Cambridge Folk Festival – Friday Preview

Previews Oscar winners, gypsy punks, acapella and some home grown talent - our take on day 2 of this year's CFF

The first full day of this year’s festival has plenty going on, here is our guide of what not to miss on Friday at Cambridge Folk Festival.

Varldens Band – Stage 2, 10.35pm
Fourteen musicians, seven countries, three continents, one band. Världens Band perform folk and roots music from their native countries in a coadunation of cultures in a style which they have branded as ‘transglobal roots fusion’. Swedish melodies meet Scottish reels, English guitar accompanies Indian classical song, Galician pipes play Balkan melodies and the Senegalese kora blends with Mediterranean rhythms. The result is a unique and exciting blend of culture, personality and style.

KT Tunstall – Stage 1, 6.55pm
Obviously you’ve got to see KT Tunstall. Scotland born and Los Angeles based, KT Tunstall emerged with her 2004 debut ‘Eye To The Telescope’ and soon after won a BRIT Award, an Ivor Novello Award and earned Grammy and Mercury Prize nominations. Since then her music has figured prominently in film and television. Tunstall releases her new album this Autumn, a record that KT sees in spirit as the follow-up to her class debut, so expect first glimpses of this new material.  

The Willows – Club Tent, 10.55pm
Flying the flag for Cambridge acts, The Willows close the Club Tent on Friday night. A folk roots family band fronted by the breathtaking voice of Jade Rhiannon, supported by rich vocal harmonies and sensitive acoustic musicianship the band draw inspiration from the Americana and British folk traditions in equal quantity.

Gogol Bordello – Stage 1, 10.10pm
Explosive gypsy punks Gogol Bordello put on an unbelievable show, catch them closing Stage 1 on Friday night.

Thomas McCarthy – Club Tent, 4.30pm
Acclaimed Irish traveller who is a master at acapella, one for the hardcore folk fans and approved by Sam Lee. A largely undocumented song tradition does still survive among the UK’s tight-knit Traveller and Gypsy communities and CFF is showcasing this in McCarthy and his take on the oral tradition of traditional, unaccompanied singing of his Traveller background.

Glen Hansard – Stage 1, 8.25pm
The Oscar-winning songwriter’s set is one not to be missed. Over the last few years he has supported the likes of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder. A long time cult success as frontman of The Frames, last year he sold out the 02 last year and three shows at Sydney Opera House a few months back, so to have him in Cherry Hinton Hall is going to be epic.

The Frames frontman and solo musician left school at 13 to busk in his native Ireland, first appeared in the public eye in The Commitments and more recently played a memorable lead role in the film “Once” which he won an Oscar for. The song from the film that won him the Oscar, “Falling Slowly”, has been downloaded over a million times off iTunes. “Once”, based around his songs, is now hugely successful on Broadway.

Latest