Not just a slice of American Pie

Andy Munro enjoys day three of the Moseley Folk & Arts Festival.

This last Sunday, I arrived in style (like many others) on the number 50 bus to take in the sounds of Birmingham’s very own folk festival. Watching the Blues on Saturday being my priority (some might say an error of judgement) meant I had just booked the final day.

If I’m brutally honest, it wasn’t as good as last year’s somewhat faster paced event with Skinny Lister, Cockney Rebel and Teenage Fanclub giving things a rockier feel. However, maybe this year the event was truer to its ‘folk’ roots with Peggy Seeger (an unbelievable eighty years plus) delivering a near perfect set aided by her son. Another highlight was the self-effacing Richard Thompson illustrating why some consider him one of the world’s top guitarists. His lyrics weren’t at all bad either with his humour showing through in a song about a married guy (having it) away working on a cruise ship.

On the smaller stages, highlights included a banjo set from somebody who presumably hailed from the deep south of the US of A deep south(Great chords although one wonders whether Donald Trump has all his records). There was also an enthusiastic and atmospheric Kurdish band who would go down a storm at any wedding.

However, the headline act was Don McLean and also our own Brummie comedian of the (almost) same name, who actually introduced the set after doing an excellent turn to a slightly astounded audience – a masterstroke by the event organisers and, amazingly, he not only had a great singing voice but was a darn sight funnier that the ‘proper’ comedians on the bill.

Anyway, on came the American version showing that he also has a great singing voice. Predictably but impressively he rounded the night off to what must have been the twelve inch version of American Pie to the delight of the crowd and meriting much dancing in the aisles.

My only grouses were that as usual all the decent beer ran out early (a regular occurrence at this festival and to be frank, it’s a poor show with the obvious visitor demographic not being your average lager drinker). Also, it was a shame that the extremely witty commentators in their trademark sheepskin jackets could only really be heard in the toilets, although in my case this was a bonus given my age and bladder profile.