Saturday, September 10, 2016

End Of The Road Festival 2016 - Part 1 - The Tipi Stage

End Of The Road Festival may not have the physical rigours associated with the sheer size and the mud to be found at Glastonbury but it is without doubt, if one is to take full advantage of what is on offer, the most mentally demanding of festivals that I have been to. This was my eighth EOTR, so I know what to expect, but that doesn't actually make it less challenging.
In some ways it is akin to a residential course in that, as well as the supplied live content 12 noon - 02:15 daily and that
included watching thirty-nine live sets in eighty hours, there is the interaction with fellow attendees to be considered. It is wise to assume that they know what they are talking about and will expect you to do likewise.
This is not a weekend break with some music included; it is far more intense than Green Man and yet I can't quite imagine exactly how this has come to be the case. It is certainly a festival that artists enjoy playing because they know that they really are being listened to. In general terms both festivals focus on a similar part of the musical spectrum - indeed there is some artist overlap each year - and this can be used to advantage in order to minimise clashes at any given one, if attending both.

On rare occasions it is an excuse to see the same act twice in quick succession, as I chose to do here.

Mothers, Tipi stage, Friday evening.

It was inevitable that I would spend a great deal of time at the Tipi stage. I was always thus and so this post will focus only on, but not all of, what I saw there last weekend. Some of this comes from the late night/early morning surprise shows. Some of it comes from the convenient truth that when it started to sheet with rain early Saturday afternoon I was already comfortably ensconced right in front of the Tipi stage. I decided to stay there and as a result I saw a couple of artists that I might have missed otherwise. Greta Kline's band and de facto alter ego Frankie Cosmos is one of them.

Frankie Cosmos, Tipi stage, Saturday afternoon.

Great off-kilter pop with electro-twists from, but not entirely typical of, New York. The recently released album, the band's second, is 'Next Thing' (Bayonet Records, 2016).
Nobody that I found could recollect another lilac guitar although surely it must have happened? This one is a Danelectro model.

Let's jump back two generations, relative to the above.
For many years Kath Bloom has very rarely played solo shows outside of her home state of Connecticut. EOTR 2016 was treated to one such and that was not something I was planning to miss.

Kath Bloom, Tipi stage, Sunday afternoon.

As far as I am concerned two of the best grabs on the Tipi stage are bands that I had earlier failed to see on larger stages as a result of the inevitable timetable clashes. This is every bit as off-kilter and genre-disregarding, though rather tending towards rock, as Frankie Cosmos. Weaves hails from Toronto, Canada. Indeed EOTR 2016 featured rather a lot of Canadian artists.

Jasmyn Burke of Weaves, Tipi stage,  2:08am Saturday.

The last of the group of five is another band that I failed to see on Saturday afternoon on The Woods stage (the main one).  It was raining cats-and-dogs then but rain aside this is a band much better suited to a night-time slot. Seratones, from Shreveport, Louisiana is difficult to categorise exactly - a very good thing I might add -  but certainly garage rock isn't too far adrift here and it is absolutely wonderful live. The band says that it formed because there was simply nothing else to do. If so then good-luck-to-us because d├ębut LP 'Get Gone' (Fat Possum Records, 2016) was a splendid use of time.

A.J. Haynes of Seratones, Tipi stage, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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