Sunday, June 17, 2018

F-A-B ... 'Thunderbirds are GO!'

"FAB Fest" is an obvious reference to the heritage of this great event (as the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival) as well as being a decisive break from it, such that it will never please everyone, as change never does.

In some ways, the kind of weirdness factor of all the different types of bizarre and wonderful morris dancers around this town at festival time, along with many dyed-in-the-wool folkies who would appear en masse from all over the country, with feathers in hats and other quirks that set them out as 'trad-folkies' is to be missed, although there were still a few to be seen, just not in the great numbers that there used to be when this was more of an out and out folk festival with just a few other types of acts that were perhaps more on the contemporary side of things.

On the other hand, a huge fan of folk music who used to run a record shop in Chester used to say to me "What is 'folk music' anyway?.. It's music for folks, it encompasses all kinds of music".


Nevertheless, plenty of the same vibrancy and excitement in the crowds remain as does plenty of quality music from all kinds of acts, from folk to rock and even pure pop, such that this is one of the key music festivals of the whole region, ranked in the Top 10 of the smaller festivals by The Guardian a few years ago.

This year's event was headlined by Peter Hook and The Light, and our fringe event by the enthusiastic hardworking and talented (not to mention award-winning) bunch that are Middlewich Music. Our set went a bit off piste in places a few times in the first half, we are still pretty under-rehearsed for lots of new songs and sounds we are putting in the set at the moment, though things improved through the set and by the second half we seem to have found our form (which is definitely the right way round to do things if you're going to have a couple of dodgy moments!), but our finding ourselves back in the flow again was not least in thanks to an enthusiastic crowd, good friends and new ones who turned up and gave us a good time.
Thank you all! XX

Set list FabFest 18

Venue Poster
Our Poster
Pic by Adam Roberts


Saturday, June 02, 2018

Transmission Belper!


After a shattering couple of days with not much sleep (for reasons I won't delve into here), as well as being a natural night-owl, perhaps at my perceptive and physical peak between around 10pm and 3am (I hate going to bed at night as much as I hate leaving it in the morning), I find traveling to daytime gigs particularly exhausting.

However, as soon as I got to the sight at Belper Goes Green Festival, my spirit and energy levels were lifted (as well as the coffee kicking in!).

What a fantastically chilled-out, relaxed, friendly feeling festival this is. My first time here, I also got a nice 45  minute solo set, enough time to really get into it. The PA system I was going through was really unusual (and really loud!), run by a guy who makes wind-turbines, I really should have asked him more about it.
I also had time to enjoy some of the other great music at the event including the outstanding songwriter Lucy Milford... do check her stuff out, beautiful). I'd love to come back here with The Blue Yellows one year, great stuff.


Incidentally, this being a green festival is a good opportunity to mention that, as someone who travels to so many gigs and rehearsals by train, feeling as if I practically live on trains in fact, it's heartening to see so many other musicians, and even entire bands plus all their gear, traveling this way these days.


1st stop in Belper; double espresso.