Wadebridge Folk Festival is from 23rd - 26th August. Full programme on their website. Their press release follows...
Whats happening at the Festival this year ? - Read on!
One of our Headline acts this year are the very, excellent duo of Cornish Bard , storyteller and musician Mike O' Connor and harpist Barbara Grigg who have written " Return to Lyonesse" - a very exciting story meticulously researched from medieval texts, which tells of lands, once part of Brittany and Cornwall, but now lost for ever beneath the waves. My friend and Artiste musician Liz Crow ( ie: the Fans, Shake A Leg ) went along to the launch of "Lyonesse" to observe, listen and this is her splendid review:
Return to Lyonesse
What lands lie beneath the restless waves, and what tales are whispered at the sea strand to those with ears to hear? Lanterns flicker beside the two people on stage. A yearning supple melody on the violin joins a waterfall of notes from the harp; the music changes, becoming charged and expectant. From between the notes comes a voice “Far to the west in the land of sunsets, there is the House of Storms........” and so the Story begins.
“Return to Lyonesse” is a superbly evoked and ground breaking new weaving of ancient Cornish, Breton and Welsh folk tales researched and devised by Mike O’Connor, our narrator who also sings and plays violin. Linking and embellishing the narrative sections, Barbara Griggs plays fluid, achingly beautiful harp; she wears a dress the colour of an ominous sunset. It is very much story telling for adults or imaginative teenagers, part of the great Bardic tradition, when grand halls and humble hearths resounded to complex tales of blood lines, romance, battles, and old wisdom.
As in all the great epics, the Story resonates on different levels; it follows two Cornish families and their life changing interactions through the generations; they make choices, the dies are cast, and so fate is played out in their lives. Timeless human themes of love and its loss, betrayal, and above all consequences, are eloquently explored using both words and music as the characters weave through the narrative. They are living during a time of great change. The Romans have left, and Saxon strangers from the East are seizing land from the local people. The climate is warming and sea levels are beginning to rise.
With great insight and tenderness, the Story moves through the arrival of Celtic Christianity on our shores. Both Pagan Druid and wandering Saint alike, tread gently upon the sacred earth and speak wise words. It is also a world of darker magic, shape shifting and prophecy. Good Storytelling has space within it, not everything is explained, a tiny detail unnoticed at first, can imply much. As humans we respond to patterns, visually, in music and in language. The formalised repetition within Storytelling somehow comforts and delights, amidst uncertainty, there is that which we Know. “Are mermaids beautiful?” “Always”, replies the old man who stands upon the shore.
"Return to Lyonesse" is a work of haunting beauty and sumptuous richness. If it demands more of its audience than modern multimedia productions, it also has infinitely more to offer the discerning listener. Humans have been sharing stories since our time began; they help us to understand the mutable nature of this shifting, ever changing world which we inhabit and offer insight into our own internal geography. This is powerful oral storytelling at its very best. Do go and see it. Then next time you walk the sunset sand of a western beach, you will remember those long lost lands and their people, and, just maybe, catch the faint echo of a bell tolling from far beneath the restless waves.
Friday Evening's Concert in the Main Town Hall opens with the Cornish surf and sea - inspired group, the Grenaways, followed by Cornish group Tyn Daga led by Alan Burton on his Uillean Pipes, followed by the ever popular, multi-talented Stompin' Dave Allen. If you've never seen Stompin' Dave before -then your in for one big surprise and treat!!
Saturday's Programme is action packed with further such talent when veteran Bluesman Wizz Jones comes into Town, bringing along his friends John Renbourn ( Pentangle ) and Clive Carroll (Clive is described by Guitar Techniques Magazine's 2013 June Issue as being the finest steel-string acoustic guitarist the UK has ever produced!). A Feast of Guitar talent all in one Concert here. Supported by Cosmic Ronnie and the Deep Fried Frogs - this is a rare opportunity to see all these guys under one roof. So book or reserve tickets now to avoid any disappointment?
Sunday is handed over to the fusion of our Celtic Culture in Cornwall meeting "headlong" the Bossa Nova Music of Brazil. We welcome Silvia Nicolatto from Minas Gevais, a gold mining area in Brazil where between 1850 -1950, over 3000 Cornish miners and their families went to live and work there. Silvia has joined up with some Anglo Cornish musician friends of hers to bring Latin American interpretations to Cornish and Celtic Folk Songs. Supported by Cornish supergroup "Dalla", the whole Town of Wadebridge will be resounding to the Brazilian beat with our very own Liskeard based "Kernow Samba Band" parading around the streets along and with local cafes and restaurants also responding with Brazilian recipes on their own menus - so expect some "chillie fired" Pasties - an additional and optional ingredient in Minas Gevais. Why not give these hot favourites a try -will warm the cockles of your hearts - me hearties?
Could this Cornish/ Brazilian Pasty ever catch on at the next Olympics in Brazil -washed down with a great pint of our world renowned Cornish Real Ales? There's a marketing ploy and opportunity presenting itself here for any Cornish Business or entrepreneurs, maybe?
Do get along to the Festival, as it is really very, good value with our four day, three night Season Ticket pegged down to £50 Adults £25 Children. Along with Camping extra at £9 per night per person set in a luxurious Campsite with its full facilities of showers, toilets, campsite bar, shop and swimming pool. It should also be noted that most of our Festival Venues are indoors in the dry - so you don't need to be too concerned about the weather too much.
Give other Festivals a miss in those mud soaked stadium fields and opt for the comforts here! Give us a try and you'll be regulars for years to come!
Mike Walford, Festival Co-Organiser, Cornwall Folk Festival.
Home Telephone: 01637 880604.
Box Office 01208 812230