Preview: Cambridge Folk Festival 2015

camdrige-folk-festival-lineup-2015

The pinnacle of live folk music, Cambridge Folk Festival celebrates its 51st year by bringing some of the very best in contemporary and classic folk artists and musicians to Cherry Hinton Hall for its annual knees up this weekend

The much championed folk festival, held in the picturesque university city of Cambridge, is not just for those of a certain vintage; indeed, the festival has actively encouraged younger fans to attend through workshops, entertainment, and by interspersing the more modern acts with traditionalist music.  The music is not strictly ‘folk’, either. One would be misjudged to call Wilko Johnson, who plays on the Friday on Stage 1, a ‘folk’ artist, but his R’n’B songs and his career trajectory are shared with more traditional folk artists such as Peggy Seeger, another ‘veteran’ who has never pandered to commercial success and instead has championed music from the folk clubs and kept the legacy of her late husband, Ewan Macoll, alive

Here are Thank Folk’s For That’s top 5 artists to catch at the festival this weekend…

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Wilko Johnson

Cancer-free and returning to the live circuit, Wilko Johnson’s set will be one of the more celebrated performances of the weekend. After being told he had less than a year to live, only to be given the all-clear late last year, Wilko’s set promises to raise the roof off of the Stage 1 marquee on Friday night, and should be a riot of fast paced old-style rhythm and blues

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Frank Turner

It seems as though Frank Turner is married to the road; relentlessly gigging all over the world, converting people to his music wherever he goes. Cambridge presents a rare occasion to see Turner performing solo, without his backing band, the Sleeping Souls. Expect a set full of sing-alongs, shanties and toasts to loved ones no longer with us; Frank Turner is very much a flag-bearer for what could be classed as ‘folk-rock’

Skinny Lister

Skinny Lister

Anyone in the mood for a good old-fashioned knees up would be wise to go and watch Skinny Lister on Saturday. Their pseudo-folk-punk is infectious, and will no doubt inspire singalongs in the tent. These are folk tales sung with conviction, with a drink in one hand and friends or family on the other; songs for dancing. A must-watch

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Keston Cobblers Club

A band with a well-woven story behind their name, Keston Cobblers Club (so called after a former shoe cobbler in the town) have recently celebrated the launch of their second LP, Wildfire, and will be bringing their brand of joyful, heartfelt songs to Cherry Hinton Hall on Sunday. Expect to see a lot of happy faces from both old and young during their set – and a lot of dancing!

Flo Morrissey

After a glowing review of her debut LP Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful by this very website, attention turns to see how Flo Morrissey’s songs transform onto the live stage. Her set in the Den on Sunday afternoon should attract a crowd eager to see a future star in the making, and will be a soothing way to welcome in Sunday evening after what has the potential to be, in Cambridge terms, a ‘raucous’ weekend at Cherry Hinton Hall

Joe Sweeting