I can finally announce what I’ve been keeping secret for all this time and it with great pleasure and excitement that I can confirm that this year on the Drystone will be the fantastic…



I don’t really have to say an awful lot about these guys as they have been regulars on the UK festival scene for years. They of course pretty much founded the Acid Croft genre of music and set countless imitators on their musical careers. With a live album out now and another studio album currently being recorded for release this summer we can expect a storming set on The Drystone.

I can’t wait.

I’ve always wanted to put more world music on The Drystone and this year I’m going some way to redress the balance with one or two tasty treats that’ll bring a multi cultural flavour to the Drystone Arena.



The thing is with World music these days and the fact that the UK is blessed with being possibly one of the biggest melting pots of international culture is that you don’t necessarily have to look overseas for World music acts take these guys from London (by way of Argentina, France, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, and Italy) and of their music

Here’s what Alejandro says.

“Our ever-evolving musical idiom reflects the way we think and live. Our music, among other things, is a conjunction of various influences (Classical, Rock, Gypsy, African, Middle-Eastern, Latin, and Hip-Hop rhythms) which we bring from places we have lived, visited, or simply the music we like, and have filtered through our own distinct voice.”



Again a rich brew of music fermented in the heady scene that thrives in “The Smoke” which is arguably the most multi cultural city on the planet. Awale brings us Afro Gypsy Beats with a line up who amongst them have played with with Hugh Masekela, Jamie Cullum, Dub Colossus, Dr John and Madness.

BTB feat Awalé from Subsonic Routes on Vimeo.

BTB feat Awalé from Satsang TV on Vimeo.





I saw Celloman a few years back at Knockengorroch and I’ve been wanting to put him on The Drystone ever since I started doing it and now at long last here he is.

How do I describe what he does apart from injecting some damn good funk into the Cello? Well I won’t I’ll let The Observer and Songlines do it.

The Observer Review 3 December 2000 by Neil Spencer

“Classically trained, Cellist Ivan Hussey has spent 10 years as a typically nomadic sideman, graduating from the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra to saw strings for the likes of Gabrielle, M People, Smoke City and Sonique. His solo project is a delightfully maverick creation, moving between pastoral, ambient moods to smoky middle-eastern pieces like ‘Chebba’ (he spent a couple of years in Tel Aviv) and even the odd chunk of roots reggae. There are accomplished voices and accompanists on hand, but the star is Hussey’s Cello, proof that the instrument can be surprising, sensuous and funky – all at the same time.

 Songlines review June 2009 by Jon Mitchell

“After two EPs and three albums, this collective of electric violinist Samy Bishai, percussionist Oli Savill, drummer Cosimo Keita, bass guitarist Oroh Angiama and director Ivan Hussey on cello continue to combine Middle Eastern and African rythms and melodies with articulate string arrangements in a startling and often highly intense fashion. It’s largely a gritty and urban sound, full of clusters of amplified instruments, but has a welcome sweetness provided by guest vocalists Sam Bonner, Frances Rufelle, Eliza Doolittle and the poet Poppy Seed. Despite a few uninspired moments, the highlights are many. ‘Sharptown’ with it’s delightful Afro-pop guitar motif and arresting string arrangement, is typical of their own unique and beautiful sound. When the music picks up, it can hint at a more vivacious and raucous side too, as on the brooding, apocalyptic ‘Years To Come’. Across the album’s somewhat over-saturated production we hear a sort of tumbling autumnal Afro-Arabic electro-pop which broods and moves quite unlike any other. An extremely bold album with a lot to digest, it should perhaps be celebrated for its unrestrained, uncompromising and unrelenting vision. ”

Of course Solfest wouldn’t be Solfest and The Drystone wouldn’t be The Drystone without



Let’s face it we sometimes don’t shout enough about how good our own musicians are. Wal, Paddy and James have since Solfest began been one of the reasons Solfest and The Drystone Arena (The festival within a festival) are so good.

Can you imagine Solfest without the session tent alongside Weirdigans, no. It’s bloody inconceivable.

Don’t forget too that last years Ceilidh saw The Weirdstrings get nominated in the first stage of the Critics Choice award. The award that celebrates those magical moments which make a festival that little bit special.

Well that’s it for now.



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One thought on “I BELIEVE IN FAERIES!

  1. hi
    picked up you comments about tastebuds at the solfest. I can’t believed that this band is unsigned they rock the house down wherever they play, no two records sound the same and its cracking original stuff. I’ve heard them a number of times it strikes me that they just need a good experienced manager. They have two good videos out on youtube “when oceans dry” and
    “gloria” give them a view tap in tastebudsonline.