Love Folk 2022 at Southport Atkinson ‘did not disappoint’

Love Folk 2022 at Southport Atkinson ‘did not disappoint’

by Pete Rimmer (February 2022)

Review

I’M not sure who was more excited the audience or the performers at the prospect of getting back to playing and listening to live music again at the Atkinson.

It was with great relief from both parties that the 2022 Love Folk event took place and it did not disappoint.

Friday night got off to a flying start with Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings and support from Lizzy Hardingham. Jon Bowden is well remembered from his work with Bellowhead so you were pretty sure to get a full on selection of tradition and contemporary folk song and music. A great start to the festival.

Saturday saw the likes of Merry Hell, Jack Rutter, The Last Inklings, The Meadows and Ranagri playing all types of what could loosely be called folk music, everything from straight traditional unaccompanied to hard folk/rock from Merry Hell.

The afternoon session started with a great four piece family band, The Meadows from South Wales, who like the Last Inklings are making many new folk friends with an interesting blend of instrumentation featuring flutes, harps and cello. Nice gentle sounds well played.

Without doubt the star of the afternoon was Jack Rutter who has over the past few years developed into being a singer/guitarist of great skill with an engaging stage presence playing mostly traditional music. Do check him out if he comes to avenue near you.

The afternoon finished off with a second spot from Lizzy Hardingham who has been nominated for the festival partner FATEA’s coveted Female Artist of The Year. She is an engaging performer singing mostly her own songs.

The evening session started with Merry Hell playing their usual full on folk-rock, songs with a message is what they do with a proudly Wigan accent. Singalongs and plenty of dancing and audience saw them give what might have been a festival closing performance.

However it was left to Ranagri to close the festival with a set using flutes, whistles, harps, bodhrans, guitars, bouzoukis fusing Celtic folk with original song writing and vibrant instrumentals. It was good to see a band new to the area and again they are well worth checking out.

The ‘Busk Love Folk’ session acoustic stage in the bar where artists played between the main stage sessions was somewhat a rushed affair as they only got 25 minute sets however most did a good job and without doubt Katie Spencer who deserves a full spot at next year’s event.

This year festival was dedicated to Clive Pownceby and Jim Minall, both of who whom have done so much for the promotion of acoustic music in the North West. Thank you for doing that Love Folk.



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