All good things must come to an end although I’d love to see this band carry on for a lot longer. The Full English collective features some of the biggest stars on the English Folk music scene: Fay Hield, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls. You can see already the challenge such a high profile membership faces…they’ve not got a lot of spare time on their hands and touring together around each of their own projects etc. must be something of a logistical nightmare.
The band kick off their final tour at Bristol Folk Festival on May 2nd and complete their tour rather aptly where it all started – at Cecil Sharp House, also home to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.
It’s worth remembering that the band were created to promote a pioneering and hugely ambitious project to collate for the first time the early 20th century folksong collections of Harry Albino, Lucy Broadwood, Clive Carey, Percy Grainger, Maud Karpeles, Frank Kidson, Thomas Fairman Ordish, Cecil Sharp, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Alfred Williams. The result is the most comprehensive database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world – all available for the first time to anyone, anywhere, at the click of a mouse: right here. All we need now is for Wales to follow suit with their digital archive, as encouraged at the recent BBC Folk Awards by Meredydd Evans’ daughter Eluned. Scotland has the brilliant Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches and Ireland has the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
The video below is a brand-new documentary produced by Frontier Media, filmed in Cardiff/Wales which also features live performances by The Full English:
Fay also gave a great talk at a local TEDx event which she titled Why aren’t we all folk singers?. In her talk she introduces the archive to the audience and questions its relevance for wider society.
The Final Tour
02/05/15 Bristol, Bristol Folk Festival
03/05/15 Sheffield, The Lyceum
04/05/15 Lincoln, Engine Shed
05/05/15 Liverpool, St George’s Hall Concert Room
06/05/15 Harrogate, Royal Theatre
07/05/15 Birmingham, Town Hall
08/05/15 Basingstoke, Anvil
09/05/15 Hastings, St Mary in the Castle 01323 841414
10/05/15 London, Cecil Sharp House