Tuesday, March 5, 2024

This Weekend’s Black Deer Competition Was A Triumph, And Supporting It May Simply Save Music As You Know It!


There should have been one thing prophetic concerning the lyrics of a Drake White music again in 2016, when he sang “no one’s speaking however we’re all on the telephone”. The music ‘Again to Free’ is a music  from nation artist Drake and he was one of many stars on Sunday at Kent’s ever extra widespread Americana, Nation and Roots Black Deer Competition however I’m certain even he wouldn’t have foreseen the looming shadow of expertise on music in addition to our departure from the issues that make life and making reminiscences particular.

The Wandering Hearts – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Music is all the time evolving in the best way that it’s consumed; vinyl has given method to CDs and now streaming in a manner that has vastly detracted from many issues. Music nowadays tends to be cherry picked or consumed en masse in a manner that makes music charts troublesome to understand and the story telling capability of the album a factor of the previous. Nevertheless, the satan on the gate is just not the best way it’s consumed however the best way it may find yourself being created. AI has began to infiltrate our lives on each degree in a manner that widespread TV collection ‘Black Mirror’ couldn’t have imagined in its bleakest moments and probably the most scary of those as a music lover is sort of definitely music being created by AI.

Bears Den – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Artists have nearly all the time suffered by the hands of expertise, the tiny reward from streaming and the close to collapse of bodily gross sales all contribute to an surroundings that’s wanting bleaker by the 12 months and so the very last thing that they want is one thing which may imply music will be created with out them and merely comply with an AI algorithmic strategy to creating successful music. Then, on prime of this, the success of exhibits like ABBA voyage signifies that there might even be a scenario the place the artist isn’t required for stay efficiency; may we find yourself paying to look at an AI approximation of what an artist ought to appear to be.

Amanda Shires – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

The Black Deer Competition in Kent this weekend is one thing that may assist to show the tide. For this and the numerous fantastic musical festivals we boast within the UK, the emphasis could be very firmly on the factor that makes stay music particular. That shared expertise of seeing an artist that you simply all love, or the marvel of discovery in that second you see and listen to one thing that you realize will turn into a part of the soundtrack of your life is all tied up with the attractive human aspect of head to head interplay; gone is the anonymity of converse through social media changed by the far more natural and earthy sharing of one thing we should always by no means lose. Stay music carried out by stay singers for our pleasure and for his or her inventive launch. The reminiscences we create with one another, the chats and laughs with full strangers and the insistence of not eradicating the wrist band that claims ‘I used to be there’ is the treatment for the illness that’s AI’s alternative of our music. We should assist the festivals that carry us all collectively and most significantly we should assist the artist that you simply love; think about your world with out them.

Laura Oakes – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Black Deer this final weekend introduced collectively a beautiful line up of artists and I used to be fortunate sufficient to attend on the Sunday to see some previous favourites and to find some new ones. My day began with an artist I’ve seen many occasions stay. From the principle stage at The Lengthy Highway competition and her appearances on the C2C competition, Laura Oakes is a shining star of our UK nation scene. She appeared on a stage that she has graced many occasions. The Caffè Nero stage has for a few years been a fixture at Cornbury Competition and I’ve been fortunate sufficient to see many new and fantastic artists on its stage there. Certainly, Caffè Nero music performed an instrumental position in bringing a as soon as stage shy Jack Savoretti to our ears.

Laura Oakes – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Laura has a protracted affiliation with the pop up stage and it was becoming that she graced the stage as Caffè Nero begin a brand new chapter with The Black Deer competition. Her pretty songs and clear voice began my day completely and her ‘Tip Jar Rockstar’ finale was a poignant reminder of how we supported our music throughout lockdown and the way we should proceed to purchase music, merch and gig tickets to assist them now.

The Wandering Hearts – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

My subsequent cease was The Wandering Hearts. Their shut harmonies and articulate songs had been at occasions harking back to Fleetwood Mac and it was simple to see why they’ve constructed up a loyal following.

The Wandering Hearts – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Since band member Tim Prottey-Jones left, the band have developed and developed their sound in order that followers of The Lumineers and Simon & Garfunkel would simply discover one thing to like.

The success of their debut album and the comply with up have firmly cemented their recognition amongst followers of Americana and their set on the principle stage introduced all these acquainted hallmarks to fantastic life. It was the right method to open the principle stage on Sunday.

Amanda Shires – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Subsequent up for me was an artist I’ve been vastly excited to see once more. I used to be fortunate sufficient to catch the Amanda Shires set at Country2Country Competition earlier within the 12 months and the uncooked emotion she brings to her vocals was one thing that stopped me in my tracks.

Amanda Shires – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Music for me should make you are feeling one thing and whether or not Amanda is singing one thing upbeat or uncooked, the emotion in her voice is all the time there. You’ll be able to’t assist however really feel that there’s actual expertise in each phrase and her excessive voltage stage presence makes it simple to see why she is so widespread in Americana having already earned a Grammy for her music.

Amanda Shires – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Amanda’s efficiency of her hit transforming of ‘Highwayman’ is a big excessive level for me and the lyrical modifications have made certainly one of my favorite songs much more anthemic at its core; it’s unattainable to not be moved by the story telling and Amanda’s faultless supply.

Amanda Shires – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

I walked away from this set feeling that I had been within the presence of a really particular artist and she or he gained an enormous reception from the Black Deer devoted on the principal stage.

