Monday, 6 July 2009

What have "Fastest to Canada" and "The Stringbeans Quartet" got in common?

They were both at the Keynsham music festival yesterday, and they both rocked!

Fastest To Canada are a folk rock band, and here was their description at the festival:

"Imagine Fairport Convention without the jigs and reels, The Grateful Dead without the endless hours of guitar solos! Take That without the chubby one who ate all the pies! What you do get is an eclectic roots sound drawing on original, contemporary and traditional music. This may be folk rock but don't panic, there's a whole lot of fun to be had with songs of misery, death, work-related health problems and sailing."

Fastest To Canada consists of Jacqui Haigh, the lead singer, three guitarists - Andy Collins, John Sweet, Richard Ireland, a multi-talented musician - Andy Marr and a drummer - Mo Morgan. Jacqui has a totally folky voice, and the multi-talented musician amazed me. One minute he was playing a recorder, the next he was totally killing it on a saxophone.

In the middle of their set one of the guitarists announced the next song:

"It's about an arranged marriage which finishes in a mutual suicide pact". It was actually a really good song!

They all had beautiful voices and when they sang together I was reminded of Steeleye Span. I bet Fastest To Canada could do an amazing "Gaudete".

They played both slow, sad songs and upbeat, happy tracks. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them. Have a listen for yourself at Fastest To Canada's myspace!

The Stringbeans Quartet are a quartet (obviously) of female string musicians; Sue, Emily, Emma, and Bethany . Three on violins and one on the cello.

They were different, fresh and exciting. Their set included "Eleanor Rigby" and "Cool for Cats". I could have listened to them all day! Go and unwind to their wonderful playing at their myspace!

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