Farmfest Diary – Friday


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Farmfest‘s reputation has boomed since it was founded many moons ago and this year it’s grown again, with more stages, more people and the same welcoming local ethos what could go wrong? The event remained the perfect example of just what good company, a field and some live music can achieve.

Having hammered home the last few tent pegs, revellers arriving on Friday were the first to head out and take advantage of fresh local talent, for me that was Bristol’s One Shot, who opened the mainstage before of a crowd of scrumpy gulpers reclined in the midday sun, though it wasn’t long before their rocksteady dub had pockets up and bouncing around.

Elsewhere in The Battle Tent, The Hartletts were taking things back to basics with some no-nonsense indie, tinged with blues guitars and tight rhythm sections – if a sober awkward bloke could manage a shuffle, I’ll leave your imagination to depict what the rest were up to. Following in the footsteps of buzz band Palma Violets their stage theatrics lived up to the music and I’ll jump on the chance to see this unsigned act tear up a pub in the near future.

Glastonbury’s All Us Authors were left to top off the stage bill, having impressed at last years event they were promptly asked back – and like last time the set didn’t go without destruction. Signs were snapped, pints were hurled, and perspiration levels hit the roof, all against a backdrop of well executed indie ska. After an hour long set the band were still summoned for an encore, where the lead singer couldn’t resist getting stuck into the crowd, straight away he was rugby tackled… hope your tweed jacket’s alright mate.

Despite the array of local talent on offer, Friday’s anticipation was inevitably all about Ghostpoet, a man who treats electronic music like a playground, his set pulled in a mixed crowd of young and old and it’s clear that just as much effort goes in live as it does on track. The performance featured a flurry of hits like ‘Cash and Carry Me Home’, but it was also used as a platform to push new material. Leaving the stage he was engulfed by band members and handed a bottle of bubbly, I caught up with a man in very high spirits, speaking of his set “That was so cool, I’m buzzing – I don’t mind where I play but there’s always a good response in this area, It’s great to reach out to a mixed crowd like tonight.” I also asked about his experimentation and future intentions “All I can do is make the music that I want to make, for me experimentation and electronic music enables me to be free and not think about genre, I just want to be free creatively and if there’s another record then that’s what it will encompass.”

Stay tuned for part two of Rhys’ diary tomorrow…