Call me Russ L

Moseley Folk Festival 2008 (the Sunday, that is)

Posted in Music by Russ L on 9 November, 2008

(This post is another part of the filling-in-the-blanks exercise from my account of the last three months).

Sunday the 31st of August was the third and last day of both the 2008 Moseley Folk Festival and my end-of-August gig weekend (detailed here, amongst a load of other nonsense). I was going to go through every act we saw, but lord o’ mercy it was ages ago. I’ll instead just give mention to the bits that stood out the most:

The Good

~ The whole thing felt lovely. It really did, just as it did the previous two years. ‘Lovely’, of course, is one of my favourite things for anything to be. Moseley Park is gorgeous, but there’s more to it than that. There’s just a really nice atmosphere hanging over the whole thing.
~ Ian Campbell and Sons played the best set of the day; nay, best set of the last few months. In my ignorance I wasn’t really aware of him before (I think I’d vaguely heard that the father of those UB40 types was a folk singer, somewhere in the dim and distant past, but never really thought much of it) and I’m now particularly sad about that, given that the programme states this was his last ever gig (I didn’t hear him actually say that, though). A mix of English, Scottish and Irish folk songs, I particularly loved “My Father Knew The Man Who Played The Pipes For Padraig Pearse” (rebel history and mockery of pub bores all in one song, you can’t lose) and even more so “The Old Man’s Tale” (a song made out of the history of the first half of the twentieth century as told to Ian by an old fella in a home in the early 60s). Amazing, amazing stuff, and I think perhaps the second best live set of the year so far (after Bjork). It’s a shame his sons spend so much time faffing about with that reggae-version-of-Status-Quo nonsense rather than this.
~ Tyburn Jig’s pirate stories are always massive amounts of fun. They’re the same stories every year, of course (well… there are minor changes, if I remember rightly) but I’ll still always make sure I see them at Mizoke Fizolk.
~ Rachel Unthank And The Winterset played an absolutely gorgeous set of traditional and new material. I definitely prefer the Unthank sister (not sure which is which) who sings in her own North-East accent to the one who sings in that generic slightly-Celtic lady-folk voice, though.
~ John Tams & Barry Coope did a smooth-as-butter Simon & Garfunkle-esque type of thing, and sounded divine.
~ Seth Lakeman was in great form from the few songs we heard. We had to leave, though. Falling asleep during his set would not have been a good look, even if it was a result of genuine tiredness.
~ Waterson:Carthy were great, predictably, but Norma was especially endearing. She’d been at the gin again, I think.
~ Chris TT seemed really interesting, from the brief bit we heard of him (those aforementioned pirate stories got in the way). Very Billy Bragg-ish (even if he did have one lyric that seemed to express disapproval of Double-B), with that strong-lyrics-and-strident-solo-electric-guitar thing going on.

The Bad

~ The Weather: It was raining for a fair bit of the day, and outdoor events aren’t quite as good when it’s raining.
~ The bar seems to have taken a step backwards. The first year they kept running out of beer, which is obviously a feeble thing for a bar to do. Last year they seemed to everything sorted, with a nice wide selection of ales in plentiful supply. They didn’t run out this year (on the Sunday we were there, at least), but the partnership with Purity seemed to ensure that there was a far narrower selection of things to try.
~ Aching. Aching is bad. When you’re tired. And aching.
~ Scott Matthews has his moments but for crying out loud get on with it.
~ The Destroyers played on the Saturday. That’s not a bad thing in itself, obviously – the problem lies purely in the fact that they weren’t playing on the day I was there. Right up to that very morning I was hoping that something would happen to make them have to change days.

The Ugly

~ The toilets got pretty epically foul. Ye Gods.


I’m quite surprised that there hasn’t been a collective memory post anywhere for this, but here are a few links for further reading:

~ The festival’s own guestbook.

~ The Hearing Aid’s review in parts one and two.

~ E-Festivals review in parts one, two and three.

~ Pete Ashton Y’all Pete Ashton’s notes.

~ BSAG’s thoughts.



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