More on Fran Smith and her music can be found here