Peatbog Faeries win over the 'movies' crowd on day two at Larmer Tree

Larmer Tree Festival 2009 review

published: Thu 23rd Jul 2009

Peatbog Faeries

Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th July 2009
Larmer Tree Gardens, near Tollard Royal (about 16 miles W of Salisbury), on the Wilts./Dorset border, SP5 5PT, England MAP
day tickets priced at £37 to £57 dependant on day, weekend tickets sold out
last updated: Tue 14th Jul 2009

Saturday morning fuzzy heads are cleared by The Shee whose Celtic origins are only a backdrop as we're taken around the world with their folk set. There are no jangling bells with this all female band. Instead the soothing harp and fiddles coupled with their complementary vocals have us making notes to visit the Songlines tent to see if we can purchase one of their CDs.

David Celia
A wander around the food stalls provides something for all tastes; we all try something different and return to the main stage for David Celia. His rocky blues – though skilfully delivered – are not what's required by the children so we make our way through the woodland to the magical Daemons or Doppelgangers clay workshop where the nippers make rabbits, pigs and funny faces. As the rain returns, we're pleased of the shelter under the woodland canopy and while away an hour or so at the poetry workshop.

As we venture into the open, the skies have cleared for some respite from the deluge and The Groanbox Boys are on the Garden Stage. There is a vast selection of delightfully odd percussive instruments, the likes of which I've never seen before. Although I can't tell you what they were called, the sounds the instruments produce, coupled with the energy and effort from the band combine to deliver a storming set. Another mental note made to find out more.

around the festival site (people)
The fancy dress theme of 'At The Movies' produces a brilliant turn out and an amazing show of effort. The group of zombies, Jack Sparrow and various superheroes as well as Star was characters and renegade groups of Clockwork Orange gangs cast a surreal air over the proceedings.

Jim Moray's set moves us back to a folk feel but certainly not in a traditional sense. Added volume, feedback and wibbly effects keep us a fair distance from the finger in the ear folk noise.

Peatbog Faeries
Rokia Traore's beautiful voice blends an African sound with blues and twists it in a direction that I don't think I've ever heard before. It's quite moving in places and uplifting, touching on various different genres. Sadly her set doesn't really seem to light everyone's fire more than tapping feet. I could be wrong or it could be that compared to The Peatbog Faeries, anything other than a large detonation would feel a little flat. They quickly win over the bouncy crowd with their fusion of Celtic sounds (bagpipes, whistles and fiddles), dancy bleepyness, and good time reggae sounds. The set was too short and if it had been two hours longer, it still would have been too short.

Taking the children and lady folk back to the tent, the men folk head out to check Club Larmer to make sure we're not missing out on anything. We return in the early hours having made some new friends and the world spin a bit.
review by: James Tayler

photos by: Andy Pitt

Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th July 2009
Larmer Tree Gardens, near Tollard Royal (about 16 miles W of Salisbury), on the Wilts./Dorset border, SP5 5PT, England MAP
day tickets priced at £37 to £57 dependant on day, weekend tickets sold out
last updated: Tue 14th Jul 2009


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