End of the Road Festival 2012

Yipee!
Friday
End of the Road Festival, it’s the end of summer, time for all US bands heading home, to stop off here in North Dorset.
It’s my favourite festival on the circuit.
Reminds me of the festivals I went to in the sixties. Small, friendly, vibey and yet relaxed.
A great line up in general. None of the 20/30 something’s from the city wanting to get down at a festival, let’s get off our heads and be nob heads. Well maybe last year had some, anyway they were absent this year, city going thru bad times or festivals are not this year’s thing. Good.
Arrived in time to see Poor Moon, sounded good, and I’m going to listen to the album this week.
Then a quick check, on Cashier No9, interesting.

Wandered over to see Peter Broderick, as he is a regular on finestkind and the last time I had the chance to see him a snowy blizzard prevented me and chums from attending his gig.
However, he did not show up. No idea why.

The Dutch Finestkinders turned up in time to see Jonathan Wilson.
He was pretty good. But it has to be said the Netherlanders were impressive, having got up at 5 in the morning, that’s 4 our time, and had driven from their place to the Euro star, then from Dover up to the M25 and across to go down the M3 and turn off on the A303 and along to Larmer Tree.
That’s 8 hours on the road.
Damn, that is good.
Anyway they were happy to soak up the vibes of Jonathan.
Then off to see the legend Van Dyke Parks, never been a great fan of his records but have admired what he has been involved in with others. Very amusing guy tells a good tale.
Off to see Lanterns on the Lake, who were a finestkind fave last year, having seen them at last year’s EotR, loved the album. However they were very disappointing live, all the subtlety gone!
Just shoe gazing with thrashy noise does not equal beauty and drama.
Having seen one sixties legend, it was time to see another.
Wherever I went in the ‘60s two acts were always on the line up or playing there.
Hawkwind and Roy Harper!
Roy was on in the afternoon and he played a song that I always associate him with, “I Hate the White Man”, which brought a smile.
John Grant, his album left me with a mixed reaction, nearly made it for finestkind then I pulled it at the last moment.
Well live he doesn’t convince me.
Another Finestkind favourite is Low Anthem, they didn’t disappoint. Great band.
Wandered over to the Big Top to check out Veronica Falls, I came to the conclusion I needed to go and put my feet up and have a glass of something.
How the Dutch were still going was amazing, they were on adrenalin mode.
They reported that Midlake had returned to finer form.
As last year’s performance was dull as ditch water, I await the new album with trepidation.

Saturday

The sun is shining and first on is Abigail Washburn and Kai Welch.
A finestkind favourite and one of my albums of the year.
Really wanted to see them live.
They were amazing, possibly the performance of the weekend.
If you don’t know them get buy download acquire the album ‘CITY OF REFUGE’, it’s on Rounder records.
Who else can play exquisite acoustic and go into a little Appalachian and drop a Cantonese ballad!!
Just listen, discover for yourself.
The arena was packed by the end and they got the crowd reaction they deserved.

Maybe a headline slot for next year and a new album please.

Deep Dark Woods were ok.
Francois and the Mountains had a lot of people rooting for them, including the Nederlanders, me I wandered off to see other things.
The much touted and tipped ALT-J.
The big top was packed, I mean sardine tin packed.
Sweat pouring humid clinging packed!
Amazing the power of the ‘critics’, the word was put out, this is 2012’s most promising act.
Well, why??
Ordinary at best.
Really did not like the album and really don’t care for them live.
Beware of ‘Magic Tonic’ sellers.
The Dutch came back singing the praises of Francois and his atlas mountains; they loved ‘em.

Dark Dark Dark, no no no.
Antlers, not for me.
Perfume Genius, packed auditorium but found this just like his album, dull.
Toy, again not for me, don’t know why they were on the bill, but heh ho……
Same as 2:54

Surprise live performance at the Tipi Tent from Stranded Horse, very good.
French chap playing acoustic guitars and a Kora.
Really magical.
Bought the album, not quite as good as the live show..but one to watch….
Then we went onto to see ………
THE
Alabama Shakes
Wow, love the album…
They Deliver live
Brittany is awesome, loved the band, they are all individual characters.
She is Otis Redding reincarnated.
Trust me this girl is the goods… she has Soul.
Great performer awesome singer fabulous band….loved this.
Met her the next day walking around and I can say she is one of the sweetest girls you could ever meet.
Totally real.
Then on to SEE an old fave
The Tindersticks…great great great.
They played really well.

Grizzly Bear, another much awaited and anticipated act.
Playing new stuff, much loved by the crowd.
I decided to go and see the gruff timber gravel voiced Mark Lanegan.
Always have time for this man, but I have not got into the new album and he was playing all of it tonight.
it’s time for a nightcap.

The London contingent failed to show, maybe tomorrow?

Sunday

The luxury of a lie in and the Sunday Papers.
But by the time we get up its started to rain.
Urgh.
After consulting the day’s events the Dutch are heading home.
It’s an 8 hour drive, why chance getting caught in a potential quagmire.
The London contingent is not coming….
Oh well……
Time to start…as the first act is Doug Paisley the sun threatens to come out.
At least no rain.
Doug ain’t for me though.
Sweet lights…nope
Cold Specks are being touted as possibility… not on this..will check the album.
Having a cup of tea and reading the papers in the woods..I hear a voice reciting poetry.
It doesn’t half sound like……it is!!!!
Pattie Smith on this tiny stage in the woods unannounced reading poetry and having a ramble about life the world etc.
Amazing!
Last time I met her was 1978 at someone’s loft conversion party.
Off to the top and saw Porcelain Raft…..
Richard Buckner on the garden stage……
First Aid Kit……..
The rain starts again….
You know what..
Time to call it a day.
I Love this festival I have had a great time
Saw a lot ….heard a lot… wanna come back for more…don’t let anything spoil it.
Get out while the going is good..

To Simon and Sophie congratulations great job….
db

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