Great music, beautiful sunshine, good food and drink, and one massive hill – that’s the story of our weekend at the Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival.
We arrived at Hebden Bridge on a glorious Saturday afternoon, and set off in search of our intrepid booking agent, Rachael Bailey, who had made the trip the previous evening to provide advance reconnaissance. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found her in a smashing little bar called ‘Drink?’, listening to our friends the Mather Robinson Band playing an impromptu set upstairs – a very welcome start to proceedings for us!
After a quick refreshment, one of the friendly Festival Stewards directed us to a little Italian Restaurant for our dinner, and from there we made our way to one of the two main venues, the Trades Club, where we saw the excellent band Tritor, a new experience for us. Tritor used hurdy-gurdies, harmoniums, pipes, didgeridoo and percussion to play a hypnotic set of 12th – 13th Century songs and tunes from around the world – a strangely psychedelic yet earthy experience! The icing on the cake was provided by dancing from the amazing Luloah Belly Dancers!
The next morning, and again bathed in sunshine, we made our way to the Birchcliffe Centre, our venue for the afternoon. This was probably the highest-altitude venue that we have played at, requiring a sturdy pair of legs and no small amount of determination to reach! Truth be told, we were initially sceptical that a probably-hungover folky crowd (not traditionally known for their mountain-goat-like agility) would dare attempt the ascent…however, with perfect sound provided by Jim from Calrec Audio, and a beautiful building (an old Baptist church hall) to play in, we knew that we were going to enjoy the show, and so it proved, with hardy souls making the climb for an afternoon of music.
We also enjoyed meeting Nick and Michelle from Plumhall, and really enjoyed their set. Great tunesmiths in the mould of Buckingham and Nicks from Fleetwood Mac, thoroughly recommended!
Then it was time to load up the car and head back home. This was a great festival, lots of smiling faces and a relaxed, friendly vibe about the place. We really look forward to going back!