Cambridge Folk Festival – Thursday Preview

Festivals Our picks for what to catch on day one of CFF16

Thursday is our favourite day of the Folk Festival. There’s a fresh and eagerness vibe across the site and all round there’s a mood of great anticipation for the weekend. For the most part revellers are arriving from work and the beer tents are packed.

With a reduced line up you’d be forgiven for not paying much attention to the Thursday line up, but previous years have seen Thursday triumph some great artists. This year is no exception and we have a couple of recommendations for you…

Jon Boden – Stage 2, 9.05pm
Closing Stage 2 on night 1 is the brilliant Jon Boden. Over the course of his career, Jon Boden has become one of the outstanding performers of traditional music of his generation. In one capacity or another, he has won eleven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Though widely respected for his role as a highly accomplished interpreter of traditional song, Jon Boden has a musical repertoire which extends far beyond the boundaries of just one genre. Now that the exuberant big band Bellowhead which Jon fronted has now come to a close, Jon has decided to explore a more simple, pared down sound. With Autumn 2016 seeing Boden undertake his first ever solo tour, he returns to familiar ground by performing at CFF.

O’Hooley and Tidow – Stage 2, 8.05pm
O’Hooley & Tidow are an English folk music duo from Yorkshire. Singer-songwriter Heidi Tidow performs and records with her wife, singer-songwriter and pianist Belinda O’Hooley, who was formerly a member of Rachel Unthank and the Winterset. Together they are are regarded as one of British Folk’s mightiest combinations and their highly anticipated new album ‘Shadows’ is set to be launched at Cambridge Folk Festival.

Will Varley – Club Tent, 7.55pm
Signed to the same label as CFF favourite’s Skinny Lister, Will Varley gets a nod from us for his multi-faceted writing and multitudinous ways with words. From rowdy drinking songs with sprawling chaotic arrangements to his sparse solo performances he covers a range of subjects with his trademark sprinkling of social commentary, politics and wry humour.

Seafret – Stage 2, 7pm
Graduating from performing at The Den last year, duo Seafret bring their debut album to Cambridge. It’s a rare thing when a band’s name perfectly encapsulates their music. Flip open a dictionary at ‘sea fret’ and you’ll find it’s the term for the mist that rolls inshore from the sea. Then pick any one of the Bridlington duo’s tracks and breathe in the delicately plucked acoustics, the gentle haze of rippling electronics, whispering strings and melancholic vocals. 

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