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LEIGH FOLK FESTIVAL - Horses & Hangings, Homicide & Hellfire

LEIGH FOLK FESTIVAL - Horses & Hangings, Homicide & Hellfire
Thames Delta Recording Co. MUD003CD

Leigh-on-Sea at the mouth of the Thames, is home to the largest free Folk Festival in the country, and this fund raising offering, comprising 21 tracks and three excerpts of “Sonic Detritus”, is a marvellous example of how a committee can create such an event, using sponsorship, self-financed fundraising CDs and other innovative revenue streams. Every festival has some free events – all of Leigh’s are gratis events and I tip my hat to the organisers. Huge respect.

Some of the contributors are local artistes that many of you may not have heard of, a couple are weel kent to the festival scene, and still others are obviously on the brink of success, and this album will do them no harm whatsoever. In all, there’s the soggy end of 70 minutes of music on one CD, all for just a fiver towards festival funds. At the time of writing, the festival that this was raising for has passed, but it stands on its own merit as a proud ambassador showing what can be done, and typically what can be expected next year.

Some artistes allowed the use of existing tracks from their current albums - Jackie Oates, Megson and Fargo for example, while other tracks are live recordings or have been recorded locally especially for this album – and most are competent.

If I had to single out particular favourites, I would cite Phil Burdett’s bluesy Walking Out To Sea Again and The Bonnie Banks Of The Airdrie by Alasdair Roberts recorded on Skye at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (not necessarily about the town of Airdrie, as there are a few such places, being derived from the Gaelic for ‘high hill slope’). Anyway, I digress [“again” I hear you moan]. This is worth a fiver of anyone’s money, especially as it’s for such a good cause – a fab way to promote your festival. I wish you luck guys.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 86 of The Living Tradition magazine.