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Cambridge Folk Festival

AndyG 02 Aug 99 - 05:34 AM
AndyG 02 Aug 99 - 06:51 AM
danl 03 Aug 99 - 03:16 PM
AndyG 04 Aug 99 - 04:32 AM
danl 09 Aug 99 - 04:12 PM
Jane Bird 10 Aug 99 - 05:13 AM
GeorgeH 10 Aug 99 - 12:48 PM
Jane Bird 12 Aug 99 - 08:48 AM
GeorgeH 13 Aug 99 - 06:52 AM
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Subject: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: AndyG
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 05:34 AM

I'm not much into reviews and such but I just spent the weekend at the Cambridge festival and I have to say,

Oh! You lucky Canadians.

Barachois - WOW! they were just excellent entertainment and I envy anyone who isn't separated from their performance by a major ocean.

Stunning.

Other hightlights:
Eric Bibb
Kate Rusby (sigh)
The John Tams Band
(During their final number the entire Main Stage One PA failed, John Tams & Barry Coope came to the front of the stage and sang, unaccompanied and without PA, Rolling Home with 4000+ people in the chorus. Brilliant.)

Follow this link for reviews.

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: AndyG
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 06:51 AM

I missed out this link,
Barachois.
I've done with the promoting now.

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: danl
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 03:16 PM

andy, im so jelous!i really wanted to go but ran out of funds. seems like a missed a really good weekend though. (sigh!) incidently, when did you say you were at the portland arms? im in cambridge for the next month and some friends and i have been meaning to go along for ages and have finally decided to actually get round to doing it! some advice on a good night would be greatly appreciated... ivy b.


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: AndyG
Date: 04 Aug 99 - 04:32 AM

Ivy,
Mayflower FC - Tuesdays 20:30 onwards.
10th - showcase night - first half from the floor second half by local singer Andy Wall
17th - Guest night - Thought Gang (local band made good)
24th - Singers night
31st - Guest night - The Flattheads - Bluegrass band

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: danl
Date: 09 Aug 99 - 04:12 PM

sorry so long in replying! a very busy week exploded at me. thanks for the above, we'll try and get along to something as soon as possible

ivy b


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: Jane Bird
Date: 10 Aug 99 - 05:13 AM

Re: John Tams Band at Cambridge and PA failure.

I can beat that. I saw the John Tams Band at Sidmouth a few days later (on 5th August, in fact). They were terrific! They told us about the PA breaking down at Cambridge, in pitch blackness, becuse the generator powering the lights had conked out. It kept coming back on again for an instant, but most of the time it was out. So, until they could get an emergency light on, the stage was light by a couple of people holding hand torches (Maglights, to be precise)!

To cap it all, the concert was being recorded to be broadcast on BBC Radio 2. I'm not sure how much of it they'll be able to use, because every now and then the audience suddenly start cheering because the lights have just come back on - but you won't be able to hear the lights, so it might be a bit confusing.

It was an absolutely cracking concert, though. John Tams and Barry Coope have the most gorgeous voices, and the musicianship of the whole band was brillient.


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: GeorgeH
Date: 10 Aug 99 - 12:48 PM

Sorry to disagree, Jane, but I thought the JT Band at Sidmouth were remarkably undistinguished . . certainly the least exciting/least musical band I've seen John in, and a bitter disappointment. And his re-workings of "Lay me low" and "Hold your banners high" were pale shadows of the previous versions. (At least he had the sense not to re-work "Scarcrow"!!). Also - if Cambridge could have "Rolling Home", why was it left out at Sidmouth? As it was the band played a distinctly short set . . .

All credit to them, though, for how they coped with the house light problems . . And we can think ourselves lucky the tent wasn't cleared for safety reasons (believe me, if the "rules" were followed that would have happened).

G.


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: Jane Bird
Date: 12 Aug 99 - 08:48 AM

George,

I haven't heard "Hold Your Banners High" before, except for the version that Grimethorpe Colliery Band recorded, and you can hardly expect the band to be able to do anything simelar to that.

I do, however, know the recording of "Lay Me Low" on the Albion's album Rise Up Like the Sun. The arrangement the band performed at Sidmouth wasn't to vastly different to the recording. The vocal lines can't be replicated without at least half a dozen more singers, like they had on the recording. You're right, the arrangement of the vocal parts, and contrast of the upper and lower parts in different choruses is terrific. But what John Tams and the band did at Sidmouth was perform the song with great passion, and that's what made such a memorable performance for me.

Perhaps you've seen John Tams on better form, on other occasions. I haven't: that was the first time I'd seen him. I didn't think the set was short, either: it certainly didn't end early, did it?

If you didn't much enjoy their set, I hope you prefered Pete Morton's, in the first part of the concert. He's the only person I've ever heard sing "To Be a Farmer's Boy" and make it sound fresh!

Cheers,
Jane


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Subject: RE: Cambridge Folk Festival
From: GeorgeH
Date: 13 Aug 99 - 06:52 AM

Jane bird wrote:

>I haven't heard "Hold Your Banners High" before, except >for the version that Grimethorpe Colliery Band recorded

I have that on the Miner's benefit tape, with a wonderful Tony Benn speech "voice-overed" . . is that the one you're talking about? But I must have at least two other recordings of it (including one by a B Bragg, IIRC).

>and you can hardly expect the band to be able to do >anything simelar to that.

Can't I?? IMO both "Banners" and "Low" were performed far to fast - either to be sung with, or for the meaning of their words, and their mood, to be conveyed. And I didn't find "Low" to have much passion at Sidmouth - so clearly this is down to taste.

>Perhaps you've seen John Tams on better form, on other >occasions.

Well he still has a most magical voice. That's part of why this was SO disappointing. But more especially, every band I've seen him in before - from Muckram Wakes to Home Service - I've been bowled over by the sheer originality of the band. Whereas this was a very competent but otherwise run of the mill Folk Rock outfit.

>it certainly didn't end early, did it?

Yes it did. The audience was leaving by 10.25 - whereas the scheduled finish time was 10.30, and the ACTUAL performance curfew is (I understand) 10.45.

>If you didn't much enjoy their set, I hope you prefered >Pete Morton's, in the first part of the concert. He's the >only person I've ever heard sing "To Be a Farmer's >Boy" and make it sound fresh!

Yes, a wonderful set, with a great mix of humour and more serious stuff. And I totally agree over "Farmer's Boy". Some of his stuff showed the sort of inovative approach I normally expect from Tams. And he went down well with my daughter and her friends (18-22 year olds) who are not usually [except for Martin Simpson] impressed by guys singing Eng. Trad. songs while accompanying themselves on guitar.

G.

Cheers, Jane


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