Before I started going out with TractorGirl, I was never particularly into folk music. Classical or 1960s cheese was more my scene. However, over the last few months, I’ve got quite into folk.
It started with a quiet evening spent in TractorGirl’s flat watching a DVD of a Ralph McTell concert. Next thing I know I’m being dragged to a gig by Show of Hands at the Gala Theatre. The supporting act for the evening was Flossie Malavialle, a French singer who came to England in 2000 to improve her English and ended up in Darlington, like, on the English folk scene. While I liked Show of Hands, I much preferred Flossie and ended up buying her Tour Collection. Ever since then, I’ve been quite a fan of ‘French Bint’, as Tractorgirl calls her.
A little while later and I made my first trip to the Sagein Gateshead to hear Martyn Joseph. Decided that he wasn’t so much my cup of tea, but it was still a fun evening. Most recently, I’ve seen Fairport Convention twice, once in Durham doing an ‘acoustic evening’ – which just meant they sat down(!) – and once at the Sage, supported by Flossie. I also heard Joan Armatrading at the Sage and learnt the limits of my synaesthesia – I passed out at one point as the combination of the volume of the music, lighting and the Media Player-style backdrop was too much. I sometimes get sensory overload when bombarded with too many stimuli but that’s the first time I’ve flaked out!
My favourite gig recently was in a little parish church with Maddy Prior and Nick Hennessy. He told stories and played such diverse instruments as the harp (which I’d never heard used as a solo instrument before and was really beautiful) and a suitcase! She sang some random songs about ravens. The nicest part of the evening was sitting next to TractorGirl with her just resting her head on my shoulder. It was lovely being so close, feeling her hair brush against my cheek, while listening to great music. One of those moments you don’t want to end…
Over the last few months I’ve also discovered the music (and drop-dead-gorgeous looks) of kd lang. My favourite song at the moment is ‘Constant Craving’, with which I leave you: