International flavour to popular village music festival

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A much-loved Cumbrian music festival burst into life to the sound of Congolese rhythms.

International musician Kanda Bongo Man headlined the opening night of the Music on the Marr Festival in the village of Castle Carrock – and soon had the audience swaying in the aisles.

The artist and his band proved a popular start for the event, which is now in its eighth year, and heralded the start of a weekend of music, dance, poetry and art.

Also appearing at Thursday night’s opener were Scotland’s Nae Plans and The Brothers Gillespie from Northumberland.

Friday night was set to be headlined by quintet the Elephant Sessions, followed by Scottish folk legends Wolfstone on Saturday and the Urban Folk Quartet, featuring Penrith banjo star Dan Walsh, closing the festival on Sunday.

Organisers promise a variety of acts and activities, including circus skills and music workshops throughout the weekend.

The food range has been expanded this year to include Mel’s diner and a pop-up Mr Brown’s café alongside the Magnificent Tea Emporium and barbecues at the Duke of Cumberland pub.

A wide selection of real ales are on offer, including from the Derwent Brewery and Oliver Chester’s in Brampton.

Organiser Richard Johnstone said: “We’ve had a wonderful start to the festival and there’s so much more, from far and wide, for people to enjoy this weekend.

“It’s quite frankly staggering this little corner of Cumbria attracts bands of this calibre to come and entertain. Those who are here really seem to appreciate that and enjoy the music.”

Tickets are still available on the door, details at www.musiconthemarr.com

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