Sunday at GuilFest offers a feast of acts, and clashes

GuilFest 2011 review

published: Wed 20th Jul 2011

Public Image Ltd. (PiL)

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th July 2011
Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey., England MAP
£110 adult weekend, or £120 with camping
last updated: Thu 14th Jul 2011

Sunday was the day which offered the most acts I wanted to see (that I'd seen before and liked), and thus through some unnamed law of festival line-ups, the most clashes. The morning started brightly, and warm, and busy for the stewards and police who are busting miscreants in the campsite, more entertaining than EastEanders.

Levi Roots
However, once I'd got up the weather deteriorated, and then alternated between sun and rain, comically which forced me to repeatedly try to dry off canvas before trying to pack it away, at the third attempt it was dry long enough. I just finished in time to see Levi Roots do a well received reggae light set of tunes including of course his signature 'Reggae Reggae Sauce' song, surprisingly the whole set wasn't similarly culinary themed, and the tent was packed.

It was much less busy for the start of other foodie Loyd Grossman's band The New Forbidden, who I had seen perform well at Glastonbury, however at GuilFest their backing singer turned up late, the lead singer seemed distracted and even Grossman seemed less focused, his guitar work was still passable, shame the rest of the band barring the keyboardist weren't.

Simon Friend
During Simon Friend & friends sing along set for old crusties, I decide to have a bash at water zorbing, having checked to discover there's no age limit, I join the line of under 12s. Eventually it's my turn so I down my beer, take off my shoes and clamber into the plastic bubble. For the whole of 'The Boatman' I attempt to stand for more than a few seconds in the ball, and realise being a hamster isn't easy. I felt sorry for the Eco Play guys who have to drag me out of the water - it must have been like landing a whale.

Next up was one of the highlights of Sunday another of my old favourite bands - The Saw Doctors. They deliver a great set of their well known tunes like 'N17', 'Tommy K', 'Clare Island', 'Red Cortina', 'That's What She Said Last Night', 'Hay Wrap', and a surprising cover of Sugababes' 'Know How I Feel About You Now'.

Erasure (1)
The other highlight was Erasure, who I felt following their set should have headlined. The party started before they even came on stage with the PA playing a few 80's dancefloor classics to get us in the mood. Erasure came on after organiser Tony Scott was given a cake by some of the crew that had helped him with GuilFest for the last 20 years, instead of a speech Tony treated us to his own rendition of the George Gershwin song from Porgy and Bess 'Summertime'.

Erasure it seems also had a lot of hits, of which I appeared to have known far too many, not surprising considering my school common room had them on repeat for at least six months every lunchtime. I'm surprised to find myself grooving along to tunes like 'Always', 'Ship of Fools', 'Victim of Love', 'Sometimes', 'Love To Hate You', 'Blue Savannah', 'Oh L'Amour', 'Respect', and 'Stop'. A terrific trip back to the days of school discos.

Ziggy Marley
Sunday had derailed for me slightly earlier when I went to watch the magnificent Vintage Trouble just as the sun came out, I should have stayed at Second Stage instead I returned to the main arena to see Ziggy Marley's set close with a fizzle (after it started so brightly). After Erasure, I was told to sit through James Blunt, and not be "embarrassing dad" (the things we do for our kids).

James Blunt (1)
He wasn't my cup of tea at all, Public Image Ltd. (PiL) on the other stage, from the brief trip I made up there, when they were playing 'Warrior' they sounded terrific. But, with Gallows having pulled out, I had no option but to remain sitting in the main arena in a sea of middle aged women, and young kids, sobering up for the journey home and trying not to cynically twist the lyrics to Blunt's back catalogue of songs like 'You're Beautiful', 'Goodbye My Lover', 'Wisemen', and a lot of others i had no idea about which were presumably album tracks, tracks that half the audience knew word for word. At least had lots of pretty lights and screen animations to keep me entertained.

We decide to decamp to the car park before the end, and get out before the queues. Once again the line-up has kept the crowds at all the stages, although there seems to be a shift to the younger audiences on the main stage, and I guess that's as it should be, us parents have to make way for the next generation, but that's okay we've got our own punk and ska tent to hang out in now. A big thanks to festival organiser Tony Scott and his team who put together an entertaining weekend of music. And, deciding to add the Vive Le Rock Stage was a great idea, can we have a bit more reggae too? I hope it returns for the 21st birthday celebrations.

20 years of GuilFest celebrations
review by: Scott Williams

photos by: Karen Williams / Sarah Thomas

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th July 2011
Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey., England MAP
£110 adult weekend, or £120 with camping
last updated: Thu 14th Jul 2011

latest on this festival

festival home page
last updated: Tue 18th Oct 2016
Guilfest 2004
festival details
last updated: Fri 1st Aug 2014