Clive Woodland, one of the Festival Team, highlights five acts that he particularly wants to see at this year’s Village Pump Folk Festival on the 25th -27th July.
“My first choice has to be Eliza Carthy and her Wayward Band. Eliza is a member of a remarkable family. Her dad is Martin Carthy, who was awarded an MBE in 1998 for his services to folk music. He’s here for the festival playing in the band Brass Monkey. Mum, Norma Waterson, was awarded the same accolade in 2003 and now Eliza has her own MBE, awarded in the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours.
“A performer since childhood and often still touring with her parents, she also delights in fronting her own bands, always pushing at the boundaries of folk whilst being very firmly rooted in the tradition.
“YouTube is a great way to investigate names you aren’t so familiar with. I’ve found several acts I definitely want to see. The Willows are a folk roots family band from Cambridge. Fronted by the breathtaking voice of Jade Rhiannon, supported by rich vocal harmonies and sensitive acoustic musicianship the band draw inspiration from the Americana and British folk traditions in equal quantity.
“Their album ‘Beneath Our Humble Soil’ has been championed by the likes of Mike Harding and Bob Harris. For a sample, have a listen to ‘Bella’s Fury’.
“The Gren Bartley Band are another act new to me. Gren is a sensitive singer and songwriter with a considerable range of styles, jazz influences one moment the next the acoustic guitar or banjo. His three female band members play various instruments including cello, violin and percussion and the effect is often very beautiful and unusual.
“Reg Meuross has always been a great favourite with Pump audiences and is one of the country’s best singer-songwriters. This year, though, he’s re-uniting with his old friend Richard Mortimer for a series of gigs as The Panic Brothers. The duo were a kind of comedy punk version of the Everley Brothers with satirical songs, driving rhythms and great harmonies. They toured with comedians like Lennie Henry and Phill Jupitus. I’ve been enjoying YouTube footage of recent gigs as well as clips from their appearances on Ben Elton’s 1980’s programme ‘Saturday Night Live’.
“Finally – The Peatbog Faeries. Pipes and fiddles are the stuff of Celtic music but add electric guitars, bass, keyboards, maybe brass and electronic effects and African influences and you have the ultimate party band. Everyone will be dancing. Just right for the closing act on the Friday night. And that’s just the first night of this great festival!
“For further information, including the full line-up, please see our ad in this paper or go to www.villagepumpfolkfestival.co.uk where you can also find out about stewarding opportunities. We have a few vacancies available.”