Overview

Endorse-It In-Dorset 2005 review

published: Thu 25th Aug 2005

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August 2005
Woodcutt, Six Penny Handley, near Shaftesbury, Dorset, England
w/e £35, family (2 adults & 2 kids) £90, days £20, kids (10-16) w/e £15, kids day £10, under-10
last updated: Tue 24th May 2005

Endorse-It happened as just a small one-dayer last year, and having upped the numbers to 1,500 and expanded to three days with camping, it good to see it sell-out. But organisers LGO (some of festival favourites Pronghorn) have big ambitions, and the festival pedigree to know what they’re doing. Plus at £35 for three days, you just couldn’t go wrong – it costs near enough that for three days camping on a campsite.

Scattered around inside the arena were pub-type tables & benches, a handful of food stalls and other traders, and the two big-top stages with bars and Badger ales. Those used only to mega-fests might have found it all scarily small, but what it really meant was that it was intimate and very friendly – small and perfectly formed!

Most of the bands on the bill were new names to me, but the quality was excellent all the way through – I didn’t see anything even average, something that most festivals couldn’t claim. The music was a mix of ska, rock, dancey/dubby/dixie with mixed-in folky sounds (can you tell I can’t get the hang of genre’s? ;-) – something for everyone with an open musical mind.

Friday night was headlined by Pronghorn – if you can’t dance to them, you’re dead – and the night was wrapped up by Subgiant, whose reputation is deservedly growing. But it was Saturday night that had the biggie - Desmond Dekker, described as ‘the king of ska’. Oh yeah? Yeah! I had my doubts, but they’ve been blown away!

Health and Safety had demanded Desmond Dekker and the Aces were moved from the main stage to the same-sized (but with better access) second stage. The potential problem here was the PA, which wasn’t of the standard in the main tent. When compere Flounder introduced them in loud voice, the distortion wasn’t good. I was horrified – this was going to sound awful.

I shouldn’t have worried. Although I would have appreciated the sound a few notches louder, Desmond’s softly delivered voice seemed to suit the system perfectly, and along with the Aces – surely the tightest band ever to grace this earth – I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a perfect sounding set. Fantastic!!! In the (wrong) words of Desmond: “my ears were alight”. :-)

Sunday followed on with another wonderful mix of music, topped off by the very excellent Zion Train. Having dashed back from a 3am show in Croatia they summed things up perfectly when they described Endorse-It as a festival with the feel of fifteen years ago. Exactly!

Endorse It In Dorset – silly name, fantastic festival! I can’t wait to see what they do for next year!
review by: Neil Greenway

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August 2005
Woodcutt, Six Penny Handley, near Shaftesbury, Dorset, England
w/e £35, family (2 adults & 2 kids) £90, days £20, kids (10-16) w/e £15, kids day £10, under-10
last updated: Tue 24th May 2005


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