Written by Lee Cuff
The momentum of the summer festivals continued to propel us through September, starting with a packed weekend that saw us perform as far afield as Coventry before returning to more familiar surroundings.
We set of for the Big Comfy Bookshop with a full schedule ahead of us. Although it felt a tad ambitious, we managed to squeeze in a Big Comfy Session including a Comfy Cover and original arrangement in the vibrant surroundings of the Big Comfy Bookshop. With Rob Bridge in charge of the cameras, we sang our infamously epic medley of covers before finding ourselves back in familiar folky territory with Just as the Tide was Flowing. Who knew that a bookshop would have such a great acoustic. You could hear every nuance bouncing among the volumes, from historical tomes to a distant bookcase dedicated to Katie Price! After a break for an intense game of chess, the space was transformed for a splendid night of acoustic music with support from two impressive singer-songwriters with some equally impressive guitar skills.
Practically in the shadow of the home of English Folk at Halsway Manor, we found ourselves at Stogumber, a village transformed into a centre for music of almost every genre, showcasing classical talent, Bluegrass, jazz and folk among other styles. Despite the rain the event was well supported and spirits were anything but dampened. We were spoiled by our hosts and may have to insist that every performance begins with complimentary cake!
Waterfest always offers a great day out and the great British weather remained on our side for the duration of our two sets in Weymouth. We love a good shanty and there are few finer and authentically rugged performers than the Exmouth Shanty Men. They sang some Kadia favourites before we took the stage and steered down a different line of the traditional repertoire. On this particular occasion we didn’t follow our set with rum (a one of – promise!) and we instead opted for fish and chips on the quayside.
Our last official festival of the season came in the form of Swanage Folk Festival nestled in a rugged harbour on the Dorset Coast. We had barely finished our soundcheck before the marquee was full to bursting with audience members. It was a pleasure to meet so many of them just after our set and we have to commend all those people who purchased an album for forming such an orderly queue! It was a fine example of this popular British pastime and we’re thankful that everyone was so patient as we frantically signed copies of the album. We had a chance to hear the Folk Orchestra that afternoon. The group had commandeered a pub to play some lively tunes and sample a few pints of the local ale. Kadia succumbed to the charms of the Dorset Coast and indulged in a cream tea. The conundrum about the correct order of spreading jam and cream on a scone remained as unresolved as the pronunciation of ‘scone’ itself.
Kadia’s return to Readifolk proved to be an extremely enjoyable evening in good company. We heard some old favourites and variations on familiar tunes, flutes, guitars, mandolas and more. The new venue for the club offers an incredible sound space. Even with a full audience, the sound seemed to reach the back of the room effortlessly, allowing for a more intimate performance on a larger scale. Folk clubs often bring songs a greater depth to songs, with rich harmonies being woven around choruses and refrains by the audience. Readifolk was no exception. We enjoyed sharing the songs with this crowd and singing with them too.