I had some of my favourite moments at the Old Mines stage last year. The likes of Amadou & Mariam, Scarecrow, Beans On Toast and Peatbog Faeries absolutely rocked it and I was totally gutted about missing John Butler Trio. It’s a pleasure to program, seeking out the most exciting Folk and World acts on the planet: the rebels; the boundary pushers; and the foundation acts that first took fusion music into the festival fields and made people take notice. I enjoy introducing these acts to a whole new, highly appreciative audience and proving that Folk and World fusion music is just as relevant today as it always has been.
In our latest BoomTown podcast I explore a few of my highlights from this year’s Old Mines line up. There’s music from the likes of Rockabilly queen Imelda May, English folk star Seth Lakeman, Finnish hillbillies Steve N Seagulls and South African art jazz ensemble The Brother Moves On. Take a listen here but also check out some of the acts playing below that aren’t on the podcast!
Saw this amazing Zimbabwean band at Colston Hall a couple of years back and have just been waiting for them to be back in the country at the right time for BoomTown. They are truly phenomenal.
Undoubtedly the underground kings of African Fusion music in London and on the festival circuit. They mix up Gambian kora, Congolese guitar + Mandinka percussion styles with slamming jump up beats. It’s really exciting to have bands like this still on the rise.
Afro Celt Sound System
Although the last time these guys played we ended up on the receiving end of a fairly unfavourable rant from Simon Emmerson that sparked all sorts of discussions on his Facebook, we eventually made friends again and both learned a lot from the exchange. I caught them at Celtic Connections and it was fantastic, plus as Shooglenifty and Dhol Foundation are both playing on the same day I think some special guests are more than likely. Sad to see there’s been some division in the camp and we’re certainly not picking sides but I was greatly influenced by the band and Simon’s other productions so I’m looking forwards to hosting him and the band once again.
Beans On Toast
We’re getting pretty close to Jay’s Sunday sessions on the Old Mines becoming something of a tradition. There’s a lot of love for him here at BoomTown and with a different album release each year each set has been different too. Highly recommend whether you’ve seen him before or not.
I feel like we’ve turned a corner being confident enough to book Lau. They’re one of the finest Folk fusion acts out there but they’re an act that demand attention and with so much to see and do at BoomTown attention spans can be fairly fickle. However, I think we’ve grown up enough to allow for full appreciation and these shall be the perfect late Sunday afternoon treat for those who invest.