UK Summer Festival Season 2017
We’re gonna take you on a bit of an unusual Journey with this one;
This started out as our review of the Family Friendly Festivals in UK;
However, it ended up being about the Diversity of Festivals in General:
The UK Festival scene really is a diverse one and our snapshot of the amazing 2017 season really highlights this experience. From a Stately Domestic Utilities Tribute Party, through Aerosmith at Download to Faith Based Festivals, the UK has it all; we are delighted to bring you the action:
Our first stop on The-Festival-Express was Private Festival ‘Piggyfest’:
This was a great Private Music Festival, hosted rather unusually by a utilities savings collective not Rock & Roll extreme but more a gentle reward for hard work and a collective thank you to each other, here is how it went down:
What can you say about the Festival with Free Booze / Free Food / Free Music, other than just thank you, this grateful vibe matched by the pristine blue sky weather and backed with some of the finest cover bands from around the globe: Abba, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Jersey Boys, Roy Orbison, Elvis; having not been a fan of Tribute Band Formats previously, I was swayed and taking in the view from the huge fairground carousel, High on Life, whilst listening to some well known tunes being dished out for the thousands of party makers below, was rather a delightful moment.
Next up a quintessential slice of The English Countryside Rocking Out, gently at the: Lechlade Music Festival;
Pitching our tent to the strains again of ABBA, swiftly on site thanks to the, unusually excellent stewards here at Lechlade, the kind of professional friendly folk that do everything from helping find and choose the bands to helping you find your way.
5am Heavy Rain.
Next day we bimble around town and take in the country air by the River, bumping into the Legendary Andy of Riffs Bar, we then see Tom Clemence Acoustic, the Belly Dancing Babes, and Drogo who Perform Engaging Rock, and are at their most Impressive when steering into contemporary waters.
Meanwhile there’s a mild Back Stage Panic, mainly by me, as the stage manager informs us that one of our bands (who are now independent again) had not shown up about 15 minutes to go before stage time. Communication Breakdown Fixed and V0iD played a main stage tour de force of their Muscular yet Melodic fare and kindly jolt the laid back audience to Action, some of them beyond nodding and clapping, but all were hugely entertained.
We encounter Simon Dye The SEO Guru and exchange pleasantries, it’s been a while since our Smart Thursday Days, which inspired many an innovative project including: www.Streamix.org / www.Streamix.info.
More Heavy Rain was Threatening for that night so these ‘Fair Weather Festivaleers’ pack up our courage in our old kit bags and move on to our next event…
Now at: Wychwood Music Festival; Jesus Jones blast out their ‘Who Where Why’ song and later: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwpjsToHzAE; we sang along then danced off to see lovely Molly at: The Glitter Palace.
Highlights Thereafter Include:
Stevie Parker Diminutive Hypnotic Songstress, with London Grammar Vibes.
The Flaming Gods being elevated from Tent to The Main Stage…
Great to see a Muslim dude on stage portraying Community / Togetherness.
Counter this with my Old Mate Crazy Ravey Davey pulling mystical shapes to the tones of The Levellers proving that he exists on another plane;
Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit, it’s Elemental baby …
The Download Festival:
Some might say that Rock is Primary, it’s Gospel – Blues – Metal, the Evolution from when music was just wallpaper or propaganda in 1940s to 1950s revolutionary Explosion, through Emergence of Pop, Punk, Indie, Goth, Grunge, across 60s to 90s it’s all in there and it’s all Primal …
Arrival at Download Festival 2017 is marked then with excitement, Airborne is our first band in, Ozzy Rockers Delivering what Ozzy Rockers Do, they were epic. Talking of Rockers, we met up with my old mate ‘Richie The Rocker’, he’s been there, done that and bought the overpriced tour shirt (More Likely Blagged it Free) when it comes to bands and moshing. Rock being Oxygen and beer is Lubricant to Richie Rock Respect …
It’s a mark of our age that he is Pre Hip Op’ and I’m post Rock Beer Gut, but we stagger about like we own the place, relying on our past ‘glories’ to fuel our muso egos, he being on former nodding terms with everyone from BonJovi to AeroSmith, more of them much soonly, I having once been Eye to Eye with W Axl Rose – it did happen – and we both Survived; meanwhile as my first born Human Boy Child 1 (Ethan) ogles at female Wrestlers in the sweaty ‘NXT’ tent (Apparently the Punk Rock Incarnation of Wrestling),
so as one Postpunk dude I head off round the site taking in the sights:
Clutch Get Retro at the second, ‘Encore’, stage. Young Pups ‘Basement’ do the big Marquee in fine style then after a few more beers: Aerosmith;
This Was Bigness, the kind of Bigness that comes with a career of rampant Grandeur & Excess, although ravaged by Age and Drug abuse they have bottled the visceral essence of what it is to Rock for Almost 50 Years.
