Last night the Rook Lane Chapel was buzzing with festival energy. Luke Concannon (Nizlopi) was wandering around the Rook Lane garden – barefoot – with a meditative gaze, strumming his acoustic guitar in preparation for an incredible acoustic set, whilst Benji Kirkpatrick of Bellowhead (see right – Benji + banjo) was sat in the Green Room, intently practicing before taking to the stage and showing off his talent on all-things-string. I heard the banjo and guitar but, in my absence, he pulled out a handful of other weird and wonderful guitar-esque instruments to strum and pick.
Dizzy Dulcimer and Barbara J Hunt, in their long curtain-inspired coats, opened the evening with a wonderfully feminist set – Barbara playing guitar and singing (and flicking her beautiful red curls off her face) – and Dizzy banging all sorts of drums and then tapping the magical hang – the sound resonating through the chapel.
Muriel Lavender was turning heads wherever she strutted – clad in corset and stilettos – then daintily mounted the stage and amused both children and adults alike with her quirky comic poetry – occasionally bordering on the naughty or taboo but then quickly turning it into a joke; making the sexual innuendos somewhat ironic.
After the interval, three films made by Frome College students were screened and the audience were impressed – some really imaginative short film/ trailers.
Leander later got up to perform with Luke Concannon – their voices perfectly complementing each other as they belted out some impressive harmonies. And Steph danced a jig as he blew the hell out of his harmonica – the three men moving up and down the aisle as the audience craned their necks to catch a glimpse.
Luke Concannon’s finale was so full of passion. He walked down the centre aisle, leaning down and serenading individuals with his pure vocals and beautiful guitar-playing before hopping up onto the stage and belting out some familiar numbers. Each time he broke into his spoken word/ rap, he’d turn his guitar into a percussive instrument and create a beat that made the audience tap their feet and made Dizzy Dulcimer spin uncontrollably around at the front of the chapel – before grabbing her drum and joining in. A jolly good start to what is destined to be a fab Frome Festival!