1 - The size
Maybe I’m old (31) but the size (5,000) was perfect for three days. Big enough to lay on a few names, small enough to get back to the tent in 10 minutes. Happy hamstrings are no joke.
They were tired (understandably: they’d driven from Germany that day, and were going back after the show) and the set was a bit short. Still, it was enough for dewey-eyed rock and roll romantics to harp on about how they were a ‘band to believe in.’ We're a bad break-up away from a lyric tattoo over here.
3- De La Soul / Too Many Ts
Not sure I’ve ever seen a crowd worked as well as by De La Soul, though Too Many Ts gave them a run. Imagine a really likeable, English version of L.M.F.A.O who are into breakbeat rather than EDM. They were brilliant, honest.
4- Things went wrong, but (most) people didn’t moan.
It was the festival’s first year, and there were definitely a few teething problems. Lumping families with normals in camping was a bit of a fail, security guys seemed generally confused the first day, and the coach times all got changed at the last minute.
In their email out on Monday, the organisers said their standard of campsite services ‘were not always up to scratch’. I thought It took balls to say that, and weirdly, for most punters, it sorta improved the charm of it all. Everyone loves being there at the start of something, and if there’s a few bumps along the road to getting a new festival in their back yard, then we’ll all laugh about it when Swim Deep are headlining in 2025.
5- A lack of the London lot
Related to the previous point. Bit rich considering I lived in there for 8 years, but I can't help thinking if it was a festival mostly populated by the London media intelligentsia, people would have been taking to Twitter with snarky, ironic hashtags and muttering dark noises about ‘fucking it off and getting some last minute list for Wilderness’.
Tastes like Copella apple juice, which means you can have it for breakfast.
Definitely good, because they kept running out and having to order more. Check them out here.
7- The guy shouting out for Razorlight b-sides during (Jonny Borrell’s new band) Zazou’s daytime set
Weirdly lovable idiot. Jizzed a volley all the way back to Dalston 2004 when Jonny high fived him at the end..
8- Kassassin Street
We saw these about midnight Sunday and by then things were shall-we-say strained. They were brilliant though- psychadelic Charlatans vibes. Maracas, smoke machines, and the lead singer is a potential NME hero. If you like that sort of thing, have a look.
9 - Eleanor Conway
Confession time- I do know her. But whether she was fronting Musical Bingo or Gospeloke (that's karaoke with a full choir), she seemed to be on a stage somewhere all weekend. Somehow she never stopped being funny, and relentlessly dug out some poor adolescent for wearing tie-dye, which seems fair enough. She even got me on stage doing a limbo. Shockingly, I didn't come last. That's my epitaph right there.
By all accounts they are doing Forgotten Fields next year. Check out the website here