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Thursday, 25 December 2014

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Strong crowds and top sounds at Music on the Marr

Glorious music rang out over Castle Carrock at the weekend as this year’s Music on the Marr festival pleased fans from far and wide.

The event poured out a stream of top-class performances – and much more besides, attracting strong crowds.

One of many highlights on Saturday was the arrival of quality music and dance from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, courtesy of the dance group Zulu Tradition. They gave a master-class in Zulu culture and dance.

“The people here have been great and they have responded really well to what we do,” said one band member called Bongi.

It was just one example of how the event brought peopletogether.

Mike Lee, 46, and his fianceé Juliet Lamin, 38, travelled up to the festival from Dorset, visiting family and going to the festival for the first time.

He said: “It’s all quite diverse and the village has come together well as a community. The quality of the music is excellent.”

His sister Jacqueline Stone, 44, was at the event with her husband Simon, 48, and their eight-year-old son Heathcliffe, who all live at Croglin.

Jacqueline said: “It’s fantastic. This is a family-friendly festival and we come to it every year. Everybody joins in and helps.”

Festival organiser Richard Johnstone said he was delighted with how it went – despite so many getting a Saturday drenching.

“Festival goers are determined to have a good time whatever the weather does,” he said.

He cited the rousing performances of six-piece band Skerryvore, from the Hebridean isle of Tiree; and Grace Petrie, described as a “radical lesbian feminist”, whose lyrics range from tender romance to fierce protest at the continuing demise of the UK's welfare state.

Richard added: “This area’s a Tory heartland, but Grace is lovely and the audience absolutely loved her. She has a huge warmth and stage presence; and she’s astonishing musically.”

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