That's All Folk: a Cambridge Folk Festival 2012 preview
We preview a phenomenal weekend of folk...
Chris Eustace - 25 July 2012
So what’s the story?
Well…Running since 1965, Cambridge is one of the longest-running, and most pioneering, folk festivals, unafraid to stretch the definition of folk, it’s had some eclectic, but always high quality bills.
Paul Simon, Joan Baez, Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, Bill Wyman, The Levellers, Jimmy Cliff, Emmylou Harris, KT Tunstall, Laura Marling and Frank Turner are among those who have played in the past.
How about this year?
Folk Festival 2012 takes place from 26 - 29 July at Cherry Hinton Hall Gardens, Cambridge.
So who can I see this time?
Billy Bragg, Dry The River, The Proclaimers, Seth Lakeman, Raghu Dixit, Clannad, James Vincent McMorrow, Joan Armatrading, The Unthanks, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Roy Harper are all the bill for this year.
So who do you recommend?
You definitely shouldn’t miss:
Billy Bragg celebrates Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday (Thursday)
Billy’s just back from his North American Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me tour, which saw him play songs from his acclaimed ‘Mermaid Avenue’ set, on which he and Wilco took on lyrics which folk legend Woody Guthrie had left behind and set them to some of the best music either have produced in their respective careers. If you couldn’t make it to his set in Guthrie’s Oklahoma birthplace on his actual birthday (14 July), this should be the next best thing.
Raghu Dixit (Friday)
You may well have first come across Raghu Dixit when he performed the tender ‘No Man Could Ever Love You, Like I Do’ on Later With Jools Holland. The soaring voice from that night is there alright, but it doesn’t just work with ballads. At Bushstock, Raghu and his superb band had the crowd dancing in the aisles of a church with the rabble-rousing ‘Mysore Se Ayi’, and he has a wicked sense of humour too. Fun guaranteed!
John Prine (Friday)
One of America’s finest country/folk singer-songwriters, Prine has been recording since the early ‘70’s, when he recorded signature songs like ‘Sam Stone’ and ‘Illegal Smile’, with later tracks like ‘Bruised Orange’ and ‘In Spite Of Ourselves’ showing a flair for capturing the human condition as well as political anthems. He has a Radio 2 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting and a spot in the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame, and Bob Dylan said of him: "Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs." We can’t sell this one enough.
The Proclaimers (Saturday)
Craig and Charlie Reid are a British institution, and definitely a British festival one. Everyone knows the words to ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ and ‘Letter From America’ and the singalong to those two will be seismic. Cambridge will more receptive than most to the fact that beyond the ‘novelty’ tag that’s been thrust upon them lies some other poignant gems and fiery social commentary.
Seth Lakeman (Sunday)
Nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2004 for his album ‘Kitty Jay’ led Lakeman towards the epic, sweeping side of folk, the closest thing to a rock star the genre has got in a while. For his new album, ‘Tales From The Barrel House’, he’s gone back to basics, ditching the band to play all the instruments himself, his trademark fiddle doing battle with cello, banjo and drums. While it’s more traditional, it’s no less thrilling, and should make essential final day viewing when he takes it to the stage.
And if you want more music, check out the VF Cambridge Folk Festival Spotify Playlist!
Nice! So how do I get tickets?
Cambridge Folk Festival tickets are no longer available online. Weekend Tickets will be on sale on the door, priced at £125. Remaining camping tickets will be £36. Day tickets for Thursday (£19), Friday (£41) will also be on sale. Saturday and Sunday tickets are sold out.