Festival Q&A:
The Ale Marys

The five piece are celebrating their twentieth year together. Vocalist Gerry McNeice tells us why Beverley Folk Festival (16-18 June), which they play again this year, holds his best festival memory

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Who else are you excited to see?
Most definitely Eddi Reader and Sam Kelly.

What’s your best festival memory?
It was at Beverley Folk Festival a few years back when we received an email from a descendant of a person we’d written a song about. The subject matter had been covered many times, with many writers wanting to cash in on the story. She said our song was sensitive and told the story perfectly without us seeking personal gain from it. And the sun was just coming up. Perfect!

What are your festival essentials?
Good food, decent beer, good company and hopefully good weather.

How does playing a festival differ from playing your own gig?

It’s assumed at one’s own gig the audience will be familiar. A festival appearance gives us the chance to perform to a potentially new crowd. It’s a great opportunity.

What’s your favourite part of playing a festival?
Being at a multi-stage, multi-artist event gives us the opportunity to catch other acts doing their thing and to hook up with friends whose faces we sometimes only ever see on gig posters.

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The Ale Marys

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