This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
PICKIN’ & GRINNIN’ Billy Bragg


unscheduled sessions. Baby safely abandoned,


Cambridge Folk Festival 2012 July 26-29, 2012 The last time I attended Cambridge


Folk Festival, I was young, free and (well not quite) single, or at least I was part of a couple in a small tent with no agenda other than to drink, watch folk and stay up all night. This year, six-months pregnant and with a one-year-old in tow (yes, you heard correctly), things were a little different. Suddenly all the family-friendly things I had never noticed before became hugely on my radar and #CFF12—as it was known on Twitter— became organised for me into a series of places I could easily take a baby. Thank heavens then, for The Hub. Nestled behind the main thrust and in the area around Cherry Hinton Hall, it contained music and dance workshops, a large and mercifully often quiet café area and a few areas to see really good music away from the hustle and bustle, because sometimes you just need to let your ears rest. In The Den (the emerging talent


tent) we saw a young boy (I wish I had remembered his name) who sang so hard from his heart that he’s surely bound for future stardom; established acts spying an opportunity for a willing and laid-back crowd in the atmospheric Indian tent, and some very good craic. Similarly, the Flower Garden was a great and relaxing place to see musicians put on some


22 Maverick


I snuck off to watch my hero Billy Bragg on Thursday’s opening night paying tribute to his hero, Woody Guthrie: ‘Neither of us are real musicians,’ he quipped. The Thursday night gigs are always the nicest at Cambridge. It’s a bit quieter for one, and the people who attend are usually die-hard fans or dedicated folkies, and there’s always a lovely just-arrived atmosphere. Billy didn’t disappoint, telling the crowd he’d barred Sky Arts, whom are the official broadcaster for such events, from filming the gig, which made it all the more special. Even by Thursday night, the heat was raging and beer had been consumed at a rate of knots. The sunset was as pink as the faces of the revellers and it looked like the festival was going to start with a sizzle, and it did. The heat persisted throughout the


weekend, at times becoming a little oppressive (thank heavens for the guest bar and copious amounts of ice-cream) but it did little to dampen anyone’s mood (except maybe my pregnant, achy one). There were new camping arrangements this year, which caused a few traffic jams on the way in but once everyone got used to it (us folkies don’t like change) it seemed to work well. Sunday afternoon the heavens


opened, but by then, nobody cared as the festival had seen its fair share of highs. One of the surprising highlights was Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow in the Club Tent, finishing off an amazing year for the duo and cementing their niche as the scene’s foremost lesbian troubadours. Nic Jones’ return to the stage was emotional and iconic, earning him more love than he’ll ever need and Kan and Lau provided the festival’s quota of high-octane instrumentals. The Unthanks were in attendance, so all was right with the world, teaming up with the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band to launch their latest collaborative disc and reinventing some old Unthanks’ classics, closing with their own Floral Dance. The Saturday night closers came in the form of the ever-likeable Proclaimers, who were enthusiastically received but went


through the motions a bit. Elsewhere, the divine June Tabor


delivered marvellously her set of old and new, accompanied by Oysterband and rocking an inspired cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart. Irish singer, James Vincent McMorrow followed—though, usually an engaging and haunting performer—didn’t measure up to June Tabor or even the mighty, mighty John Prine, who followed, despite a huge rush of people off to watch the Olympic opening ceremony. One of the best things about this lovely festival is that artists rarely come, play once and then jet off again. There’s usually a chance to see your favourites more than once and you can always catch a surprise here or there, such as Green Wing actor, Stephen Mangan in the Flower Garden with Martin Simpson. Cambridge manages to juggle its reputation as one of Europe’s finest folk festivals with being friendly, family- oriented and ludicrously well organised. It succeeded this year and long may it continue. Hazel Davis


The Unthanks. All photos ©Charles Sturman


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com