Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Preview: Cambridge Folk Festival 2013


The Cambridge Folk Festival returns this July at Cherry Hinton Hall, a lovely and reputable park outside of urban Cambridge. Warm weather, local ales and rich cultural music greets festival goers. Previous headliners have included Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris and Frank Turner. This year marks the 69th edition, and the old guard that once ruled the summer month make way for the young up and coming acts of contemporary folk, pop, rock and beyond. 

Lucy Rose and Willy Mason will be highlights for Thursday evening, both of which found an audience in 2012. Mason in his American homeland and Rose via festival touring and a debut album with Columbia Records. The following day will be Bellowhead's time to shine in the Cambridge countryside. Witnessing a Bellowhead performance will fill your expectations of a 'get on your feet' folk group without the cheesy aspects. Brighton's Levellers will keep the anarchy folk-punk fans up all night as they set to turn Cherry Hinton Hall from a melodic folk gathering to an unconventional rock arena with Didgeridoos, Bagpipes and Mark Chadwick's vibrant personality for the bands 25th anniversary. 

This year features a wide variety of performances across all stages on Saturday, starting with newcomers Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar who have been impressing audiences. Cambridge Folk Festival isn't strictly speaking a folk festival; there are many genres and fusions at this festival which make it all the more impressive. If you do want folk, then the works of Martin Simpson, Heidi Talbot and Brian McNeill will be your fix. Or maybe you would prefer a far afield performance from Mokoomba, stretching afro-fusion and Tonga rhythms as a unique Zimbabwe six-piece. Later that night comes your source of blues with Heritage Blues Orchestra. Then Scottish singer-songwriter and pop crossover KT Tunstall returns to give a performance not to be missed. Headlining the night is Florida country artist The Mavericks.

Sunday's setup is still in the works and will feature repeats of Heidi Talbot, Martin Simpson and a few more from Saturday’s line-up. The final day will feature Mud Morganfield and his band playing the blues in a distinctive Gil Scott-Heron fashion. Scottish folk group Capercaillie will be playing their celtic music before a yet to be announced headliner closes the 2013 Cambridge Folk Festival.

The line-up may not be as prosperous as last year’s Roy Harper, Billy Bragg, The Proclaimers and Anais Mitchell; however it is still shaping up to be a spectacular weekend of music.

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