Reviews & Photographs


From 'Chester Evening Leader' Thursday June 3 1999

Festival brings out the big hair!

CONGRATULATONS to all concerned with organising another successful Chester Folk Festival at Kelsall last weekend.

This medium sized festival was based on the field adjacent to the Morris Dancer public house at Kelsall, in the pub, the comunity centre and social club and at the Royal Oak pub in the village.

All venues were within easy walking (and dancing) distance and the weather held off during daylight hours but opened itself on the campsite during Saturday night/Sunday morning. If there had been a prize for the best presented tent it would have been won by Darryl Moorley MC (of Rhyl Folk Club) who had two tents (lounge/conservatory and bedroom), an outdoor shower, a garden with plastic flowers and low fencing and a one metre high wooden butler together with serving tray and bell which callers were requested to ring and leave their business cards if no response was received. I understand, however, that Darryl may be reported for blatently ignoring the national minimum wage after he admitted to paying his butler only £5 per annum and buying all the beer he could drink!

Huw and Tony Williams were better than I have ever seen them before, Ben & Joe Broughton made a successful return to their native Chester, there was plenty of children's entertainment and Chester City Morris Men, Dawnswr Delyn, and the hilarious Bradshaw Mummers and their friends kept us all entertained outdoors.

Unique Style

One of the best received bands at the festival were Canadian group Tanglefoot. Tanglefoot is a storming five-man band from Ontario. 'Big men with big voices, big hearts, and a big sound from the big country' says the PR flyer. Well I can advise you that some of them have hair even bigger! Maritime and French/Canadian influences are fused into their own unique and thoroughly engaging style. This is their second tour of the UK and they were pleased to see many people singing along this time.

By Chris Bailey


From 'Folk Orbit' - a monthly newsletter produced and distributed in the Chester area

What an excellent Folk Festival!

Thank you, to the Chester Folk Survivors who organised yet another successful festival in the village of Kelsall. All their hard work has paid off again. I spoke with many at the event, all were saying the same thing, "What an excellent Folk Festival"!

With so many exceptional performers how do I go about mentioning them all here, in little old Orbit? Well, based on the feedback I got from folk goers Deaf Shepherd, Tanglefoot and Craobh Rua seemed to be the buzz. Ben and Joe Broughton gave their usual virtuoso performance of wit and strings. Fiddlestone were welcomed back wholeheartedly by those who knew them from the past and those who didn't

Chester's own Full House Big Band, who were joined by Graham Bellinger and Russell Mabbutt for the Bob Dylan tribute, got a deservedly rapturous reception from fans of Bob Dylan and Full House. As you would expect, our own Mal and Katrina Waite mesmerised audiences with their wonderful fusion of harmonies. Ian Goodier and Tom Browne captivated their audiences, with Tom's rich voice and finely executed guitar style, accompanied by Ian's accomplished concertina performance.

Other acts appreciatively mentioned were Graham Bellinger and Steve Goodchild, Huw and Tony Williams and Bernard Carney. Raymond Otto entranced his audience, by conducting them as an orchestra of hand and vocal rhythms. Taffy Thomas held his listeners spell bound as he spun his stories from his magic tale coat. There were many more class acts but space limits an account.

There was one act that wasn't on the festival bill that gave a stunning performance and did not go unnoticed by anyone, namely; George Mordue - Master of the Loos. His almost Linford Christie style cycling shorts were the talk of the site. His silver pair was breath taking, but nothing compared to him stepping out in his wellies and gold lame number, which even 'Vogue' would have drooled over. However, I believe there were some complaints, when he bent over; something to do with the sun shining.

Thankyou Chester Folk Festival for yet another great Spring Bank Holiday.

By Colin Matthews

Some comments from our Feedback Forms:

'Thanks for a brilliant festival - its our first and we'll come again'

'Congratulations!. It gets better each year. Everyone works so hard'

'This was our first Chester Folk Festival, it was great, sound quality very good and organisation excellent. We hope to be back next year. Very good value for money.'

'Overall another excellent festival. Toilets deserve special mention. Good selection of craft stalls. Kids had a great time.'

'Very good festival this year (weather helps but the acts were great) Organisation apperaed very good.'

'I thought the atmosphere was quite overwhelming. It was our first experience. It certainly won't be our last. The people in the office were most helpful and the sound engineers did a wonderful job. Congratulations to all concerned.'