My Top 10 Things from this year’s Woodford Folk Festival

OH MY WORD. I don’t even know where to start, so I’m instead opting for my go-to choice when I’m otherwise stumped: making a list.

In no particular order…

My Top 10 Things from this year’s Woodford

1. Katzenjammer. This Norwegian, all-girl band, resplendant with their amazing costumes and musical chairs style instrument swapping brought in the new year in the wonderful Parlour (my FAVE venue ever – aside from the on-site child-minding) and my heavens, they were so ridiculously amazing that my brain fell out of my head. Several times.

2. Playing keys onstage with Steady Eddy on the last night. Just prior to the final comedy show for the festival, Steady asked me to get up and do keys for him. After an initial “heck yeah!” I lost my nerve a bit and told him I thought it was probably best I sat it out as I’d never actually played blues on the keys before!

Him: “Come on! You have to!”

Me: “But man, I don’t want to stuff it up for you!”

Him: “Who CARES? It’s the last night!”

And so it was.

And it was awesome.

Two of my favourite people, Alan Glover & S Sorenson

3. Hanging out with the comedians. Onstage and off.

4. Being MEGA-inspired by cabaret stylings. I am so excited about moving into some whole other directions this year. AGGGGGGGH! Stay tuned.

5. Baskery: a Swedish all-sisters group that belted it out and rocked it up big-time. Tremendous.

My darling friend "Fairy Mary" and I

6. Auspicious bumpings into of countless friends and faces. So wonderful.

Ang practising with me prior to the gig

7. Improvising songs. This was definitely my personal highlight of my own performances – I did an improv song in every set, with my beautiful sister Ang doing the honours on the keys, leaving my mind free to wander randomly through the creative musings inspired by audience suggestions. I wish I’d RECORDED the damn things! Dang dang. Anyhoo, twas magic. I’m in love with musical improv all over again and very re-inspired to push it even further this year.

8. Surrendering to the mud. The entire week was a giant mud-pit, no doubt, but you know, they do immerse people in mud as a form of rejuvenation somewhere on this dear earth, don’t they? It certainly did the trick for me.

9. The children’s festival. They even included a late night cabaret this year (late, of course, being 7.30pm for the junior punters) and I am most inspired indeed to create something aimed at a kids audience for next year. Loverly.

10. Just the whole damn thing. It’s been twelve years since my first Woodford and I can honestly say that this year was my best ever. I went in feeling rather exhausted, a bit down on the whole performing thing and wondering about what I had been doing. I came out feeling like a new woman. Inspired. Motivated. Rejuvenated.

And just so damn ready to welcome 2011 with a fresh outlook and big warm muddy arms!

BRING ME WHAT YOU GOT, BABY!

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