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Off in the distance
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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2012-10-02 10:56
Subject: Local Folk
Security: Public
We like live performance. It's something we've only really got into in the last couple of years, but we do go to a number of live performances of both music and comedy. And we reckon that over 90% of the time, we're happy to have gone

But oh dear, sometimes we're not.

Last night was a case in point: we went to see Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick at the Junction in Cambridge. Swarbrick in particular is a legend in the British Folk scene.

We left at the interval.

It was all that is wrong with Folk music: traditional tunes rendered inert under a peatbed of respectful seriousness. We didn't quite have the singer with a finger in his ear, but Carthy spent almost all the time retuning his guitar and still being out of tune. I spent some of the time waiting for the interval trying to appreciate the guitar technique, but it wasn't anything special.

No, not for us. There are obviously people who do like it, judging by the few seats unfilled, but not us.

Contrast that with the gig we went to last Friday: Megson. They were performing in our local church as part of the Royston Arts Festival. They also do Folk, they also do Traditional songs, but they play with life coming out of every note they play. They too are a duo, in this case Stu Hanna and Debbie Hanna-Palmer, but they provide a much fuller performance. Perhaps it's that they're young, but they know that above all music must live.

The upside of going to the Junction is that I bought tickets for Megson's performance there in November, which will be the third time we'll have seen them this year. (The first being when they opened the Cambridge Folk Festival this year - before that we'd never heard of them.)

So tonight, it's Distraction Club night, a melange of performances, some of which we know and will love, some of which will be new to us.
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The Magician
User: the_magician
Date: 2012-10-02 10:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I first saw Megson opening for Show of Hands and The Levellers at Regents Park Open Air Theatre (in London), and was very impressed.

I've seen Martin Carthy being good (for example, as part of Brass Monkey), but mostly his appeal passes me by. Dave Swarbrick on the other hand I've enjoyed every time I've seen him.

I love live music, but I don't get out to listen to it unless dragged along by friends ... so next time you hear of something fun, give me a shout and we can meet up.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2012-10-02 14:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Carthy was for me the better of the two, and that's not saying much.

Megson last Friday were very good, though it may be next year before they're performing in Royston again. Well, except for shopping and the like. But they do quite a bit of local stuff, and will be at the Junction late next month.
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Muninn and Huginn
User: muninnhuginn
Date: 2012-10-02 13:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Looby Loo knows all the Megson songs--with the appropriate Middlesbrough accent. That's what happens if it's all that's ever put in the CD player in the car.

I think that makes us fans.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2012-10-02 14:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That'd be 'When I Was a Lad', then?

I handed them £40 on Friday and picked up the other 4 CDs — which Stu and Debs insisted on signing — and I'm loving those too. I then handed Debbie another tenner for a second copy of WIWAL because it deserves to be given to someone with a small child.

The fun on Friday was them being able to put really, really local references in to the act, since they live over the hill in Melbourn. And WIWAL was recorded in Melbourn and Royston.

So I'll be expecting to see you in November? Tickets are £11 at Junction 2
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