Folk Fest: Day 3 @ The Bedford 21st July 2012

The final night of Folk Fest kicked off with a magical set by The Duplets. “OK we’re going to start with. This is a famous Scottish song but we’ve done it a bit differently” Gillian Fleetwood said to the audience. The words were by Robert Burns and the opening song was A Man’s A Man For A’ That. This duo consist of Gillian Fleetwood and Fraya Thomsen whom both hail from Scotland. This song was taken from the sophomore album Leverage and it was slightly hypnotic. The vocals and the use of the two harps made shivers go up my spine. “We’re going to play you a wee traditional tune from Inverness called The Banks Of The Ness and that’s where the Loch Ness Monster comes from. The 2nd tune is called the Euro Jig. I wrote it just kind of celebrating all the fun times we’ve had” Fraya then mentioned to the intimate audience before The Banks Of Ness. Now this tune was basically an instrumental which showed off their fantastic harp playing. This made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge plus it was rather soothing as well. It was then onto the 2nd part and this being Euro Jig. The song itself was written by Fraya and it sounded soft and gentle. Both Duplets sang this song together and their vocals gelled together perfectly. Euro Jig was one lovely song which I adored. “I’m going to play you a song that I wrote about the birth of an island called Surtsey which was a volcano that gushed up from underneath the ocean in 1963. It’s really exciting cos it was a fantastic opportunity for scientists to monitor the evolution of a brand new eco system that had just started” Thomsen said before Surtsey. This was a pacey tune and you could clearly picture the story in you head. Gillian mainly sang this wonderful song with Fraya harmonising. There was something about the harp which made it sound rather magical. “It sort of starts off in Paris and ends up in the Antarctic” Fleetwood said before getting stuck into Paris which she wrote. Now this song was a beautiful tale of lost love which sounded rather sublime. Once over Fraya mentioned that Leverage has been voted in the Scottish New Music Awards and the only way they could win was getting more votes. It was then onto The Boys taken from the debut album Tree Of Strings. “I’ll give you one guess what it’s about” Thomson then said. Like The Banks Of Ness, The Boys was yet another whimsical harp instrumental which sounded really soothing. The 7 song set then ended with Jenny Nettles.


A Man’s A Man For A’ That
The Banks Of Ness
Euro Jig
The Boys
Jenny Nettles

It was then off to the Ballroom for Paper Aeroplanes. This duo consisted of Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn. “It’s a very bright light shining in my eyes, for all I know there could be like 4 of you” Howells then joked before Fable. This was the first time I had heard this live and it doesn’t feature on the album The Day We Ran Into The Sea or EP We Are Ghosts. This song was both gentle and spellbinding. Sarah then introduced their lovely cellist Miriam Wakeling for a new song which was Taken. By new I mean the fact it has never been released. Sarah actually made a video of this tune and posted it to YouTube in 2010. Now I really liked this number and Howells’s vocals were both lovely and rather powerful. Also the harmonising from Richard were stunning and the use of cello worked wonders. Taken was in fact very upbeat from the guitar chords which were played. “So we’ve just started making a new album. This song is from that album. It’s called Singing To Elvis and we were filming it earlier on. Our friend didn’t get what singing to Elvis meant, it just means singing along to Elvis on the radio. She’s so intelligent, she’s kind of thinking it has some deep meaning” Sarah said before revealing Richard wants to film the video at an Elvis convention. Howells’s vocals were distinctive, strong and mesmerinsing. Singing To Elvis was a promising song which makes me look forward to the brand new LP. “This is such a lovely event isn’t it? This is the 1st time I’ve been to it and played at it. Some of you might of heard this one on Lip Service on BBC3” Sarah said before getting stuck into  Winter Never Comes. This number was very hypnotic and had soothing verses which sounded superb. It was then straight onto Safe Hands. Howells sang this song beautifully whilst Richard Llewellyn provided some fantastic guitar work and backing vocals to accompany her. “We’ll try and do something happy. Our idea of happy is kind of fast sad” Sarah said before dedicating the song to her little American friend who was in the audience. It was then onto a new song and this being Palm Of Your Hand. I rather liked its lyrics which were delivered to perfection. It was then onto the penultimate tune and this being Circus. This song was rather strong and everything was put into it. Circus had a steady pace and what I most liked was the fact the lyrics were clear cut. The short but sweet set ended with the catchy and entrancing My First Love.


Singing To Elvis
Winter Never Comes
Safe Hands
Palm Of Your Hand
My First Love

I previously saw Fossil Collective support Ren Harvieu back in April. Back then I wasn’t blown away by the performance but today they won me over. The set consisted of new tracks and material from the début EP Let It Go which was released in June. Each track performed was a classic and I look forward to hearing the full length when it is finally released. Fossil Collective have something special. The harmonising was superb and each song had been well crafted. Each tune played by them was smooth and very entrancing. They wee actually very easy on the ear and not heavy one bit.


On And On
Without A Fight
When Frank Became An Orb
Boy With Black Bird Kite
Power Of Love
Let It Go


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