|One Teacup short of a quartet
||[Sep. 9th, 2016|06:10 pm]
Having omitted to hear any music when we were in Whitby, we made an effort not to miss the Sedgefield Folk Festival completely - though this only amounted to going to one concert, on Saturday evening. Four acts at the Parish Hall (one of them the Teacups, of whom I have been a fan since they were students on the Folk Music degree course), no bar but bring your own (and I packed a picnic as well). Allocated seats at long tables, which placed us close to the front but far enough over to one side that we couldn't see all the performers: convenient to have a table, but these were large and made the hall uncomfortably crowded.
The opening act was / were Gilded Thieves, but I'm glad I hadn't seen this video before the event:
Because I would have been disappointed. The live performance was all verve and enthusiasm: they had gained a bass guitarist and a percussionist, and singer Laura had acquired a tambourine. The delicate charm of the video was lost in all this percussion (and from where we were sitting, the fiddler was too far left to be visible, though let's not overstate this, she was still audible). I caught myself thinking - and this is the opposite of my usual reaction - that their songs seemed quite interesting, and what they needed was a band who would do a more varied, less thrashy arrangement, in which it would be possible to hear the words. The people who made the video might just be that band.
Next up were the Teacups - or at least, three of them. Alex, it seems, is now living in the US (Boston area, apparently, that's all I know) with a wife and child: he returns each year for three months, into which the band contrive to arrange as many gigs as possible. They would not normally have agreed to perform as a trio, but had had a good time at Sedgefield in the past, and didnh't want to say no. So this time, have the trailer for their album, to hear what they can do when they are all present and correct:
But I was glad to have caught up with them, and to buy my copy of that album. How can you not love a group who, realising them that everyone in the fdolk world is preparing material on a First World War theme, devises a close harmony version of Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire?
After the break we had Alterego, a fun and lively ceilidh band. On stage, they were a bit overpowering, but they'd have been good to dance to.
Finally, after another break (and the inevitable raffle) the star of the show - Kieran Goss. I should have heard of him, I think. His name was vaguely familiar, but then, so many names are. He's clearly very big in Ireland - and indeed in Sedgefield: pleasant country-tinged songs and good chat, but just not my music.
I always hope that I'm going to be blown away by someone I haven't heard before, and sometimes it does happen. Not this time, though.