42nd Cambridge Folk Festival


Photocredit: Neil KingSaturday starts traditionally enough with breakfast at the Unicorn. It's then time to trek to the site.
Initially I head for the backstage for the Club Tent ready for the first workshop of the day, its whistles today and the master class is being delivered by Liam Kelly of Dervish.
I finish of Friday's write up, clear down the twice backed up cards, put on this years FATEA t-shirt and Saturday is go.
There's a small, but enthusiastic audience waiting for Liam. They are of different abilities, but when Liam calls for a tune one member of the audience starts it off and then they all join in.
It's easy to join in a workshop when you know what you're doing, but if you're unsure of your ability then it requires real bottle.
After working through a couple of numbers to warm up, Liam starts doing work on technique, flourishes and the like. Not having a set of whistles and/or flutes to hand and possessing next to zero music ability, I take my cue to leave and set off in search of the FATEA crew.
Just as I'm about to leave the organisers for Acoustic Routes, who are running the first Club Tent Session, make an appearance. I take the chance to note down the times of the acts that are appearing later. The crew will be covering some of it, the question simply one of quantity and available time.
Photocredit: Neil KingThe team start to gather and the site is really starting to gather pace. It's going to be a scorcher so liquids and suncream are very much the order of the day.
The dog tags being given away by the Co-op have rapidly become one of the must haves of the festival. If you were unlucky enough not to get a set don't worry we've got ten sets to give away in one of our competitions.
Apparently there was a fainting incident that had delayed the start of Amadou and Miriam last night with someone having to be helped out over the front. It was prompting warnings about taking onboard liquids and making sure you'ld slapped the sun block on
First up on Stage One today is Julie Fowlis, who appeared last year with her band Dochas on the Club Tent stage.
Like a lot of acts that play at Cambridge, the band has got a bit bigger than usual. Julie's unexpectedly includes John McCusker on fiddle.
Julie reels of a combination of songs and tunes drawing on Scots and Irish heritage, mixed in with some contemporary numbers.
As well as being a top draw singer, Julie knows her way around a whistle.
Most members of the band get their own solo in during the set.
I head off to catch my first stint of the Festival Session.
Norrie MacIver is the first musician that I catch, though it's only his last number. He's doing a vocal only piece, absolutely fantastic voice. Hopefully we'll be hearing more of him around and about.