Sunday 6th MayMay 7, 2012
So I am home now after a few days in London and in total some eighteen sets of music over the past few days. We left the Freedom of the City festival a little early tonight, simply because it finished late and we had to catch a train. I am used to having to run to catch the last one on my own, but didn’t want to have to put an already exhausted Julie through that, so we left without seeing Pat Thomas play solo piano or Eddie Prevost and Evan Parker end the festival with their duo. We saw a lot of music though, some great, some not so great, some I was completely indifferent towards, but one thing is for certain about this festival- the atmosphere around the place, and the general feeling of mutual support from everyone, all two hundred or so in the place was remarkable and really very inspiring indeed. Think what you like about the music, and believe me quite a bit of what I heard this last weekend was miles away from my preferred taste, but the spirit of combined support and congeniality amongst everyone in the Cecil Sharp House building this weekend was wonderful. The moving tributes often made to one of the community, Tony Marsh, who was due to perform at the festival but sadly passed away recently were exceptional, and the joint movement towards setting up a spontaneous collection for Lol Coxhill, who is ill in hospital and requiring daily care was as good an example of how this music brings people together in ways that connect witht he human being in all of us, no matter what our musical tastes may be. Not one penny of public funding goes into the Freedom of the City Festival, but mountains of selfless effort and energy flow through the event, and no matter what I or anyone has to comment about the music we heard it is a remarkable and wonderful annual occurrence that will continue to get my support and attendance for as long as I can manage it. I will write tomorrow about the music once I have the energy to do so, but for now, thanks to those involved for putting this together.