Cambridge Folk Festival

Brian won Big Brother, and another Irishman of the same name won over Cambridge Folk Festival.

By PAUL DURRANT

Brian won Big Brother, and another Irishman of the same name won over Cambridge Folk Festival.

Brian Kennedy delighted the festival with two strongly-contrasting sets, one of hard driving rock with his band, the other a solo performance that included guest appearances from Eddie Reader and Chip Taylor.

He showed why Van Morrison, The Corrs and Tina Turner have marked out our Brian as something special.


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Cambridge – now in its 37th year – is very much the elder statesman of festivals and increasingly an occasion where New Age meets middle age for its 15,000 devotees.

Hence, sets by the Levellers, Capercaillie and the John Tams Band could be embraced like a comfort blanket, while the unlikely fusion of dance music and folk from the Peatbog Faeries and the Spanish-Celtic mixture of Carlos Nunez was, let's just say, a bit more challenging.

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The Cambridge formula was demonstrated perfectly yesterday when a Norwich folk band, a chart-topping diva and one of the all-time greats rubbed shoulders for attention.

Norfolk group Mooncoin played to an appreciative club tent audience. Then, the small matter of Suzanne Vega, on excellent form.

Finally, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings. What a joy to be released from the shackles of commercial drudgery to explore the blues.

Il est un rock star – and it showed.

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