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Stuart Maconie on the start of the Cambridge Folk Festival

Mike Harding | 12:20 UK time, Friday, 1 August 2008

Stuart Maconie writes:

Venerable old weather lore tells us many things, like snow at Easter means drought in the third week of September and never plant parsnips during a gale. And its pretty much all rubbish. Generally though you needn't pack your cagoule for the Cambridge Folk Festival as the weather is usually benign, suggesting that God likes Pentangle and Bellowhead.

This year though things have been a little different. If you heard the Radcliffe and Maconie evening show on Thurs night, you'll have heard Devon Sproule play a fantastic set in our backstage yurt in what was clearly a tropical monsoon. But she was wonderful, as was Seth Lakeman and Laura Marling who also dropped by our studio (big van) during a packed show. On Saturday afternoon, we shall be at home to k.d. lang, Judy Collins and other legends. When not in front of microphone or sheltering from a downpour, I have drunk beer, eaten things, talked to surely the nicest festival goers in Britain and watched some bands.

So far my favourites have been Cherryholmes who have been for me this years Mauvais Sort or Taraf de Haïdouks, an international act of whom I knew nothing who've dazzled with their instrumental flair. And more to the point, men in black spangly trenchcoats and girls in eyeliner playing banjo. As we like to say on the show, what's not to like? Mike Harding will be blogging from Cambridge on Saturday.


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