Once Upon a Time in the West
This is another brilliantly well-organised festival, now in its second year and going from strength to strength. Morph, Flounder and their team put on an amazing little festival for a sell-out crowd of 500. This was so good it's difficult to know where to start. Right from booking at the amazing value early bird price of £45 (and very reasonable £15 for live-in vehicle pass) it has been rather impressive. Parking up was trouble free and, as is often the case with smaller festivals, very close to arena for both tents and live-in vehicles. It was the same last year, which is why we booked again straight away, and we weren't disappointed.
Nana's Kitchen and The Greatest Little Coffee Box On Earth. The Hotel Bastardos had the brilliant popup bar, and disco venue, there was a healing area, a few clothes stalls and a children's activity tent. Add in some brilliant walk-about acts and this is by far the most impressive set up of any 500 person festival I've seen.
Gaz Brookfield, who I've waxed lyrical about before and will do again. Such a great performer and this time joined by Billy Shinbone on banjo for the song Mud and Rainbows which they wrote in under 2 hours during a radio show at last year's Glastonbury. The rest of his set was the now familiar high energy solo acoustic guy we know and love.
The Jack Ratts finished the day with an outrageous orgy of punky hoedowns and shanties. Guitar, banjo, fiddle, accordion and Bouzouki all played with attitude at breakneck speed. What a start and it really set the music scene for the weekend. There was very little let up in the pace as band after band kicked out a range of jump-around dance tunes.
|The Jack Ratts|
I'm not going to go through all the bands playing this weekend. It would just take too long. The theme of the festival is 'western' or 'once upon a time' and there was certainly an emphasis on rockabilly, bluegrass, psychobilly, americana and blues but with plenty of folk with more than a tinge of balkan, gypsy and punk injected. However I've got to mention a fair few of the musical highlights so here goes.
Screamin' Miss Jackson & The Slap Ya Mama Big Band are a 7 piece country blues skiffle outfit with the best band name in the world. They are fronted by the charismatic April Jackson, Becca Philip and Marc Griffiths, produce a great skiffle/blues sound and are highly recommended.
|Screamin' Miss Jackson & The Slap Ya Mama Big Band|
|The Boot Hill All Stars|
|The Cat Ratchers|
|The Zen Hussies|
|The Meow Meows|
|The Showhawk Duo|
ago they took the Edinburgh Fringe by storm with their unique take on dance and trance classics played on acoustic guitars. The video taken there went viral and they've been enjoying a fair bit of success since. They're back at the fringe again this year (17th-23rd August). We were suitably impressed and they went down very well managing to draw a crowd into the tent despite the difficult early slot.
|JC & The Hopeless Sinners|
|Shootin' The Crow|
|Araceli Cabrera Caceres|
Here are a few more of the great acts from the Saturday:
|Poor Old Dogs|
|Johnny Cage and the Voodoo Groove|
|Hot Tin Roofs|