That time of the year again… and what a magical and great moment that was. Back for the 4th year in the beautiful scenery of the Larmer Tree Park in Dorset, surrounded by excellent musicians, great audience of people actually here to listen to and enjoy music, birds (peacocks, macaws) but more than anything a friendly and peaceful atmosphere which makes this festival the best of them all (sold out again this year – 16,000 tickets).
On top of it, the weather was also very enjoyable this year, meaning my traditional rain cape stayed in the bag whereas I was happy listening to awesome bands dressed in a tee-shirt and Converse shoes!
As initiated in 2016, the festival started on Thursday evening. This was a good warm-up for your beloved reviewer as I started my 30-gig marathon with three excellent concerts that night.
My first concert of the festival took place under the friendly Tipi Tent stage with a discovery. Laura Misch is a young South-East Londoner female musician who plays on her own…and with her saxophone and machines on stage. It meant sometimes a few software errors but mainly a mixture of beautiful sounds. She is very talented and her music sounds like a very personal R’n’B with an indie rock mindset. Not sure if it makes sense but I personally enjoyed it a lot.
I then went to the main stage of the festival (the Woods Stage) to catch two very different bands. The first one is called Shopping and can be defined as a queer trio playing post punk music influenced by great names such as ESG or Gang Of Four. I had found their latest Edwyn Collins-produced album “The Official Body” ok but live this London band brings something else. Their drummer has a good sense of humor as well and I was proud to understand both Fanta-sy and Sex Cymbal jokes!
The headliner of the day were my beloved Yo La Tengo. This was my seventh YLT gig and there were as good as earlier in the year when I caught them in London. This American trio could be considered veterans of the indie rock scene but really they get better with age. They are now in a place where they can basically decide which kind of setlist they want to play and which type of concert one could attend. That night was quite focused on their latest quiet sounding “There is a riot going on‘” LP but they also played a few classics, alternating cool Velvet Underground influenced songs, repetitive loops but also ferocious punk rock numbers. Fantastic…as usual.
Stay posted for Day Two!