Cambridge Folk Festival

Strange how your priorities change. Ten years ago I’d never have missed the Cambridge Folk Festival. This year I didn’t even register that it was happening.

The BBC review makes it sound like it was a lot of fun. And maybe I did subconsciously realise that it was taking place as I’ve been listening to a lot of Christy Moore on the iRiver over the weekend.

I have to take issue with a couple of things that the BBC reviewer says about Christy.

His first song – Burning Times (by Charlie Murphy), about the burning of witches, – was a bit of wordy dirge.

Actually, “Burning Times” is a song I like a lot. It’s not the jolliest of tunes – well you wouldn’t expect that from a song about the church’s systematic destruction of a competing religion – but it’s a very powerful song. If you think it’s a bit of a dirge then maybe you’re the wrong person to be reviewing a folk festival. The reviewer then compounds his error by going on to say

It’s a problem with a few of his songs that sometimes put a simplistic political message before tune, rhyme and rhythm.

Which is, to be blunt, bollocks. Yes, a lot of Christy’s songs are political, but I really can’t see how you’d describe something like “La Quinta Brigada” or “Smoke and Strong Whisky” as simplistic.