So I had my mini-festival last week with Show of Hands, Billy Bragg and Kate Rusby three nights in a row. And in short, it was amazing!
Show of Hands was in Pontardawe Arts Centre, and I went with Mountain Boy, YC, B, Ramblin’ Folkie and Mr Folkie (and we found P&P there). The venue has everyone sitting round tables on the ground floor, and the 8 of us were sat together on a table of our own, which was cool, especially when it led to some timely giggles. Show of Hands were on top form, with an impressive 10 instruments between the 3 of them (Miranda Skyes came on for the second half), all of which were played with fantastic skill.
Next was Billy Bragg. Its a long story, but basically A and I got complementary tickets courtesy of the venue. And very good tickets at that – right in the middle, about 8 rows from the front, in a large hall. Billy was great. I’m used to hearing his songs at silly am, on a friend’s guitar, at SCM events. But he was right there, with his music, political views and anecdotes – and the hecklers weren’t in short supply! When starting with The World Turned Upside Down and finishing with A New England you can’t go far wrong!
Finally was Kate Rusby. I’d never heard her live – I listen to her music regularly from my itunes, and heard she was something else live. But wow. She was absolutely amazing. It was in the same large hall, but this time we were sat in the second row from the front!!! She really was right in front of us! I went with a KateVirgin, which was cool because she thought she was great too. She had a very good, natural rapport with the audience too – although unlike the previous two nights, there weren’t any hecklers (coincidence or difference in audiences??). The best bit was the encore when she sang The Village Green Preservation Society and Sandy Denny’s Who knows where the Time Goes.