I suppose one of the advantages of promoting Birmingham and the West Midlands is that you hear about some stuff before others… I received an email from the PR department at the Town Hall, promoting their forthcoming festival under the “English Originals” moniker… I’ve been known to be a little partial to a bit of English Folk music (thanks to my Dad for that influence), so I might even pop along and check them out.
Â Â Â Johnny King I commend the Town Hall for putting on an event such as this; English Folk Music has been neglected for a long time, which is sad considering there’s so much richness, culture and heritage carried in the music. Many other countries overtly celebrate and promote their folk music, so why are we, as English people, so averse to enjoying it more? Granted, I can’t listen to folk music for hours and hours on end, but there’s something very compelling about songs which, aside from the tireless efforts of a minority, remain solely as songs passed down from generation to generation with no written record.
The BBC’s always been good about promoting folk music, and they still maintain their coverage of Folk Music on broadcast radio, TV (the Folk Awards comes to mind) and the Web. However, even their coverage has been diminishing, with fewer and fewer plays on regional and local radio. A shame, but not necessarily inevitable. So, it’s good to see this kind of event being organised in Birmingham, at a really great venue – there’s some free gigs and even a film screening, apparently – can’t argue with that. The event is billed as, “a celebration of English folk music traditions with invited artists from all four corners of the country performing, as well as free gigs and a film screening. The whole ethos behind the festival is to dispel the misconceptions many people have of folk and put on show the many cross-genre collaborations and cultural partnerships developing within folk music in England.”
I’m down with that.
That said, the best part of the email has to be the supplied pack shots, including the lovely reclining Lisa Knapp:
What a press shot! 😀
Also, hot on the heels of Creative Republic’s launch, the Birmingham Music Network site’s undergone a redesign and is now available to the public. (Hat-tip to Boy Wonder Records for the heads-up.)