Jarvis Cocker provides a spirited set to close day two of Green Man

The Green Man Festival 2009 review

published: Thu 27th Aug 2009

Jarvis Cocker

Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August 2009
Glanusk Park, Usk Valley, Powys, Wales, NP8 1LP, Wales MAP
adult weekend £115, teen £50 (children aged 12 & under are free) - SOLD OUT
last updated: Wed 19th Aug 2009

Saturday, again with the sun shining down on the Glanusk Park Estate, kicked off with The Soundcarriers providing their pleasant Stereolab styled pop and Cate Le Bon, who finally has a debut album 'Me Oh My!' on the way performing her gentle pop in both English and Welsh.

Cate Le Bon
Stornoway provided some entertaining in between song banter from front man Brian Briggs, including a Mongolian hangover cure to go with their dapper folk pop songs. A song about going down a hill in a big inflatable ball ('Zorbing') is the real highlight along with the bluegrass infused 'We Are The Battery Human'.

around the festival site (2)
The similar, but more confident, The Leisure Society were up next and provided a very special moment with the Ivor Novello award nominated single 'The Last Of The Melting Snow', but they are far from a one-song-band and talented songwriter Nick Hemming, with ukulele in hand, led the rest of the band through a set of songs from their glorious debut 'The Sleeper' and a great cover of Gary Numan's 'Cars'.

Blue Roses
Blue Roses is Yorkshire girl Laura Groves, a supremely talented songwriter who has to be my favourite new act of the year. Simple, yet stunningly enchanting, songs like the piano driven 'Greatest Thoughts' and acoustic guitar led 'Can't Sleep' melt with Groves' beautiful vocals and closer 'Rebecca' is simply sublime. Blue Roses could be huge, but a part of me wants to keep them to myself.

Catching the end of Peter Broderick's set makes me realise that I should have caught the whole of the performance and tempts me to attend the Cardiff gig that he mentions as he finishes his set of cinematic looped classical song craft.

Grizzly Bear
Beach House, despite being later referred to as Ed Droste's favourite band and enjoying their recent album 'Devotion', fail to hold my attention before heading back to the main stage for Droste's Grizzly Bear, still at least it meant not catching Noah And The Whale.

On top form Grizzly Bear's set centred mainly around 'Veckatimest', the recently released and highly acclaimed album. Victoria Legrand, of Beach House, joined Droste and co onstage for the highlight 'Two Weeks' with 'Cheerleader' also excelling. It was a fantastic performance that would have easily pleased the crowd as a headlining show.

Having seen Bon Iver at virtually every other festival I have been to in the last year or so the potential difficult clash with Andrew Bird was easily solved. Bird was on stunning form with his mission to bring whistling to the masses, whilst looping him violin to amazing effect. An incredibly impressive performance was capped by the beautiful, if one of the more stripped down songs, 'Effigy'. Another sterling show that could have been one of four potential headlining acts of the night.

The actual main stage headliner was that of another Britpop legend, ex-Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker. As usual, the perfect host and entertainer tried his best at greeting the gathered large crowd in Welsh whilst throwing lollypops into the audience and then later offering the chance to "Wrap your gums around my plums" whilst throwing in the fruity healthy option. Jumping and gyrating his way through a set of songs from his first two solo records Cocker is an ideal headliner, and although I am sure many were hoping for a Pulp track or two he stuck to his solo material which is some of the heaviest songs he has written in his long career but not losing any of his lyrical wit and humour.

Jarvis Cocker
He takes every opportunity to address the crowd and even lets us know that it is snooker legend Steve Davis's birthday (thanks for that Jarvis!). Opening with the funky 'Pilchard' and an associated dance that he performs alongside, the other high-points include 'Angela', 'Black Magic' and 'Leftovers' with its Flight of the Conchords style lyrics ("...I met her in the museum of palaeontology, and I make no bones about it...") but it is closer 'You're In My Eyes (Discosong)' that proves Cocker still has some of his Pulp spirit left in him, with the soap bubbles provided by the audience (an ongoing theme of the weekend) being further encouraged by Cocker. It was a brilliant end to the night on the main stage.
review by: Richard Stevens

photos by: Sarah Stevens

Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August 2009
Glanusk Park, Usk Valley, Powys, Wales, NP8 1LP, Wales MAP
adult weekend £115, teen £50 (children aged 12 & under are free) - SOLD OUT
last updated: Wed 19th Aug 2009


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