Mudcat Café message #3389062 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146386   Message #3389062
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
12-Aug-12 - 05:41 AM
Thread Name: So how was Sidmouth 2012 for you?
Subject: RE: So how was Sidmouth 2012 for you?
My first Sidmouth for many years. not as international as I remembered it. It was nice meeting Leadfingers and Acorn 4. Nice to touch base with old mates paul Downes, Alan bell.

There wasn't the sort of stuff that I like at a folk festival - seminars on guitar technique. I thought the craft fair side was a bit crap compared to fylde.

The Duke Open mic was okay, but the PA was inadequate. The open nature of it made it possible for me to turn up and do a spot, but it also made it possible for an umpteen versions of Wonderwall.

I wasn't really tempted - must see -by the acts on offer. Yeh it was all like that really. Everything had the middle class little lion on the shell. The kids busking with the suzuki method violin - these are parents who really have NO idea what being a folk performer means. Says it all really.

In the 1960's and 70's my parents used to urge me to go to Sidmouth FF. But I knew it wasn't Bob Dylan even then. I'd met Ken Penny and his mates at the Jolly Porter, it was a hangout for the students at the Uni and St Lukes - nice kids with University scarves - boys smoked pipes with Holland House and the girls tried to look like Julie Felix. And even then I knew proper folk music had a bit more attitude than that.

And really Sidmouth has stayed in that groove. I doubt any of organisers go to folk clubs. So they wouldn't get to know about that guy who gives slide guitar seminars every year in the backroom of the Steamer at Fylde, outlaw characters like me and Paul Openshaw, or Jack hudson. Its not so much that Sidmouth has lost touch with the roots - it has different roots from the people in folk clubs.

It is what it is. It succeeds in its own terms. Surviving this long as a FF is a great achievement. But I can't see it ever touching base with commonality of English folk.