One of the easiest decisions we made while planning this year’s Kimpton Folk Festival was to re-book the wonderful Wild Willy Barrett’s French Connection, a huge hit at last year’s event. This band, if you don’t already know them, are so versatile, they are virtually a music festival on their own.
Led by the “godfather of grunge folk,” Wild Willy Barrett, they effortlessly and often hilariously straddle a huge range of musical styles - taking you from a Paris nightclub, to a backroom hoolie in Dublin to a raucous night out in New Orleans…and back again.
Best known for his outlandish and chart-topping partnership with John Otway, Willy describes himself as "an experimental multi-instrumentalist." He’s joined by charismatic French singer Aurora Colson, cellist and keyboard player Mary Holland (aka Mrs Wild Willy) and Irish pipes, whistle player and percussionist John Devine.
We’re all very much hoping that this year Willy will treat us to a demonstration of “egg-necking”. I don’t want to give too much away, but it involves a guitar, a volunteer from the audience and a raw egg. It’s hilarious.
When Willy Barrett first brought his wonderful French Connection band to Kimpton Folk Festival, he was just wild….now he’s furious. So the audience at the afternoon concert in Kimpton’s Memorial Hall had better fasten their safety belts.