43rd Cambridge Folk Festival


Sunday starts with a lot of downloading to laptops, battery changes and the other technical bits that allow me to operate through the Festival.
Next is the stop off at the Unicorn. I meet some more of Allan Forshaw's old friends and we celebrate his life.(We are carrying an obituary in our features section)
I reach the site, bump into Martin Simpson preparing for his guitar workshop. As I walk through the site proper, there's surface water about, but the sun and breeze should hopefully help dry it out quickly.
I get backstage of the Club Tent and continue to write up the Saturday. I'm going to have to finish it Monday, because, as you can see, I'm starting on the Sunday.
It's a weekend for records; the audience that are in for Martin Simpson's guitar workshop are the biggest for a Sunday. It's great that even after the excess of the night before and a drenching of the campsites so many have made the effort to be here.
Part way through his workshop, I get to join him on stage. Before you get the impression of me on stage, sat next to Martin acoustic guitar in hand, lose that idea. I pop up on stage, leave a bottle of water by his feet and leave. He nods a thank you and I leave. Andy Warhol talks about fifteen minutes of fame, I get less than ten seconds and not even a round of applause.
Martin dispenses really useful words of wisdom, it's a knowledgeable audience that are keen to learn. At least one recording every word into his mobile phone.
If they all go away empowered by a couple of tips to improve their playing, the early start would be more than worthwhile.
I catch with John Meed, unfortunately I missed his set in the Club Tent yesterday. I'd enjoyed his two albums so it was a shame, but these things happen. It was good of him to come across this morning for a chat.
I wander over to meet Rob, a fellow Black Cat, at Proper Records. I notice that the gully sucker is out getting the worst of the surface water.
I hear the sound of the Archers on the main site PA. It's a Sunday morning tradition, not one that I get into. I've heard tale of a group of punters that add appropriate animal noises whenever one is mentioned, but can't find the mythical group.
Sunday is one of the good days for bargains in the Proper Music Concession. You risk not getting what you want, but there's loads of cds that they don't want to cart back to London with them.
My wife will be pleased that I managed to keep my acquisitions down this year, Proper less so. Following the trawl, through the bargain bins, yes music writers still buy cds, I notice that the hands on the clock have moved relentlessly on.
A combination of Gully sucker and weather are drying the site out nicely as I head back to Mainstage. Alice and I notice that the roof of the pagoda next to the media caravan is full of water, we manage to empty it without getting drenched.
Toots And The Maytals finished off last night in full party mode. Haugaard and Hoirup are there to gradually ease the audience into the day.
They do a good job. They've got a good line in banter and their easy sense of fun relaxes and entertains.
Haugaard and Hoirup are no slouches when it comes to playing. They take the audience of the morning taupe and bring the crowd to life. They gradually increase the tempo of the material. They’re sharp verbally too, a lot of cutting humour for that time on a Sunday morning and in a language that’s not native.
I liked them, but as the old saying goes, worth seeing, not worth going to see. They looked like they enjoyed their visit.