We continue on our interviews with some of British Folk’s big names looking back at their memories of Sidmouth Folk Week who celebrate their Diamond Anniversary this year. The festival takes place between 1st – 8th August 2014 and you can read the rest of our interviews here.
Sharing their memories today is CHRIS WOOD, singer, songwriter, guitarist, renowned for his solo work in recent years but also as part of legendary duo (in which he also plays fiddle) with Andy Cutting (main image).
When did you first come to Sidmouth, and what for?
The first time was with The Oyster Ceilidh Band! Our sound guy got us all t- shirts printed up and when we arrived and peeled out of the van Rod Stradling said we looked like a Chinese Tong!
What do you most remember about your first (and/or subsequent) Sidmouth festival experiences?
Dedication to the moment!
Do you remember the first song you sang, tune you played, story you told, the first dance you called or danced or played for?
… er, no!
Do you have memories of particular venues ?
Drill Hall – 50s night – Oysters were the band – Taffy (Taffy Thomas) stole the show by riding into the middle of the dancing on 650 Triumph (he was supposed to be on stage at The Arena at the time) and singing a completely atonal rendition of Hound Dog.
Do you have memories of particular people you met at the festival? Or particular performances?
Andy Cutting! Nuff said.
What are your lasting impressions of the festival?
It’s big in a quiet way. I was sat having breakfast at The Bedford on the Friday morning listening to three tables talking about the week they’d had and it became clear that they’d basically experienced 3 different festivals and each had a great time. That’s a very hard thing to pull off – I can’t think of another festival that can do that.
What are your hopes for the future of the festival?
Sidders has an identity all its own. It doesn’t pander to “The Kids” or “The Traddies” or “The Day Trippers” etc – it takes them all into account and caters for them but manages not to prostrate itself at the feet of commercialism. This is precious! Long may it continue.
Song of the Day
Chris Wood & Andy Cutting – Hares On The Mountain (Courtesy of Bristol Ron, filmed in 1996 at the Albert Hole, Bedminster, Bristol)
Sidmouth FolkWeek 1st – 8th August 2014
We’ll have more memories soon from: Andy Cutting, Jackie Oates, Jim Causely, Jo Freya, John Kirkpatrick, Oysterband, Peter Coe & Steve Knightley.
Find out more about this years festival and line-up by visiting: http://www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk/