Green Man is something special for The Flaming Lips

The Green Man Festival 2010 review

published: Wed 25th Aug 2010

The Flaming Lips

Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd August 2010
Glanusk Park, Usk Valley, Powys, Wales, NP8 1LP, Wales MAP
£120 adult weekend ticket - SOLD OUT
last updated: Mon 12th Jul 2010

More rain overnight and early on Saturday morning threatens to spoil the weekend but thankfully this is the last of the heavy rain that we see until Sunday night. A disappointing Main Stage performance from Jokers Daughter and a both gentle and good show from The Gentle Good over at the Green Man Pub it's then time for a highly anticipated showing from The Besnard Lakes back at the Main Stage. On record the Canadians are a huge noise of psychedelic rock but live the tunes didn't come across so well and for me were a bit of a damp squib. Maybe it was the early afternoon scheduling, but I couldn't help feeling let down after looking forward to the set so much. Still, it won't stop me listening to the records.

Summer Camp
A difficult decision between watching Fanfarlo or Summer Camp ends with the latter triumphing. Summer Camp had been setting the blogs alight with their shiny single 'Ghost Train', their secretive line up and Polaroid snaps of Americans on holiday in the Seventies and Eighties instead of regular publicity shots. Recently their identity was revealed as singer-songwriter Jeremy Warmsley and online lifestyle magazine Platform editor Elizabeth Sankey who come together with an onstage style not to dissimilar from that of Slow Club but with a cleaner dreamier sound.

Johnny Flynn played his part in securing his title of the indie Seth Lakeman and nu-folk poster boy by wooing the female audience before it was the turn of the lassies from Northumberland The Unthanks, renamed from Rachel Unthank and the Winterset to represent more fairly Rachel's sister Becky's position in the band. Still playing a similar set to what I have seen before at previous festivals but with a few new added songs from their brilliant Here's the Tender Coming album interspersed with sing-along's and traditional clog dancing. This was definitely a highlight of the weekend.

We sipped the 'legend' set, taken by Rok Erickson and Richard Thompson in previous years and by Billy Bragg this time around for a more low-key performance by Swedish sisters First Aid Kit. Famed for their youtube cover of Fleet Foxes' 'Tiger Mountain Peasant Song', which they included today much to the pleasure of the audience in the Green Man Pub, the girls also included covers of Gram Parsons and Fever Ray in their set. Despite some throat problems for older sister Johanna the pair put on a great display of tracks from their debut album but, perhaps unsurprisingly, the crowd reacted more positively to the cover versions. At the end of the sweet set we returned to the Main Stage ready for headliners The Flaming Lips and caught the end of Billy Bragg performing 'One Love (Let's Drop the Debt)', a worthy cause from a great man.

The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips are well known for putting on a great show and it is clear that tonight was to be no different when front man Wayne Coyne comes on stage prior to the start of the set for a health and safety announcement to warn about strobe lighting and his pending entrance in an inflatable space bubble. Indeed, Coyne does enter his space bubble and makes it half way across the heads of the crowd towards his intended destination of the mixing desk before making it back for vocal duties for their first song.

Crowd-pleasers such as 'She Don't Use Jelly', 'Yoshima...' and closer 'Do You Realize??' are included but with such a great back catalogue it's easy to feel that too much attention is put on the amazing show visuals and ticker-tape and not on what unfortunately feels a little of a self-indulgent set list. It is definitely an enjoyable performance but really could have been something special for what Coyne described as "The best fucking festival we have done in 10 years".

The Flaming Lips
review by: Richard Stevens

photos by: Sarah Stevens

Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd August 2010
Glanusk Park, Usk Valley, Powys, Wales, NP8 1LP, Wales MAP
£120 adult weekend ticket - SOLD OUT
last updated: Mon 12th Jul 2010


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