Their full set is listed here: www.setlist.fm/setlist/aerosmith/2017/donington-park-castle-donington-england-be751ce.html; my highlights were as follows:
Just watching them walk on, not seen them live since Toxic Twin Towers at Old Wembley Stadium in 1999.
The Word Epic is overused these days but when a band like Aerosmith take to the Stage the World stops, for me anyway, and back in 1999 the ‘VIP’ Bar Crawled with Rock Icon Royalty from Queen’s Brian May on what looked a throne like structure, to next generation Noel Gallagher from Oasis and Billy Duffy from The Cult (The UK’s Answer to Guns ‘n’ Roses). Epic as they were then still Epic they are now.
Rolling through a twenty song two hour cut and paste career retrospective it was actually the covers that stood out this time for me from Early Fleetwood Mac classic Oh Well to Beatles’ Come Together. They are masters of their craft, undeniably clichéd moments of Steven Tyler playing Grand Piano with Joe Perry atop said platform delivering his Trademark Blues Squealage.
They maintain the atmosphere throughout in muscular style although I’m sure the Drummer Nearly Died several times given his age and condition, Bless!
It’s always near this point that I bemoan the fact ‘The Music Industry’ is not investing significantly in Our Latest Generation of Stadium Ready Acts, in truth now I’m almost tired of flying that flag and just happy to see magnificent Retro Rocking Reunions, it was after all announced as their ‘Farewell’ tour “Aero-Vederci-Baby”, so they can’t return again can they, well Rock ‘n’ Rock was built for Encores, we leave the Download Festival 2017 Very Happy.
New Wine United:
This is a strange gathering of 20,000 or so happy fellows in a field, all united by one thing: Faith; and reveling in all that is good about the World, including Worship music from all round the Globe. Their Main Arena holds 5,000 or so alone, which host talks and gigs over two weeks in Summer, with after parties by night and seminars by day going on all over the site. Kids Clubs & Candy Floss, add to the Holiday atmosphere of what can only be described as one giant Jamboree for God. It’s quite ‘Unfashionable’ to be a Christian these days and we quite like it that way. Jesus was the very First Rock Star turning Water into Wine in a society Party, and bringing his “Message of Love” for the unwashed Masses. We take our faith Seriously but not ourselves. New Wine United is the most fun you can have whilst trying to be a Good Human Being, we have a Great Role Model and we like to shout about it: www.new-wine.org
This year we tried to combine a flying visit between Festivals and on the scenic route Down to Devon for our holidays. Dropping in and seeing our friends Bedraggled by British weather it kind of felt we had dodged a bullet this year. It’s testament for their faith that our buddies at Cirencester Baptist Church, welcomed their dry Compadres, with a glass of wine and smiles and Pride in Puddles, adorned with colourful rubber ducks and slogans of fortitude flying raggedly from flags on their damp tents. Amen Brothers Creative & Sisters of Joy. And thanks to the organizers for allowing us to drop by …
Lakefest & Birdman:
Back refreshed from our Devon holiday including the madness of the Ilfracombe Birdman Festival
We head up for Lakefest. This Magnificent Festival has relocated to the grounds of Eastnor Castle Herefordshire, and what a fine sight it makes on such Beautiful days as these:
Sound Man Rich Recommends Remember Erica, so that’s where it starts, regaled with his tales of the new Minety Festival 2017, which sadly we had missed. On the desk in The BBC Introducing tent he was giving us the nod on all the latest bands. We though do remember Erica the Band and head of to see this pumped up indie Rock on The Main Stage. Fond memories of them entering the Exposure Music Awards ensue.
Across in The Floating Globe, the Hypnotic Trance Rock of Skeewiff;
“You’re Equal, You’re Different, You’re Equal, You’re Different, You’re Equal”.
Elements of 90s and the groundbreaking Pixies and featuring an old dude with too many strings on his bass.
