Monday, 2 March 2015

The Mavericks - Birmingham Symphony Hall. Sunday 1st March 2015

Striding onto the stage to the strains of ‘Enjoy Yourself’ by The Specials proved a Freudian entrance for The Mavericks in Birmingham this evening. Nearly two and a half hours later, the Symphony Hall had just witnessed a special performance and it would be nigh on impossible to find anyone who didn’t enjoy themselves. The band’s soiree at the top table of country music may have been twenty years ago but, led by the ever impressive Raul Malo, there are still plenty of tricks up the sleeve to teach the modern era about the class and style to inject into the genre.

The Mavericks circa 2015 adopt a seamless twin headed approach to their live shows with a front three of Eddie Perez (lead guitar), Jerry Dale McFadden (keyboards) and Malo himself excelling on guitar alongside his stunning tenor vocals. In the absence of the now departed original bassist Robert Reynolds, the backbone of the band is a five piece featuring the horn pairing of trumpet and saxophone, accordion and a rhythm section of drums and double bass. In unison they put together a blistering set of scintillating music drawing on a heady mix of country, Latino, rock n’ roll, retro pop and even a hint of Ska. It was a night of few words from Malo as the band soared through a near thirty-song set highlighting their exceptional recording skills either side of a lengthy hiatus.

Choosing to open the proceedings with their most well-known song ‘Dance the Night Away’, a UK No.4 chart hit in its day, may have proved intriguing to some observers but this song is far from their best and maybe it was a way of saying ‘here’s the hit, now wait for the real stuff’. One of the most impressive features of The Mavericks decision to reform  in 2012 after an eight year break is that the two new recordings since have raised the bar of their back catalogue excellence. This latest tour is named after the most recent record MONO and this album was almost played in its entirety including reeling off half a dozen tracks in succession after the opening number. Among the highlights of this record, which should grow in momentum during the year, were ‘All Night Long’, ‘Out the Door’ and ‘Pardon Me’. The latter was a symbolic moment highlighting the band’s diversity as it was played when the horn section had a breather and Malo immediately switched into country mode.

The highest compliment to pay to this record is that it even provided the evening finale with an entire Symphony Hall on their feet dancing to one of its leading tracks, ‘(Waiting For) The World to End’. The album IN TIME saw The Mavericks bounce back onto the music scene three years ago and a fair few numbers from it enhanced the set list led by ‘Back in Your Arms Again’, ‘All Over Again’ and ‘Dance in the Moonlight’. Of course it was not just all about the contemporary Mavericks as old favourites like ‘Because of You’, ‘There Goes My Heart’ and the foot stomping pre-encore finale of ‘All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down’ all helped create a feel good wave of nostalgia and magnificence around a venue, as usually tuned to its sonic best.

A three hour extravaganza of music had begun on the stroke of 7:30 with a support slot from London based band Hidden Charm. With a refrain from subtlety, the four piece combo comprising of three guitars, occasional keyboards and percussion unashamedly dealt a slice of 60’s inspired Brit Pop/Rock which was rapturously received by the early arrivals. As an opening act they certainly hit the right mark with a rising of the intensity straight from the first note.

During the Mavericks hiatus, Raul Malo had developed his own solo career with numerous Birmingham appearances but he limited himself to just a singular moment in the spotlight this evening with a crooning version of ‘Mona Lisa’. As much of a star as Raul is, this show was all about the unity of one great band and how they demonstrated the ultimate value in the combined efforts of a well-oiled slick high class machine. On the first day of March, the renewal of The Mavericks as a significant force in the world of American roots music set down a marker for all 2015 gigs to follow.


Friday, 27 February 2015

Lindsay Ell + Sasha McVeigh - O2 Academy 3, Birmingham Thursday 26th February 2015

Lindsay Ell was born to play guitar, has been schooled at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and received considerable praise from across a wide spectrum of the industry for her playing skills. Observing Lindsay at close quarters reveals an artist engrossed in her craft and totally dedicated to presenting a gifted talent to an appreciative audience. Yet there was something missing from this seventy minute performance which left you scratching your head in puzzlement as to who Lindsay Ell is and where her music heading.

