Featuring a wide variety of performers from the 2010 Cambridge Folk Festival, this DVD is a treasure trove of live performances.
Seth Lakeman kicks things off with four tracks from his set, including the anthemic Kitty Jay, which never fails to wow audiences, and this is no exception.
A tuneset from Julie Fowlis is a welcome change from what is overall a song-biased DVD. It is also wonderful to hear her singing in Gaelic in Hug Air A’Bhonaid Mhoir. Alongside some of the other artists we are also treated to a short interview with her.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops may only get one track on the DVD, but Hit ’Em Up is a wonderful advert for their take on Americana, and in their interview it is interesting to hear their various differing musical backgrounds.
The Hand Weaver and the Factory Maid is a gorgeous song, but perhaps not the best one to showcase the energy and innovation of The Imagined Village. Happily Space Girl somewhat redresses that balance, with Eliza Carthy as ever unable to stand still when there is a rhythm going on.
Mention must go to Kris Kristofferson, who as one of the headliners, was a definite crowd-pleaser with his Nashville songs. And Show of Hands were as popular as ever, performing Country Life.
What is Life gives an exciting flavour of The Burns Unit, with reggae stylings. It also demonstrates, alongside The Imagined Village, the wonderful music that happens when different genres collaborate.
The bonus tracks on the DVD were recorded backstage in 2008. Whilst not so fresh, it is great to have these intimate performances in contrast to those recorded on the main stage.
Heidi Talbot is accompanied by Boo Hewerdine and John McCusker on Time, whilst Ruth Notman gives a beautiful acoustic rendition of Caledonia.
However, Eliza Carthy stands out from the bonus crowd for her wonderful performance of Two Tears, with Barney Morse-Brown on cello.
The track selection of the DVD is good, although bound not to please everyone, as an entire festival is compressed into two hours. However, the picture and sound quality is excellent, and for those who attended, or wished they had, this comes a close second to the real thing.Liz Osman
Released 14th March 2011 by Delphonic.
1. Seth Lakeman - Hearts and Minds
2. Seth Lakeman - Kitty Jay
3. Seth Lakeman - Changes
4. Seth Lakeman - Solomon Browne
5. The Burns Unit - What is Life
6. Natalie Merchant - The Peppery Man
7. Natalie Merchant - If No-one Ever Marries Me
8. Natalie Merchant - Adventures of Isabel
9. Julie Fowlis - The Thatcher/Peter Byrnes/The Soup Dragon/Isaac’s Welcome to the World
10. Julie Fowlis - Hug Air A’Bhonaid Mhoir
11. The Quebe Sisters Band - Cold Cold Heart
12. The Quebe Sisters Band - It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie
13. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit ’Em Up Style
14. Salsa Celtica - Pa’l Rumberos
15. The Imagined Village - The Handweaver and the Factory Maid
16. The Imagined Village - Space Girl
17. Kris Kristofferson - Me and Bobby McGee
18. Kris Kristofferson - Help Me Make it Through the Night
19. Kris Kristofferson - From Here to Forever
20. Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Morning Come Down
21. Show of Hands - Keys of Canterbury
22. Show of Hands - Country Life
23. Boban & Marko Markovic - Devla
1. Eliza Carthy - Two Tears
2. Levellers - The Cholera Wall
3. Mauvais Sort - A La Claire Fontaine
4. Heidi Talbot - Time
5. Ruth Notman - Caledonia