Priddy Good

Out west lies possibly one of the best small festivals in the world, if you like folk music. Set in the Mendip Hills where the water disappears into the earth and mist runs thicker than water is a little village called Priddy. We’d played there as a last minute addition to the Djukella Orchestra of Jez Hellard last year, but this time round we were back to play a full set as TEYR in the long tent. Much like Sidmouth or the Fleadh, Priddy Folk Festival is a musicians festival through and through, the local pub providing the bum-space for an almost constant bubble of sessioning; English Morrismen by the fire, Irish rebels in the corner, old time thumpers and brawlers outside beneath the awnings.

TEYR on the Priddy Long Stage

We hit a big, wonderfully engage crowd; knees up kids on one side, beards and brollies on the other and were sandwiched by another two great bands … The camera doesn’t lie! This was probably our most uplifting large gig to date and full credit to the superb tech-men.

The Roaring Trowmen © Duncan Simey
Leveret © Alan Cole

Elsewhere onsite a roast chicken was magicked out of thin air by Rowan, Roaring Trowmen kept the lids from winking round the fire well into the morning, and Jez held court over a rabble of musos in spectacular style. Leveret were stars of the show, giving both a performance in the beautifully vertiginous Priddy church and one on the main stage. James was sent to sleep by their sounds (add that to the list alongside car backseats and cold floors). The three musicians who make up Leveret are each individually masters of melody. Consequently their arrangements, or lack thereof, are a total celebration of musical playfulness, each bouncing off one another in mesmerising volleys of tune. Saltfishforty, a duo from Orkney, were equally memorable tunesmiths. The appeared in equal comfort whether blasting through Scottish reels or swinging their way through jazz manouch covers. Lastly a wry and ever poignant Dick Gaughan planted his effortlessly pithy words in everyone’s minds. James remembered him particularly as an icon from childhood, someone dad would listen to with zeal. Putting on Dick’s political spectacles for just an hour was spellbinding.

Session nap opposite the Queen Victoria

We’d come back every year we’re invited. Thank you to Rachel, Rowan, Jez and all the organisers for a magical weekend in the Somerset. The sesh ain’t finished till it’s finished!

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