There was no denying her love of classic blues rock and when commissioning a full frontal attack on this style with guitar wielding sidekick Brian Smith then you felt Lindsay hit her comfort zone and perhaps found her true mission. However this was too often punctuated by a bland attempt to mix in lacklustre pop which lacked soul, impact and ultimate belief. In contrast to Lindsay last playing to a packed Institute venue in Birmingham when opening for The Band Perry in 2013, this time her headline tour limped into a sparsely populated O2 Academy, thus possibly aligning with the dearth of recorded material found within her digital profile.

Lindsay did conclude her set, which surprisingly did not feature the ubiquitous encore, by referring to copies of a newly recorded EP for sale, but how much beneficial would it have been to attach a tour to a record to aid promotion. Despite being signed to Stoney Creek Records and filtering a couple of videos to the online community, the road to a full length record appears slow. Further investigation into Lindsay’s past reveals details of indie recordings and surely an artist finding her feet in the mainstream world should be steadily compiling a recording catalogue to back other areas of promotion.

Amongst the songs that did contribute to her set were the well-received single ‘Shut Me Up’ and the excellent ‘Don’t Take Me Home’. Also there were a couple of impressive solo numbers that formed part of the segment when her two band partners briefly left the stage in ‘Criminal’ and ‘Not Another Me’. In the performance of these, and the Stevie Nicks/Dixie Chicks standard ‘Landslide’, we got a brief glimpse into who Lindsay is and her upbringing in Alberta, Canada. However these moments of artist-reviewer connection were rare and probably culminating in the ultimate conclusion of a performer not quite matching their unquestionable talent with a rounded and thoroughly engaging live music experience.

On the other hand, opening for Lindsay on this tour is a vivacious and bubbly English singer-songwriter in Sasha McVeigh who is totally focussed on making waves in the music world and knows exactly where she is heading. Presently this is a lot higher profile in the US where she rubs shoulders with the Nashville elite via slots on leading stateside events. Recording wise, Sasha proudly hawks around her highly appealing six-track EP and her debut full length record is merely weeks away, all done on a limited and independent budget. Sasha primarily filled her thirty minute set with self-penned tracks highlighted by ‘No Strings Attached Romance’, ‘I Should Have Realised’ and ‘Someone to Break My Heart’. Although her cover of Zac Brown’s ‘Chicken Fried’ had great merit, there is a school of thought suggesting the theory of confining such a limited time to original material. However Sasha is keen to develop as an entertainer and probably sees this as a useful tool in embracing customer preferences.

With Sasha returning to Birmingham in April as part of an eagerly awaited co-headline tour with Sonia Leigh, her short term career development is likely to be very much observed close at hand and it is hoped that she manages to evolve in a way as to differentiate a little from the quagmire of country pop that is growing in this country. Of equal curiosity is where the talents of Lindsay Ell finally find a home to enable a curated blossoming and end the limbo status that is perceived at the moment as evidenced in this exposure to her.

www.sashamcveighmusic.com

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www.lindsayell.com




Sunday, 22 February 2015

Asleep at the Wheel + Friends - Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys : Proper Records

No educational lesson in the history and roots of country music is complete without a trip down Texas way and getting acquainted with the work of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. After rising out of the Lone Star State’s dance halls in the 30s and 40s to hit the heights of its commercial appeal, western swing continues to ooze with timeless class with the two main artists charging themselves with leading the preservation stakes today being Asleep at the Wheel and Hot Club of Cowtown. Ray Benson of the former has been active in this role for over forty years and decided the time was right to give the genre extra vigour by engaging in a liaison with over twenty established artists to produce the latest tribute to the music of Bob Wills.

The result is a total re-affirmation that Bob Wills is STILL THE KING, a compilation of excellent recordings that succeed in breathing contemporary life into a style etched into history. The format is quite a simple one with Ray and his band accompanying a steady continual stream of ‘A’ list performers adding their own panache to a classic tune. The contributors span the wide genre of 2015 country music from the mainstream strands of George Strait and Brad Paisley through to the pure Americana of Buddy Miller and the Avett Brothers. Throw some iconic Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett into the mix with the sass of Elizabeth Cook and the elegance of Carrie Rodriguez and you are still not yet close to getting to grips with the magnitude of talent enlisted for this mammoth project.

