Unlike many people, I don’t actually have a problem with X Factor. Yes, I find the way they humiliate people in the early stages of the contest annoying to say the least, and yes, I’m fed up with the way they draw out announcing the results, but no, I don’t see any problem with having a talent show on TV. I can’t help thinking that some of the ire directed against it is due to the fact that everyone can participate in it, and not just the privileged few who have attended stage school.
Anyway, this is a very roundabout way of getting to the fact that I saw Kerfuffle on Friday night in Stockport. It was an odd (though very enjoyable) event. I can’t remember the last time I went to a folk gig where they put cashew nuts on the table, and I’m sure I’ve never been to one in a boat club before. There was something reassuringly and authentically folky (and I’m not being sarcastic) about the raffle at half time and the support act that had an almost Music Hall feel to it (I haven’t sang Cushy Butterfield for years).
Anyway, the band themselves are young and very talented. Hannah James has an assured touch on the accordion and a wonderfully clear voice, Jamie Robert’s guitar playing put me in mind of John Renbourn. The group played an eclectic range of music, whilst remaining firmly within the tradition. Definitely a group to watch.
But what’s all this got to do with X Factor? Not that much, I suppose, except to note that this is a group of young people who have been immersed in music from a young age and who came together after entering a folk competition at the Derby Assembly Rooms (the place where Alt.Fiction has been held!). So there you are are. Talent shows for Folk Musicians. I wonder what Simon Cowell would make of that?
Incidentally, posts have been a bit slow here recently as I’m busy working on another project. More about this in the new year…