A MESSAGE FROM OUR PATRON

Greetings boating folkers, and indeed folking boaters. Once again it is my pleasure to welcome you back to one of the great friendly boutique boot camps of the festival calendar. In order to ring the changes my band The Family Mahone and I have decided to take a sabbatical this year to allow the programme to advance, as none of us want over-familiarity to breed contempt do we?

And so throw yourselves into the music, the pubs, the atmosphere - but not the Big Lock itself as you will get a mouthful of something that is better not taken internally.

I look forward to seeing you revelling and reeling around the town and expect to be bought drinks as a thankyou for not subjecting you to our ramshackle rantings this year.

Welcome back Middlewichers old and new. Let the carnival begin!

Mark Radcliffe

 

MORE NEWS OF THE ANNIVERSARY HEADLINERS

We’re all set now for another great Festival, and there’s lots to tell you about what we’ve got ...

Friday 18th June

...kicks off in boisterous fashion with the Middlewich debut of the London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra, ably supported by local favourites Stan’s Magic Foot. The LPSO may sound huge (not sure how many musicians normally make up an orchestra, but I think it’s a lot) but there’s only four of them; superb musicians, lashings of comedy, and a good night for everyone. And if you think you know what skiffle is, then you ain’t heard nothing yet! Add to that the amazing mix of music that is Stan’s Magic Foot, and you have a concert guaranteed to send everyone home with a smile on their face. And – like all mainstage concerts this year – it’s in the Marquee!

No Family Mahone! :(

Unfortunately for their fans, there’s no Family Mahone this year. Mark Radcliffe has decided to ease up on the workload (or watch the football) and two of the band members have other work commitments, so they couldn’t make it this year. Never mind, there’s always another time, and we’re sure you’ll love the concert we have put on for you instead!

Saturday 19th June

There’s also – while we’re on the subject of things not happening – no parade through the town on Saturday morning this year. It’s been left out of the event in an effort to cut down the Policing costs, which are carving an even bigger hole in our budget every year. It has cut some money off the estimate, but we still have a fair old whack to pay. In case you’re wondering, it’s over 5% of our turnover! Anyway, it’ll give you more time to see the boats, visit the stalls and have a look at the wonderful Flower Festival in the Church, and there will be lots of dancing to keep you amused before you head to the Marquee for the afternoon concert – which is a biggie!

Headlining are Mabon, the exciting six-piece Celtic band from Wales. If you haven’t heard them, the music they play isn’t just from Wales, it covers the whole range of Celtic sounds, and it really swings. Supporting are Nicol & Cool, aka Ken Nicol and Phil Cool, featuring the guitar virtuoso and member of Steeleye Span with Phil showing his more serious side as a singer and songwriter – although there will be a fair bit of humour as well! Also appearing in this concert will be finger-style guitarist and songwriter from Nottingham Nigel Beck, who’s making a big name for himself on the circuit.

Late afternoon/early evening there’s a Comedy Showcase at the Royal British Legion with Dom Collins, Keith Donnelly and friends, then we’re into the evening concerts:

In the Marquee we’ve got Show of Hands, widely acknowledged as the finest acoustic roots duo in England; or trio when, as here, they appear with Miranda Sykes. Supporting are Stoke-based The Queensberry Rules, one of Britain’s most exciting folk roots acts, and Tom Palmer, one of the country’s best-loved songsters carrying on the troubadour tradition.

In the Civic Hall there’s the Festival Ceilidh, with All Blacked Up and caller Fee Lock, for those of you with the energy to get up and dance.

Sunday 20th June

..in the afternoon (in the Marquee) you’ll get Little Johnny England, back together after individual projects and reportedly stronger than ever. Supporting are The Queensberry Rules (yes, again – they wanted to do two spots) and Keith Donnelly, a man who, according to Jasper Carrott, could make sheep laugh. Not sure where that leaves the rest of us!

Sunday night we finish the Festival in really upbeat mood with The Lonnie Donegan Band – that’s the band that accompanied Lonnie on his last tour – led by son Peter Donegan. A great mix of skiffle, blues, jazz and foot-stomping fun. Support comes from another refugee from Steeleye Span, fiddle player Peter Knight with Gigspanner: a multicultural blend of music that crosses all boundaries and should really get you tapping your feet.

You can keep updated on any developments either through the website or through

MySpace, Facebook and Twitter

. Yes, we’ve finally reached the 21st century! So get those tickets booked and we’ll see you in June.

Tim Turner
Marketing Director

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