Posted: Sun, 20th Aug, 7:05pm Post subject: Green Man
Damn but Saturday might be the best fest ever line-up wise. Friday was good enough with the Aliens playing a blinder and Gruff Rhys doing samplaholic things in the folky dokey tent. Points deducted though for Donovan. Saturday was just about perfect. King C got the biggest crowd and biggest cheer of the day, and the only sunshine of the afternoon during 678 (proof that god has taste). Vito were brilliant as the day's openers, Euros Childs got the rain to stop after 5 bells, Tuung sounded just like the CD and James Y played a good set later on.
The rain didn't take much away from the weekend, it was a good site with a made arena-thingy that made the sound travel all the way to the back. Hope they are back at the same place next year. By then the trench foot will be better.
Jo & Danny have done a stunning job on finding a new site, for starters. Beautiful setting on the edge of the Black Mountains, complete with man-made terraced amphitheatre around the main stage, proper surfaced tracks between stages (hence reducing the quagmire potential), all the stages with plenty of capacity, and a lovely courtyard for the third stage complete with a bar that stayed open until at least 2am. Yay!
Weather wasn't too bad after all. Thankfully we managed to get our tents up during the lengthy dry spell on Friday afternoon, and the showers didn't stop me from getting to see anyone play, as far as I can remember. That sudden heavy downpour in the early hours of Monday morning was a bit of a bugger, mind you - just got sat down with wine back at our tent, only to be forced into bed. I think a gazebo might be in order next time.
Good to meet Candythief again, and to speak to Rab and Pictish briefly. Sorry not to have met anyone else from round these parts - I was in the middle of a load of avid KC fans during the KC & The Sunshine Band set (yes, they really did manage to make the sun come out for the first time on Saturday), but the 'do I introduce myself to complete strangers/am I going to look a complete cock' conundrum went unresolved.
I managed to see substantial portions of at least 10 bands on each of the three days. Personal highlights were Adrian Crowley/Gruff Rhys/A Hawk & A Hacksaw on Friday, Vito/Foxface/Voice Of The Seven Woods/Tunng/KC/JY on Saturday, Shady Bard/Archie Bronson/Viking Moses/Alasdair Roberts/Sunburned Hand Of The Man on Sunday. Of these, Adrian Crowley and Viking Moses were tip-offs from people around here, so thanks to those of you who've mentioned them in the past.
The KC set was 45mins of straight-up joy from start to finish, a large and energetic crowd coupled with bags of enthusiasm coming off the stage. Fairly standard set from the last year or so, KC Rules OK and Rocket DIY material in the main.
Good to hear some new songs amongst the JY set, and again a vast crowd packed into the second stage to see him and the Athletes. I can't recall having seen the girl who was doing backing vocals and playing violin before, lovely stuff, and she's all over the new album (which is sounding great on first few plays).
(One minor reservation, and this applied across the weekend - the changeover between bands on the second stage seemed incredibly lengthy at times. It took nearly an hour to swap over between John Renbourn and JY, meaning that JY's set got chopped by about 10-15 mins. This did mean we got frantic takes on the last couple of songs in an effort to fit 'em in, though)
Tunng are getting better and better all the time, lovely atmosphere for their set and some great inter-band banter between songs.
Archie Bronson were a very welcome change of pace, certainly the most rock 'n' roll set I saw all weekend. I think I need to buy the album.
I thought I was going to go home having seen loads of great shows but having not had that one 'just been blown away by someone I've never heard before' moment, but that happened with Viking Moses, who I thought was superb. I guess having James Yorkston, Adrian Crowley and Marissa Nadler as your backing singers is a good start!
Alasdair Roberts - no band this time, and a completely different set to the last few times I've seen him. Another tranche of trad songs coupled with a number of tracks from his new album. Ace. And then I ended up standing in front of the second stage talking to a mate of mine whilst Sunburned were setting up, and staying to witness an hour of meandering, propulsive freakout - the perfect end to the weekend.
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