From small beginnings the Bermondsey Folk Festival is starting to flourish as a calendar event in the London Folk Scene and we have the headline acts in the main stage to prove it: Lisa Knapp, Circulus and Martin Carthy
First on the stage from 2pm, you will discover award winning chanteuse Lisa Knapp; later on the indescribable Circulus will delight attendees with the unique psychedelic folk and closing the main stage performances will be modern folk’s greatest innovator Martin Carthy, purveying their finest wares.
There will Thrales Rapper and Irish Dance performances, choir music, poetry and more
Lisa Knapp was raised in Tooting, south London. She is an English folk singer, songwriter, fiddle player and multi-instrumentalist. Her singing voice has been described as “crystal clear” and reminiscent of Anne Briggs or Jeannie Robertson. Two of her three albums have received five-starred reviews in the British national press.
Her debut album, Wild and Undaunted, released in 2007, was Mojo ‘s Folk Album of the Year. It includes a cover version of Lal Waterson’s song “Black Horse”.
Colin Irwin gave her 2013 album Hidden Seam, which included contributions by Martin Carthy and Kathryn Williams, five stars in a review for The Observer. The lyrics of the album’s opening track, “Shipping Song”, derive from BBC Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast. Another song from the album, “Two Ravens”, took the award for Best Original Song at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2014.
Till April is Dead – A Garland for May, Knapp’s 2017 concept album about the month of May, “twists tradition… mixing in interviews about May Day rituals and samples of birdsong, buzzing flies and cuckoo clocks”. It received a five-starred review in The Guardian from Jude Rogers who described it as “overflowing with warmth, light and waywardness”. “Knapp’s voice throughout”, she said, “is a relevation, both pure and wild, springing free”. Writing in The Observer, Neil Spencer gave four stars to Till April is Dead – A Garland for May, which he described as completing “a trio of extraordinary albums”. Thomas Blake, for Folk Radio UK, said that the album “seeks to understand old songs and traditions in modern and often highly original ways. It is a real step forward from a genuinely groundbreaking artist”
– source: Wikipedia
Circulus are a psychedelic folk/progressive rock band from South London, England, founded by vocalist Michael Tyack.
The band uses a mix of modern and medieval instruments, such as the lute, cittern, crumhorn and rauschpfeife, along with the Moog synthesizer, bass and electric guitars. Tyack claims to believe in fairies and pixies, and they have been known to play their live shows with the audience sitting on the floor.
Circulus were featured in a two-page spread of an NME issue in 2005, and a two-page interview in Terrorizer in 2006. Their album Clocks are Like People was reviewed in Metal Hammer magazine in September 2006, receiving 8/10.
The band featured in an SVT (Swedish) music television documentary called This Is Our Music in 2005, and were interviewed on BBC2’s The Culture Show on 3 February 2007 as part of an item on the ‘new folk’.
Mojo magazine chose Circulus to cover “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” for their 40th anniversary Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band tribute album, Sgt. Pepper…With a Little Help from His Friends, given away with their March 2007 issue.
– source: Wikipedia
Martin Carthy performing with The Imagined Village at Camp Bestival. Image by MikeGarvey at English Wikipedia
Martin Carthy MBE (born 21 May 1941) is an English folk singer and guitarist who has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music, inspiring contemporaries such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and later artists such as Richard Thompson since he emerged as a young musician in the early days of the folk revival.
He is a solo performer of traditional songs in a very distinctive style, accompanying himself on his Martin 000-18 acoustic guitar; his style is marked by the use of alternative tunings (notably CGCDGA), and a strongly percussive picking style that emphasises the melody.
In 1964 Carthy joined Marian Mackenzie, Ralph Trainer and Leon Rosselson in the group The Three City Four. The group concentrated on contemporary songs, including some of Rosselson’s own, and made two albums – the first for Decca and a second, “Smoke and Dust (Where the Heart Should Have Been)”, for CBS. The 1965 eponymous debut The Three City Four featured Carthy singing lead vocals on two tracks – Sydney Carter’s “Telephone Song” and Rosselson’s own “History Lesson”. Roy Bailey would replace Carthy when he later left the group.
Carthy’s debut solo album, Martin Carthy, was released in 1965, and also featured Dave Swarbrick playing fiddle on some tracks, although he was not mentioned in the album’s sleeve notes. Carthy’s arrangement of the traditional ballad “Scarborough Fair” was adapted, without acknowledgement, by Paul Simon on the Simon and Garfunkel album recording Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme in 1966. This caused a rift between the pair which was not resolved until Simon invited Carthy to sing the song with him on-stage at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2000.
– source: Wikipedia