Isn’t it nice when your job and your hobbies come together? My day job is librarianship but my evenings are often spent with folk music. Last night I went to a show which beautifully combined the two – The Full English at the Sage Gateshead. They used material taken from the new online archive developed at the English Folk Dance and Song Society and brought it to life on stage. Big screens showed linked photographs of collectors, singers, or just connected images. They even played along to old footage of morris dancing, and used original wax-cylinder recordings to springboard into their own tunes. There was also new tunes written by Nancy Kerr, inspired by the collections.
Overall, it felt like a real “show” – time and effort had clearly gone into arranging it and it was definitely worth while. I’ve been a couple of disappointing gigs at the Sage recently but this one felt like value for money. Best of all, they finished the show with a singalong chorus number, and even displayed the words on screen to help us all join in!