Larmer Tree Festival day 5

The final day of the festival dawns and it feels like a hot one. I'm not that enthused by the music listing as the headliner is Tom Odell. I resolve to be open minded and give it a go. There are loads of bands on that I've never heard of but look like they might possibly be interesting from a photographic point of view.

I wander off and do a few crowd shots before returning to the main stage for the Perch Creek Family Jug band. They set the tone for what turns out to be an excellent day of music. They're a lively, funny and interesting band composed of four members of the same family plus James Chandler. They play a string of instruments and the lawn fills up as people are drawn into the massive fun on stage.

It turns out that CoCo have been pushed forward as La Pegatina have been caught in an air traffic control trauma somewhere in Europe. More likely they just want to watch the Grand Prix!

See Will from Will and The People and we catch up and he tells me they've just arrived after driving all the way from Holland. Like most musicians he's nice guy and takes time to talk about how things have been going with their world tour and how much he enjoys Larmer Trees' chilled vibe.

I trot off to the farmers market for a couple the amazing pasties and on the way back collar that Tim out of Black Water county. He tells me I have to go and see Rusty Shackle and Blackbeard's tea party. I can't argue with that and it gives me a convenient excuse not to spend too long watching Tom Odell.

Back to the Big Top for WATP set and it's excellent as usual. As often is the case in the tents there's a smaller crowd than you'd want but passers by soon catch the vibe and mooch in and before long they guys have garnered a decent audience. Sadly I have to leave for the pit queue before the end of the set.

3 songs, no flash all together. We troop down to the stage area before receiving one of the only demonstrations this weekend of what happens if you give a middle aged man a dayglo jacket. He checks all of our passes even though we've been shooting all week and are escorted by the PRs (strangely more than one this time). The words 'only doing my job' are heard more than once. He even follows us down and then give orders to the proper security guards that we're not to be allowed anywhere near the stage ramp. We laugh it off. I'm struck by the fact that at least one of the 'official photographers' appears not to have a camera and several seem to be under 13.

After a song and a half of trying to shoot the top of Tom's head and some good natured jostling with the other togs I get bored and go off and see the frankly brilliant Blackbeard's Tea Party and have a much better time.

They are fun intelligent and at least they move about a bit (more than a bit actually) and I thoroughly enjoy them so am thankful for the tip from Tim.

I then troop off with most of the crowd for Rusty Shackle in the Arc and am less impressed as they seem a bit like a folky boy band. I'm concious in afterthought that I was probably a bit tired and emotional. A quick trip back to the now deserted press area to collect my kit and back to the Arc to see the brilliant comedy sets of Ed Gamble, Alex Smith and Stuart Goldsmith before I realise that it really is time for bed.

Decide on a late start so I sit in the baking sun drinking tea and reading Mark Cavendish's book.

Finally I collect my kit and head off to the press tent to catch up with what's going on. It seems lots of people have the same idea as me, a few of the togs have gone home and there's only one of the video boys left to sweep up.

Time to meet up with the missus and have a swift pint then off to the main stage pit for CoCo and the butterfields. We're allowed 3 songs but they go very quickly as these guys are the real deal. They're a high energy fun group with interesting costume and instruments which makes them easy to photograph.

Upcoming bands could do worse than watch these guys for their amazing stagecraft and the way that they engage with the audience. I'll be looking out for them in the future.

When they finally start their set on the Garden Stage it become immediately apparent that they were worth waiting for. They are loud, brash and typically new Spanish. Every single one of them is a character including the roadie and they are full of energy and have a great sound. I have no idea what they are singing about but it sounds good. They could be the Iberian version of Morrissey for all I know. I take some pics then sneak off round the back to get a couple of pics. The stage manager tips me the wink that they'll go into the crowd for their encore and they have confetti cannons so I sit put and hope to get the shots at the end.

I shoot a few pics of the colourful carnival procession as it moves through the main lawn area then head off down to the big top where I'll be watching We Used To Make Things.

They turn out to be another band that doesn't disappoint with their witty and sometime poignant lyrics twinned with catchy but non pop tunes. They seem to be having a good time on stage and share a few jokes with the crowd that thickens as the performance goes on.

I look around the side of the stage and see the set up. It's going to be difficult to shoot. There are more togs than ever for this one and the man himself has an upright piano at a slant. In front are two large monitors meaning that the angle to shoot from is really small. Too far left and you'll just get his head above the piano, too far right and you'll be looking over his shoulder. Not Ideal.

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5 thoughts on “Larmer Tree Festival day 5

  1. Stuart, I have been giving Rusty Shackles album a lot of play. I see where you are coming from with the ‘Boy Band’ comment. I think the vocal harmonies can be a little bit ‘Pop’ if you know what I mean. The lyrics however are pretty dark at times. I am looking forward to seeing them again at Beautiful Days the week after next. 🙂 I am writing up my reviews on the this afternoon. let me know what you think. Cheers. Alan

    1. Alan, thanks for the comment – I know what you mean. I had a similar experience in reverse with missing Andy recently. I’m a confirmed fan now. I’ll deffo check out some more rusty shackle though. I’ve been known to be wrong about things in the past!
      Keep up the great work though. Loving your blog. http://alanewart.wordpress.com/

  2. Nice review of the final day Stuart, have to disagree about Rusty Shackle though. I thought they were brilliant and Mrs E thought they were the best band of the whole week. Different strokes :p

    1. Yeah I saw you down the front there Alan – were you having a sneaky little jig? As you say different strokes but you never know, if I see them again I may change my mind. It has been known. All the best

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