Friday morning the sun was shining strong, I had a relaxing start made better by the desperados reps who gave me a can of the new red desperado which turns out to be a rather revitalising drink! After an interview with Rinse aboard one of the boats I wandered around the stalls which we’re all beautifully presented. There’s so much to do there, from making pendants out of welsh slate to weaving wicker baskets. There was also a blacksmith stall where for 50p you could challenge them to try and get the nail flush in the least amount of hammer hits. Unsurprisingly I lost. I sat in the mini garden in the middle of the crafts area for a while before watching MOK on the Now n Den stage. They were loud and crisp, with both a male and female vocalist who took it in turns to lead songs. They reminded me of Chilli peppers in one song, with the male lead rapping with a punch and some heavy sounds from the guitars.
It was Island band Duveaux on next, they were entertaining and tight as ever. They opened with my favourite ‘Miss Treat Me’ which is always good to get the crowd singing along. There was a couple of technical issues with one of the guitars but that was quickly sorted and they held the audience’s attention while it was being fixed. ‘There goes my dreams (again)’ amused me as almost everyone applauded early with the 2 pauses in the song. ‘Devil in the marionette’ had a great bass line and very clean drumming from Luke Steen (whose birthday happened to fall on that day.) There was a gypsy feel to ‘the mimic’. The whole band was perfectly in time and lead singer Dan put on a brilliant show at the front.
I dashed straight from there to the main stage where the Dub Pistols were mic checking before their set. The sun was baking hot, perfect for the ultimate feel good music. They had the audience fully engaged partying with them on stage. They smashed out some great tunes with thick dub sounds, sweet reggae beats and jungle rhythms. ‘Mucky Weekend’ seemed to be the crowd’s favourite (or mine at least anyway). The whole band performed with an incredible amount of energy, with both Barry Ashworth and Seanie Tee crowd surfing. Definately a festival highlight for me. I actually got to chat to them afterwards, it was my first filmed interview and it couldn’t have been with a better bunch of guys.
I managed to catch the very end of Ghost Poet, they had dark guitar parts and lovely floaty female harmonies. The tone her voice was soothing and bought so much to the songs. Good listening for early evening. After a brief pit stop back at the campsite I went to watch Public Service Broadcasting. The intro to their set was intense, and
the stage set interesting with a big projector on the back of an old 50’s style TV playing different clips of old public information films. They cleverly mix radio broadcasts to match the video footage with synths, keys and guitars. They even interacted with the audience between songs using computerised recordings which was really quite amusing. I liked how they cut and pasted a sat-nav esque “blissfields festival” into these recordings. I highly recommend giving them a listen if you haven’t already.
I was back at the mainstage for the headliners The Horrors, the crowd was a tad quiet to begin with, but that changed through their first song. The distinct and soothing vocals of lead singer Faris Badwan floated across the arena. They were good, and I enjoyed their set but I would have liked a bit more “umph” from them. The lights were great with the band appearing as silhouettes on stage. ‘Sea within a sea’ featured a screaming guitar solo and keyboard solo with some psychedelic space age sounding reverb, but it was ‘I see you’ that I liked most.
Deciding a change of pace would be good I circled the site when I heard the enchanting lyrical sounds of Head North. The vocalist’s voice was stunning as they played a beautiful slow celtic folk song. They picked things up with ‘Galway Girl’ and then sped things up further playing a proper jig, complete with banjo, fiddle & accordian. They were up there with the best bands I saw all weekend. I stumbled on in the search for a similar vibe, electro swing, and the site of fire poi drew me round to a corner I didn’t even realise had a stage. This wonderful discovery was the Amoeba to Zebra tent where ‘Gypsy Disco’ were performing a mixture of slightly twisted acts. From a warped love story by 2 clowns that involved elaborate lifts and use of a pole, to belly dancer & an angle grinder. A great display of many talents, you couldn’t break away from the wonderful madness on the stage.
A lightning storm was brewing in the distance, so I made the decision to go to the elysian lounge, through the looking rabbit hole at the back and commandeer a sofa to watch the natural light show. I admit sometimes I got the flashlights confused a few times but there was still some pretty impressive flashes. The music being played worked really well with the lightning making it a night I won’t forget.
See full photo album HERE.