in its 3rd year the Gunstone Gathering celebrated in style with a riotous Saturday night
We very much enjoyed this family friendly local festival last year so it was an easy sell to get us to come all the way over to Wimborne Town football club for a weekend of excellent local live music.
One of the great things about this event is that organisers Nadine and Emma start with the music and work from there, meaning that attendees get a great mix of young up and coming bands, acts that have been around a while and the occasional group made up for the occasion.
Frankly Mr Shankly there really was too much to write about but there are some highlights that need to be mentioned.
Friday had seen us up at 60 Million Postcards in Bournemouth and we were to be reacquainted with both Hunck and Yoofs. Both these bands (or is it one band?) are looking like something special and it was great to see them appearing twice in Dorset.
Last years' headliners Poor Michael were back again and to great effect. I love their rocky/indie sounds and so did the Gatherings now record sized crowd.
It's good to see them gaining a growing following and some notice around town. Again their set wasn't over long and I resolved to make sure we see them in their upcoming show at 60 million in early June.
Having had a delightfully warm Saturday afternoon, the weather gods decided to play up in the evening and we suffered wind and rain. Come the morning there were a few sad looking tents and some even sadder looking punters as they wrung the rain water out of their ugg boots.
The inclement weather will no doubt have had a hand in the decision of many day punters to stay away and some of the hungover campers to leave early but we were treated to an eclectic mix of band during a chilled out Sunday.
Shaun Gary Palmer was again on form with his touching and poignant lyrics and it was great to catch up with Tom Clements before his excellent set. Tom has a new album, 'Roots, Morals and other life choices' out now and I blagged a copy off him and will be reviewing soon.
Anyroadup before long TC was giving it his all on the main stage and his friendly manner set just the right tone in between displays of guitar mastery. It was well worth hanging around to witness his dexterity with strings and loop pedal.
Putting ona festival is always a steep learning curve and I dare say there will be some adjustments made but it's clear that the Saturday night is becoming a legend amongst the young farmers of Wimborne.
Full marks to all the volunteers that worked so hard to provide the live music fans of Dorset a great weekend of entertainment.
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There are some photos from the weekend below. Click on one to see bigger versions and to scroll through the gallery.
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Since we saw them last a number of artists have moved on a great deal and none more so than the amazing Kaia Viera.
It's easy to forget how young she is when you hear such a polished performance. Her style has evolved into a much more jazz influenced sound and it's a change for the good as she mesmerised the growing crowd on Saturday afternoon.
I wrote a while ago that I though having a band behind her had improved her and that's certainly the case as the group have really come together and give a great, smooth sound. It won't be long before we see her on Jools.
Always good value are Worry Dolls and it was wonderful to see Emma belting out some tunes, albeit in a sadly curtailed set due to time. Likewise Jawbone were on fine form as the duo gave us a high power set in the tent.
One of the nice things about Gunstone is that they don't rip people off with their bar prices. Another nice thing is that they serve Ringwood. These two facts would prove interesting later in the night.
One of the hardest working bands in Dorset has to be Black Water County. The steampunk activists must have appeared at pretty much every live music venue in Dorset over the last 12 months and they are now starting to find their way further afield with gigs in London and the West Country on the slate.
As previously noted the Ringwood had been flowing and as the guys took the stage it was clear no prisoners would be taken. In fact I swear a circle formed even before the first note was stuck.
If you have a tent full of 18(?) year olds who have had a bit too much tizer then the best thing you can do is give them an excuse to run round and round like a scalextric running on 3 phase.
Run round they did and this provided the sight of the weekend as we watched a tired and emotional chap trying to eat chips whilst dancing to punkfolk. He managed it though.
Despite the somewhat violent nature of the assembly there were only a couple of sense of humour failures as far as I could see.
What to say about BWC other than they did Gunstone proud. A rousing and fitting end to Saturday night live music.