Glasto 2015 'The Free One'

Best Free Festival Ever!!

I'm back from Glastonbury 2015, which will forever be remembered for being my Free-Glastonbury' - for I won two tickets courtesy of the EE 'Glastonburied' competition where you had to predict where they had 'buried' the two tickets on the site - in a Battleships style game layout of Glasto. Day One I gave it a go and just selected three in a column to cover where I thought the Park stage was… Hey Presto! On Tuesday morning a message to say I'd won the tickets. It took several reads and then several 'congratulations' tweets came in before I believed my eyes. Re-sult!

Anyway, I'll put a little write up here on how the festival went. In the meantime here is an almost complete list of the bands I saw over the three music days:


Charlatans (Other Stage)
Hinds (John Peel)*
James Bay (Pyramid Stage)
Alabama Shakes (Pyramid)
Duke Special (Acoustic)
Frank Turner (Strummerville)
Sharon Von Ettan (Park)*
Super Furry Animals (Park)*


Frank Turner (Other)
Waterboys (Pyramid)
Habadekuk (Avalon)
Andy Fairweather Lowe, Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe (Acoustic)
Vintage Trouble (West Holts)
Spiritualized (Park Stage)


Rival Sons (Other Stage)
Ron Sexsmith (Crow’s Nest)*
Patti Smith (Pyramid) - complete with Dalai Lama
Gretchen Peters (Acoustic)
Ron Sexsmith (Acoustic)
Bootleg Beatles (Acoustic)
Belle & Sebastian (Other)
The Who (Pyramid) (30 mins)
Ryan Adams (Park Stage)

Note that stars indicate where I only saw a few songs being performed.

__Trans__ and __Subba_Cultcha

Loved the whole Liverpool Psych Fest but it was topped off by seeing Bernard Butler playing - Bernard Butler! Yes, him ex of that seminal band Suede - in his new band 'Trans' with ex-Yummy Furs frontman Jackie McKeown.

It was a hush hush gig - I think to ease them into gigdom without too much of an early spotlight/pressure - which seemed to be so successfully under the radar that there were only thirty or so there to see this first gig of the band. And they were ace.

Took a bit of footage with my iPhone, which you can see on
YouTube. Check 'em out when you get the chance. Trans's EP is out imminently on Rough Trade records.

Photo 5 - PF

My review of the psychedelic festival is up on the Subba-Cultcha website. Neat!


A Weekend of Festivals

Friday and Saturday saw a busy weekend of festivaling with the 2nd Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia and the first Liverpool Organic Brewery Festival at St George's Hall.

Photo 3 - PF
Novella play the Camp

I was kind of working and kind of enjoying both! The music festival at the Camp & Furnace was my first assignment for a review for
Subba-Cultcha online magazine. The festival was excellent with some great bands and stunning performances. My review of it has been written and submitted - it should go live on the website sometime this week. I will post a link through to the review once it is live.

Photo 5 - PF
Trans - Bernard Butler's new band - play the Camp

Within the couple of days I also managed to get to St George's Hall to work for a few hours at the
Beer Festival on the Richmond Bar. Cracking venue - though probably a bit warm for the beer - and an enjoyable evening was had between visits to the Psychedelia Festival. No review, just a few pictures.

St George's Hall Beer Festival:

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A Tale of Two Festivals

A Tale of Two Festivals

2nd Liverpool International Psychedelic Festival

Last year Liverpool's Camp & Furnace venue hosted Liverpool's 1st Annual International Psychedelic Festival and so one year on it's time for the 2nd one then - that's the way it works. Last year was one day crammed with bands from all over the psychedelic spectrum - and let's be honest, beyond. This time the festival is over two days (27th - 28th September) but is being hosted at the same venue.

There is of course even more music, and probably more spread still of the interpretation of the word - I saw Novella at Leaf last year and unless they've changed a lot then… Any hoo there is so much on and I'm looking forward to spending a good few hours their over the next two days.

Liverpool PyschFest

St.George's Hall Beer Festival

Okay that's Festival No.1 of the weekend, but I'll be tackling that with something of a beer sandwich as that's the way I roll (well, I'm working the first Liverpool Organic Brewery Beer Festival to be held at St. George's Hall). Assuming I've hit it right then I should be able to get back for some more tuneage back at the Camp & Furnace*. It promises to be a most interesting and packed weekend. Where's me ProPlus?

Expect photo's and write ups for both events - though mainly for the music fest.

Bring it on people!