In total, 21 Bob Wills tracks have been covered with the album being brought to a fitting finale with a 22nd track and a version of Waylon Jennings’ own tribute ‘Bob Wills is Still the King’, sung appropriately by his son, Shooter alongside Randy Rogers and Reckless Kelly. This neatly concludes a special collection, opened 71 minutes earlier by an intro courtesy of the Texas Playboys Theme followed by an immortal quote from Bob himself proclaiming the genre will be built again by the young. Another positive to draw from this release is the attention it may attract from fans of the contributors who aren’t familiar with western swing. It was of no surprise to see The Time Jumpers feature and it’s a good time to remind folks of their exceptional collaboration with Miranda Lambert on one of the stronger but less focussed tracks from PLATINUM.

The wonderful combination of pedal steel, fiddle, piano, double bass and assorted guitars go a lengthy way in capturing the effervescent sound of western swing and Asleep at the Wheel are maestros in achieving this. Another fabulous feature of the presentation of these songs is the frequent interjection by Ray Benson, in addition to his formal duets, often bringing in or mentioning the other vocalists and ensuring a seamless thread of outstanding interpretations. There is immense pure listening enjoyment to be gained from activating this album and a suitable starting point has to be gazing at the guest list detailed below.

Western music is often too easily and wrongly dismissed by modern country fans, so a combined mission has to be to ensure these people get an opportunity to rectify their errors. To aid such a process STILL THE KING is a gift wrapped project from heaven and achieves its goal of raising the profile of western swing music in 2015. Long live Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel in their career mission along with other fine practitioners of one of country music’s most fascinating and entertaining sub-genres. Oh and by the way, Bob Wills is still the king of western swing as you might have gathered. 

www.asleepatthewheel.com

Track Listing

1. Intro: Texas Playboy Theme (with Leon Rausch)
2. I Hear Ya Talkin (with Amos Lee)
3. The Girl I Left Behind Me (with The Avett Brothers)
4. Trouble in Mind Me (with Lyle Lovett)
5. Keeper of My Heart (with Merle Haggard and Emily Gimble)
6. I Can t Give You Anything but Love (with Kat Edmonson and Ray Benson)
7. Tiger Rag (with Old Crow Medicine Show)
8. What s the Matter (with the Mill with Pokey LaFarge)
9. Navajo Trail (with Willie Nelson and The Quebe Sisters)
10. Silver Dew on the Bluegrass Tonight (with The Del McCoury Band)
11. Faded Love (with The Time Jumpers)
12. South of the Border; Down Mexico Way (with George Strait)
13. I Had Someone Else Before I Had You (with Elizabeth Cook)
14. My Window Faces The South (with Brad Paisley)
15. Time Changes Everything (with Buddy Miller)
16. A Good Man is Hard to Find (with Carrie Rodriguez and Emily Gimble)
17. Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas (with Robert Earl Keen and Ray Benson)
18. Brain Cloudy Blues (with Jamey Johnson and Ray Benson)
19. Bubbles in My Beer (with The Devil Makes Three)
20. It s All Your Fault (with Katie Shore)
21. Twin Guitar Special (with Tommy Emmanuel, Brent Mason, Billy Briggs)
22. Bob Wills is Still the King (with Shooter Jennings, Randy Rogers and Reckless Kelly)

Friday, 20 February 2015

Cameron Blake - Alone on the World Stage :Self Released

Pull up a chair, pour a drink and shelve all other tasks for a couple of hours. This will get you set to dive headfirst into the poetic world of Cameron Blake where the music plays second fiddle to the words and long term applicants only need apply. If you instantly reject this record then it’s best to stay away, however if you hang in there, tune into the mono sonic vibes and grapple with the lyrical content, rich pickings are to be found. ALONE ON THE WORLD STAGE is a title which perfectly sums up Cameron’s approach to his art and his craving to take a very individualistic approach to the storytelling song genre.

Grand Rapids, Michigan is the home of the now settled family man and he uses this base to span his writing from the intensely personal, politically regional to wider global issues. Alternative perspectives are a key driver for Cameron’s writing and a vital accompaniment for coming to grips with his literary messages was an informed song analysis piece on his website. Perhaps reading this before tackling the music is the way forward as elements of intrigue certainly leap from your screen as you gather this information. Once feeling informed about the implicit, explicit and abstract, the puzzle begins to emerge from its fragmented pieces.

