This weekend the town centre swarmed with stalls and Morris dancers for the first ever Frome Folk Festival. Not all folk organisers take the view that with 24 stonking music acts in three main venues and umpteen more in the pubs, what they really need is a spot of poetry - but Jan Ayres is a promoter with vision: which is why, on Sunday night, eight Poetry Cafe stalwarts were on the stage of the Westway billed as the Frome Poetry Posse offering some of our feistiest stanzas through the best mic I've ever used... True, we were offering to largely empty seats, as folk fans aren't all as visionary as Jan and we had major musical competition, but those who did see us were gratifyingly enthusiastic. So big thanks to Jo Butts, Rose Flint, Alison Clink, Rosie Finnegan, Muriel Lavender, Robbie Vane and Liv Torc for joining me to create an impromptu troupe which had no less than Tim Edey and Brendan Power telling us - before, during, and after, their set - "You poets rock - you blew us away". Tim and Brendan followed us with a totally fantastic set, showing how & why they're 2012 BBC Radio2 Folk Award winners, and until links for their amazing performance in Frome are available, this clip gives a taste of their extraordinary virtuosity.
Richard Kennedy at the Cornerhouse rounded off a day of delights, and now the last notes of guitar, mouth-organ, and button accordion have faded into memory I'm looking forward to the 2013 Frome Folk Festival - yes, tickets are now available.
I wonder if Morris minor, from Cam Valley, will be back dancing with his dad.