there's a myriad of entertainment on offer on day two of Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival 2010 review

published: Thu 5th Aug 2010

around the festival site (2)

Friday 30th July to Sunday 1st August 2010
Lulworth Castle, Dorset, BH20 5QS, England MAP
adult weekend camping £155, child age 11-17 £77.50, under 10s free - SOLD OUT
last updated: Wed 28th Jul 2010

Day two of the festival sees the Tall Stories theatre company open procedings on the main stage with their adaptation of The Gruffalo. The smash-hit children's book written by Julia Donaldson is transformed into a 55-minute piece aimed at the under-fives.

Taking to a stage dressed as the deep dark woods, our narrators, Napoleon Ryan and Alan Park, introduce Naomi Said as the mouse that dared. Integrating the original text, but relying heavily on poetic license, Ryan and Park take on the guise of would-be mouse predators, from a cockney fox to a decidedly camp samba snake, singing songs and larking about in a child-friendly fashion. Said's mouse skitters around the stage in the manner of a typical stage school product, doing little for the atmosphere of the piece and leaving those familiar with the book baffled at this bit of casting.

Only the arrival of the Gruffalo, snorting and growling, injects a little more humour and pace, and the crowd soon warm to his mouse-munching antics. All in all, the piece fits the bill, but could definitely have done with more ornate costumes and a condensed script for this listless audience, who through the sheer scale of the stage, may have missed many of the nuances of plot and humour.

The Science Museum briefly occupy the Big Top, bringing their Punk Science show to the older end of Camp Bestivals kids.

Armed with a drum kit and guitars, two boffins leap around the stage in a fever of fact and audience participation. Aimed at an eco friendly crowd, the company explore the myths around the greenhouse effect and the children soon grasp complex concepts. Even the excitation and absorbtion of gases is made simple by the interplay of kids and beach ball, with plenty of slap bass thrown in. Fun learning and interesting for adult geeks, too.

The Blockheads continue to tour, 10 years after Ian Dury's death, and their mid-afternoon set on the Castle Stage is universally popular with a decent-sized crowd.

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Derek Hussey now fills Dury's position, a daunting task which on this evidence he seems to be pulling off with bags of enthusiasm, respect and humility.

Without aping the great man's act, he injects his own likeable charisma and appears to relish performing at the front of a band with 30 years' experience. Wearing a black suit and flowing white scarf, he flourishes a tambourine and injects good-natured patter between the songs.

Plenty of the highlights from the band's back catalogue are present today. The jaunty and fun 'Clever Trevor' sees the whole band joining in on harmonies, all clearly having a fine old time.

'What a Waste' is devishly cheeky, with its bouncing ska feel, choppy guitar chords and saxophone, before a gentle opening to 'Sweet Gene Vincent' is brought down to a near standstill before being dragged into a celebratory conclusion with stabbing rock n roll piano.

Hussey really shines on two of the songs most evocative of Dury's long and distinctive musical career - 'Reasons To Be Cheerful' and 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick', making them his own and bringing the set to a close with genuine and sustained thanks to all present.

Unicorn Kid brings an element of early nineties dance to the Big Top's early evening line-up. Opening with 'Lion Hat', he soon whips the mixed audience into an enthralled frenzy with a truly driving and energetic set.

Numbers increase as he thunders on, and by the time we weave our way through trance and dub influences to his recent release 'Animal City', the crowd are dancing and demand more of this enthusiastic Scottish lad. The tent takes on an atmosphere a far reach from the child-focused fest outside, and a great lightshow combined with the furry-hatted leaping of the Kid leaves viewers blinking and staggering into the sunlight.

Not just one for the kids, but bound to appear on the soundtrack of Skins very soon.

The intriguingly-named Dulwich Ukulele Club, due on next on the Castle Stage, sadly don't appear and are replaced by Hurts, while Ellie Goulding sucks what seems like the vast majority of the people on site from all corners to her tea-time performance of bland yappings, concluding with her biggest hit to date 'Starry-Eyed' to the delight of several thousand teenagers and families. The end of her set sees a mass exodus from the field.

Howard Marks
Over in The Isle of Boden, the velvety tones of Howard Marks lend themselves to very different tales than we are used to hearing from this Welsh law-defying legend.

