Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Folk Yeah!

On the face of it, the words "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards" might seem to beckon jokes about fairisle jumpers and and beards. Even given the reinvention of folk tropes by a new generation of artists, the words "BBC Radio 2" makes it sound somehow unpromising. But I ended up watching the edited version of said awards and rather enjoying their amiably under-produced style. And musically, they really had their moments.

I had not, for instance, ever heard of Fara, four young women from Orkney, but I thought this was great:

One theme for the evening appeared to be being sent unwillingly to Australia. Hence, Daoirí Farrell's convict story 'Van Diemen's Land':

And then, more recent social history in this medley from the album The Ballads of Child Migration: Songs for Britain's Child Migrants. Incredibly the practice of snatching children from their families didn't end until 1970.

Also: Billy Bragg channelling Hall of Fame honoree Woody Guthrie:

And ... Al Stewart! He's still alive!

There are a few other things in the official YouTube playlist, including Ry Cooder and Afro-Celt Soundsystem, but in truth, it got worse as it went along and the closing act, Jim Moray, seemed to me like folk's equivalent of Nashville crossover dreck. But, you know, I would watch this again.


I'll be on a road trip up north tomorrow, but for everyone else it's Record Store Day 2017. My friends at  Southbound Records will have around 300 of this year's RSD releases available first-come-first-served from 9am. And they have live music from 2pm, with Stretch playing songs from his debut album Bury All Horses, then Jed Town's group Ghost Town perfrming and signing copies of their album, Sky Is Falling. Also, they just announced yesterday, 50% off second-hand vinyl and 10% off everything else.

And Peter Mclennan has rounded up the rest of the haps in Auckland and elsewhere, including Flying Out, which is putting on live instores from Shayne P Carter, Fazerdaze, Merk, X Features, Billy TK and some DJ called Roger Shepherd.



Just the one this week, as I need to start throwing things in the car, but y'all want a groovy dance-friendly edit of P.J. Harvey, right? Free download – just hit the "Buy" button:


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