Festival goes back in time

Praying for the Rain at Stainsby Festival
Praying for the Rain at Stainsby Festival

Pyschedlic trance tunes, a long-haired musician conjuring up eerie sounds froom a Tibetan bowl and a trippy light show transported Stainsby Festival back to its Sixties roots.

Hypnotic and magical, the experience defied anyone not to get high on the buzz created by Praying for the Rain.

Saturday night’s headliners proved an accomplished and innovative band. pouring awesome drumming and fiddle playing, unaccompanied harmony singing, blues riffs and Cajun songs into the mix.

Steve Tilston, dubbed Mr Stainsby because of numerous appearances at the festival, delighted fans by performing The Reckoning, which won him best original song at this year’s Radio 2 folk awards, an honour he shared with Edale’s Bella Hardy.

Of his Stainsby set, my favourite was Oil and Water which he had recorded for Jools Holland’s TV show.

Spoken word isn’t a traditional feature of the festival concerts so credit to organisers for trying something different. However, Mac McCartney’s evangelical speech about North America chiefs, the circle of law and the children’s fire of bygone years offering vital lessons to today’s business and political leaders was far too deep for Saturday night entertainment.

Golden-voiced guitarist Jess Morgan got the show off to a gentle start with songs about love, loss and travelling. The highlight of her set was The Thompson Family Singers and I.