Saturday, August 23, 2014

Green Man 2014 - Part 3 - other things and other stages

The rather nebulous title of this post tells a story. I haven't quite decided on the direction of this post really but, with End Of The Road 2014 less than a week away, I feel the need to put keyboard to screen. If it is a bit rambling then I'm not really going to apologise. Festivals are like that anyway. It is part of the charm.
Like some others, Glastonbury most notably, Green Man holds a competition to seek out new talent. It clearly has some traction because this year there were around five-hundred entrants. The prize is an opening slot on the Mountain Stage on Saturday morning. The winners were London based duo Wildest Dreams.

Or they were Wildest Dreams when they won. Last Saturday they announced, during the set, that they were now simply Wyldest. The implication is that the dream had been realised. In accord with my policy concerning opening acts (Wildest) Dreams were right there on my must-see list.
Essentially a dream-pop (not a bad word in my lexicon) duo, this a big stage to fill. I have to say that during sound check Zoe Mead (vocals, synth, loops and occasionally guitar) and Holly Mullineaux (guitar, vocals) looked pretty nervous. They pulled it off perfectly - all the more remarkable when they announced "this is one of our older songs, it was written in June". The band only formed in April 2014.

Until now I have not transported to the tented 'Far Out' stage although it was where I spent all of Thursday evening. This provided, amongst other things, my first chance to see The Waterboys live. When I worked in Bristol in the early 1990s Waterboys cassettes, along with The Levellers (see here), were an integral part of the soundtrack in the lab!
Early on a sunny Sunday afternoon I made a pre-planned visit to the darkness of the Far Out stage. Samaris was the reason - it was like Christmas and Iceland winning Eurovision combined.  This is not as silly as it might seem - I have been aware of Samaris for some time, indeed here, and that was just another addition to the Green Man line-up that convinced me of its virtue. I was aware as a result of the 2011 self-released EP Hljóma Þú.
The three-piece combine total electronica with clarinet and vocals and it works. It simply would not work on an outdoor stage in daylight, however. That, at least in part, is why I think it could take Eurovision to pieces. All the songs are sung in Icelandic, which sounds beautiful incidentally, and means any lyrical concerns are entirely self-limiting.

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