Sunday 14 June 2009
Cool as Folk
Driving into Wimborne for our Saturday morning bacon sandwich, we stumbled, by accident, upon the town's annual folk festival, held under a glorious sunlit sky.
If anyone doubted that folk is overcoming the negative coverage it gets as the music of choice of middle-aged, sandal-wearing bearded-types*, then Wimborne, this weekend, would have convinced them that times have changed: folk is now cool.
What we found in this small Dorset market town was a thriving sub-culture which revelled in its eccentricity. Men, women and children wandered around wearing morris and mummer outfits which went way beyond quirky. Alternative types could be seen enjoying the music and dance alongside the gentryfolk of Dorset.
We also found an abundance of musical ability and an overwhelming sense of joy. In short, it was a brilliant experience.
* The morris dancer is often perceived as the pejorative folk archetype. But even here, things have changed. Many of the younger morris dancers have an almost goth-like image. It seems that they have passed over to the dark side.