Still going strong
book, Standing in Another Man’s Grave.
Music, though, is at the festival’s core with this year’s line-up featuring a careful blend of well established names alongside impressive newcomers. Headliners include multi-award winning band Oysterband, crowned best group at last year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Having evolved in the 1980s from the folk band Fiddler’s Dram, the group developed into a ceilidh band before finding its feet as one of England’s finest folk rock acts.
Scottish duo The Proclaimers whose hits include I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and Letter From America are also among the star attractions as is Nashville singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters who has worked with Bryan Adams and written songs for the likes of Etta James and Neil Diamond.
Other musical highlights include festival favourites and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards double winners Show of Hands, who have performed at everywhere from Womad to Glastonbury and built a large following with their unique blend of folk, roots, blues, rock and world music.
Henry Priestman, songwriter with The Christians, is also returning to the festival. Priestman started out his musical life as a support act for the Sex Pistols in 1977 before going on to make a name for himself with The Christians, selling three million albums in the process.
As well as these more established names, the organsiers are keen to promote newcomers on the folk and roots scene – like the winners of the 2012 Live and Unsigned Awards, Co-Co and the Butterfields. Other young stars to watch include Sam Carter, a BBC Radio 2 Award winner who appeared on Later ... With Jools Holland last year, and BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award winner Lucy Ward.
Wade says they want to support as much up and coming musical talent as possible. “We always try to encourage young musicians who go on to make a for themselves and we’re every excited about this year’s lineup,” she says.
After 30 years, she is delighted that Beverley Folk Festival is still alive and kicking. “Our reputation has grown and more people know about us and that obviously helps,” she says. “People like coming to Beverley and they seem to like the programme we put on here because it’s a bit different from some of the other festivals out there.
“It’s a very friendly place and it’s a lovely location and this year we even have cows and sheep wondering around on the edges.” What more do you want?
Beverley Folk Festival, Beverley Racecourse, June 21-23. For more information & tickets visit www. beverleyfestival.com or call 01377 217 569.
The Icelandic giants have already made much of the “aggressive” step they’ve taken on Kveikur, their seventh studio album. Indeed, from the first track and first single, Brennesteinn, until the last, this is a whole lot more punchy, pounding and ultimately percussional than anything that has come from the trio before. But “aggressive” is a strong word: after all, this is Sigur Ros, whose music remains the most beautiful being made. The echoing falsetto vocals, euphoric waves of synth, dainty jingles, tender strings and softly hummed harmonies from Jon Thor Birgisson, Georg Holm and Orri Pall Dyrason still stop listeners dead in their tracks.
Swedish singer Anna von Hausswolff is the daughter of an avant-garde musician and her second album, striking for its use of a church organ at its core, opens with the sepulchral Epitaph of Theodor before making its mission statement in the eight-minute, slow-building symphonic pall of Deathbed. Von Hausswolf’s voice is not heard until almost five minutes in, when it bursts through the apocalyptic arpeggio like Kate Bush at her most shrill and exciting. A gloom-pop triumph. Imagine von Hausswolff as Lana Del Rey’s musically nefarious sister and you don’t even come close.
From the easy virtuosity as they wind up the final Hoe Down, or that laid-back Corral Nocturne, this is the Detroit Symphony in sparkling form for the toe-tapping gusto of the ballet, Rodeo. Less well-known, and far removed from folksy Americana, Dance Panels is full of Copland’s most beautiful melodies. Milking local colours for the pictures of Mexico and Cuba, this superb disc comes from the conductor Leonard Slatkin, in sound quality as vivid and exciting as you can get.
CROWD PULLERS: The Proclaimers, whose hits include I’mGonnaBe(500Miles) and LetterFrom America, headline this year’s Beverley Folk Festival.
TOP TUNESMITH: Nashville singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters has written songs for the likes of Neil Diamond and Etta James.
Sigur Ros – Kveikur XLCD606 £13.99: