International flavour to Sidmouth FolkWeek

Sunshine, music, dance and fun sums up Sidmouth FolkWeek 2011

ALL this week, come scorching sun or pouring rain, Sidmouth has been alive with colourful music and dance.

Despite the recession, organisers say there have been more musicians than ever before performing along the streets and Esplanade.

One of most memorable highlights was the joint 70th birthday concert of Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, the latter also celebrating his 50th year since first performing at Sidmouth.

Australia’s The Spooky Men’s Chorale again caused Take That-style hysteria everywhere they went.

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The Silent C�ilidh, a Sidmouth invention, drew a capacity crowd, with some declaring it their main reason for coming to the festival.

Some 800 people danced to a mix of Nirvana, traditional tunes and the Bob the Builder theme, although you couldn’t tell until they sang along.

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Thanks to The Yiddish Twist Orchestra we’ve learned funk was invented by a British Jewish man in the 1950s.

There’s been brisk trade by market stall holders on the seafront, the craft market and in the music fair at Blackmore Gardens, where Qu�b�cois trio Genticorum and English/Irish folk trio Uiscedwr have been top sellers.

The latter part of this week has certainly had an Irish lilt as FolkWeek PR Tim Chipping explains.

“Thanks to a generous grant from Culture Ireland, we’ve been able to bring a fantastic array of traditional musicians, singers and dancers over from the Emerald Isle.”

With a programme that’s featured a Galician piper, Swedish and Italian folk dance and American folk legend Peggy Seeger, Sidmouth FolkWeek 2011 has felt truly international.

Our team of reviewers and photographers bring you a flavour of what has been on offer, with more to come in next week’s Sidmouth Herald.

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