ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Folk and Cider Festival 2014 - Day 1

Updated on May 27, 2014

This year marks the 6th year running of the Cleethorpes Folk and Cider Festival and it's opened just as it should: loudly! With over 80 ciders going and a day's worth of musicians taking to the stage it's safe to say that everyone is already fairly well oiled... And there's two more days to go yet!

On arrival to the festival site, the charming station of Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, the place already had a buzz thanks to the bustling, jingling crowds of the Morris Men who were dressed up in all sorts of fantastic costumes. This was 11:00am, well before anything was due to start and the station was practically full! I took this as a good sign. And as it turns out, I was right in doing so.

To start the day off at about half past one was Grimsby's finest folk singer Roger Beard who sang a few tunes in place of The Good O'l Boys who unfortunately couldn't make it to the festival due to the sad passing of one of their members. But his life was celebrated with a very apt song as the whole crowd joined in to sing "here's to you my rambling boy, may all your ramblings bring you joy." A few tears were shed but Roger left the crowds in high spirits, ready for the day ahead.

The audience fill the station for the last act's encore
The audience fill the station for the last act's encore
Rosie and Lucy of The Coggle Sisters in full swing.
Rosie and Lucy of The Coggle Sisters in full swing.

The twin duo The Coggle Sisters got the audience going with the traditional sets of tunes from around the world and later entranced them with their a cappella harmonies. We all had goosebumps during that performance.

Throughout their performance the audience began to grow and I was quite surprised to turn around from my table and see so many people around.

The act consisted of violin and cello, which was later swapped for voices, swapped again for bodran, and swapped back again to the original two instruments. I thought it a shame they didn't have a permanent percussionist to keep the crowd tapping along as the place began to fill and the chatter began to grow. It turned out though, that my worries weren't of issue, and the whole performance was a success with crowds cheering all round as they played their final song.

The next act on was the crazily talented Elliot Morris who's guitar playing was something certainly not seen in every young musician.

His percussive style surprised the audience and they became quiet as they watched him tap, bang and strum his guitar, tuning and detuning mid song, playing the wrong side of the capo, experimenting with as many sounds as possible. It was on par with current chart topping artist Newton Faulkner.

Unfortunately though, once they'd seen a couple of songs, the audience began to turn back to their own celebrations as their were a few birthdays around and the cider had been flowing nicely. It's a shame that they couldn't sit back and appreciate the talent before them, but the next act was successful in grabbing their attention.

Steel Threads were incredibly loud, incredibly cheesy, and very very good.

Their original songs were lively and well suited to the festival atmosphere and their covers ranged from Bon Jovi's Livin on a Prayer to The Ace of Spades and more. Like I say, cheesy. But it was just what the crowd needed and everyone was singing at the top of their voices. Some were screaming they were that excited. A few even had a dance, which was great so early on in the day.

The next band filled the folk and cider tradition rhythm and blues slot. The covers band The House Shakers followed on from Steel Threads and kept the audience in the palm of their hand playing all the classics.

Following their performance was a two hour break where I nipped home, got some tea (curry) and came back to the festival site as quick as possible ready for the night time entertainment.

The Day's Line-up

Roger Beard
The Coggle Sisters
Elliot Morris
Steel Threads
The House Shakers
Tea Break
The Gerry McNeice Band
Merlin's Keep

Back for the second half of the first day, I arrived to the sound check of The Gerry McNeice band.

Now I'll have to admit that by this point I was being bought drinks, and was busy catching up with old friends but from what I did hear of the band, their upbeat folky tunes and their bad jokes between songs that were actually really quite funny, made their whole performance a blast. Even if I wasn't properly watching the whole time, the vibes still rubbed off on me as I'm sure they did the rest of the crowd, which by this time was growing even larger, spilling out to the sides of the station.

Shiznitz, the penultimate band of the first night, had nothing but smiles and happy vibes to give! Front man and fiddler Carona Smith had a constant, brightening smile the entire set and the whole band just seemed so happy and grateful to be there. Oh... And their music mirrored that too, it was fantastic!

The band constisted of a number of traditional folk instruments including the strange and wonderful hammer dulcimer, which I'd certainly never come across before.

Their catchy, folky, dancy performance was the perfect build up to a very lively finish with the final band of the night: Merlin's Keep

I think this blurry image counts as proof of my excitement and, well, tipsyness towards the end of the evening
I think this blurry image counts as proof of my excitement and, well, tipsyness towards the end of the evening

Merlin's Keep. They manage to combine folk with party and create such lively atmosphere. AND they get away with the whole audience participation thing, we as an audience were practically begging for more involvement, that never happens!

Their combination of traditional Irish jigs and original tunes full of story and excitement created a well rounded performance to suit everyone. And when I say everyone, even the station cat seemed to be enjoying himself. But, in fairness, the cider was in full flow.

So with everyone stomping, clapping, jumping and singing at the top of their voices, the night was ended (after three whole encores) on an incredibly high note, and the people went back to their tents and homes to recharge for the next morning of more relaxed folk music... To cure those hangovers...


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      4 years ago from New England

      Sounds like a great time! I hope that I can make this festival some day. I've been to the Cork Jazz Festival (1985), which was a great "craec" as they say. ~:0)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      The reason there were so many morris men at 11.00am is that the dance schedule for the festival started at that time.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)