The Guardian festival blog: Cambridge folk festival review – May-bashing, protest songs and a conga line | Music

‘Hello,” said Grace Petrie sweetly, “I’m a protest singer.” Murmurs of approval. “Actually, I’m a socialist, feminist, lesbian, leftwing protest singer …” The place erupted.

Martin Carthy suggested recently that something intrinsic was lost to British folk when it relinquished its political soul to genres such as rock, punk and hip-hop. Chris Wood, meanwhile, pondered at this very event a year ago why young musicians weren’t getting angry any more.

Maybe now – with plenty of Trump references and Maybot bashing – the tide is turning. Fight-the-good-fight veterans the Indigo Girls closed the night on the main stage one while the fierce fusion band Bokanté rocked up stage two. Putting an immediate stamp on proceedings as only the festival’s third artistic director in its 53-year history, Bev Burton programmed an all-female lineup of acts on the two main stages on Friday, which was quickly dubbed Women’s…


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