Exfolk review

Exfolk Festival 2007

published: Wed 11th Apr 2007

Saturday 31st March to Friday 13th April 2007
various venues across Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS, England MAP
various (some free)
last updated: Wed 11th Apr 2007

Exeter has cast one eye at Sidmouth's famous folk festival and thought 'We can do that' and nearly every night Over two weeks, folk fans can discover acoustic music to entertain them in various venues across the city.

Exfolk hope to bring audiences each year a wide palette of music from so the blurb goes “singer songwriting, electric folk, traditional folk, roots folk, Gaelic folk, folk rock, acoustic-americana to the new wave of folk.” Other attractions include Boot Hill Records’ night with Oddur and Rebecca Worthley, Peachy Farmer, a storyfest and even a folk song club.

THREE DAFT MONKEYS, KANGAROO MOON, NUALA & THE ALCHEMY QUARTET, and ACOUSTIC STEW - Fri April 6, Exeter Phoenix

The centrepoint of the very first Exfolk Festival is at the Phoenix Arts Centre who present for us four great acoustic acts to get all ages dancing as well as an open mic stage which showcases some fantastic local talent. All this plus a bar and an outside covered area to cool off under clear night skies. The only downside is a lack of food on offer, but the event starts late enough for those who have come from further away to find somewhere to eat on a bank holiday evening. The terrace would certainly lend itself to selling simple fare.

Tonight is a collaboration with Exfolk and FSOE - The Future Sound of Exeter (www.fsoe.org) which is a non-profit collective which promotes innovative local music, in particular the exotic and the electronic. They specialise in live music and have put on a mix of big names with local support acts. Reknowned for their multi-faceted 'events' which use projections, DJs and decor with more live music and DJs in the bar, tonight is no exception with the bands playing before a huge projection screen and the bar having another live stage programmed by local music pub The North Bridge Inn (NBI).

Opening the evening are local three piece ACOUSTIC STEW. Two guitarists and cello play gentle music to lull us all into the vibe of the evening. The auditorium is awash with projections and the mix of instrumental music and songs is gentle. There’s a good sized crowd some sitting in front of this the first act and the bar and beer garden are full of folk fans too.

Acoustic Stew

Rising heroes of the festival circuit NUALA & THE ALCHEMY QUARTET start their show as a trio. Nuala with her guitar and bubbly infectious personality accompanied by bass player Laura Marshall (both bare footed) and drummer Jimbo Jett. The band really sparkle. ‘Addicted To Bass’ has been funked up and the crowd warm rapidly to the trio. There’s an aura of relaxed vibrancy from the musicians who play bright vibrant rhythms with ease. Australian singer Nuala really shines with bubbly enthusiasm and songs like ‘The trouble with…’ have the crowd grooving along. Despite missing their fiddle player the band is brought to full strength when the horn section from local band ‘Ratfink’ join them on stage. Regulars to Larmer Tree she takes the opportunity to mention it and the local pub she works in. But it’s not really hard sell, nor is the mention of her CDs on sale outside in the foyer, but there’s a crowd eager to buy them once the band finish. Mightily impressive on the night, Nuala and the Alchemy Quartet will surely conquer the festival circuit this summer, if you get the chance they’re not to be missed to fill you with sunny smiles and put the fun in funk.

Nuala And The Alchemy Quartet

...continues on page two >>

review by: Scott Williams

photos by: Karen Williams

Saturday 31st March to Friday 13th April 2007
various venues across Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS, England MAP
various (some free)
last updated: Wed 11th Apr 2007


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