70th Festival Specials

Classic Folk with Mike Norris: Sidmouth Special

Classic Folk Presenter and Festival advisor Mike Norris takes us on a journey through the seven decades of Sidmouth Folk Festival. Enjoy 3 hours of musical memories, reflecting the rich heritage of the folk scene and the festival itself.

Listen now via the EFDSS site

The playlist:

1. Sidmouth Days / Crows
2. Derry Down Fair / The Young Tradition
3. Penny For The Ploughboys / Pete Coe
4. Blackwater Side / Anne Briggs
5. Flanders Shore / Nic Jones
6. Six Pretty Maids / Fred Jordan
7. Dennis Crowther’s No 2/ Dennis Crowther’s No 1 / John Kirkpatrick band
8. The Green Banks Of Yarrow / Bob Davenport
9. Sally Free And Easy / Cyril Tawney
10. There Ain’t No Sweet Man That’s Worth the Salt of My Tears / Norma Waterson
11. Skewbald / Martin Carthy
12. I Wonder What Is Keeping My True Love This Night / Kate Rusby
13. The Macroom Lasses/ The Rambler In Cork / Jackie Daly, Seamus Creagh
14. Jerusalem Revisited [Live] / Coope, Boyes & Simpson
15. The Shirt My Father Wore / Packie Byrne
16. Jack Turnip / Snowfalls / Taffy, Sam & Aimee Thomas
17. Scarecrow / John Tams
18. The Exmoor Hunt Song / The Yetties
19. Jack O’ Diamonds / Lonnie Donegan
20. The Trip We Took Over The Mountains / Pive / Rod Stradling
21. Yellow, Red & Gold / Sandra Kerr
22. Dance To Your Daddy/The Flaming Drones / Nancy Kerr & James Fagan
23. Dockyard Medley / Vic Legg
24. Hopping Down In Kent / Louie Fuller
25. London Danny / Jez Lowe
26. Peppers And Tomatoes / Ralph McTell
27. Banks Of Green Willow / Tony Rose
28. Hares On The Mountain / Elizabeth Clare / Chris Wood & Andy Cutting
29. Brigg Fair / June Tabor
30. Derwentwater’s Farewell / Louis Killen
31. Punch And Judy Man / Roy Bailey
32. Thomas Of Welshbury / Frankie Armstrong
33. All Things Are Quite Silent / Shirley and Dolly Collins
34. Stephen Baldwin’s Schottisches Nos 1 & 2/ The Kennet Jig / The Old Swan Band
35. Dido Bendigo / The Watersons
36. Barbry Allen / Roy Harris
37. Blacksmith / Steeleye Span
38. The Calico Set-The Happy Aunt / The Central Line / The Paper Bird / Flook
39. Claudy Banks / The Copper Family
40. Old King Coal / John Kirkpatrick
41. Willow Tree / Anglicana
42. Cousin Jack / Show of Hands

The presenter: Mike Norris

Mike’s passion for folk music spans decades; from first learning to play the melodeon and singing shanties at school, to running folk festivals and gigs.

A teenager during the 1960s, Mike was heavily influenced by protest song and folk-rock popularity (Bob Dylan, the Copper Family, Joan Baez, Fairport Convention etc), as well as the tail end of the folk-song revival shaped by The Watersons, Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Shirley Collins, Woody Guthrie and many more.

The Stories of Sidmouth 

As part of our 70th celebrations, we’ve partnered with local groups and organisations to help record memories of the town, some of which will be turned in new folk songs and premiered at the Festival.

Townspeople’s stories of Sidmouth to be turned into new folk songs

To celebrate the 70th Sidmouth Folk Festival this year, residents are being asked to share their memories of the town, which will be turned into new folk songs with the help of local secondary school children.

‘Stories of Sidmouth’ is a collaboration between Sidmouth Folk Festival and Devon-based charity Wren Music and is funded by Arts Council England.

The Stories of Sidmouth project has been devised to strengthen the connection between the annual August Festival and people who live in the town.

To collect the stories, Wren Music are holding three ‘memory swap’ events at Sidmouth Library on three consecutive Thursdays on 18 and 25 April and 2 May, from 10.30am to 12 noon. There’s no need to book, and the memory sharing will be an informal chat over a hot drink and biscuits.

Wren Music’s Hannah Earl, who is coordinating the project, said: “We want to hear your stories of how Sidmouth has changed over the past 70 years. Do you have a particular story of your own to share, from your experience of living in Sidmouth? Then come along to one of our memory swap sessions.”

Year 10 students at Sidmouth College who are studying composition will then be working with Wren Music in May and June to create songs in a traditional style, using the stories that have been collected.

These songs will be fine-tuned by professional musicians and the public will get to hear them at Sidmouth Folk Festival on Sunday 4 August. They will form part of a performance by singers and musicians including Wren Music’s community groups at the Ham Concert Marquee from 12-1.30pm. The concert will also include a professional artist who is performing at the festival. Further details about that will be announced soon.

Hannah said: “It’s really bringing the stories of the town to the festival, and these songs will be saving today’s memories and stories for the future. It’s a wonderful project and we’re very excited to be part of it. And one of the exciting things is that we don’t know what the repertoire will be yet because that will develop as we see the themes that emerge.”

As part of the project, Wren Music’s professional songwriters and musicians are also working with teachers and pupils at Sidmouth Primary School to teach them folk songs, tunes and dance, and to create a mini folk festival at the school: “These will be a repertoire of existing folk songs,” explained Hannah, “but they will reflect the area’s local history. So, there will probably be folk songs about the sea and fishing and other themes that are important to this part of Devon.”

Artistic Director at Sidmouth Folk Festival, Tash Daly, said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside Wren Music to bring the stories of Sidmouthians of all ages to life, with support from Arts Council England Lottery Funding, creating new folk songs based on local memories. Folk has always been the culture of the people, serving as a mirror to the lives of everyday people, and offering insights into histories, values, and collective identities through music, storytelling, and dance. We can’t wait to unveil the results at the 70th Sidmouth Folk Festival!”