Cropredy Oxfordshire 7th To 9th August 2013.
Having flown down especially from this years Edinburgh Fringe festival to perform at Cropredy, Richard Digance was first to take to the stage on day three. After a brief story in typical Digance style it was straight down to business with his mix of musical comedy.
As the stage was being quickly turned around for the next act, I was aware that a rather large crowd had gathered at the barrier in front of the stage. After checking my running order list it was apparent why as the Mediaeval Baebes were due up next. Their set comprising of songs made up from mediaeval texts form the 12th – 14th centuries is impressive to say the least with each song being individually introduced so the audience knew something of its meaning.
If you like your Blues guitarists like I do then you must look up Brooks Williams. The man is a six string legend with his blend of Bluesy Americana music. At one point I stopped photographing just to watch in awe at his slide guitar work. Another Folk-rock influenced band were The Dunwells, sadly these guys had slipped below my music radar to but their beautiful melodies and mix of English Rock and American roots music slotted them somewhere between Kings Of Leon and Mumford & Sons.
Second of this festivals Celtic dance music offerings was Peatbog Fearies. Their line up has changed quite considerably over their sixteen year history but they still deliver the same sound despite the changes. These guys were so energetic on stage and their sound is both exciting and innovative.
If like me you’re of a “certain” age you’ll remember Nik Kershaw from his heady 80’s pop era days, now he’s solo acoustic singer/songwriter.
Covering rock, folk and pop genres, his new music is more contemporary than his older material but it was still good to hear the classic material stripped down to just him and a guitar.
All too soon three days of some of the best live music I’ve heard began to draw to a close, but not before festival organisers and headline act Fairport Convention took to the stage. Opening with “Sir Patric Spens” the Fairport chaps took the crowd on a musical journey playing some thirty songs which spanned their entire musical career.
With a mix of classic favorites such as “Fotheringay” and “Farewell Farewell”, and newer material such as “Celtic Moon” and “Albert and Ted” their set list was a shining example of their varied 46 year history. Throughout their set there were cameo appearances from previous artists including Martin Barre lending a hand on “2-4-6-8- Motorway” and Nik Kershaw on “Red Strand”
In true Cropredy tradition Fairport closed with “Meet On The Ledge” which has now become their unofficial anthem and sadly a sign to all that this was the end.
Fairports Cropredy Festival has a unique and welcoming atmosphere for which it is famous for. It’s easy to see why it’s been dubbed as the “friendliest festival in the country”
Review and Photography by Mark Lloyd (Amplified Gig Photography)