Internationally acclaimed folk musician, Eliza Carthy, received a warm welcome from crowds when she returned to her mother’s birthplace for a sellout gig this weekend.
Eliza was headlining Hull’s first ever folk festival with Saul Rose and the sellout crowd did not leave her disappointed with their warm and sincere reception: “Coming back to Hull was an amazing experience; the city has offered so much to me and my family and the crowd on the evening were tremendous. It was definitely a highlight of the year performing to a crowd in a city that is so close to my heart.”
Hull is a city steeped in folk music traditions, from the 1960s success of Eliza’s mother, Norma Waterson and her siblings who had success with The Watersons and then joined by her husband to form the group Waterson:Carthy, along with Eliza.
Sowden and Sowden, the event organisers wanted to reignite the city’s strong heritage of folk music and bring it back to the people, and who better to headline than the girl the city has adopted as their own.
To bring this history to life, Hull Folk Festival also featured an exhibition and workshops focused on Hull’s first folk club, Folk Union One. The exhibition encompassed what folk music meant to Hull; heritage that spanned over 50 years and featured photographs, press cuttings and memories from those involved.
Workshops were also run by renowned folk artists like Steve Gardham and Shanty Jack, but more importantly, heralded Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy – Eliza Carthy’s mother and father – for bringing folk music to the forefront of the music scene in not only Hull, but the rest of the country.
Festival organiser, Polly Sowden, Director of Sowden & Sowden, added: “We wanted to bring back to life Hull’s rich history of folk music, embrace the past and bring a modern twist to the event to appeal to people of all different ages and musical tastes.
Being an inner city festival, where 90% of events were free, we had something for everyone and showcased just how important folk music is to our city as we work towards our bid for UK City of Culture 2017.
“Our plan now is to grow the festival year on year and attract people from all over the country to see what our great city is all about.”