Monday, 30 July 2012


Alas! I did not manage to make it to this year's Cambridge Folk Festival. Not even for one of the four days of fantastic music the event offers. When seeking permission to feature the contemporary folk singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow in one of the podcasts, I mentioned my frustration at having just missed his recent UK tour (my timing was all off as I'd only come across his music as the tour ended - oh if only my time machine was in full working order). His reps advised me I should definitely apply for a press pass ticket citing my recent music writing and the podcast I put together. Naturally the temptation flooded me and I'm kind of gutted I didn't follow that through but when one has a full time job there is the issue of having enough annual leave remaining in order to attend the days of the festival that aren't a Saturday and Sunday. Deciding against applying this year I did of course contemplate making use of the opportunity to buy just a day ticket to ensure I saw James perform. However, I'd still have needed a day or two off work which I was unable to take at this time. 

Having a good friend to stay for a few days in June I also missed an email (I'm always right on my emails too, having a phone app that allows me to check them pretty much non stop all day long should I need to - isn't there an app for just everything these days? Again, I could have rectified the situation if the troublesome time machine weren't on the blink) from Prescription PR asking me to complete an attached form which the festival organisers/press folk would process to see if I could indeed be granted a press pass ticket. 

Gutted times a million! Although I was only a day over the deadline, I've convinced myself I missed the email because on some level my mind knew I wouldn't be able to attend anyway (the annual leave issue and having two other festivals either side of this particular one). My mind also knew full well that had I seen it in time I would have applied and thus now be a burned out comatose wreck. Not to imply I'd have relished the excesses of sublime tasting ales, of course. Anyway, I'm digressing and this isn't even strictly my post per se.

What a sensational and breathtaking debut album from James. Early In The Morning hits all the right notes and ticks boxes that weren't even on the list to be ticked. Sample it at the bottom of this post and see (or rather hear) what you're missing. I'm very jealous of all those who got to experience what would have no doubt been a phenomenal live gig. 

It's no wonder this year's Cambridge Folk Festival is  being hailed as a big success (cue lots of folk in fantasy garb a la Lord of the Rings & Game of Thrones shouting 'HAIL!' in unison). Not even the traditional British summer of endless rivers of rain stopped the masses from descending on this truly magnificent event. Have a read of the final press release below from Prescription PR and make sure you get buying your tickets for next year as soon as you possibly can. That's right folks, they went on sale today. No beating around the bush for these Cambridge folk! Now, get on it!


Tickets on sale 12 noon - Monday 30 July

AFTER weeks of rain, summer finally arrived at the other greatest show on earth this weekend, with thousands enjoying this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival.

Sunday afternoon’s hailstorm did nothing to dampen everyone’s spirits at the end of four days of otherwise fantastic weather and the very best in folk. Legends including Clannad, June Tabor & Oysterband, and Nanci Griffith thrilled audiences with their performances, while a new generation of cutting edge young artists, including Charlene Soraia, King Charles and Jake Bugg made their mark on the Festival’s massively popular emerging talent stages. The Festival has showcased many rising artists over the years at the very start of their careers, including Newton Faulkner, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons, Seth Lakeman, Noah & The Whale and this year was no different with acts like The Staves, Lucy Ward, Benjamin Francis Leftwich & Rachel Sermanni.

One of the country’s best loved and most outspoken songwriters, Billy Bragg played a unique set on the Festival’s opening night on Thursday, celebrating the 100th birthday of legendary political folk and blues singer Woody Guthrie. Other weekend highlights among so many included: a stirring and haunting performance from the Unthank sisters, their exquisite blend of traditional and modern folk complemented by a stunning performance from Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band; a rousing Saturday night closing set from The Proclaimers; a surprise appearance from Green Wing and Episodes actor, Stephen Mangan presenting a guitar workshop with Martin Simpson and on Sunday blistering performances from one of the greatest forces in African music Angelique Kidjo and Festival favourite Seth Lakeman plus an emotionally charged return to the stage after 30 years for legendary folk artist, Nic Jones.

With the exception of Friday day tickets (Olympic Opening Ceremony night) all tickets for the Festival completely sold out. The Festival was broadcast live on Sky Arts across the weekend.

Festival Marketing Manager Neil Jones said: ‘2012 has been a fantastic year for the UK and appropriately also a fabulous year for the Cambridge Folk Festival. In a summer that has seen atrocious weather for many UK Festivals we were blessed with mainly beautiful conditions and we are delighted to have sold out all Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Weekend Tickets. Tickets are now on sale for 2013.'

Tickets for the 2013 Cambridge Folk Festival are available from midday on Monday 30 July via

Cambridge Folk Festival is promoted by Cambridge City Council.

Broadcast partners: Sky Arts, BBC Radio 2
Principal supporters: Crabbies
Supporters: Creative Scotland, English Folk and Dance Song Society, Unison, MOJO

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