Many regular readers of Fatea will know of my love and affection for Cambridge Folk Festival for over twenty one years now I've been covering the festival. I'm told that the Fatea Cambridge Folk Festival website is the oldest continually updated festival site going and that I've written more words on the festival than any other person, both statements may or may not be correct, but feel about right.
During my years at Cambridge I've moved from being predominantly a writer that took the occasional picture to illustrate a picture in the paper version to a writer/photographer providing far more images for a more intensive media, the internet. For two years, I curated a gallery of images from many of my fellow photographers, nicknamed the pit ponies, in the backstage bar next to the mainstage.
One of the photographers, that occasionally photographed for Fatea and who is a mainstay of the pit ponies, is Nick Elliott and whilst many of the photographers in the pit were focusing (sic) on capturing the spirit of the gig, Nick was eyeing up the sets with the eye of an artist.
"A Decade In Images" looks at the Cambridge Folk Festival through Nick Elliott's lens and covers the years, 2000-2010, well not quite, unfortunately illness took Nick out of the 2002 event, so it becomes a lost year in the book, but that's not a here nor there as what matters in this book is not the date but the images and the images are stunning.
One of the biggest surprises as you work your way through the book is the choice of subject, there are actually comparatively few headliners covered in the book, the important thing with a book like this is the image and quite often it's lesser known names that provide the really interesting characters and become the people that provide the most visually powerful photographs and that's what get's captured by Nick.
Similarly it's not always the performance that makes the shot. One of my favourite shots in the whole book is Richard Hawley making an adjustment to his guitar pedal. He's got his rockabilly guitar in hand, the winklepickers are on and it's a picture of one perfectionist shot by another, two artists all about getting it absolutely right.
"A Decade In Images" makes you look at the performers in a different way. In some ways, it finds the person behind the performance. This is photography as an artform combined with music as a passion, a potent combination indeed.
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