Can’t believe another festival season is over! Starting with the finale, we had a fantastic gig at Priston Folk Festival, and despite being the end of September, it was a glorious weekend. We had Niall Robinson on cajon/vocals, rock goddess fiddler Lesley came across from Kent, and ace guitarist Matt Palmer joined us on electric guitar for what is hopefully not just a “one-off” appearance. We’ve been chatting to the organisers for a few years now about playing, since crossing paths after one of our spots at the Village Pump Festival, so it was lovely to finally get things sorted and hopefully we’ll be back there before too long. Also lovely to catch up with photographer Dave Pegg – see below for some of his handy-work.
We’ve had a few new festivals this summer, and what a hot summer it’s been! Our most local festival this year was Exmouth Folk Festival, playing in the main marquee on a sunny June afternoon. Lesley and I then headed off to Sandwich Folk Festival in July, on the back of playing at Broadstairs Folk Week 2017, with Randy guesting on a few songs too. This is another lovely town based festival, with morris dancing and all sorts going on, including a fine set from Green Diesel who I’ve not seen since I was a semi-Rochester resident, and they even got me up and dancing. which is unusual… Finally, a semi-new festival appearance was at the Trowbridge Festival, thanks to invitation from fab local folk duo Sandy and Graham Ball. Held in the same grounds as the old Village Pump Festival back at Stowford Manor, this feels like a re-emergence of the village pump feel, and hopefully it will go from strength to strength.
A sombre moment in the festival season was Ely Folk Festival when my old folk-rock band Hedgepig did our final festival gig before closing down the band in August 2018. We did a rocking set, and even featured on the local news. This was the perfect pre-final gig as Ely was also one of my earliest festival experiences with Hedgepig back in the early 2000s.
We were back at Sidmouth Folk Festival this year too, our third year playing at The Anchor Garden Stage. Wonderful atmosphere, joined in some late evening sessions, and met musicians from far and wide. …and if you look closely, you can see the anchor flags are themed with the upcoming album from my americana duo Abel and Eade…more on that later…
But of course the ‘summer’ festival season really kicked off in the usual style with Rochester Sweeps Festival back in May. Always lovely to be back in the Flippin’ Frog, and much love to Mélanie and Cyril. We also squeezed in a few extra gigs including the Waters Edge, post-Sweeps Man of Kent, and best of all the Rochester Cheese Room. Free cheese lunch for jamming out songs with friends. Great cow picture too. Lovin’ it! …And we sneaked off to London for the Magic Garden Open Mic to catch up with our awol bass player Simon. Superb!
Roll on summer 2019!