Elles Bailey – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

I’ve loved the music of Elles Bailey for a while however by no means obtained to see her play stay. Her set in The Ridge large prime stage was a tour de power of bluesy Americana rock and the packed crowd liked her power and the very slick band she introduced alongside. Extra vocals had been offered by Demi Marriner and it might be a sin to explain them as backing vocals. I can’t wait to catch Demi stay sooner or later and listen to extra of that lovely voice.

Elles Bailey – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Elles was a revelation stay and it’s completely no shock she had such a constructive response. Each music was delivered with actual class and it was good to see her show which you could be a Mum and a kickass performer too. A touching spotlight away from the music was her tribute to Vera Black, Nation design royalty to anybody that attends common nation music festivals and designer to stars like Tom Hardy and Johnny Depp to call simply two tremendous cool purchasers. Vera helped reawaken  Elles’ sartorial kick-assery and it’s evident that wanting nice helps to instil Elles efficiency with confidence and positivity.

Elles Bailey – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Michael Caine, in his e book ‘Blow the Bloody Doorways Off’ says of his preparation for a task that ‘confidence makes you calm down, and being relaxed allows you carry out’; Elles has clearly labored this out for herself. Her efficiency was nice !This might be one other artist I look ahead to seeing once more.

Lukas Nelson – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

After Elles, I made a beeline for Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Actual. Because of the order of play, this sadly meant I used to be going to must miss Drake White who can be a favorite however I wanted to be as near the entrance as attainable for Lukas. In honesty, I might have paid the doorway price simply to see him play.

Lukas Nelson – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

I fell in love with the music, efficiency and lifestyle of Lukas after I first noticed him play at Cornbury Competition and I’ve seen him at each U.Okay. tour since. Lukas discovered his stagecraft on stage together with his legendary Father and with Neil Younger and it’s clear that these two unbelievable artists have given him a vastly charismatic stage presence. He ran by means of a beautiful number of music from all of his good albums together with some very cool music from forthcoming album ‘Sticks and Stones’, the title observe was an enormous excessive level.

Lukas Nelson – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

To see Lukas play, is to be transported to a different airplane of excellence; there is no such thing as a misstep in his efficiency and supply and he manages that tremendous feat of constructing every little thing sound recent. He’s beautifully aided by POTR, all of whom are clearly excellent musicians however to see Lukas play the guitar and get into his groove is a factor of marvel. Certainly, the legendary Steve Earle and Amanda Shires each got here out to look at a part of his set and will clearly be seen to take pleasure in themselves.

Lukas Nelson – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

The efficiency of Lukas Nelson was accompanied by very heavy rain and it’s testomony to how good he was that there was no run for canopy. Merely put, Lukas was too good to overlook. I can’t assist considering he needs to be headlining a UK competition quickly as he’s a really laborious act to comply with.

Bears Den – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

After Lukas, moist by means of and chilly I needed to search refuge within the dry and after drying and refuelling I regarded ahead to Ridge headline act and Competition nearer Bears Den. I first noticed them play at Barn on the Farm competition, a competition well-known for launching a few of our excellent acts, and I used to be hooked.

Bears Den – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

I’ve purchased all their music since and  couldn’t wait to see them play at a competition for the primary time in 4 years. Would they be rusty, would their properly famend shut concord be off? Not all all! Bears Den is a band of such full musicality that even in the event you didn’t take pleasure in their music ( unlikely) you’d be blown away by the best way the band drift between devices and vocals with ease. The band has been nominated for a number of music awards together with the Ivor Novello award and Americana artist of the 12 months and music of the 12 months and with 4 albums behind them they’ve a beautiful catalog of music to attract upon.

Bears Den – Photograph Credit score: Steve Holley

Their latest  report Blue Hours, launched final 12 months, is an actual favorite of mine in the intervening time. The band is basically Andrew Davie on lead vocals and Kevin Jones on vocals and bass. These days they’re joined on tour and within the studio by Dutch artist Christof van der Ven on banjo, guitar and concord vocals.

The standard of their efficiency was a triumph. It was nice to see this band doing what they do finest, headlining a competition, and I can’t thank Black Deer sufficient for giving the band the finale. It was an ideal finish to my day specifically and, from the group response, to the weekend generally.

The Black Deer Competition did one thing very particular this weekend and I firmly imagine that if we’re to guard stay music, we should get behind the entire festivals we love. Personally, it has turn into more and more evident to me that we should study to understand each second and draw as a lot from them as attainable; there are merely no peculiar moments and nowhere is that this extra obvious than at a musical competition. Younger and previous being introduced collectively on the altar of music is a superb church and our assist for festivals like The Black Deer is one of the simplest ways we are able to defeat the musical most cancers of AI. We wish these particular person moments as we uncover new artists and revisit previous favourites, we would like the laughs and chats over a beer or cider that may stay with us ceaselessly. We don’t need one thing created for us by a pc, we would like the humanity that we get from shared musical expertise.

Stay efficiency is the muse of the factor we love and at festivals particularly it comes present wrapped in emotion. AI won’t ever be capable to recreate that; even on the ABBA Voyage, which is spectacular in its idea, the factor that makes it particular is the group. At a competition you’ll be able to work together with the artists as a result of they’re alive and if you need that to proceed, go and put money into that exact future by shopping for the early fowl tickets to subsequent years Black Deer Competition, as a result of that manner you realize that funding will carry one thing cash can’t purchase and computer systems can’t create. Pleasure!

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