Sunday at Bristol Folk Festival begins with the mind expanding folk

Bristol Folk Festival 2012 review

published: Tue 15th May 2012

around the festival site

Saturday 5th to Monday 7th May 2012
Colston Hall & O2 Academy, Bristol, BS1 5AR, England MAP
£80 (£70 concessions) for the weekend
daily capacity: 4600
last updated: Wed 2nd May 2012

Sunday begins with the mind expanding folk of Moss, Moore, Rutter. It's a focussed performance, with lots of tunes, many of which are self-penned. There's a bit of singing too, which is sure to win them new fans. Their inspiration comes from a wide range of points on the folk radar, from Dave Burland to Stephane Grappelli. All in all, well worth getting up early for.

Moss Moore Rutter
Moore, Moss and Rutter take some following, and the Young Uns are an inspired choice. It's a set full of personality, gorgeous harmonies and unhinged between-song banter. For added value, we get a story about what happens when you mistake a push chair for a guide dog. They finish with the best version of 'John Ball' that I've heard in a long while. I spot the fairly lengthy queues at the CD stall after this set, and it's grand to see this music finding a new audience.

Again it's a genius bit of scenery shifting that follows. Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin play rootsy Americana. Their debut album is called 'Singing the Bones' which tells you all you needs to know. It's the music of campfires among the pines, balmy nights in the bayou, grizzlies and 'gators. I loved it.

Ghosts From The Basement
If anyone at this stage is tired of being blown away by the young, help was at hand. Ghosts From The Basement features another generation of performers. It's a celebration of the Bristol folk scene of the seventies and contains such legends as Ian A. Anderson, Keith Christmas, Wizz Jones, and Tucker Zimmerman. If you like your singing floaty and sixties, if you like protest songs, bottleneck blues and strumming to a stoner groove, this is the place to be.

The Irish themed evening concert is kicked off in virtuoso style by Dave Garner & Alan Doyle. Alan has performed with Gary Moore and Phil Lynott, and has been supported by U2, so we know he can back a winner. Dave is a multi-award winning fiddle player and together they get us in the mood for the evening's headline act, Cara Dillon, Michael McGoldrick, Mairtin O'Connor, and Donal Lunny. Cara stands centre stage with husband Sam on her left and the other musicians in a semi -circle around her. She looks vulnerable in the spotlight but her voice fills all the nooks and crannies of this vast hall. She lulls us in with a ballad about a bloke called Jimmy who runs off and makes a woodland recluse of his bird. There is a couple in front of me, all snuggled up tight. He starts stroking her arm during the Jimmy song. During a lullaby from Tinkerbell 3, she turns and kisses his hand. They wait for her to leave the stage before full-on snogging begins to the tunes of McGoldrick and Co. Cara's fairy magic never fails.

Cara Dillon
review by: James Creaser

photos by: Ian Wright

Saturday 5th to Monday 7th May 2012
Colston Hall & O2 Academy, Bristol, BS1 5AR, England MAP
£80 (£70 concessions) for the weekend
daily capacity: 4600
last updated: Wed 2nd May 2012


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