23 July 2015

Bromsgrove Folk Festival chiefs have plenty to sing about

MORE THAN 500 people went along to this year’s Bromsgrove Folk Festival, which organisers have hailed an amazing success.

The event was held from July 10 to 12 at The Bowling Green in Stoke Prior and began with over 20 acts taking to the stage on the Thursday night for the annual pre-festival Singin’ and Suppin’ Session.

By the Friday night, the festival was in full swing with an impressive line-up , which included house band ‘Fairfield’, local poet Spoz, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, Artisan, and Blackbeard’s Tea Party. After 20 years performing harmonies together, Artisan called it a day in 2005, reforming for a tour in 2010, and decided to make it another short reunion in 2015.

On the Saturday, a great performance by Midlander Sunjay Brayne was followed by Irish singer-songwriter Colum Sands taking to the stage.

There was also an energetic routine by Appalachian dancers Step on Board, accompanied by their band Thirsty Work and there was music from local singer Leon Gormley and former Fairfield singer John Connor.

The evening concert began in a quirky way with Mumbo Jumbo giving 300 kazoos to the audience to play along to their blues-jazz-folk style music. Kim Lowings and the Greenwood, Colum Sands and BarlowCree – two artists from South Wales – and Anthony John Clarke also performed.

Sunday started with a gentle walk, dulcimer workshop or singaround, before more Appalachian dancing, and the World Dry Foam Flinging Championships – that was won by Mac Rawlings, with an epic first throw.

And the final concert of many of the acts from over the weekend brought down the curtain for another year.

Planning is already underway for the 2016 Bromsgrove Folk Festival, which will see a milestone reached – it will be the 25th one to be held.

Folk festival organiser Bob Bignell said: “Whatever we do, people say to us at the end of the festival that they don’t see how we can top it again.

“It will be fun to attempt it in our 25th year.

“It’s a big friendly family we have here.

“Our main ambition is that by the time everyone leaves on the Sunday night, they are all on first name terms,” he added.

Bromsgrove Folk Club meets between 8pm and 10.30pm on the second and last Thursday of every month at Catshill Social Club.

Visit www.bromsgrovefolkclub.co.uk or e-mail bobcynfolk@aol.com for more information.

Reprinted by kind permission of the Bromsgrove Standard