* Shipwreck and other IPA dependent


The Festival at the End of the Road

The Festival at the End of the Road, at Larmer Tree Gardens, sounds like a book and seems like a dream. This year the guys and gals at EOTR looked to surpass last years headliners, which had included Grizzly Bear, Grandaddy and Patti Smith. Along with Glastonbury it is one of my two must go to festivals. Different ends of the scale but both wonderful. The Park at Glasto is dear to me, but my favourite festival stage must be the Park Stage at EOTR - when the weather is good and the bands keep coming there’s nowhere else to be.

The festival site is easy to get around, but the paths and various hidden gems in the woods make it feel bigger - you just need to keep an eye out for the wild wild life.

The Tipi tent in the almost constant sunshine

Food at the festival is varied and excellent - not the dirty burger and a plastic cheese slice of some fests, decent ingredients and food with flavours from India, Mexico, France and even the Balkans. There was plenty of real ale in the bars across the site and of course the Somerset Cider Bus is on hand too.

Cleanliness at the site was notable and special mention goes to the
AndyLoos teams for their hard work - no emergency toilet paper required here. The festival goers themselves no doubt helped too.

This years weather was very kind again with sunshine almost constant. Even the rain, which came on Friday, was nicely accompanied by a double rainbow.

The music line-up was strong throughout and it’s not easy to pick out just a few highlights, but I’ll try:

After the truncated
Eels set at V we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to see a full set on the main Woods Stage on Friday night. The Adidas track-suited band rocked out - throwing in some Pete Green era Fleetwood Mac - and the crowd lapped it up (as did the weather gods who signaled their delight with a double rainbow).

IMG_0868 - Version 2
Rainbow for the Eels on the Woods Stage

Headliners David Byrne & St Vincent came on with their fantastic brass to an expectant if slightly damp crowd. We were not disappointed and the choreography of the group was something to behold, really adding to the experience. The biggest cheers of the day were undoubtedly to the Road to Nowhere finale.

In the afternoon
King Khan & the Shrines had entertained with the mighty Khan channeling something between James Brown and Ronnie Barker, but in the early hours of the Saturday morning they claimed the Tipi as their own (despite seemingly having Brian Blessed on drums and the angel from Barbarella on keyboards).

King Khan & the Shrines

Saturday began with the simple charms of singers with guitars including Ethan Johns and Angel Olsen on the Park stage and Night Beds (I must now purchase that album). After the straightforward joys of the singer songwriters the evening ended with the light, video and blustering soundscapes of Sigur Ros. The band on tip top form lit up the cold starry night (the hot spicy cider from the Somerset Cider Bus was an essential accompaniment on the night).

All too soon Sunday was upon the happy festival goers.
Damian Jurado on the Park Stage was a great start with his class tunes interspersed with some jaunty banter. Then it was over to the Woods to let Heartless Bastards rock us before the rightly popular Caitlin Rose came out to delight with her fragile-cum-unbreakable country voice. Lovely.

Woodpecker Wooliams
Woodpecker Wooliams on the Park Stage - after getting dressed

The early evening brought us Jens Lekman back at the Park, which became something of an enjoyable dancing flash mob - great moments. Then it was time for the last headliner Belle & Sebastian who’s buoyant performance were an uplifting end to the main festival performances.

Following the headliners it was inevitable that it had to be continued via the disco in the Woods then it was onto the Tipi for a couple of fab performances from the
Barr Brothers and Caitlin Rose, who despite struggling with a sore throat was awesome.

So the audience, including the resident macaws and the peacocks, are already looking forward to next year and I for one have already nabbed an Early Bird.

Thank you once again
EOTR and I’ll raise a cider and an ale to you this week!


End of the Road 2013 - Bands

Before I work on a review of this years End of the Road below is a list of the bands I saw there. It's hard to believe there was any time to go to the Woods to enjoy the off stage stuff, let alone stop and smell the coffee (and eat!).



Woodpecker Wooliams - Park Stage
Diana Jones - Park
Mark Mulcahy - Park
Doug Paisley - Park (part)
King Khan & the Shrines - Woods Stage
Eels - Woods
David Byrne & St Vincent - Woods
Dawes - Tipi Tent
King Khan & the Shrines -Tipi Stage



Ethan Johns -Park
Night Beds - Park
Angel Olsen - Park
Leisure Society - Woods
Sigur Ros - Woods
Joe Gideon & the Shark - Tipi (part)



El Perro del Mar -Tipi
Damian Jurado - Park
Heartless Bastards - Woods
Caitlin Rose - Woods
Jens Lekman - Park
Frightened Rabbit - Woods (part)
The Walkmen - Park (part)
Public Service Broadcasting - Big Top (part)
Belle & Sebastian - Woods
Barr Brothers - Tipi
Caitlin Rose - Tipi


End of the Road - Planning


It's my fourth consecutive
End of the Road Festival. And what a festival it has always proven to be. To give you an idea of the type of bands who play at this perfect festival these are the headliners for the previous festivals I've been to:

  • Modest Mouse
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Wilco

  • Beirut
  • Joanna Newsome
  • Mogwai

  • Patti Smith
  • Grandaddy
  • Beach House
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Alabama Shakes

This year looks like it's going to be a belter as well with the bands including;
  • David Byrne & St Vincent
  • Eels
  • Sigur Ros
  • Jens Lekman
  • Belle & Sebastian
  • Savages
  • Dawes
  • Caitlin Rose
  • Palma Violets

Class throughout, but some difficult decisions on who to see and who to miss. Nice problem to have though.