Bouncing around at the Buskerstop: Vergazzle Dynamite; raw Girl Fronted Rock Punk Funk.
Next Turnin Brakes, seem to like each other “Don’t ask too many Questions”, it’s Comfortable Engaging Americana. ‘Summer Rain’ Subtlety, my Soul consequently nearly in tears at The Guitar Solo, only to be matched by the slide guitar on the penultimate song before the encore “Save Me” Said the Ending.
Arcadia; strong front man, with soulful voice in the style of a Percussive Blues Tirade, whilst Malarkey are Modern Dub Rock with Retro hints of yesteryear.
You may have gathered by now this review is an almost Stream of Consciousness rant as we piece our noted together with glue retrospectively. One thing I remember clearly though is encountering: ‘Pete The Temp’; Festival Poet, composing an unusual ode to Festival Organiser Lee:
Talking of our organisers The Roving Crows have been a big part of this Festival since the inceptions, anything to do with the Artists / Bookings / Communications will probably get laid at their door, good then and just reward that somewhere over the weekend they get to perform for us …
The Roving Crows;
Gradually their set has Evolved with Tim on Drums and Percussion of all manner of flavours, moving into the heart of their set these days; sometimes with a darker edge, ‘Bury me Naked’ for example the title track of their new Album or Electric, as on ‘New York’, also gaining an early showing. In fact lead singer and guitarist had an Electric in hand at least as often as his trusty Acoustic, but still with their own Fiddle Driven Folk Dancing Favourites.
Young Band Riviera back across at BBC Introducing Stage were Showing Big Promise, they have a youthful shimmer – Harpers Ferry Mildly & Pleasantly Wash Over – Badly Drawn Boy was ‘Born in The UK’ & ‘Will Meet You On The Corner’ – May Bradbury Purred Gentle Assurance – Music so much melodic music washes across this site on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Time for a lounge on some lazy hay bales. Seth Lakeman someone just said is like Steve Earle, his song-writing may not be as lofty as that, but he’s certainly got a Blue Country Underbelly to his sound, and we relax…
Almost as an antidote a Dance Music Quote from a mother of a ‘No Good Nancy’: “…it doesn’t get any better the closer you get and you can’t hear it any less the further away you are.” Sorry Dickie Superdry, actually this might have been after your set as I know your choonz to be well selected and generally more chillaxed than the thunderous stomp, stomp, stomp now emanating from the back of The Dance Arena, each to their own everyone.
Back to more familiar territory with Imelda May Emerging from the back stage gloom, slightly over smoked and very under lit, and much changed since we saw her as Headline at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, several years back. Gone the 50s Hair Do & Uber Retro Vibe, yet still oozing Natural Celtic Personality, with Life Tinged Blues. Part way through her set kindly she invites us to turn to one another to introduce ourselves, proclaiming soon after, there are only two emotions: Fear & Love then exclaiming that she chooses Love, a choice we all seem happily mellow with as Lakefest comes to a close for 2017.
Normally come Bank Holiday Weekend in August we’d be at The Phoenix Festival in Cirencester, now a mighty fine figure of a Festival with nigh on 20,000 visitors across the Weekend of Festivities. Thankfully one of our Bands Tenth Electric were already booked to play second from Headline on Sunday at Phoenix, giving us representation of sorts, but when all but one of your Cousins decide to get to get together for a big hoedown on the farm the Family Comes First and we found ourselves in East Sussex not South Glos.
Many a jovial moment and the kind of rampant silliness without judgement or fear of reputation, you can only get away with amongst close family, peppered this weekend of long overdue joyous togetherness.
We Love Tribe, and this is mine but I also Love the UK Festival Scene, with all its many faces, characters and sounds, we live in a beautifully diverse nation with Culture & Creativity at the heart of everything, let’s keep it that way, Blessings & Ting’ yours in sound, Deanomuso signing off for…
Reprise & Regards:
Well, after The Festival Season had Closed, we received a kind invite to see Macca The Concert, with the same cast of Let It Be, the West End Musical;
I’m still looking for an investment in this ‘Beatlesque’ talent for recording their Album of completely original music, yet inspired by the past, hmm, the past informing the future, there’s a way of keeping it fresh yet quality,
Meanwhile Happy Christmas:
Love will be the Answer
Very Merry Christmas