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Cambridge, Morrissey and 5,000 morris dancers...

Mike Harding | 17:08 UK time, Friday, 30 July 2010

Some of you may already know the work of David Owen, the 'Official Artist' of the Cambridge Folk Festival. The image here - 'Morrissey Dancing' - is one of his most typical images, and expresses more than anything else his dry sense of whimsy. More still may be seen at his website. I love David's work and, when I met him here at Cambridge I was delighted to find that the chap himself is as witty and passionate as the images he makes.

David's going to be putting up images across the festival site as the weekend progresses, all playing with our ideas of folk music and the arguments it has inspired over the years.

David's got a big project coming up called 5,000 Morris Dancers, inspired by Seb Coe's jokey comment that the 2012 Olympics' opening event might feature 5,000 such dancers. The project will be an installation at London's Southbank Centre in September. At its heart will be an enormous installation of 'morris-inspired folk-pop art' which will be enhanced by music, dance, film and folk mayhem. David wants to challenge the modern stereotype of Morris as mockable and cheesy and remind us how powerful and alternative it can be. So for all you people in the south of the country, that is one not to miss; the rest of us will be able to follow it on the Southbank website or via David's Ink Corporation site.


  • Comment number 1.

    Friday was a great Day at Cambridge ...what about those "Quebe sisters " ...eh ?...How good were they !!!..When i was little my mum used play Andrews Sisters records all the flippin time and i heard "dont sit under the apple tree" so many times i did'nt want to sit under the apple tree i wanted to take a flippin big axe to it and hack it to bits , since then the mere suggestion of a 3 part harmony group is enough to make me break out in boils and run screaming for the door !!.. When the three girls took the stage i feared the worst and ran for the exit leaving a trail of folding chairs , picnic blankets, cucumber sandwiches and assorted plastic cutlery scattered in my wake ...then amid the ensuing fracas the girls started singing and playing and hallelujah , there were no boils and no attacks of the screaming abdabs ,,,praise the lord i am cured !!...i actually loved them ..and their fiddle playing was a delight too !! ... now for the real test ... pass me that Andrews sisters album !!!

  • Comment number 2.

    The Highlight of the Friday evening session at Cambridge for me was "seasick steve" ...is he folk ? you may ask ..hes lived on the streets ,exprienced hard times and now tells stories and writes songs about those experiences ...hes just about as "folk" as you can get !!!! ..it was impossible not to be touched by his humility and his eternal gratfulness to everyone for "keeping him in a job" as he brilliantly played his weird array of cobbled together one ,two and three stringed instruments !!! accompanied just by his buddy on drums ... it was truely inspirational , i am off now to make a banjo out of an old dog dish some clingfilm , a toilet brush and a couple of elastic bands .. i am sure it will sound just like the real thing !!!!



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