Pronghorn and Subgiant take us to a rowdy curfew on the second day of Cursus

The Cursus Cider & Music Festival 2015 review

published: Wed 20th May 2015

Pronghorn

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th May 2015
near Sixpenny Handley, Cranborne Chase, Dorset, England MAP
early bird £29
daily capacity: 400
last updated: Mon 11th May 2015

The second day and the sun is out and taking the edge off the chilly breeze. I head down for a cup of tea and a breakfast roll from the double decker, prices start from a reasonable £3 for a bacon roll.

The bell rings and our compere tell us the first set is just starting on the Skankin' Delights Stage. Mark T, a soloist wields a steel guitar and plays his harmonica while singing some covers, both well and lesser known to the small early crowd. 

A pint of Supernova is in order to start today's cider tasting, provided by the small bar run by Devon Star cider owner and son of the farms owner Mike, whose birthday it happens to be.

Its an easy drinking slightly carbonated cider, priced at £3.50, most of the other ciders and ales are very well priced to at £3. Leaving my tasting notes - John D Revelator are on, it's a short hop over to up beat songs on such diverse subjects as Party drugs and of 'Winkypot' a Bristol Rovers winger from the 60's. A swallow skims over the field (the first sighting of one this year for me) as the , Barefoot Bandit bring their Exmouth four lad dub outfit to the stage, it all goes to reinforce that festival season is here again and summer will be upon us soon.

Aranka's Cackle: The Cursus Cider & Music Festival 2015

Aranka's Cackle now bring the Cotswold's finest reggae hip hop (as described by Dapper Dan) to the Outcider Stage. 'Born Free' and 'Drink Problem' seem to draw a few into dance some, and 'Cider' rounds off an enjoyable set. The Captives roll out some heavyweight roots dub and some hefty dreads too over on the Skankin' Delights stage, which is curated by DJ Dapper Dan .

The Jimmy Hillbillies skiffle along now with two washboards, various percussion, mandolin and candy pink double bass. They deliver an interesting version of 'Superstar DJ's' as the singer leaves the stage to sing amongst the audience. A waste pipe didgeredo works surprisingly well and they seal their set when a conga is formed for 'Chicken Train'. Dub Heart continue to wind up the bass again back over in the smaller marquee, with their enjoyable sound and they depart with a happy gently bouncing crowd.

Johnny Kowalski & The Sexy Weirdos are loudly welcomed to the Outcider Stage and play mainly original stuff, a violin adds the depth of sound needed to the guitars, percussion and drums. with some Balkan tunes and a rendition of the 'Ragataggle Gypsy' their set really builds energy towards its end. The Sporadics add a pacey ska/punk edge to the evening (which has turned to somewhat colder feel, but its warm in the smaller Skankin' tent ). Sporting a can of 'Spesh' the vocalist sings of throwing bricks, rioting and putting some love in our hearts! They reminded me of festival punk stalwarts Culture Shock.

Next up Black Water County who are straight in with a high octane Celtic sounding set, maybe they need to warm up too, as the female co-vocalist isn't wearing very much and we can see our breath, along with the lead singer/double bass and the rest of the band they do admirably. Songs including 'Beer', the 'Irish Rover' and 'the Parsons Daughter'. They deliver a a really enjoyable set and are a band I'll look out for on future line-ups.

Subgiant never fail to please me, taking me back to some heady days, live dnb, done well, dropping in 'Enter Sandman' and 'Killing In The Name Of', with their usual energy levels far over the top. Rolling over the short distance to the larger tent I close the night with the kings of cowpunk themselves, Pronghorn. You can feel this evening is going to really take off now, and it does. The loyal and recognised faces among the crowd are up for this from the off. Mid set the security (all 3 of them) are called out to 'protect' the stage. 'A Soldier's Tale' and others take us to a rowdy curfew on the Cursus with a finale of 'Ace Of Spades.

Pronghorn: The Cursus Cider & Music Festival 2015


review by: Simon Gillespie

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th May 2015
near Sixpenny Handley, Cranborne Chase, Dorset, England MAP
early bird £29
daily capacity: 400
last updated: Mon 11th May 2015


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