Hip-hop folk god set for Stainsby Festival

Dizraeli and the Small Gods will be playing at Stainsby
Dizraeli and the Small Gods will be playing at Stainsby

FESTIVAL chiefs reckon they have pulled off a coup by landing an act that is in big demand on the circuit.

Dizraeli and the Small Gods will be motoring up from London to play out the Stainsby Festival tomorrow (Sunday).

Frontman Dizraeli said: “We’re very much looking forward to being at Stainsby this year - it’s right up our street as far as festivals go. We play at manic festivals all summer long and it’s always a relief to arrive at one which has stayed small and friendly.

“I’m going to be interested to see how the Stainsby folky folk respond to our sound: we’re definitely a bit of a quirk on the line-up. Our sound is rooted in hip-hop with its arms firmly wrapped around folk. To give you an idea what that means, our set features both world female beatbox champion Bellatrix and virtuoso folk flautist/piper Philippe Barnes.”

Festival chairman Tony Trafford said: “We’re particularly pleased to have Dizraeli and the Small Gods fairly late in the day. Their schedule is really heavy and it didn’t look like we’d be able to synchronise diaries. But heaven was smiling and due to a late vacancy they’re storming up after Saturday’s date in London to close the festival on Sunday. We think that’s a big coup.”

Also making his Stainsby debut is Rory McLeod. He said: “I am looking forward to bringing my band, The Familiar Strangers and singing with them as well as playing a completely different set of songs solo next day.”

Back by popular demand this year is poet Liv Torc. Commenting on her Stainsby debut last year, she said: “Stainsby was something special, great sound, great atmosphere, audiences made up of loving teenagers and ageing folk avengers, shaking nose hair and nose rings, side by side, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

“It had a rare feeling of family and experience, without any cliches or clicks. As a performance poet (a relatively rare breed on the folk festival scene), I was welcomed with curiosity, open-mindedness and a few gaping jaws... and I think after the initial shock, my humour and my rhymes were considered a good thing and I got some of the biggest cheers of my poetic life.

“The truth is folk music and poetry go extremely well together; the rhythm, the stories, the idealism, the open-heartedness and the jokes all find a very appreciative home with the folk audience.

“I also did quite a lot of compering last year, writing poems about the bands as they performed and reciting them back to the crowd, this created an immediate shared experience in poetry that everyone could relate to. I hope to do more of the same this year and settle into the Stainsby groove for a few very happy days.”

Acoustic folk singer Edwina Hayes will be making her third appearance at Stainsby Festival, following spots in the 2008 and 2006 events. She said: “I always really enjoy playing there. It’s a lovely festival and one I’m always honoured to be invited to play at.”