You are hereSoundpost Singing Weekend
Soundpost Singing Weekend
The inaugural Soundpost Singing Weekend was held over the weekend of October 22nd – 23rd, and took place in the rural valleys around North West Sheffield - an area fast becoming a real hub of UK folk music. The increasingly excellent Greystones venue is nearby, and local residents now include many of the great and the good, and several of these folky luminaries were present over the weekend, either performing, tutoring or just joining in. The brainchild of Fay Hield, the Soundpost Singing Weekend featured workshops, sing-arounds, concerts and even a few university-style lectures, compete with illustrated slides and follow up seminars.
The scenic village of Dungworth hosted ninety percent of the events, with local farms, pubs and B&B's providing accommodation for the delegates.
We attended this weekend as genuine amateurs, having never sung a note in public (and not many in private!). Although some of our fellow delegates were experienced semi-professionals, the informal (pub-based) sing-arounds were very friendly, and not at all intimidating for beginners. We felt welcome straight away, even sitting in a pub full of experienced singers alongside the likes of Sam Sweeney, Jon Boden, Lady Maisery and Fay Hield. The excellent tutors included some noted academics, Jude from Chumbawumba, Jon Boden, Roy Bailey and Lou Killen. Omni-present throughout were Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman who ran several workshops together, including 'Starting to Sing' - useful for us newbies !!
Unfortunately, Martin Carthy was ill and couldn't attend, and his daughter Eliza stepped up to save the day, replacing her dad during one session on Saturday with veteran singer Lou Killen taking the other workshops on Martins' behalf. Musical highlights were too numerous to mention, although it will be a long time before I forget spending 90 minutes with Roy Bailey as he chatted about his inspirations - political and musical - in a small room with ten enthralled delegates.
In addition to the formal and informal sessions, a Saturday night concert was laid on in the brand-new school hall. With a line-up comparable to many festivals, it was a great evening, with Roy Bailey, Jon Boden & Fay Hield, Lou Killen (replacing Martin Carthy) and finally James Fagan and Nancy Kerr all playing 40 minute sets to the Soundpost attendees.
There was also an acoustic 'unplugged' gig by Lady Maisery in the Village Hall on Sunday afternoon, and the young trio treated us to a fabulous session, featuring the striking songs and tunes from their acclaimed debut album.
Soundpost sold out, and given the excellent line up of artists, tutors and lecturers, it is no surprise. Next year will be interesting, if it happens, because the 2011 event was wonderful to be a part of, so the bar has been set high. All credit to the team behind Soundpost, and fingers crossed they repeat the format in future years.
David Jennings (@folkdeejay)
Soundpost Website : http://www.soundpost.org.uk/