Oysterband deliver a handsome headline set

Big Session 2009 review

published: Tue 30th Jun 2009

Oysterband

Friday 19th to Sunday 21st June 2009
De Montfort Hall, Granville Road, Leicester LE1 7RU, England MAP
£70 for the whole weekend, child 5-15 £25
last updated: Wed 10th Jun 2009

I figure I've done my poetry duty so go I start the day with The Miserable Rich in the Hall and what a find they are. Swirling, atmospheric sounds from a bunch a very talented young players (HOW many instruments?). If there is such a thing as New Romantic-folk then these boys are it. And a Hot Chip cover thrown in.

Adrian Edmondson And The Bad Shepherds
Sunday being Father's Day, Ade Edmondson dutifully shows up for daughter Ella's sweet if undemanding set. I'm keen to see if his band, the Bad Shepherds, are anything but a novelty act - the schtick, in case you don't know, is a set of punk songs covered in the folk style. I'm clearly not the only one curious as a packed Big Top indicates. Afterwards, opinion remains divided but I'm not persuaded. They're competent enough musicians but after a while its "Oh, I get it, White Riot on the banjo" and it wears a bit thin. And some songs, notably PiL's Rise, should have been left well alone.

Local rising star Jersey Budd closes the Big Top. There's no denying that he's a very charismatic frontman with a powerful sound, and elsewhere on the bill he would probably have ripped it up. But the loyal Oyster fans were all in the Hall. There was a risk of "young rocker has strop due to small crowd" but to his credit he threw everything he had at it. Definitely worth a look at other festivals.

Oysterband
Meanwhile in the Hall, the atmosphere is messianic. The Oysterband deliver a handsome headline set to the faithful-bordering-on-obsessive. And I defy any cynic not to get the shivers during the 'Put Out the Lights' finale, which is really something else.

All in all, Big Session looks and feels very much like the traditional folk festival/village pump event (the first person I saw when I came on site was carrying a leather tankard, which sets the tone). But the programme itself is much bigger, louder and braver than ever. Bring your friends who 'don't like folk' and watch them change their minds.
review by: Katharine Owen

photos by: Phil Bull

Friday 19th to Sunday 21st June 2009
De Montfort Hall, Granville Road, Leicester LE1 7RU, England MAP
£70 for the whole weekend, child 5-15 £25
last updated: Wed 10th Jun 2009


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