Another day, another ‘yummy’ full English this time i got an extra pig’s testicle sausage instead of a hash brown, I was very disappointed. Same routine as yesterday as we went to the church to find out what are all important stewarding duties for the day were going to be. I had the pleasure of stage managing the church stage. Well by managing I mean sitting in the pews and watching all the artists. First up was the delightful Winston Echo whose songs about being a robot or going to Dracula’s disco party was the perfect early afternoon soundtrack to all the bleary eyed festival goers. Really enjoyed Winston his sort of anti-folk twee pop was just lovely inside such intimate surroundings. Heres a pic with Laura Wolf from Internet Forever and the guitarist guy from Frankie & the Heartstrings sat in front of me.

Next on in the church were the very nervous looking Cavalcades and I’m sure if they were a lot less nervous then maybe their performance would have been a hell of a lot better. I personally found them a bit boring their woozy indie pop didn’t really have much effect on my ears. Nice enough but sooo much better than what was coming next. I don’t think this guy up next on the church stage was what the programmed described. ‘Socialist Leisure Party are an English-French band… that will remind you of Orange Juice… jangly, nice and concise’. Instead we got this random Scottish guy singing about god knows what at however loud he was, didn’t sound like what the programme described. Mass evacuation of the church then followed and rightly so this guy was awful. Would have rather have spent another two hours at the instrument store than listen to him for another five minutes.

Needed to do some severe comfort eating after that monstrosity so I grabbed myself a burger from the cafe and went down the barn to watch Internet Forever a band who I’ve wanted to see again for ages and ages. Duly I took my spot front and centre for a disappointing short twenty-five minute set by the noise-pop three-piece. But in this time they managed to pack a pretty big punch rattling through singles ‘Cover the Walls’ and ‘Break Bones’ to a packed crowd. Highlight of the set came when the band played the flippin’ awesome ‘Walk of Life’ by Dire Straights which pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day perfectly. Yet another band whose debut record I seriously can’t wait to hear especially if it sounds as equally fun as the band are live.

Seriously couldn’t be bothered with whatever duty I had next so I went and bought myself an Internet Forever t-shirt and watched a little bit of Standard Fare. They weren’t bad but it started to rain and I couldn’t be bothered standing there watching a band who once again found a little bit of a boring live prospect even if they have got a couple of indie-pop gems in them. So I paced it back the camp site grabbed and jumper and took a spot backstage to watch Shrag a band who I find unbelievably annoying on the record. A little bit like a post-punk Bis. What I could see through the little stage entrance is that Shrag are quite a compelling live act. To be honest though I would much rather watch Charles and Rebecca from Slow Club take funny pictures of themselves backstage.

Slow Club of course were the penultimate band of the weekend and I’m sure that they just keep getting better and better. Would have been nice if the sun was shinning on everyone’s favourite Sheffield duo but how can the miserable weather affect the beauty of their songs. The band played a similar set to what they played last I saw the back in May. So this meant a mix of new and old which really wasn’t a problem when the new songs sound even better than they did last time out. The likes of ‘Gold Mountain’ and ‘Hackney Marsh’ sound like potential classics alongside the likes of the furious ‘Giving Up On Love and ‘Trophy Room’. Nothing less than perfect apart from the minor technical issues that are almost always apparent every time I see Slow Club.

Finally the band I’d been waiting to see all weekend. Kip Berman opened the show with a solo rendition of album opener ‘Contender’ before inviting the rest of the band to join him for ‘This Love Is Fucking Right!” Everything was not fucking right though don’t wanna have a fifteen minute delay and then have another five-minute delay because of technical problems. The band carried on regardless of all the technical bollocks and was worth it to see the band play the likes of ‘Young Adult Friction’ to huge crowd who were hooked by every note played and every word sung. The atmosphere was eclectic to say the least and all this for a band who’ve only got one album and a couple of EP’s under their belt. The band was clearly in their element playing to such a large audience and the party really started by the time a mini-moshpit was created during my favourite ‘Come Saturday’. Like Slow Club before them the band brought out a few new songs tonight but for the moment which may show a heavier even noisier side to Pains… on LP number two. But hey for the time being who needs LP number two this is about the hits tonight and every song played was met with the same reaction from start to finish whether it be b-sides like ‘103’ in which everyone around was singing along to every word, or the likes of ‘A Teenager In Love’ in which everyone was singing along to every word. The band finished on ‘The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’ and at this rate of ascent up the indie hierarchy then there is no way that were gonna see these guys ‘die’ any time soon and rightly so. No way these guys could have left with out an encore and so they came back on again played another decent new track before ending on ‘Gentle Sons’. A brilliantly noisy end to a lovely weekend. Dunno if I’ll come back next year but if you’re looking for a relatively small festival that’s brimming with a mix of great people and great bands (both new and old) then this is the place for you.

James

Advertisements