Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Umbrella Fair: Hokey Cokey let's get Folky

It's been going for an age now showing no sign of stopping, The Green Festival now known as The Umbrella Fair returns to liven up The Racecourse once again with a weekend jam packed with enough excitement to keep us going for a year. The name almost tempts fate with the weather however if you're prepared to grab a brolly and brave the heat there's a fantastic line-up for an even more fantastic eco cause. This year The Folk Stage is only running on the Saturday, showcasing six of the county's finest acts from across the broad spectrum that is folk music. But did I really need to point that out to you?


1.30pm - Kenneth J Nash
I know Kenneth is a name usually associated with gangster rappers and metal guitarists, but this hauntingly beautiful singer-songwriter along with his band The Earls take folk right back to its dark, sombre roots. Emanating raw emotion, I would recommend the Under A Gypsy Moon LP to any admirer of Leonard Cohen's remarkable musical era.

2.35pm - Howlin' Hootin' Owls
A rootsy blues/folk five piece, Howlin' Hootin' Owls are no strangers to shaking the odd tail feather to their acoustic lovelies. Featuring three members of the now defunct Hanuman, twangy picking and mellow harmonies feature throughout, kicking off your Saturday afternoon with a great little barn dance (well I guess it's better than a snowy dance, and no one wants an eagle dance either!)

3.50pm - Muddy Boots

5.05pm - Velvet Engine
Fronted by singer and guitarist of Katie Malco San-D Godoy, people were having to get the Factor Forty out for their recent heart-warming Glimpse Of The Sun EP it was that smoking. Velvet Engine can exist as anything from San-D's solo project to a four-piece band with cellos and all - usually a duo in performance - but the music they deliver is consistently beautiful in any form: gorgeous lyrics of romance and heartache alike over a stripped-back glittering instrumental from the mellow talents. This Velvet Engine is revved up to the max.

6.20pm - King's Gambit
Gorgeous vocal harmonies sweeping forward like a bishop passed two pawns, acoustic guitar riffs soaring like a knight leaping over top whilst a jauntily thumping cello bypasses the typical modern folk band outfit with an innovative little en passant. Boasting several credible solo achievements, last year saw the release of their melodic debut album Lines and Verses and 2012 looks to be just as huge. They're a trio I strongly advise you to check - mate.

7.25pm - Rapscallion
Fiddle dee dee, fiddle dee dah and a fiddle dee doodle doo! If it isn't those three cheeky little rapscallions? But as well as a mischief, the now twenty-two year old folk band make a musical ruckus performing rapid traditional pieces as well as their own Celtic-style ditties with a rugged modern influence. Accompanied by numerous other members, John, Cheese and Greig have hit the road together many a time (to this day the road has still never hit them back), achieving a roaring reception wherever they go, not to mention a free pint. So grab your green waistcoat and your pot of gold and get ready to skip around like a twee little leprechaun because Rapscallion are back in town once again!

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