CONCERT REVIEW: Todmorden Folk Festival Friday concert – St Mary’s Church, Todmorden – 26th March 2023


Two brilliant young musicians, Erin on violin and Ben on guitar, otherwise “Chords and Fiddles” opened the show. Their songs varied from the powerfully emotional to the lively “I’ll Tell my Ma”, which closed the set.

The next act, “Michael Walsh and Quarehawk” featured Michael Walsh on flute, Paul Daly also on flute, and Will Hampson on melodeon. The beautiful melodies ranged from Irish tunes to music from Asturias. There was a moving poem about Michael Walsh’s father, with musical backing, and a join-in Ewan McColl song about motorway builders.

The last set was by Angeline Morrison, whose lovely songs included her own compositions about the long-ago experiences of black people in Britain. She sang about “Mad-haired Moll” who raised her voice to a policeman (or the then equivalent) and was consigned to a madhouse. The audience demanded an encore, and joined in with a song about a slave who eventually found freedom in Cornwall.

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I came to Todmorden in 1979 with my record collection but have gradually become converted to live music