It’s funny how time passes so quickly at festivals. It’s almost as if you enter a little time warp generated by positive energy and great music and suddenly it’s all over. As I sit to write this article on Sunday morning I am already packing the van up in readiness for heading home tonight and feeling a bit sad that today is the final day of this lovely little festival. Not to worry though, I have another one to look forward to next weekend.
I must say the weather across the four days of this festival has been absolutely stunning. It has been hot, dry and sunny all weekend. In truth a little too hot for me, but certainly much better that rain, and there isn’t a cloud in the sky today.
As in previous days I had a relaxed start to the day yesterday and wandered over to the site in time to catch Lisbee Stainton. Lisbee seems to be everywhere at the moment. I have seen her performing with Paul Brady and later in the day she will grace the stage again with Seth Lakeman and his band. I guess I am probably showing my ignorance here but Lisbee was playing an eight string guitar and over the course of the weekend I have also seen people play 10-string guitars. Add that to five and six string bass guitars and I don’t know what on earth is going on.
Anyway I enjoyed Lisbee’s set and then wandered off to check out Celadore, a four piece from Southampton who delivered a very competent set of their own songs. Their blues-insprired rock rhythyms are something of a throwback to the heyday of rock and I really enjoyed their set. Next up for me was the Spooky Mens Chorale. Hailing from the Blue Mountains of New South Wales the spooky men sound wonderful but it is their humour that makes their performance unmissable. They ever engaged the crowd in having a communal laugh at the Aussie cricket team.
Whilst I appreciated the fantastic musicianship of Gavin Marwick and Kathryn Tickell the music wasn’t really my sort of thing so I went wandering just enjoying the sunshine and soaking up the atmosphere. I returned to the mainstage to check out Eliza Carthy’s set. Eliza now fronts the only band that has more members than Bellowhead, she has even pinched some of the members of that band including Jon Spiers! Eliza delivered a fantastic set full of high energy folk music that had the entitre crowd on it’s feet.
Seth Lakeman and his band were the penultimate act on the main stage for Saturday. Sadly Seth’s set clashed with Phil Odgers and Bobby Valentino on the second stage, a set that I was determined not to miss. I watched the first 15 minutes of Lakeman’s set and then caught the last 20 minutes or so after Swill had finished. Lakeman probably drew the biggest crowd of the weekend and there were many hundreds of people outside the tent with their chairs and picnic blankets. The crowd spread almost to the food stalls and this made it very difficult to move around the site, this is something the festival will need to think about in future years if they maintain this years increased capactity.
The Proclaimers finished off the day singing their anthemic pop songs to a crowd who were very keen to sing with them. 500 Miles, the finale, could probably have been heard back in Leith as the crowd raised the roof to close a barnstorming set and to close the day.