Henfest day 2 – review

Well if you enjoyed our last lot of chuntering about this awesome local festy then hold on to your socks…

Day 2 dawns to the sound of the BBC weather telling us it was hammering down outside, looking out of the window it appeared to me to be a lovely sunny morning. No change there then.

Henfest starts at a very civilised 12.45 but even so I can't manage to get myself there for the start. Recognise a pattern forming?

When we get there we're greeted with the signs that someone has pushed the loudness button. Buffalo Go stepped in to fill the void after some bands dropped out and fill it very well they did with a commendable post punk pop set that impressed with its energy and freshness.

A relatively new band on the scene, we'll be looking out for their next recorded outing.

Catherine Burke is always worth a watch and Saturday proved to be no exception. Her set was very well appreciated by the attendees and we particularly enjoyed take on a date. For those that have never experienced CBs lyrics, imagine a sort of 2015, folk, guitar, Victoria Wood. Sort of thing. It was good anyway.

Freestyle Guitars sponsored a second stage this year and this caused some issues. I hate festivals with this much quality on show and I either find myself guiltily missing someone's set because I'm enjoying a different stage or leaping (with the grace of a gazelle) between tents trying to get shots of every performer.

I was transfixed, as was the rest of the Freestyle tent by Will McNicol's wonderful guitar masterclass. Will is probably the best guitar player in the entire county of Dorset and he not only produced a fine display but explained the variety of styles and methods along the way.

Good music and educational too. Still we won't hold that against him.

I manage to nip in and take in a couple of songs from the irrepressible Citizen Perez. Another one of my local favourites. 

Perez, aka Steve Perry of that there Disco's Out is one of those annoying people who is always having the most fun in any gig situation. I love his infectious smile and endearing inter-song chat.

We chat afterwards and I find myself apologising for not catching up with him before and for leaving his set early to check out pole dancer Kirstie Tancock (sorry dads no photos). We also get the promised BBC rain, quite a bit of it too.

Appearing before they shot off for an evening gig, Black Water County ripped into the main tent with abandon. We got everything we expect and more and despite the early hour there were enough dancers to make it a proper ceilidh.

With all the music going on it was easy to forget that this event was set up to raise awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis. We were also furnished with some moving stories from people living with the condition and it was inspiring to see so many of the performers who were also sufferers.

I won't name them because I think they should be recognised as performers first and foremost. Without exception every one was there on merit and  not due to some form of misplaced sympathy.

That quality ran right through the day too.

Lily of Barbery (aka Hannah Marshall) was her usual original self in the Freestyle tent. It' s always a pleasure to see really different acts and we've liked her stuff since she won Purbeck Rising. Hannah is looking for others to join her in her Lily project so if you think it's your kind of thing then why not search her out on facebook and get in touch?

Always a pleasure and never a chore, Tom Clements had the unenviable task of following Will McNicol onto the main stage. This didn't phase him though and we were handed a vintage Tommy C performance, his dry with and easy manner going down a storm with the attendees.

Also appearing were Kadia*

Cordelectra, a trio of strings were in fine form and their mixture of classical and more modern stuff went down very well. They're great to photograph too.

I was looking forward to seeing Soulhole following their line up changes over the last few months. It seemed to me that they've gone more hardcore funk and the new members seem to be fitting in just fine.

Hailing from Bristol, Sons are a band I've never heard of but plan to check out a lot more in future. They certainly brought the boom with a big phat alt-indie rock sound. One of the great pleasures of a festival is finding new bands to enjoy and you need to search these chaps out.

Last but not least headliners Empire Affair took to the stage.

Regular readers will know how much we rate these guys but sadly a major line up change is in the offing as frontman Neil Tallant is off to play Danny Zuko (hence the DA and leather jacket) and thence on to a career in marketing.

The band had decided to go out with a bang and in an emotional farewell they treated us all to a major league performance of energy, fun and smart sounds.

EA brought the curtain down on a fine festival with quality local bands aplenty.

Normally at this point I ask that if you've enjoyed this review that you click the share button for facebook. This time can I ask you to click the link and find out more about Cystic Fibrosis and the great work that the Royal Brompton do. It'd be really handy if you could donate too.

Clicky clicky linky linky >>>   Cystic Fibrosis Trust

* Sorry chaps. Couldn't resist.

Kadia were chuffing awesome. They got one of the biggest cheers of the weekend for their set comprised of a mix of high quality original folk, traditional tunes and even a Katie Perry cover. I'll be writing a review of their new album in due course but suffice to say they they woz gud.

The best bit of all is watching Lee uncomfortably trying to introduce their Katy Perry tune.


Buffalo Go at Henfest 2015
Citizen Perez at Henfest 2015
Black Water County at Henfest 2015
Lily of Barbery at Henfest 2015
Will McNicol at Henfest 2015
Cordelectra at Henfest 2015
The Darwins at Henfest 2015
Empire Affiar at Henfest 2015
Kadia at Henfest 2015

The Gallery

OK so there's loads of photos here. Sorry but stick with it.

Simply click on a pic for a bigger version.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.