The 44th Glenfarg Folk Feast

A date for your diary
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th April 2022
We hope the venue will be Backstage at The Green Hotel, Kinross.

Here is a review of the 43rd Glenfarg Folk Feast

By Philip Ponton.

Over the weekend of 9th to 11th April 2021, Glenfarg Folk Club held its 43rd annual Folk Feast. For the second year in succession the event was 'On-line' due to the restictions in force, but that did not stop us playing host to the best in traditional and contemporary folk and acoustic music. The show must go on!

Festivities began on Friday eveing with a Gathering Concert via Zoom. We are all now getting very familiar with the format; we have no choice. We were entertained in fine style by a stream of club members and friends, each playing a small set. The variety and high standards were a good start to the weekend.
Saturday afternoons at the Feast are always full of fun when folk compete in the original song-contest. A key point is that songs must be of a humorous nature. This year the theme was 'Twenty One' so there was plenty of scope there. A clever on line system allowed all the audience to vote and resulted in the comidic compositions from Keith Williamson being voted outright most winner. He will be presented with the prestigous Duncan McNab Trophy for twelve months. Congratualtions to Keith and all the other competitiors who took part. The quality of the entries was well up to our normal standards, no mean feat when there is no live audience to play off.

The evening concerts took place via Facebook Live, with Dave Spittal providing much needed and appreciated technical support. In fact the streaming was done from his home in Peru!

The Saturday concert was opened by Hannah Rarity who was accompanied beautifully by John Lowrey on piano. We were treated to an enthralling set with Hannah's beautiful voice a treat for everyone to enjoy. Her second album is due for release this year.

Next on stage were Tripple, who are Cait, Annie and Jill; sisters and mum. They enjoy arranging songs of Scotland in a contemporary way, with interesting harmonies and finely tuned dynamics bringing the old songs and their stories to life. We will never forget the beautiful harmonies we were treated to, along with humorous comments between the songs.

To complete the entertaiment Paul McKennna rounded off with an excellent set for us. He has long been ranked amongst our finest younger singers and songwriters, armed with a powerful yet intensely emotive voice and passionate social conscience, often expressed through his songs. With his engaging personality it felt like Paul was right there in the room with you.

Sunday afternoon historically features the world famous Puff-a-Box Championships, but that is not the easiest of things to handle via the internet. So this year we ran a three hour Sing-around which was busy from start to finish. Thanks to all who joined in and sang or just listened. What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Had this been a 'proper' event there is no doubt that another capacity audience would have filled the hall for the Final Feast concert. Our 'Final Fling' concert was opened by Harp and a Monkey. Their award-winning song and storytelling kept us enthralled with poignant and melodic short stories about life, love and remembrance and all filmed in a orchard. That was different. The trio's work is bold, brilliant and very different. Let's hope we can have them back sometime.

Siobhan Miller was our final headline act, accompanied by Innes White. It soon became abundantly clear why she has been winner of the Scots Singer of the Year an unprecedented three times at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. Her polished performance was a fitting finale to a fabulous weekend.

There is no doubt about the enduring popularity of the 'Feast', a 43 year old annual celebration of all that's good in traditional and contemporary acoustic music. It has managed to survive these unusual times with the last two events on-line. Let's hope we are back where we belong next year, in Backstage at The Green, Kinross.

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