Mothers is a four-piece band; this is Kristine Leschper and Drew Kirby thereof.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Mothers is a four-piece band; this is Kristine Leschper and Drew Kirby thereof.
Monday, August 29, 2016
In three days time I shall be at End Of The Road 2016, so I had better get on with this! Here are five more acts from Green Man 2016 that I had never before seen play live. I have mentioned already that I really rate the Walled Garden stage and particularly in its new configuration. Three of these artists played that stage but I shall start and finish with the ones that played the smaller Green Man Rising stage.
Tracks from both LPs were included, and explained.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
This post is going to feature five acts, all of which I have never seen live before, and all but one of them played live on Sunday.
The one that didn't played on Friday and is the artist that, when announced for Green Man 2016, I most wanted to see live and resulted in me committing to buying a ticket there and then. I could have been disappointed but, as I rather suspected, the exact opposite was true.
The fact remains that were he not performing I would have decided to go to Green Man anyway and still had a great time. Two of the other artists I was well aware of, as regards their recorded music, so that leaves two more; one of which I was faintly aware of and the other not at all. This is exactly why I like to focus on the small stages and the opening artists on any stage at festivals.
Opening the Mountain stage on Sunday was Margaret Glaspy. I have been listening to her recent LP 'Emotions and Math'. I like it a lot but I didn't anticipate quite how she would translate it to live performance. I think that a great many of the others there in the drizzle felt much the same way too. This was yet another live show that it would have been a tragedy to have missed.
Headlining the Walled Garden stage on Sunday evening was an artist from the Netherlands. She plays End Of The Road Festival 2016 too.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
This next band is something of a nightmare to categorise: alt/indie country-rock but (with the exception of a judicious cover in their set this time) all sung in Welsh. This was the only picture that I managed to take that included all six members of the band!
Thursday aside when it was almost the only place anything was happening, my forays into the vast tented gloom of the Far Out stage were then limited to Sunday. Of all those only one falls into the category of artists that I have seen live before. That is this one and it was a tremendous set. I first saw him play the Tipi stage on the Thursday evening at End Of The Road Festival 2014 and I wrote about that here.
Friday, August 26, 2016
I week ago that's where I was, in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, so I guess it is about time for some words and pictures about that. I still haven't got any real idea about how to group the artists that I saw and heard into posts. I'll just start with something else and see whether that leads me to some kind of logistical inspiration.
That somewhere might best be a picture of the (main) 'Mountain stage' taken from a distance and under a glowering sky on Sunday afternoon. For the record the artist playing here is Julia Holter, to whom I shall return somewhat later.
The smallest of the four dedicated music stages is the 'Green Man Rising stage', which principally showcases new, up-and-coming acts.
The Green Man, after which the festival is titled, is a large mythical figure of a different design each year, that is burned just after Sunday midnight. This is this year's incarnation.
The bar has moved to the back of the garden and changed radically. Now, as well as a handful of beers and the usual other drinks, it hosts an array of thirty draught ciders all brewed in Wales. The seventy draught beers remain for sale in the Courtyard Bar, which is just a minute or two walk away. The result was that both bars were far less overcrowded.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
When you are at a little gig and you hear something that seems too important to ignore... I am glad to say I have been in that situation plenty of times. Some of those artists are now well known, some are not. There seems to be little rhyme or reason concerning which fall into one category or the other.
Any which way, this is one such; Bristol artist Nadine Gingell whom I first saw play live here in Frome, Somerset way back in 2011. This is her first full length release.
- Hard to Forget
- Waiting for You
- Mind's Made Up
- Those Late Nights
- Don't Make Him Wait
- I Got You Daddy
- Kiss This Troubled Mind
- Get You on My Own
That's what made me take notice back then. In that sense alone the title of the album is absolutely spot-on too.
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
I have had ideas about this, as the time comes near for two three-day festivals in quick succession. On Monday I read an interesting, albeit statistically flimsy (only 504 interviewees, for one thing) article on the BBC website.
I'm not one of those polled and not least because I have never bought a ticket via Eventbrite. I could argue with a few other 'facts' too. There are actually many hundreds of UK festivals - the figure mentioned is probably just that for which Eventbrite handles ticketing and therefore has data.
Nevertheless, although I would not self-identify as a 'super-fan' (their description but maybe there is a ring of truth) I do share several of the traîts highlighted: I am male and I quite happily attend festivals alone. I am also inclined to rail against the tendency of festivals to become more 'corporate', that is dependent on brand sponsorship.
One thing I certainly do not do is spend my money on is luxury camping. My basic tent is there for just one reason - shelter whilst sleeping - and its contents therefore only what I regard as vital and can therefore be bothered to carry from the car park to the camp site. The car acts as a repository for everything else, should it be needed.
Another point that I will mention is that attending a festival solo does not in any way correlate with loneliness. I find that the opposite is true and think about that when I observe groups of friends that spend most of the festival in the campsite. Each to their own; if you attend alone but are gregarious then there is only one option - and that is engaging with strangers.
I admit that the prospect was scary the first time but on arrival (at Latitude 2007) the matter was almost immediately rendered void. In a queue with lots of strangers, waiting at the wristband exchange, the obvious thing to do is that you talk to one another. It happened again, but in a rather different way, a few weeks ago at Truck Festival 2016. I was there, with not a care in my own little world, but in front of me was a group of teenagers at their first ever festival: totally stressed and already arguing with each other, about nothing remotely important, before they had even got to the ticket exchange.
"What's the problem?" A short silence... and then every one of them was suddenly talking (to me) all at once. There was no real problem except that, even as a group, they felt adrift in an alien environment.
Once at a festival it is another world - I got back from Truck Festival still entirely unaware of the coup attempt in Turkey.
This is from the album launch...
The Maiden's Leap - recorded live, 22 April 2016.
Amanda Shires - My Piece of Land (BMG Music licensing, 16 September 2016).
Here is the track 'Harmless' from the forthcoming LP.
Sunday, August 07, 2016
In six weeks time the season of outdoor festivals will be all-but over for another year. What to do then other than hibernate?
Here is a suggestion that I thought I might mention before all tickets are gone - North Dorset Folk Festival 2016. It is a one day, indoor festival held in Marnhull Village Hall in rural Dorset from noon - 10pm on Saturday 22 October 2016 and this is the fifth edition.
'Bijou' is a word widely used, maybe sometimes over-used, to describe festivals and other things. It's original meaning is 'jewel' but nowadays it also means 'small, exclusive' (as in hotels) for example.
Well NDFF is certainly small - less than one hundred tickets (£29 + £2.61BF) in total! The artist list is where the jewels appear.
Here is a quick-link to each of the artists, should you wish to investigate:
- Bijou does NOT mean snooty, exclusive or anything remotely like that.
- Nobody will assume, let alone expect, you to know anything about what you have come to see and hear. The artists, organisers and audience DO NOT BITE.
- If you have ever wondered about folk music (it is a very broad church), but never dared test the water, then this is an opportunity to do so without committing to a major investment.