I came into the main site to use the Folknet Cafe (friendly staff, free internet and computers and lovely food- a joy!) Saturday is the first day of the festival where all the stages are fully open, with Stage Two starting their programme with the frankly unmissable Brian McNeill session. This is like a taster session to the whole festival- an opportunity to see snippets of acts that will be appearing over the next two days, or that you want to catch up with because you missed them earlier. It's also an opportunity to promote up and coming bands like Moore, Moss and Rutter, who met at the Hub here at Cambridge, and local residents Bryony and Grace Lemon with Alex Patterson. It's also just lovely to sit down, listen to excellent music, rest your feet and relax! In this fashion I caught up with Anxo Lorenzo band; I'd been keen to see them as Anxo is described as the 'king of Galician pipers'. He is brilliant, playing lively sets with his five piece band- a very strong rhythm led sound.
Next up was Manran, my guilty festival pleasure. If anything the boys seemed even more delighted to be at the festival than they were yesterday, grinning from ear to ear and playing like crazy. I think Manran could be huge (in folk terms) Or did I say that yesterday?!
By this time the sun was shining and I decided to sit outside and watch the people passing by, while listening to the thump of Martin O' Neill's bodhran coming from Stage Two where Danu were putting in their second appearance. Various Bellowheads, Peatbogs, Manrans mingled with the crowds browsing the stalls, eating ice cream and just generally enjoying the sunshine and Folk Festival atmosphere.
Admiral Fallow were next. They're a Scottish band that I've seen a couple of times before- an indie kind of band, albeit one with a silver flute and clarinet, but some of the best song lyrics you're likely to hear. Up against festival sweetheart Kate Rusby, the band still managed to have the audience spilling out the sides of Stage Two by the end of their set- credit indeed to their talent and songs like Subbuteo, Squealing Pigs and Dead Against Smoking- all taken from the brilliant album 'Boots Met My Face'.