In fairness PMINO, there are three options
1: Do this
2: Do something else
3: Do nothing
It does not appear that anyone has suggested anything sensible under category 2. The plan to have three tiers (hip hip! hooray!) doesn't appear to have done any good. We don't have a working track/test/trace system, and there is no point in saying "well, we should have". At this point. I will say it over and over again if we have an election in 2023, and everyone will reply "Yes, but the other fellow is unelectable'.
Is there anyone proposing "do nothing" who is not obviously mad? It appears to me that the "do nothing" faction is also the "virus doesn't exist" faction, or "the virus does exist but hardly anyone dies of it" faction or "the virus does exist but it doesn't matter if lots of people die of it."
A million people in hospital would not be great for the economy, even if seven hundred and fifty thousand of them eventually got better.
I am looking forward to the bit where churches have to stay closed on December 25th in order to save Christmas.
We are where we are.
I can affirm that this is officiall a folk festival. We have now had a Dylan Cover (Cardboard Foxes doing Don't Think Twice It's All Right with a Bluegrassy swing) and two, count, then two songs about Highwaymen. Heg Brignall (she of the Wolf Chorus, but today in a duo with Juli Irvine) did Sovay Sovay All On A Day. They said they have been actively looking for folk songs in which women take an active role and don't get drowned or go mad. And the always wonderful Granny's Attic did a song they called The Highwayman. I don't know why Highwaymen in songs are always so proud of the fact that they don't rob poor people. I would have thought it made basic business sense.
We are still waiting for a song about a pirate, but we have had several about whalers.
Some people seem to be a bit nervous of folk festivals, because they think that it's going to involve "too much folk music". Probably only three of todays acts played entirely traditional material. Nick Hart has a mordantly Chris Woodish style of delivery and will do you songs about chimney sweeps getting hung and the man who is mistaken for the devil because he is hidden up a chimney with butter and cheese and all in his pockets. His story telling is wonderful but you probably wouldn't dance to it. The aforementioned Granny's Attic do close harmony versions of songs about spinning wheels and ships in distress with and amazing fiddle and an even more amazing squeeze box, along with traditional and traditional style instrumental tunes. Inlay on the small stage did a whole hour of Morrisy Plafordy Tunes. And Calan, the top of the bill, are heavily rooted in Welsh traditional music (a lot of the songs and indeed the count-ins are in Welsh language) although there is a loud modern beat interpretation -- no po faced reverence. But there is a plentiful stream of blues, bluegrass and singer-songwriter running through the rest of the day.Traditional songs are the exception rather than the rule. I did notice Cohen, the box man from Granny Attic, putting his finger in his ear during one of the harmony numbers.
I guess the only running definition of folk music is that its the kind of music you would expect to hear at a festival like this.
I thought Luke Jackson took his act to a whole new level. As expected he was the highlight of the day for me. This is only the second time I have heard him with his full trio: the harmonies and the drums suit his current blues inspired folk rock more than his earlier, folksier material. (Again, I think I need to take my hat off to sound people, because Luke's perfect voice and fabulous lyrics were perfectly audible in front of the band.) It's been six months since anyone has been able to perform live, and the sense that these were three good mates having a great time was palpable. I loved the acapella finger clicking I'm In Trouble Now; and his dark folk rock ballad Eliza Holt clicked for me in a way it possibly hasn't at solo gigs. The ghost of an inmate from an insane asylum haunts the new estate that has been built over the grave yard. It may not be folk music, but it is certainly folk subject matter.
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We are officially in a field in Shropshire. It is not clear if Cleobury Mortimer is the name of the country park or a trad folk singer I hadn't previously heard of. Every act says how amazing it is to be performing in front of real human beings. Sam Kelly said this was his best gig of the year. Everything is in the open air (I think in previous years marquees were involved) but there are social bubble ditanceced circles painted on the ground which people are largely adhering to. This creates a spread out, concert like feel (everyone is encouraged to be on picnic blankets and camp chairs rather than standing and moshing.
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The Proms are an annual season of classical music. The Promenade Concerts. (You can get in cheap if you stand up.) The final concert each year involves some popular classics: maybe the Choral Symphony or Rite of Spring or the finale of Twilight of the Gods. The second half includes some traditional numbers: a Fantasia on English Sea Songs -- by Henry Wood, who founded the concerts -- and Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March. The people who have been going to all the proper concerts as well are allowed to be a bit naughty in the second half. They stamp along with the Sailors Hornpipe and the conductor tries to go faster than them. They sing the words to Rule Britannia in the sea song medley, and they sing the words which someone added to Elgar's tune. This is all good fun and harmless. No-one is banning patriotic songs.
Sadly, people who do not go to the other concerts and have no interest in classical music have latched onto the end of term party. And the only thing that anyone knows about the Last Night is the two patriotic songs. You end up with the spectacle of a pop concert, which happens to include Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory taken out of context, being called "Prom in the Park." No-one is banning patriotic songs.
There is nothing wrong with singing rousing, silly old songs. And of course they sing a section from Blake's Milton as well, which (if anyone was paying attention to the words, which they aren't) is an anti-nationalistic, revolutionary anthem. Most countries have songs with words that they couldn't, in the cold light of day, defend. Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps perversion! Do you hear, in the countryside, the roar of those ferocious soldiers? They’re coming right into your arms to cut the throats of your sons, your comrades! The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France! No-one is banning patriotic songs.
We allowed this very harmless and very silly tradition to be hijacked by the very, very far right. Actual fascists have started to say that maybe not singing one of the songs for one year proves that the BBC is run by communists and should be destroyed. We are told that we have to sing the song to prove that we are not woke. No-one is banning patriotic songs.