Thursday, 25 August 2011

FolkCast and Cropredy 2012

As listeners to Edition XVI of Fairport's Cropredy FolkCast will have heard, we at FolkCast are delighted to announce that we have been invited to return as the official podcast of Fairport's Cropredy Convention in 2012.

Our podcasts for this year's festival have been downloaded more than 35,000 times by listeners across Britain and around the world and have brought a new dimension to a fabulous event. For the first time festival-goers - and potential future festival-goers - got a fully featured preview of all the artists on the bill, complete with examples of their music, along with great, amusing stories from members of Fairport Convention, the musical hosts of the world-renowned event that is now in its fourth decade of life.

In addition, FolkCast pulled back the curtain to reveal how a major music festival is produced, talking to Festival Director Gareth Williams in depth about all aspects of rhe work involved in turning the little Oxfordshire village of Cropredy into the annual Fairport's Cropredy Convention, and boosting the local population from a few hundred to around 20,000.

We also spoke to some of the villagers themselves, to learn what they think about the yearly arrival of thousands of people on their doorstep. Their reaction? They love it! The festival does so much good for the area that it is unlikely that the village could survive and thrive in the way it does without the annual economic boost.

During the festival itself we recorded interviews with a wide range of people - musicians, fans, celebrities, Morris men, villagers and festival officials - and uploaded daily podcasts "live" from the field, sending a taste of the Cropredy magic out around the World Wide Web for everyone unable to attend. 

Now thoughts turn to 2012, which is set to be an even bigger event than normal as Fairport Convention clock up 45 years as a band. FolkCast will be on hand to put the best of the fest directly into the ears of thousands of listeners.

We are indebted to Wadworth - brewers of the beers of the Cropredy Festival - for their generous sponsorship and support, without which the podcast would not have been possible.

All 14 editions of the 2011 Cropredy podcasts will be available for free download until the end of this year via or via the iTunes store.

For a foolproof guide to downloading and playing podcasts, click here. 

Sunday, 21 August 2011

August's podcast show is out now

FolkCast 064 for August and September 2011 is out now: download here.

In this show there is new music from: Helen Dorothy - Bateleurs - Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts - The Albion Band - The Cecil Sharp Project - David Serby - Nick Tann - Ken Nicol - Acoustra - Red Kite Rising - Steve Blackstone - Phil Beer - The Saw Doctors.  

Shanty Ship
A sailing ship - prime territory for shanty singing

There's some mystery history involving a shanty with Babba in The Story Behind The Song, and Ken Nicol reveals details of his new, Ouija board-inspired stage show, The Glass Chronicles!

Friday, 5 August 2011

August on FolkCast

Hi FolkCasters!

As you'll have noticed, we've been hard at work recently with the preview podcasts for Fairport's Cropredy Convention. I really hope you've been enjoying them, whether or not you're off to Cropredy this year. Hopefully, they've given a "peak behind the curtain" at how a major music festival is produced, as well as supplying some excellent and at times exclusive music from Fairport and their guests.

Babba, Jo and I (Phil) will be at Cropredy, of course, and we'll be podcasting 'live' every day from the festival field, the village and backstage, so do watch out for those special shows. We plan to capture the essence of the festival and squeeze it into your ears! If you are at Cropredy, keep an eye out for us and come and say hello.

Once Cropredy is over (and we've all got home and recovered from what promises to be a massively busy weekend!) work will begin in earnest on August show - edition 064 - and I've already got lots of excellent new music lined up for that from the Cecil Sharp Project, the Saw Doctors, Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts and more.  So, it won't be until the week beginning August 22nd that 064 will hit the web.

After that, Jo and I are taking a break down in the West Country, so there will be no FolkCast in September – but we will be back with a bang in very early October!

If you're on Twitter or Facebook remember to follow or friend us there … but only if you want the very latest news from the worlds of folk, folk-rock, singer-songwriter and roots-based music.

Keep focused on FolkCast!


Folk Lookalikes 4

Dear Sir,

Further to the correspondence from my former fiancee, Miss May Morning of Maidenhead, concerning the similarity between Phil Beer and Bill Bailey, I am shocked to see that her infatuation with Show Of Hands continues despite it forcing our separation. It was Miss Morning's fascination with Mr Beer's musical partner, Steve Knightley, that caused me to leave her and move to Ireland. 

Yes, I walked out on one May Morning... and who can blame me? She was constantly comparing Mr Knightley with her other "fantasy man" (see attached photo), and I could see there was no future for us.

Yours brokenheartedly,

I. M. A. Farmer,

Folk Lookalikes 3

Dear Sir,
I wonder if anyone has ever noticed the similarity between West Country "multi-instrumental wizard" Phil Beer and West Country "multi-instrumental wizard" Bill Bailey. Are they by chance related?


May Morning (Miss),
of Maidenhead.

Phil Beer
Bill Bailey

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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Novel approach to life as folkie teacher

Colin Andrews has drawn on his long experience as a teacher, folk performer and Morris dancer to produce a novel - all about a trainee teacher, folk-singer and Morris dancer!
Colin, from Crediton in Devon, taught for 28 years before deciding to capture memories of his teaching experiences in a fictionalised format.
''I recalled all the odd and bizarre incidents from my student days and early teaching career and thought they could make the basis for a novel,''  says Colin, who launched the book during Sidmouth Folk Week.

''A Matter of Degree is set in the 1970s at a teacher training college when there were no mobile phones, no internet, no mixed-sex accommodation and definitely no alcohol on Sundays!

''For me, A Matter of Degree is an entertaining, perhaps nostalgic, snapshot of a time now passed, but it is also touches on controversial issues such a racial prejudice, sexual temptation facing young teachers, religious fanaticism and political correctness in a thought-provoking, sensitive way.''

A Matter of Degree follows the comical and dramatic exploits of Robert Kiddecott, a farmer s son from Devon, and Jacob Moses, his folk-singing friend, through the three years to graduation at a fictional teacher training college in mid-Wales. Rob's relationships with women and Jacob's penchant for involving Rob in well-meaning projects lead to bizarre and amusing scenarios. 

Will unexpected turns of fate always thwart Rob's amorous inclinations? Why is Jacob obsessed with an abandoned observatory? What inspires Jake to get Rob and their fellow students involved in the folk traditions of Mumming and Morris dancing? In what other directions does Jacob's persuasive enthusiasm lead his friends?

Colin was born in Dunfermline in 1944. He was educated at Worthing High School and later at Cardiff University. Once qualified, he taught chemistry for 28 years until taking early retirement in 1995. He has lived in Devon since 1973 and is married, with one son. 

Colin has been a folk singer, folk dance caller, Morris dancer and musician for more than 40 years and edits the national Morris Federation Newsletter.
He has his own website here.