WELCOME TO THE ELY FOLK WEEKEND 2003 SLIDE SHOW
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Whilst quenching an almost incurable thirst we sat down to take in the acoustic jam in the Beverage Area (I can’t keep on writing Beer Tent). There’s no better way of hearing this kind of music. Members of E2K were on hand to give a warm up performance prior to their appearance on the main stage. A large crowd gathered as they ran through some numbers and I was especially impressed with the warmth of Neil Fairclough's bass lines and the sheer...er, er... folkiness of it all.
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Once more traversing the field it was time for Mundy Turner. They are: Catherine Mundy and Jay Turner, an acoustic, original song-writing duo based in Brisbane, Australia. With influences across the board from pop to blues, they were my favourite turn of the evening. The impression of a Kookaburra that Cath treated us to was something to behold. I'm not quite sure if you'd class it as acappella or Gospel but it nearly made my dictaphone explode. They have a web-site which can be found at www.mundy-turner.com and it’s well worth a look because it’s where I was able to check out their work in the week leading up to the Folk Festival. The downloadable tracks serve as a good introduction to their music. Particular favourite of mine is ‘Naked’, written and sung by Jay. This is more of a pop ballad than finger in yer ear folk and if George Michael recorded a version of this song it’d get to number one. I ain’t joking. So, George (who is a regular reader of Ely On Line), stop shaving your bleedin' chin into geometric shapes and cover ‘Naked’. There, that told him.

Another change of style followed with Mick Ryan and Pete Harris. Singing without accompaniment they held the audience spellbound with their combination of traditional, original, comic and blues material, showing just how powerful the naked voice can be.

Handy musicians to have around during a power cut. Since their formation as a duo in 1993, Mick and Pete have played at folk clubs and festivals throughout England and have released four albums which you can find more information on by clicking on www.jacaranda-music.com/ryanharris.html#anchor777252.

Next up: Malinky. I’m ashamed to say that we missed them. During their set the Folk Boy Three were eating Beef Chili, Cheese Burgers and arguing about doughnut holes. Karl is a keen advocate of the theory that doughnuts are made as complete circles and the middles are then pushed out and then sold as doughnut holes. ‘Piffle’ I cried as the beer took hold and shredded his theory as he devoured three (3) bags of sugary goodness. Like the Ely Folk Festival, Karl is growing bigger (and more popular) every year. However, through the magic of the internet I can still enjoy their music at www.malinky.com.


As night fell and with our stomachs full of the best of the food stalls we waddled back for another slice of music in the shape of the previously mentioned e2K. They have a fine singer in Kellie While, who is one of the most respected singers on the live music scene in the UK. Sharing duties as 'front-person' was Neil Yates who plays trumpet and whistles. His loves are jazz and folk and is a hard working session player, having worked with some diverse acts from outside the folk world. E2K also can be found on the net at www.iconicmusic.com/e2start.htm where you can listen to a selection of their material. Live, the band kick up a fine storm and had the tent a'rockin in a fine style to finish the evening in the Main Tent.

Saturday was sweltering as Ely burst into Colour and Music with Mr Morris & Mrs Molly dancing in the streets. On every corner there was something to see and lots of people were there to see it. Down at the Festival site Musicians played, Workshops taught and Drinkers drank culminating in the Folk cult that is The Oyster Band.

Sunday was much the same but with a slightly less hectic feel as Musicians & Festival goers relaxed after the previous days & nights revellings. Down the Festival site an early morning YOGA session brought the fitness freaks out of their tents while Jan bagged the kids up in a back to the womb. "rebirth" experience.! Up town the Dancers Danced till they were beat , drummers beat their Drums as the sweltering Sun God beat down on the humble Ely Folk...

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