Monday, 5 December 2011

Great British Folk Festival 2011 - Day 3

An early queue!

As Franceska and I left the Yacht Club restaurant after another late breakfast, we were surprised to see a long queue that had formed outside Centre Stage.

“Must be keen to see Fairport Connections”, she said. 
“But it’s only 11:15am,” I pointed out. “The doors don’t open till noon and they aren’t on until 12:30pm”.

Processing photos, writing reports and uploading them to this blog takes a little time, so Fairport Connections had been on stage for ten minutes or so before we were able to return – to find “House Full” notices up, and still a queue. Admittance was dependant upon people leaving, and precious few were, so I resigned myself to another standing room only gig.

Fairport Connections - (l-r) Anna Ryder, Dave Pegg, Anthony John Clarke, Gerry Conway, Bob Fox
Bob Fox and Dave Pegg
We eventually gained access just after 1pm. This first appearance of the "Connections" consisted of the Convention's bassman (and occasional mandolin tickler) Dave Pegg and drummer/percussionist Gerry Conway, plus some of the band's regular collaborators, contributors and colleagues: Anna Ryder, Anthony John Clarke, Bob Fox, PJ Wright and Steve Tilston. They performed as duos, trios and more, each performing their own mini set. 

Amongst the highlights were Bob Fox’s “The Waters Of Tyne/Big River” which had the audience joining in with the chorus, and Anthony John Clarke’s very funny “Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke”.

I was unable to see the entire set, as they over-ran (“It’s the first time we’ve done this, and we weren’t sure how long it would last,” Dave Pegg told me later), but we had a pressing engagement in the late afternoon. Franceska was booked to play the flute with a band at the open mic session in Jaks, and I can report that her playing went down very well with the 200+ crowd there.

Some time later...

Martyn Joseph delivered such a storming set that I completely failed to make any notes at all! A highlight of the weekend. 
Martyn Joseph
Some people engage with the audience by establishing a bond from the stage – Martyn does it by walking through the crowd and serenading individuals. Many thanks to Dave Hill, who allowed us backstage to capture some images of Martyn’s view of the room.

In the spotlight: Martyn's view from the stage

Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle – "such consummate musicians", says classically-trained Franceska. Me? I just like the noise they make.

As the night ended, we sat and thought back over the Great British Folk Festival experience. Our verdict: a damn good weekend! Can we come next year? And more urgently, now we’re finishing up, can I have a pint? (What, another?!? Ed)

I'll write up my further thoughts and an overview soon, but for now, there’s just one last choice to make: will it be the Pedigree or the Hobgoblin?


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Jacqui McShee

Dave Pegg - Mandoman
Peggy 'n PJ
House Full for those with Full House Connections...

1 comment:

Ann Voce said...

Thanks for your blog, especially because you saw things I didn't - having got my place in Centre Stage I wasn't going to leave for anything lol!