Cameron, in the tradition of the protest genre, has numerous key issues in his sights as he tackles the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in ‘Rise and Shine’, and more closer to home causes in ‘North Dakota Oil’ and ‘Detroit’. The first and last of this trio are the closest he gets to surpassing the message with musical effect with the former labelled with chorus intent. The two home causes reflect Cameron’s alternative lyrical approach as ‘Detroit’ is focussed on recession victims, while the state of North Dakota gets personified in its critique. Also on Cameron’s social justice mission are the issues raised in ‘Welfare Street’ such as disabled workers and dishonest politicians. 

Dedication to his unborn daughter in ‘Ultrasound’ shows the tender side of Cameron’s work which is equally as creative in taking obscure external observations and moulding them into songs. This has proved the evolution process of the curious ‘Home Movie’, ‘Fireman Snowman’ and ‘Wild Blue Garden’, all quite vivid accounts once understood. However like all twelve tracks that form this album, it is a case of one man versus his subject armed only with a guitar, occasional piano and a bunch of words. This is a format long the staple of the solo folk protest singer-songwriter and Cameron slips extremely comfortable into this role.

ALONE ON THE WORLD STAGE is a lyrical beast which gains in momentum with each listen, providing the circumstances and mood are right. Experience of other mono driven song writers such as Nick Drake, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen will help with understanding Cameron Blake, and accessing his inner thoughts via the songs on this album reveal an artist with masses of interesting ideas and perceptions to share. Perseverance is the key to unlock this piece of work and enjoy its treasures. 



Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Decemberists - Institute, Birmingham Wednesday 18th February 2015

First and foremost The Decemberists are a top class and polished band, packed with fine musicians and playing attractive songs to adoring audiences. They have a wide ranging appeal and a charismatic frontman capable of harnessing adulation. Commercial success has been forthcoming and many who attended this sell out gig in Birmingham Institute’s premier hall would have headed home with their fan status enhanced. The new album, which broke the band’s longest barren recording spell of four years, is a decent buy with many tunes that attract several repeat listens. Yet there was something missing on a personal basis which will prevent this gig getting close to the end of year top 20.

Much debate preceded the decision to attend this gig as it was a definite nudge into the mainstream and far more to the crowded centre than a majority of the eighty plus shows attended each year. However The Decemberists cross my path on numerous occasions as an influential US band flirting with a folk and Americana agenda and have certainly warranted this level of advanced scrutiny. Perhaps it goes with the territory of operating within the circles of major labels and well populated secured fan bases, but there was a safe, conservative and predictable aura to the show. Ultimately there was a bypass in radiated connection and an omission of lower case soul which left the show a little short.

Maybe there was a little too much expectation for the band to live up to my roots agenda and even sporadic appearances of double bass, banjo and pedal steel had only a minimal effect. What was exceptional and most impressive about the show was the contribution of Jenny Conlee with almost all the musical highlights coming from her wonderful keyboard playing, accordion and brief excursion on heavy percussion. In contrast, while band leader Colin Meloy did little wrong, there was an almost continual chant-like feel to his vocals which resulted in an ebbing away of any belief in him as a performer. Of course this was in contradiction to the response from the audience which further questioned the decision to attend, although satisfying a curiosity at first hand never renders attending a gig worthless.

As you would expect from a show lasting two hours and containing 19 songs, considerable focus was on the new album and pleasure was derived from listening to songs such as ‘Cavalry Captain’, ‘Philomena’ and ‘Carolina Low’ live. In fact right across the evening there was not a moment where any track allowed you drift even if there was a continual search for what could make this band special. What thoughts did cross the mind was a similarity to several bands over the last few years making it in a big way on both sides of the Atlantic with magnificent credentials but getting a mixed reaction in effect.

There is no hesitation in recommending getting a hold of WHAT A TERRIBLE WORLD, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WORLD but in contrast to many Decemberists devotees the band fell short on a personal level, probably guided by too much emphasis on the centre ground. This view is probably founded by seeing a cavalcade of roots artists plying their trade on a similar, but all too often smaller, scale with the absolute ability to transmit their integrity and belief to an audience. While possessing many laudable merits, The Decemberists came up a little short against this measure. 



Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Sons of Bill + Paul McClure - Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham Tuesday 17th February 2015

James Wilson
Let’s get the name cliché out of the way first. Yes they are, well at least three-fifths of them. Onto more important matters and Sons of Bill demonstrated in Birmingham tonight why their star is set to shine a lot brighter in the UK in years to come. The five-piece band from Charlottesville, Virginia are only on their second UK tour but the growing audience numbers, continuing positive universal reception and enhanced wider press is making that spotlight brighter with each gig and record. A versatility to successfully sway between tender harmonies and fully optimum amped up rock while calling at many points in between give Sons of Bill a massive head start when either hitting the studio or the stage and what emerges is one of the finest alt-country bands plying their trade on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bill Wilson’s three sons – Abe, Sam and James – once again show how sibling integration can be a vital ingredient in a successful music act and thus join a long list of family artists who have graced one genre of influence for the band in country music. Each brother brings something diverse to the band whether vocally and musically on stage or creatively within the organic development of their songs. Sam excels on lead guitar including a stunning solo piece in this evening’s encore and he also stepped forward to sing a song he wrote, ‘Radio Rewind’. James fronts the band on vocals, electric and acoustic guitar displaying a flexible style to suit the mood of each track, while Abe settles to flourish behind the keyboards alongside adding valuable, and possibly under used, vocal contributions.

The band shared their enthusiasm for the new album with this Birmingham crowd who were vociferously eager to make up for those not wanting to venture out on a Tuesday evening. LOVE AND LOGIC has not been short of critical acclaim and there were plenty of opportunities to hear why during this set approaching an hour and half in length. ‘Brand New Paradigm’ is the stand out song on the record and was well received tonight being played alongside other tracks from the album such as ‘Big Unknown’, ‘Bad Dancer’ and ‘Fishing Song’. From their back catalogue, ‘Virginia Calling’ was a particular highlight and one of the less intense songs amongst a smattering of beat driven guitar anthems perfectly constructed for the live arena.

Paul McClure
A worthy mention must go to one of the bedrocks of the UK alternative country, folk and Americana scene as Paul McClure made a rare visit to Birmingham to share his songs, wit and aura, all in his own words as ‘not that good as to show up the main act’ or a similar phrase. In true Paul McClure style, the dry put downs were on top form and his underwhelming approach to stage banter complements perfectly the highly competent performance of his appealing and substantial songs. Among the numbers piercing the humour tonight were ‘Pollyanna’, ‘Song 6’ and a personal favourite, from his self-proclaimed “third debut album”, ‘For You’. House concerts and play where the customers are continues to be an important and sensible part of Paul’s music mission with a high recommendation to engage with him from these quarters.

However the final word must reside with Sons of Bill and not forgetting the two non-Wilson band members in bassist Seth Green and percussionist Todd Wellons. James rounded the evening off with full appreciation to Cosmic American promotions for believing in the band and introducing them to a UK audience with the compliment returned via a glass of bourbon to help him through the final songs. The abiding memory of Sons of Bill is their exceptional way of weaving delightful two and three part harmonies into superb guitar and keyboard fuelled songs. The lineage for such bands in the US stretches back decades but Sons of Bill are very much the present and no doubt the future as well. 

www.sonsofbill.com



www.paulmccluremusic.com



www.clubhouserecords.co.uk

www.cosmicamerican .com

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Press Release: Cambridge Folk Festival 2015


CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL 2015 - FIRST NAMES ANNOUNCED
“For sheer class and integrity, it can’t be beaten.” THE INDEPENDENT

Joan Baez (Sat), Passenger (Sun), Frank Turner (Fri), Joan Armatrading (Sun) John Butler Trio (Sat), Nick Mulvey (Fri), Wilko Johnson (Fri) The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (Sun), The Unthanks (Sat) Show of Hands (Sat & Sun), Katzenjammer(Thurs), Altan (Fri) Treacherous Orchestra (Sat), Danú (Sun), Shooglenifty (Sat & Sun) Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting & Nancy Kerr (Sun), Peggy Seeger (Fri) Bella Hardy (Sun), Amsterdam Klezmer Band (Fri), The Lone Bellow (Sat & Sun) Chris Smither (Fri), Angaleena Presley (Fri), Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker (Thur & Fri) Jim Moray’s Silent Ceilidh (Sat), Keston Cobblers Club (Sun) The Stray Birds (Sat &Sun),Rura (Fri & Sat), Goitse (Sat & Sun) De Temps Antan (Days tbc), Lynched (Thurs)

