Folk Off!

Chris Marling and Ashley Hinson report from Cambridge Folk Festival, July 2005


On Mary Gauthier! Simply the highlight of the festival so far. Absolutely brilliant. Gothic country is the nearest my limited vocabulary gets to describing her. Similarities with Jim White and Johnny Dowd are undeniable, but she is simply astonishing in her own right. Mighty.

TBC ...


Hayseed Dixie...another hicksville romp, Ace of Spades still the crashes...hehe.

I'd never seen Bryan McNeill before, but it immeidately became clear that he commanded reverential respect from his awestruck audience. His captivating storytelling was a pre-cursor to each adn every song he played, they tales
as enticing as the songs themselves.

Legendary soul and gospel singer Mavis Staples simply proved I have no soul. Whilst other around me watched wide eyed with enthusiasm, I remained entirly unmoved.


So a late start meant missing the mighty low country but Marling, the Mrs an' the little'un asure me they were as marvelous as you'd all expect...

Martha Wainwright, son of Johnny Cash, and niece of Woody Guthrie IV I believe, made her precence felt over on stage two. Whilst a change of tempo
would have livened the set up, she was a pleasure to listen to. Remembering the impact of Nick Cave a few years ago, when litlle old folkies tumbled
from there collective camping chairs in shock at THE LANGUAGE, it was interesting to note the different reception given to Ms Wainwright's Bloody Mother Fucking Arsehole.

Perhaps being a member of the established folk aristocracy lends itself to a greater acceptance. The cheers were well deserved, Bloody Mother Fucking Arsehole is a standout song, worthy of an artist with a far greater output.
Indeed, at this early stage it seems this may well be the song that defines her for some time to come. And thats a good thing.

Hayseed Dixie, hehehe, Ace of Spades, hehehehe.

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