Event Review + Gallery: Shrewsbury Folk Festival (West Mid Showground, Shrewsbury; Friday 27th to Sunday 30th August 2021)

Tent 1

Ever since the festival relocated to the West Mid Showground in 2007, its varied global line-up has continued to grow. Released from the clutches of its traditional folk narrative, it brought forward the orthodox values of its folkie origins, the Shrewsbury Folk Festival has fostered a place for world and developing music styles, within reason. Aiming always to pursue the artistry of music in song, dance and a great deal of imagination, it is no surprise that this is one of the most prestigious folk festivals in the UK. It is a vision of both change and continuity.

Impromptu free-form and organised sessions played a crucial role in the aesthetics of this festival for the musicians, as well as its punters. It was a goldmine of bottomless talent. As usual, The Reef marquee and others offered opportunities for budding folkies to learn a tune or two. Here, the Refolkus Youth Festival, was a weekend-long programme filled with joyful noise, circus craft and creative projects. From the traditions of the sea shanty to the hybrid sounds of the Afro Celt Sound System, the weekend gave very little room for tedium.

The Carrivick Sisters charmed their audiences throughout the festival on each of its stages with antiquated vocal harmonies and engaging rapport. Warm, worldly cross rhythms of the Kora, bass and vocals performed by Seckou Keita Quartet later proved an enchanting accompaniment for the Spell Songs, a celebration of the Lost Words in poetry and song – another memorable performance.

Transglobal Underground’s Sheema Mukherjee and her contingent explored traditional and contemporary themes, blending relaxed dub-beats with Indian classical, which were both sonically diverse and very well balanced. Formidable handiworks of Sona Jobarteh and her colourful five-piece released their audience from their seats at the Cuckoo stage on Monday afternoon before the succession of Kate Rusby and the Afro Celts, a stimulating end to a four-day weekend.

2020 brought a few changes to the delivery of this festival, but despite the risks and pitfalls associated with the challenge, the event was a huge logistical success. Two large open-air stages on opposite sides of the festival allowed camping around the perimeters, which was fun. Thankfully, the festival’s eating territories remained the same as previous years. In fact, the food (and beer) variety here was a fitting counterpart to the festival’s rich, extensive line-up.

The weekend came as a reminder of what was lost and has now been found. Government assisted Culture Recovery Fund helped toward the return of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival financially but without the determination of its organisers, and the external support of its community and the love that surrounds them, the magic would be obsolete. We are pleased to be back in the fields.


Photo © Gwen Moon

 

Content Related To These Artists

Rhythm Passport Free Compilation – Vol. 62 – July 2021

Preview of the album:   This Album is no longer available however if you want to receive exclusive access to a free album like this each month just sign up to our monthly newsletter by filling in the form below:     Summery vibes anyone? No matter the weather and what’s happening…

Artists: Adrian Younge , Ali Shaheed Muhammad , Baaba Maal , Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band , Brian Jackson , Carthnage , Dat Garcia , Iseo & Dodosound , Kit Sebastian , Kutiman , Luedji Luna , Sangit , Saulo Duarte , Seckou Keita , Tribilin Sound

Festival Files: Shrewsbury Folk Festival (West Mid Showground, Shrewsbury; Friday 27th to Sunday 30th August 2021)

Having mourned the absence of authorization last year due to Covid-19, the organisers of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival have been working tirelessly to revise its format for 2021. Set on the outskirts of medieval Shrewsbury at the West Mid Showground, the SFF has branded its 2021 comeback “a celebration of…

Artists: Afro Celt Sound System , Dawes , Jiggy , Kate Rusby , Oysterband , Richard Thompson , Seckou Keita , Skerryvore , Sona Jobarteh

Podcast: Out Of Africa (May 2021)

This show is a trip through world music and global beats searching for the Oneness in humanity, regardless of all geographical, political, economic and all kinds of divisions, and identifications we might all have, in these times of uncertainties we search for Unity. The unity that music brings to us……

Artists: Adrian Younge , Ali Shaeed Muhamad , Fadoul , Flagelo Urbano , Gary Bartz , Kokoroko , Omar Sosa , Ondatrópica , ONIPA , Pat Kalla et Le Super Modjo , Prace , Samba Negra , Seckou Keita , Seun Kuti , Sir Victor Uwaifo and His Titibitis , Star Band de Dakar , Tabou Combo , The Brother Moves On

