Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lunar Festival review. (Part One)

From the moment I stepped past the gates I loved The Lunar Festival. In fact even just driving down there, through gorgeous countryside, the kind which hasn't changed since Nick Drake lived there, While listening to his album Pink Moon, was special. The moment I stepped past those gates was like being transported to Glastonbury Festival in the early 70's. Two small fields filled with food, vintage clothes, music and workshops. I could hear over the PA that Donovan was still hanging about and that people could go to the signing tent to meet him.  I'm not really a fan of Donovan, so I headed over to watch The Grafham Water Sailing Club Who were ace.
Misty's Big Adventure.
Marshmallow palace
What I loved about the festival was how well it was organised, each programme came with a timetable. There was half an hour between each set on each stage but each set started one after the other on each stage. This meant that you'd get half an hour to do whatever you wanted in between music a lot of the time, or an hour or so if you didn't care for the tunes on either stage. I Certainly didn't care for Misty's Big Adventure'. I'd met a family of 4 who'd loved Grafham and came to the fest to see this band.  having been fans for many years. But I just didn't get it. A blend of Ska, Jazz, indie rock, a guy wearing a suit made of blue gloves, a singer who goes by the name of 'Blue Vulva' and fuck knows what else? no thanks.
Happily the vintage tents made a nice distraction. I also checked out new indie rock hopefuls, Marshmallow Palace*  I enjoyed their music but didn't love it. They sound a little bit like Interpol. Hats off to them though, playing in a muddy tent and arriving in their own small van, doing rock n roll the old school way.

While the music (I had seen) had been a little disappointing the food certainly wasn't. I don't think a single stand there had not won an award or appeared on TV at some point. I spent £60 at this festival, a fraction of that went on Purity Ales, and utterly delicious food. Another highlight of the day was getting an old vinyl record and paying £4 to swirl paint all over it and turn it into a rather psychedelic clock, and hanging around the campfire in the midday sun and discussing the artistic merit of what I'd created, with a friendly stranger. There is a real clear theme with the Lunar Festival of encouraging people to be less reliant on technology and money, and gain practical skills for themselves such as leather crafting and blacksmithing**
Lanterns on the Lake were one of the best acts I got to see.  what surprised me
was that their blend of folk and rock is amazingly un-twee.  They used violin and a violin bow on a guitar to create a  brooding atmosphere. The dark and well crafted songs Lanterns on the Lake produce are a welcome alternative to the likes of Mumford and Sons.

(Part Two is coming up shortly)

 *Which sounds like something from Adventure Time
** I have no idea whether these are the correct terms 

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