Last weekend I went with family and friends to the St Albans Folk Festival. As well as the music, I really enjoyed the informal, low-key nature of the event.
One of the highlights for me was an unplugged performance by Vague in a small church. Vague are five 14-18 year olds from Yass, NSW. They are great musicians, but I particularly loved their very natural, relaxed stage presence. Early in their set, two them (Michaela and Anna) were singing while sitting on the steps at the front of the church. Michaela’s little brother (aged about 2) came up to join them so Michaela casually picked him up and put him on her knee. (It brought a tear to the eye of quite a few people, myself included.) He sang along during the next song, (Down to the River to Pray) and inspired the audience to join in too. Michaela kept him with her for the rest of the set and, even when he was a bit active, she didn’t let it faze her. From where I was sitting I could see their mother, and it was amusing seeing her trying to get him to come back to the audience while Michaela was happy for him to stay.
To me it captured the nature of the festival. Although the music is important, it’s the connections, the interactions and the inclusiveness that I love.
Another highlight relevant to this blog was a performance by Grimick of “Dust from the Stars” (the video is a different performance of the song). It’s a very personal song by Griff about being adopted and finding his mother. I love the line “I am only dust, but I am dust made from the stars.”
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