Great Folk Revival, More4: TV review

A music documentary that oozes irritating smugness
  • @MsEllenEJones

If you enjoy being lectured about “authenticity” by beardy types sitting in the beautiful Victorian houses that they bought with royalties from mobile phone ads, then you were well served by Get Folked: the Great Folk Revival (Sat, More4).

Amid short but sweet performances from the current generation (Seth Lakeman, The Lumineers, Newton Faulkner – no Laura Marling, sadly),  the narration attempted to peddle that old line that folk has a monopoly on authentic feeling. It was irritating smugness in the Sixties and, guess what? It’s still irritating smugness now.

Their argument might have been more convincing if we’d heard more specifics about the genre’s ancient roots, or the political engagement of the current generation, or if the interview with the “not particularly left-wing” troubadour Frank Turner had included even one question about how he sees himself fitting into a tradition that also includes Billy Bragg. Instead, the most confrontational thing about this hour-long documentary was that terrible title, a late contender for worst of the year.