Mudcat Café message #526632 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37366   Message #526632
Posted By: GeorgeH
13-Aug-01 - 08:56 AM
Thread Name: Sidmouth now?
Subject: RE: Sidmouth now?
Black Swan Rapper were the rapper dancers in the Tony Rose benefit (and just about everywhere else) - unfortunately I can't think of the name of their 'tina player. As has been remarked on, that was a wonderful concert (the best concert of the festival, and NOT just because of what it was achieving) and certainly the turnout was disappointing. At the end, Norma Waterson left the stage in tears, and several of the audience were in the same state.

I have to say the main Song/Dance lineup was rather lack-lustre this year . . Since that's where most 'catters interests lie I'll confine my comments to that area. The remainder is "IMO", clearly!

Best performance of all was the Fraser Sisters (well, more like the Fraser Extended Family, including the Fraser Blades). Close behind came a whole raft of others - including 422 (great tunes/arrangements, but - guys'n'gals - try to polish your stagecraft a bit. Stop putting itching powder in your whistle player's underwear so he can stand still; Sam slow down with your announcements - 'cause I don't think I managed to catch any of them), Patterson/Jordan/Dipper (why has Ralphie given up singing?), Danu, Hewlett/Swarbrick, Chris Smither, everyone at the Tony Rose benefit . .

A little further down the list came Blowzabella, Blue Murder and Sharron Shannon (Shannon's band's performance was excellent, but for my taste their repetoire is simply too undemanding, easy listening middle of the road stuff.) Similarly it was Blue Murder's repetoire which disappointed rather than their performance.

As far as we were concerned the Friday Night openers (La Volee d'Castors) were a waste of time; another invasion of musicians who seem to be being played by the note, since none of them would shut up for a moment (and the fact you can amplify your foot percussion to a level where it makes the audiences rib cages vibrate doesn't actually make that percussion any less boring . . ) The comparison between them and Bottine must have come from a befuddled mind.

As for Bill Jones - well, she confirmed my "what's all the fuss about?" view - if she were a guy she wouldn't get a listen, IMO. There was a youngster in the Shooting Roots showcase whose (unaccompanied) performance of "As I roved out" was an order of magnitude better than anything I've heard Jones do. (I don't have a clue who she was, but I'm working on finding out.)

That doesn't actually touch on my Festival highspots . . (One of which McGrath has mentioned; Shirley Collins account of her field trip through southern USA with Alan Lomax in 1959. We missed her "English Music" talk 'cause it clashed with the workshop my wife was giving.)

Against all expectations (given the line-up) we were agreed it was the Sidmouth we'd most enjoyed, ever.