June 20, 2024

Preview:The Great British Folk Festival, Butlins,Skegness,29 Nov – 02 Dec 2013

This year’s lineup includes, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention,  Judie Tzuke, Martin Joseph, Cara Dillon, Tir Na Nog, St Agnes Fountain,  Edward 11, Gary Fletcher (joined by  Feast of Fiddles’ Tom Leary), Jim Moray, Richard Digance, Bob Fox and Billy Mitchell,  Ahab and Slim Chance.

Recent additions to the above: Anthony John Clarke & Dave Pegg in ‘Music & Mirth’, Dave Sharp (The Alarm), Bruce & Jamie Watson (Big Country), Ed Tudor Pole, Take 3 (Jacqui Mcshee, Gerry Conway & Alan Thomson), The Springfields, Reg Meuross, Allan Yn Y Fan, Karac, and finally Luke Jackson will now be appearing with Martyn Joseph.

Most of the names fit the ‘folk canon’ however its worth looking at a few ‘outsiders’. It becomes apparent that the ‘folk’  is a very broad church when it comes to this festival. However, it’s exactly what makes the festival, I believe, remarkable.  So, in contrast to the known folk festival stalwarts, there’s Edward II (reggae tinged folk), Gary Fletcher (blues, both acoustic and electric) and  the ‘reformed but unrepentant’ Slim Chance  with their rustic English roots-rock.

Slim Chance was the band formed by the late Ronnie Lane. Slim Chance’ original members Steve Simpson, Charlie Hart, Steve Bingham, Alun Davies and Colin Davey have established a reputation playing Ronnie’s songs with a devoted passion. Billy Bragg recently chose   The Show Goes On as one of his top albums. A new version has been released, described by Classic Rock as capturing “the indomitable spirit and sheer joie de vivre of Lane himself.”

Gary Fletcher has been a bassist for The Blues Band for over twenty years but also performs both as a solo artist and as leader of The Gary Fletcher Band. His latest albums, ‘in solitary’ and ‘Giant From the Blue’, met with good reviews. On the other hand, Edward II, brings to Skegness, an infectious mix of dub fusion reggae and folk. Quite unique.

Finally it’s fair to say that the festival is firstly for both conventional folk rock enthusiasts and secondly for those cosmic adventurers wanting to try something new. I’m with them.

The total package for the weekend includes access to all live music venues, accommodation throughout your stay, access to resort bars and restaurant. Over 18s only.

Fri 29 Nov 2013 – Mon 02 Dec 2013 (3 nights) Tickets are available on the Big Weekend’s website.

Past Reviews.

Great British Folk Festival 2012 Review. The Flaneur.

Animals and Friends at 2012 Festival Review. The Flaneur.

Great British Folk Festival 2011 Review. Remotegoat.



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