||[Jun. 7th, 2015|11:52 am]
Over the years we have attended a number of Folk Degree student concerts at the Sage: performing in front of an actual audience is clearly part of the course. We have been to end of first year concerts, second year concerts, actual final exam recitals (with the examiners assessing the show from the back of the room). We've sat through some shaky performances, and we've heard acts we've made serious efforts to hear again thereafter. There's been a bit of a break lately: partly because there was a year group working its way through whose work didn't appeal much, partly because events fell on dates when we weren't free. But we were at the Sage on Friday for this year's graduation concert: a show by the students who have prepared material for their exams, have passed and are now ready to party.
The 'ready to party' ethos was probably best expressed by the student who brought on not one but two bagpipers to help him. And if that's your idea of a fun evening - as it is mine - then it was a fun evening: more instrumental, less songs and less integration between the two than is absolutely to my taste, but that's life. Some fine fiddling. I wish they handed out a running order, but they don't, and without one I can't tell you the name of the person who had arranged Falls of Richmond for fiddle and interesting percussion (Janie someone? or Janey?), which was my outstanding act of the evening.
My memory being for words rather than tunes, though, what I brought home with me was a song:
If the singer told us where it came from, I didn't catch it, though I do remember her talking about it being her grandfather's story, and I didn't recognise the title, but as she sang I realised that I knew this song, and where from. When people actually talk about Ewan MacColl they often seem critical of his approach, but they sing his songs.