Preview of Cambridge Folk Festival 2014, Cherry Hinton Hall, 31 July – 3 August
2014 marks Cambridge Folk Festival’s 50th anniversary. With tickets selling out months ahead of the festival, this is a much anticipated event in the folk world. It is famed for its acts ranging from traditional UK and Irish to the more contemporary folk; from American country to bluegrass, and everything in between. The line-up has been chosen by Eddie Barcan for over 20 years and previous artists include The Mavericks, Clannad, Laura Marling, James Vincent McMorrow, Frank Turner, Mumford & Sons. Having won Good Tradition Award at Radio 2 Folk Awards early this year, this event is definitely one you will want in your diaries!
To mark the occasion, the legendary Van Morrison will be headlining Cambridge Folk. With an impressive array of music awards and 34 studio albums experimenting with different styles from Celtic folk, R&B, jazz and blues, he will be closing the festival on Sunday night, it promises to be the perfect way to celebrate Cambridge Folk’s 50th anniversary.
The four day festival kicks off with double chart topping Newton Faulkner headlining on Thursday night, well worth heading down early for his set. His uplifting songs and live performances are bound to have you swaying and singing along. Americana singer-songwriter Pokey LaFarge will be playing both on Thursday and Friday. With his 1920s look and sound, you will be swinging the night away!
On Friday night, the likes of shanty singers The Fisherman’s Friends and the fusion of West African and Irish folk Afro Celt Sound System truly prove how diverse this festival is. Moving onto more traditional folk-rock with Richard Thompson, a Cambridge folk favourite. Topping off the night, with internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and influential female activist Sinéad O’Connor. With her unique singing style, seeing her version of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2U live will be an experience in itself.
On the bill for Saturday night is the female singer Eddi Reader who’s musical career has moved from pop to Celtic folk and country rock. Next up are festival favourite and critically acclaimed English folk singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman and known for his humours and honest autobiographical songs, folk singer-songwriter Loudon Waineright III. The night will end with Rosanne Cash, daughter of Jonny Cash, but talented musician in her own right. Her smooth sound balances folk, gospel and blues influences.
With W.B. Yeates and Shakespeare cited as influences, and grouped with the nu-folk artists, Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling, be sure to catch Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit on Sunday night. Preceding Van Morrison’s set are Oysterband who combine punk and folk, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham and the prolific choral group from South Africa Ladysmith Black Mabazo, who have over 50 albums are sure to give a truly unique and enjoyable performance.
Club Tent is hosted by five local folk clubs, this year the five chosen artists are radidly rising mod-folk Keston Cobblers’ Club, Lady Maisery, old-folk Adam Holmes & The Embers, horizon folk award nominee Maz O’Connor and British six-piece busker band CC Smugglers.
Previous acts that have played The Den include, Jake Bugg, Nick Mulvery and Luke Sital-Singh. It’s a stage for emerging talent, located in the Hub, an area for younger festival goers. It’s a more intimate area within an Indian marquee, with slots for any musicians to play as well as booked acts. This year’s artists are yet to be announced, but we can expect to see a range of young talent.
Yet, the festival isn’t all about music, there are plenty of workshops ranging from storytelling and drawing to juggling and theatre, as well as music workshops, of course. You can always go exploring the quieter areas of Cherry Hilton Hall, even Cambridge city if it takes your fancy! With such a wide range of talented artists on the bill, many of which this will be a rare performance, Cambridge Folk Festival will have you spoilt for musical choice. For more information, visit http://www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk/