Nettlestock Festival - Salutation Inn, Nettleton

Sat 24 to Sun 25th July 2004

The annual Nettlestock Festival took place last weekend at the Salutation Inn in Nettleton, unfortunately the weather was once again unkind to the organisers, with heavy rain on Saturday night and grey skies throughout Sunday afternoon. We arrived as Martin Pierson was setting up for his mid afternoon spot. Martin is one of the organisers of the famous Processed Pea Folk Club in Yorkshire, after two or three songs he introduced singer/guitarist Kieron Bayston. She insisted that Martin remained on stage to accompany her for several numbers, including Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi'. Together they impressed the crowd with their guitar playing and voices. The third member of Martin's possee from Yorkshire, Edwina Hayes is certainly a name to look out for in the future. Several like us had heard some of her songs on her website, which certainly encouraged us to make the effort to see a performer we hadn't heard of until last weekend. Edwina spent a year and a half in Nashville, since her return she has supported Jools Holland at two recent festivals. Her lovely singing voice and meaningful original songs encompass elements of folk and country. As well several original songs Edwina performed songs by two of her own favourite artists, Gillian Welch and Kate Rusby. For a finale she was joined by Martin and Kieron in front of the covered stage, together they performed the John Prine song 'Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness' totally acoustically. (see photo). Edwina returns to the county in August to record her next album at Chapel Studios, the follow up to the beauitful 'Benchmark Sessions' recorded whilst she was in Nashville.

Rochdale bluesman Will Tang followed, with a fine set of acoustic blues. Will, who plays guitar and harmonica, selected mainly well known blues songs including a couple of Hendrix numbers and even Bob Marley's 'No Woman, No Cry' for his set. Playing with a passion, Will added his individual touch to each song.

Missing Time, the first act of the early evening brought the sunshine back out over Nettlestock as they took the stage. Their music too lies on the 'sunny side', with bright and bouncy original songs such as 'Angel Of The North' and 'Reggio' the four piece band upped the tempo. Their music is hard to catogorise, lying somewhere between folk, blues and country, its goodtime feel is just great for festivals like this. For one song lead singer and rhythm guitarist played slide guitar, there was also some great guitar work from John Lee.

With deadlines to meet, we took our leave of this small, friendly festival after Missing Time's excellent set. Organiser Trev certainly deserves a mention for his hard work setting the event up, and for the excellent and diverse acts who graced the stage over the two day event.