One man and his guitar, Seasick Steve. appeared sprightly and youthful in his casual shirt and blue jeans. The deafening cheers that rose from the audience caused this aged Californian with skin that can be likened to a dried Napa Valley grape to grin from ear-to-ear. Cracking jokes in between songs such as ‘Dog Boogie House’ and ‘Cut My Wings,’ the Seasick was clearly grateful for the warm British welcome he so often receives but never tires of. As the dew began to settle on the leaves of the trees that surround the grounds of Cherry Hinton, an ambience of calm was felt all around. Actor, poet and songwriter, rustic troubadour Johnny Flynn with his band The Sussex Wit performed his trademark wholesome music on Saturday playing songs from his new album ‘Been Listening.’ Natalie Merchant held a captive audience as she brought the evening to a mellow close with numbers from her back catalogue as well as her 2010 release ‘Leave Your Sleep’. Throughout the weekend music and craft workshops such as fiddle playing and song writing served to break up the monotony that can so easily come with a music festival. On Sunday Dervish, who also played on the Saturday took it upon themselves to inject the crowd with some energy and enthusiasm. Playing their magical ‘session’ music it wasn’t long before they had everyone cheering and dancing an Irish jig, or at least trying to. Experiencing a surge in popularity throughout 2010, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is riding the wave of fame with sell-out dates across the country. Using a medley of instruments and vocal ranges huge numbers were drawn to the stage long before they graced it with their presence. The man of the hour was the award-winning music icon Kris Kristofferson. Arriving on stage without fanfare, almost before you noticed he was there, he proceeded to play a 70 minute set unadorned. A few false starts here and there
Kristofferson on stage.
Breabach but he was soon serving up crowd-pleasers ‘Me and Bobby McGee’, the much loved and warmly cherished words and tunes just kept coming and coming: ‘Darby’s Castle’, ‘Best of All Possible Worlds’ ‘For The Good Times’, and ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’. Family-friendly, well organised, clean, safe and skillfully curated to balance the demands of the purist folk fans with the more generalist visitors, this truly is a great festival. Let it be said that the Cambridge City Council Arts & Entertainment department have truly found the secret to a weekend that embraces world folk/roots/bluegrass music perfectly.
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