Wonderfully-paced versions of 'Snow White' and 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' roll out over mounds of cushions and weary parents, as children sit entranced, and occasionally try to climb up and join him.

An excellent public speaker, the talents of Marks are sadly wasted as half the audience see this as a fit venue to catch up over an organic cappucino and their braying somewhat spoils the sleepy atomsphere. Such is the land of Boden.

Septuagenarian reggae legend Lee Scratch Perry, back at the Castle Stage, is afforded a far more modest audience than Goulding earlier in the evening.

After a lengthy gushing introduction by the local town crier, recalling a past appearance by the Mighty Upsetter at Endorse it in Dorset, when his band failed to turn up, Perry's band-mates take over the attempts to provoke some enthusiasm from the crowd and it's a good two minutes into the opening song before he finally takes the stage.

The wonderfully bonkers Jamaican pensioner arrives in a typically strange, sparkling gold baseball cap with various adornments that look as if they are designed to filter messages from the cosmos.

Endlessly charming and charismatic, while almost certainly epically wrecked, he succeeds in getting everyone dancing, clapping and waving their arms to his loose, lazy dub-heavy set.

Four songs in, he pauses to gurgle "Thank you blessed, beloved people, thank you blessed, beloved fans, thank you blessed, beloved angels" before beginning the grinding, bass throb of 'Zion Blood', declaring "African blood is flowing through my veins so I and I shall never fade away" as the sun starts to break through some ominous-looking filthy grey clouds.

Recently signed to Bestival curator Rob Da Bank's Sunday Best label, Sound Of Rum bombard the Bandstand with intense and relentless lyrics about the betterment of the soul. Somewhat ill-fitted to this time slot and venue, lead singer Kate Tempset produces the odd obscenity, but this does nothing to deter an intrigued audience.

around the festival site (2)
The band could use some more original material and a clearer direction, but it's worth watching out for their album later this year. Perhaps.

A hip hop skip and a jump away, cut and paste magician DJ Yoda has filled the Big Top Tent almost to its capacity and, flanked by two big screens, sets about a ceaselessly genre-hopping 90-minute set of beats, samples, scratching and visuals.

Extracts from 'Back To The Future' are welded to a dirty dubstep beat before a heavily remixed chunk of Dizzee Rascal's 'Bonkers' brings the first big crowd reaction.

Sensing that he has got his audience safely on side, Yoda performs a quick handbrake turn and fires off a housed-up loop of the riff from 'Sweet Child Of Mine' as images of Michal Jackson in his pomp dance across the screens, slide into some BBC vox pops on dubstep, accompanied by some frantic scratching, and slip effortleslsy through 'I Wanna' Be Like You', from the Jungle Book, into a beefed-up version of Tetris.

While rarely looking up from his decks, Yoda is engaging throughout, not pausing for more than a minute or so on any one song or musical direction and continually bombarding the audience with visual imagery, flawless mixing and a suitcase full of ideas.

Drum N Bass meets South Park's Kanye West 'Gay Fish' skit, Garth from Wayne's World appears alongside Jimi Hendrix's 'Foxy Lady' before Yoda drops New Kids On The Glock's brilliant cover of Justice's 'D.A.N.C.E'. Then he's off again through Daft Punk's 'Harder Better Faster Stronger', a snippet of Goulding, a slice of Unkle's 'Organ Donor' and a raved-up 'Popcorn' as a monstrously inebriated man dressed as Ali Baba, with a rubber snake draped around his neck dances with two good-humoured community police officers.

Back at the Castle Stage, The Cuban Brothers are in the process of completing the task of warming Camp Bestival up for the headline slot from Madness and their set draws to a close with a raucous latin take on Frankie Vallie's 'Beggin' as we take the little ones back to the campsite for some much-needed shut-eye at the end of a packed day two at Lulworth Castle.

around the festival site (1)
review by: Helen Brown / Gary Walker

photos by: Helen Brown / Gary Walker

Friday 30th July to Sunday 1st August 2010
Lulworth Castle, Dorset, BH20 5QS, England MAP
adult weekend camping £155, child age 11-17 £77.50, under 10s free - SOLD OUT
last updated: Wed 28th Jul 2010

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