Legend has it that every August people would gather around the tiny hamlet of Eastfolk to trade wares and stories. It was part harvest festival, part reunion for the thatcher’s, herdsmen, brewers and story tellers. People would meet here, between the lands of the folk from the north and the folk from the south, to learn new skills, sing songs, and meet old friends.
OK, strictly speaking, not a legend. Just something we made up after talking to organisers John and Becky Marshall-Potter at the launch of FolkEast 2014 last week. It is impossible not to be become infected by their enthusiasm for this unique festival. Talk to them and you will realise that FolkEast is about far more than music.
Pedantically the word “folk” means “people” and throughout East Anglia there are amazingly talented people tucked away off the beaten track. It is John’s vision to give these people a platform to network, to display their wares and enjoy each other’s company – whatever their particular skill.
And yes, of course there is music – including two blokes who just want to be in a band and are headlining at the festival, despite the fact that the band has never played in public before! It could only happen at FolkEast.
Sam Carter and Jim Moray are well known musicians in their own right. Their desire to “play in a band” led them to form “False Lights” with the help and backing of FolkEast. The band’s first gig will be on the main stage at Glenham Hall on 17th August – no pressure then!
Are you nervous about the gig? I asked. “It’s like balancing an elephant on the head of a pin, in the sense that we have done all of this preparation, all this work, all this talk about this “THING” and the way we are dealing with it, I guess, is to just not think about it. What we are thinking about is the longer term, about where this project, this band is going in the future.”
The band’s first creation is a teaser EP, from which we can glean some of what this band will be about. But when pressed about whether the four tracks were typical there was a definite spark in Jim’s eye as he answered “I expect a few people will be surprised by what we include.”
See for yourself at www.falselights.co.uk
FolkEast also revealed on Thursday that “The Young’uns” are to become the festival’s first ever patrons working with the organisers to promote folk music as a living tradition. Spotted by John Marshall-Potter at the maritime festival in Great Yarmouth the band, from Stockton-on-Tees, were delighted to be asked to become patrons in a year that will see them play the Cambridge Folk Festival and the Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury.
FolkEast this year will feature The Imagined Suffolk Food Village which is a collaboration between some of Suffolk’s finest food and drink produces some of whom were at the launch letting us taste their wares – yum…
Keep some time free over the weekend of 15th to 17th August and treat yourself to one of the newest, friendliest and most welcoming festivals of the summer.
For more information visit www.folkeast.co.uk
FolkEast takes place at Glenham Hall, Suffolk on 15th, 16th and 17th August 2014