Musicport Festival @ The Spa, Bridlington, 24th/25th October
This festival hasn't been on my radar until now--mainly because it's way "oop north" I suppose--but it actually celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. It's now relocated from its early days in Whitby and relaxed the "folk-only" policy of yesteryear to include world music--the African Jazz Allstars and Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara featured on the Sunday evening, and reggae--Misty In Roots and the Mad Professor Ariwa Posse, er, served up a double helping on Saturday night.
It's good to go to festivals like this I think because it reminds you just how many talented gigging musicians there are plying an honest trade with no lucrative album deal to line their coffers and no media exposure or so-called critical acclaim to promote their cause.
Honourable mentions, then, go to the following for brightening up my weekend:
- Martin Stephenson: erstwhile Daintee with a nice line in Woolworth guitars and self-deprecating Geordie stage patter.
- Fernhill: Welsh folksters featuring Julie Murphy, billed as "Eliza Carthy's favourite voice in the world" (and who am I to argue?). Sadly their sound was utterly lost in the cavernous main hall: "Last night we played in a bookshop which wasn't even as big as this stage".
- Karen Tweed: survived an early hours breathalizer incident in Newcastle city centre to purvey early Saturday morning accordion-based tunes. Very nice too.
- Pacific Curls: female Maori/Scots threesome featuring fiddle, ukelele, cajon, body percussion and Natalie Imbruglia's guitarist.
- Chumbawamba: steadfastly refuse to play "the hit" and promise an anti-Thatcher tribute album when the old bag croaks.
- Delta Maid: she talks like a boy soprano Wayne Rooney but sings like Shelby Lynne. I couldn't decide if these were her own songs; if so, she's a tremendously gifted writer for her age.
- Samay: Yorkshire-based jazz/rock/fusion-type thing with sax, guitar and bass alongside sarod and tabla--reminded me a bit of Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu who I've seen at WOMAD in years gone by.