small festivals like Cursus offer a depth musical talent and such good value

The Cursus Cider & Music Festival 2016 review

published: Tue 17th May 2016

The Imprints

Friday 13th to Sunday 15th May 2016
near Sixpenny Handley, Cranborne Chase, Dorset, England MAP
£50
daily capacity: 400
last updated: Mon 11th Apr 2016

Sunday morning and my tent is cooking me, so up and at 'em and out to enjoy Adele's cooking instead. The music starts off at just after midday with Mark T & Paul Midgely. A pair of multi instrumentalists using guitar, brass djembe, bodhran, harmonica and a strange plastic pipe arrangement adding various length to achieve different keys. Playing an interesting take on old reggae and African roots songs.

The Wessex Pistols are sound checking as I sip the first cider of the day, a first press vintage from Dorset Star. The band take to the stage with double bass, guitar, drums and beautiful of an electric banjo. They rip through a set of classic punk songs including, 'Love Song', 'Ever Fallen In Love' and a great mashup of 'Guns of Brixton/Drunken Sailor' along with a version of 'Creep' to bring us upto date! A Sex Pistols medley set to trad. Greek gets the audience dancing. Great fun.

Nu Chilly from Gambia sings from the heart and about how to treat others, especially in his song called 'Princess' and remember to be thankful for life. Its humbling at times to hear this man's lyrics and stories, he travel by various means to get here on a Sunday and for over six hours, without even knowing how he was going to get home again! Hopefully a lift back to a train station was sorted for him

The Trav Cats, the product of when the audience think they can put a band together, or so we're told, get the local crowd going and energy flows from the stage too. 'We're not a band' and 'psycho killer/get back' stood out and a dedication to Mick the farmer whose birthday is the next day.

A Sunday Nut roast is my food treat today, with all the traditional trimmings!

Introduced by the town crier, as the best band he's seen since 1972, The Imprints come up next. Having seen them a few times now I knew what to expect and wasn't left disappointed. such a live bounce to them, and with the return of Anna, the lady of the group giving depth and vigour to their tunes like 'Ravens In The Sky' and high knee kicking to 'Super Jig' and 'Lost Pirate Love' from the new ep created in the Fuelled By Cider studios.

And The Wasters bring cider and youthfulness to the second stage, they seem to be a will tun down nowadays but still a lively set enjoyed.

A quick nip back to the tent and a sit down as it's two minutes and a recharged camera battery to then get back to then back forFunke and the Two Tone Baby. He is a loopback genius, it works so well that this solo guy works all over the country and Dan really puts it all into his performances, 'Bella's Kiss' and 'Not Enough Bonobo' (ape mask is donned by an audience member for this one) are great songs but that doesn't detract from the quality of all his others, including dealing with festival line up clashes and who to see.

Smokey Bastard, full of loud energetic sound, somewhere between Dropkick Murphy's and Neck (with a hint of eastern European) this six piece are most of what a Sunday cider soaked crowd could do with to keep them going into the night. And a version of 'Delilah' that rose the roof.

Ushti Baba, have a gypsy/traveller bang about them and e eastern promise with songs of baba the witch in the woods and other traditional tales with a fan/belly dancer gracing the all ready full stage Just a grand Balkan sound with some beatboxing in there too they've a beat to keep a Sunday crowd moving.

Pronghorn round up this years festival with there cowpunk style that has seen their audience come back and watch them over quite some years now. The energy is still there as is the enjoyment for music, the washboard player was here all weekend, pretty good going to manage to be still on form by gone ten on the Sunday night.

I amble the short distance back to my tent with a fond love for this small festival (sub 500). There's never a hint of trouble even with some rather copious amount of alcohol being consumed, I think the atmosphere just keeps such like minded people tight to each other. There are some faces I'll see at at least two other festivals this year, we seem to just keep coming back to them now. I don't think its habit though, it's because we enjoy them so much. Small festivals with these levels of musical talent and depth offer such good value for your hard earned wage. Fuelled By Cider now run a few of these such events and all are great value. I for one hope I'll be at a some more of them.


review by: Simon Gillespie

photos by: Simon Gillespie

Friday 13th to Sunday 15th May 2016
near Sixpenny Handley, Cranborne Chase, Dorset, England MAP
£50
daily capacity: 400
last updated: Mon 11th Apr 2016


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