Radio Mukambo 496 – Ethiodub Will Keep Us Alive

This week Radio Mukambo is fully dedicated to British multi-instrumentalist and producer Nick Page aka “Dubulah”, founding member of Transglobal Underground, Temple of Sound and Dub Colossus, and producer of the project Syriana. After a long battle with illness in which he was victorious many times, he set flight for…

Artists: Count Dubulah , Dub Colossus , Natacha Atlas , Nick 'Dubulah' Page , Syriana , Temple of Sound , Transglobal Underground

London Gig Guide (August 2019)

At times, we are the first to lose track of how many exciting music events happen in London each month, so we have decided to offer you some sort of “public musical service”, meant for all the locals and passers-by, with the aim of suggesting where to listen to some…

Artists: 47SOUL , Chancha Via Circuito , Dead Prez , Imarhan , Jally Kebba Susso , Kampire , Kanda Bongo Man , Kikagaku Moyo , Kokoroko , Madalitso Band , Otim Alpha , Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno , S H I R A N , Sandman Project , Seckou Keita , Songhoy Blues , Steam Down , The Black Seeds , Thundercat

Preview: Mishti Dance V @ Poplar Union (London; Saturday 31st August 2019)

Mishti Dance is THE underground music event for the Asian underground music scene. Curated by a passionate music historian, DJ Isuru and going on stage on Saturday the 31st August at Polar Union, the show is catering to the gap in the market, providing dancefloor night-out fillers to those identifying as…

Artists: Bolly Ditz Dolly , Dj Isuru , Shareefa Energy , Sheema Mukherjee

Preview: Transglobal Underground feat. Natasha Atlas @ The Albany (London; Saturday 3rd November 2018)

Transglobal Underground are a larger than life fusion band that’s a mixture of Asian, African and Western dance music, which has earned them recognition as founding members of the Asian Underground music scene that has thrived in London since the 90s. In today’s day and age of the ever-growing popularity…

Artists: Natacha Atlas , Transglobal Underground

Review: AfroCubism Revisited @ Islington Assembly Hall (London, 23rd April 2017)

The concept behind the AfroCubism collaboration is to celebrate and unite some of Mali and Cuba’s hottest musicians and to explore their shared spirit of Afro-Cuban soul. In the Sixties, socialist Mali politics had close links to those of the new communist Cuban government, creating strong ties between the two…

Artists: Afrocubism , Bassekou Kouyate , Hammadi Valdés , Piki Bosh , Seckou Keita , Yelfris Valdés

Album Review: Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita – Transparent Water [World Village/Harmonia Mundi, 24th February 2017]

Transparent Water, a meeting between Cuban jazz pianist Omar Sosa and versatile Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita, is a delightful sounding album that lures the listener into an enchanted sonorous world. Keita has made his mark in recent years as a sensitive collaborator (with Welsh harpist Katrin Finch, for example),…

Artists: Omar Sosa , Seckou Keita

Interview: Seckou Keita (February 2017)

On the eve of the release of his latest album Transparent Water, Senégalese kora player, percussionist and singer Seckou Keita was packing to fly to Paris for some radio sessions and shows in France – when he managed to find a moment to talk to Rhythm Passport about the latest of his many…

Artists: Seckou Keita

Review: AKA Trio @ Union Chapel (London, 23rd September 2016)

Housed beneath stained glass by sunset-red rays and drifting smoke, AKA Trio spent an unforgettable night with their Islington audience for Joyful Noise’s  London African Music Festival. Taking to the stage in one of the city’s most celestial venues, Union Chapel, they performed a range of music inspired by their African…

Artists: Adriano Adewale , AKA Trio , Antionio Forcione , Seckou Keita

Album Review: Transglobal Underground – Digging the Underground, The Nation Years, Vol. 1 [Nation Records, 10th June 2016]

This is music of exceptional variety and coherence in its genre, where it’s possible to listen the most diverse instruments and voices mixed with electronic music. These pieces were born into a groove explosion in London, where mixing sounds of the city with house, hip-hop, dub, and influences from Africa,…

Artists: Transglobal Underground



There are no comments

Add yours