V Festival 2013

I've been to a few V Festivals in my time, but stopped several years ago as it got ever more poppier and even more full of kids and scalls.


However on Friday night I managed to win two VIP tickets to V at Weston Park in Staffordshire. We didn't have much time to get ready, but being festival experts it didn't take long.

The upgrade to the VIP package cost us £20, which was well worth it as it got us into the lovely quiet area beside the lake. More importantly it got us away from the plastic portaloo lottery to porcelain and real bum paper heaven.

At £4.50 a pint drinking was slow to the point of getting thirsty. Ridiculous price for a festival - and with no real ale I was stuck with Strongbow for much of the weekend, other than a couple of pints of Guinness from the one bar that sold it (in the Gourmet area?). Rather confusingly the Guinness bar was called Black Sheep (it didn't even sell as much as a smooth flow monstrosity).

The bands playing at the festival were in the main remarkably poor and predominantly either pop or RnB (not Blues Brothers style unfortunately). So it was full of kids screaming to see Olly Murs, McFly, and Labrinth and the like. Pins, give me pins, to stick in my eyes!!


Still, there were a few good bands including Eels (given a paltry 35 minute slot!), Of Monsters and Men, and Kings of Leon. My highlight though was Eddie Izzard. Brilliant to get the chance to seem him and bit of his historical hysterics or hysterical historics. The tent was packed to bursting and we ended up watching sat in the sunshine on the screen with a pint of Guinness (Sunday was another sunshine festival day!).


Beyonce came on thirty minutes late, apparently in order that she could silence the boos. If she'd come on to the stage on time there would have been none to begin with. Screaming women seemed to wet themselves with excitement to see their heroine, which I just don't get. She gets up mimes to a few songs, dances, walks off while they put a video on, changes her clothes to something else scanty and sprawls around showing off her long legs and arse. Don't get me wrong, no problem with that from a visual (or male) perspective, but she does seem rather like a glorified table dancer rather than a women's hero (or singer). If she only has enough material for a 35 minute set then I have the solution - put Beyonce on the Arena Stage at 5pm and put Eels on the main stage at 9.15.

All in all the weekend was good, but mainly because we had the advantage of the
VIP upgrade, some good sunshine, Eddie Izzard and a couple of performances from Eels, Of Monsters and Men and KoL. Oh and because it was basically £20 instead of the £300 the tickets would have cost!


Glastonbury Music


Saw some cracking bands at Glastonbury (of course missed a load too). You can never worry about what you are missing, just enjoy what you're doing. These are the bands I went to, in the order they came in;


  • Hives at the Other Stage
  • Jake Bugg at the Acoustic
  • Martin Stephenson at the Acoustic
  • Palma Violets at the Park Stage
  • Dinosaur Jr at the Park Stage
  • Billy Bragg at Leftfield
  • Arctic Monkeys at the Pyramid


  • Billy Bragg at the Pyramid
  • Ed Harcourt at the Park
  • Haim (above) the Park
  • Willy Mason at the Crows Nest
  • Alabama Shakes at the Other Stage
  • Primal Scream at the Pyramid
  • Rolling Stones at the Pyramid

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  • Stornoway at the Other Stage
  • Rufus Wainwright at the Pyramid
  • Villagers at the John Peel
  • Of Monsters and Men at the Other
  • Editors at the Other
  • Cat Power at the Park


Of the
20 bands I saw my Top Five were as follows (alphabetically):

  • Alabama Shakes
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Cat Power
  • Of Monsters and Men
  • Rolling Stones

And the most disappointing?

  • Primal Scream


Glastonbury 2013

Got the car packed and ready for tomorrow's drive to Glastonbury. Need to put in the cool box of cider and Murphy's then tis ready to roll on down to Somerset for five days of music, drinking and peopling. Photos and stories to follow no doubt.

Liquid Supplies
Liquid supplies sorted for the five days there (reasoning that for every 1 pint I buy in supermarket I will save about £2.50 in the festival).

You can't always get what you want = You can sometimes get what you want