I suppose it had to happen eventually. I walked straight on by an untidy boy on stage strumming artlessly through some grey songs assuming that he was soundchecking. But no, it was Michael Cassidy doing it for real and, being better informed than I, the audience duly applauded at the end of his set. Manners are so important, aren’t they?
Fortunately for me, it was obvious that Beerjacket was a performer. He didn’t need an introduction so there wasn’t one. He was wearing a check shirt, but did so ironically. He also sings to horses, apparently, which must be nice if you are a horse. He is, of course, a sensitive singer songwriter from this sceptred isle and that is about all you need to know should you want to give him, with or without his ukulele, a listen.
Rachel Sermanni, however, was a whole different kettle of fish. She seemed dreadfully polite but, even alone on a stage in a big hall, she advertised intimacy through her music. She had some very curious, but downright endearing, vocal affectations that brought life to her performance and, lyrically, she was as capable of taking a walk through the dark shadows as she was in drawing on rosy cheeked traditional folk influences. So, whilst outwardly conventional enough to avoid scaring festival audiences, she had the mark of an artist who could reach further into herself and use what she found there to touch even the hardest of hearts. I don’t doubt that she’ll do just that.;
Outside, there are flashing blue lights everywhere and there’s still two hours to go until midnight.