Musicport Preview

This coming weekend I’m off to another festival. I’ve lost count a little but I think it might be my 19th of 2014. It’s been such a privilege to be able to go to so many, writing for eFestivals. I said this last year but I won’t be doing so many in 2015.

Musicport was a great way to finally draw my festival season to a close in 2013 (review here) and I see no reason at all why it won’t offer similar delights this year. There’ll be wanders around the lovely harbour and beach strolls before heading along to the Whitby Pavilion for musical delights drawn from across the world. The Whitby Pavilion is a great venue to hold such a festival. Built onto the cliff edge, you look out to sea from the glass/perspex covered auditorium and can’t help but be grabbed by the horizon. There’s a whole world out there (or at least the North Sea).

It’d be wrong of me to pick out particular highlights; last year’s festival was about trying to see things not previously on my horizon. But, there will be an element of reacquaintance with acts I’ve seen over the course of the year.

I’m sure that the Sunday afternoon slot for Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita will be the perfect antidote for Saturday nights hangover. When I saw them play at Shambala’s main stage over the August bank holiday weekend (full review here), I commented that, “I lie down on the ground and rest my eyes whilst letting the beautiful sounds of Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita wash over me. On paper, a merging of Welsh folk played on a harp and African protest played on a Kora doesn’t necessarily work but Catrin and Seckou are recommended by Songlines for good reason.

I’ll be delighted to see The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown again. It feels a long time ago that I drank cider in the shelter of a church whilst hiding from the rain at Lunar Festival. Arthur Brown, still very much the god of hell-fire, delighted the young son of a good friend by posing with him for a photo. I said about his set, “It’s hard to believe that Arthur Brown is a man in his 70’s such is the energy with which he sets about playing old and new songs. He tangos in flames with a sultry dancer who joins him on stage. His colourful make up runs down his balding pate as he tells us all with absolute conviction that he is the God of hellfire.”

And how nice it is to see the band from Birmingham’s conservatoire on the bill. Steady Hands impressed all who saw them at OBS events at the Musician in Leicester. I wrote about them in an early blog post here. I’ll be excited to see how they’ve developed this year.

So, here’s to a weekend of great music – new friends, old pals and great company. Headlining the Saturday night are Lo’Jo, a band from France who are raved about but who I’ve never seen. Here’s one of their videos from a live show. My French is a bit rusty. I might need a translator on the night.


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