An eclectic range of performances will include: legendary folk singer and activist Joan Baez, in her only UK appearance for 2015; international chart-topper Passenger, progressing from his 2011 debut on emerging talent stage The Den in its inaugural year to headlining Stage 1; a special solo appearance from hugely popular folk/punk singer songwriter Frank Turner, to coincide with the release of his book; the incomparable Joan Armatrading, accompanying herself on guitar and piano as part of her first ever worldwide solo tour; a welcome return for acclaimed Australian roots band John Butler Trio; Mercury Prize nominated Nick Mulvey, originally from Cambridge, garnering rave reviews and sell-out audiences worldwide for his fresh, hypnotic take on the acoustic singer-songwriter genre; a return to the city that gave him life-saving treatment for renowned rock and R&B guitarist Wilko Johnson, with crack touring band of Blockheads’ bassist Norman Watt-Roy and drummer Dylan Howe; irresistible entertainment juggernaut The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, celebrating 30 plucking years; Northumberland’s The Unthanks, breaking new ground with their complex combination of traditional stories and modern sonic arrangements; leading lights of the folk scene for over two decades, Show of Hands, featuring Miranda Sykes; Norwegian alt-folk-country-rock mavericks Katzenjammer, famed for their genre-mixing, riotous shows; venerable Irish traditional band Altan, re-energised by their new Appalachian-influenced CD; thrilling folk big band Treacherous Orchestra, with a rousing blend of rock and traditional Celtic sounds; one of Ireland’s leading traditional bands Danú, celebrating their 20th anniversary; Scots acid croft pioneers Shooglenifty, fusing exquisite traditional sounding tunes to devilishly dirty rhythms in their silver anniversary year; three of Britain’s finest folk musicians and interpreters, each vituosos in their own right, Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting & Nancy Kerr; doyenne of American folkPeggy Seeger, who played first ever Festival; BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2014 Bella Hardy, showcasing an innovative new sound from her ‘With The Dawn’ album; seven-pieceAmsterdam Klezmer Band, mixing klezmer, balkan, ska, jazz, gypsy and hiphop; fast-rising US alt-country band with a dazzling live reputation The Lone Bellow; highly respected American folk/blues singer songwriter and guitarist Chris Smither; Kentucky’sAngaleena Presley (also a member of Pistol Annies), impressing with her modern and powerful country songs about contemporary American rural life; BBC Folk Award nomineesJosienne Clarke & Ben Walker, ingeniously combining original and traditional songs with stunning musicality and skill; back by popular demand Jim Moray’s Silent Ceilidh; joyous five-piece Keston Cobblers Club with their foot-stamping mod-folk music; sensational close harmony American folk and bluegrass trio The Stray Birds; one of the hottest young bands on the Scottish traditional music scene Rura; contagiously energetic Irish quintetGoitse, winners of Live Ireland’s Trad Group of the Year 2015 Award; French Canadian trioDe Temps Antan, multi-instrumentalists exploring the magnificent traditional music of Quebec; Dublin four-piece Lynched, with their anarchic, punk-influenced take on traditional Irish ballads. More names to be announced.
Having started life in 1965, the 14,000 capacity Festival draws acclaim for its combination of internationally renowned headline artists and support for up and coming young performers and continues to enjoy sell-out crowds year on year.Popular for its unique parkland setting, great facilities and family friendliness, the Festival offers something for everyone with four covered stages, street theatre, music workshops and sessions, raucous ceilidhs, open stages, a youth area, internet café, kids’ ceilidh, storytelling, free creche, paddling pool and playground, real ale bars.In 2014 Cambridge Folk Festival won the highest possible environmental honour at the Greener Festival Awards, becoming one of only nine festivals worldwide and one of only two in the UK to achieve the Outstanding category.

Tickets: Full Festival £150; Thursday £25.50; Friday £55.50; Saturday £65.50; Sunday£65.50. Camping: (Full Festival tickets only, per 2-3 berth tent) Cherry Hinton £61.50, Coldham’s Common (second site) £42.50.  All ticket prices include booking fees.

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Box Office 01223 357851 

Cambridge Folk Festival is promoted by Cambridge Live with support from Cambridge City Council

www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk