A few weeks ago a group of us from Furness Tradition were fortunate to attend the finals of this year’s BBC Young Folk Awards at the Brewery in Kendal. There were 10 acts; all of them were exceptionally good, and the variety of different musical styles was amazing. One act sang shanties, another was a singer-songwriter. Some acts played acoustic instruments, others used technology.
For the performers, the weekend included tutoring and mentoring by the likes of John Spiers and Rachel McShane of Bellowhead. Here’s what John had to say “A few weeks ago Rachael and I had the privilege of being the workshop leaders and judges at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards weekend in Kendal. We had a great time sharing our knowledge and working with such a talented and varied bunch of up and coming musicians. The standard of the performances in the semi-final concert was mind-bogglingly good and the judging panel took longer than the concert itself to discuss the performances and arrive at the 4 finalists who will go through to the full Folk Awards next year.”
I can well believe that it took the panel such a long time to decide the final shortlist, and I did not envy their task.
To hear who the finalists are and listen to some of the performances, tune in to Radio 2’s Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe on 20th November. Highlights of the concert will be televised on the BBC red button channel but I don’t know the times yet.