OutCider is folk, punk, reggae and cider infused festival that took place this year between August 2nd to August 4th. As always, it is located on Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin in Somerset (UK). The farm is home to a green landscape and sets a perfect scene to leave everyday life behind for a weekend to enjoy great music, food and company. The line-up for 2019 included, but isn’t limited to, performers such as The Barstool Preachers, Beans On Toast, Alabama 3, Captain Accident & The Disasters and Imprints.
The site capacity is limited at precisely 499, this creates a homely vibe that festivals of thousands and thousands cannot as easily create. The music stages consist of The Shearing Shed and The Agricultural Shed, also known as ‘Main’ and ‘2nd’. The performers alternate between stages.
All of Friday’s music takes place in the Shearing shed. Negra Santa, open with a Argentine verve. They had a tough arrival into the UK, as their kit was stolen in London on the way to the festival.
Samantics is a swearing hip hop loop artist, taking the festival circuit for his own over the last few years. I’m glad I’ve finally had the chance to see him. Just don't go and complain about his language! Listen to his words, they are heartfelt and personal.
Sinful Maggie are upbeat folk punk. “We're Not Fuckin’ Irish” was a highlight song for me and is taken from their new EP, “Good Enough For Rock N Roll” which was released on that Friday.
Imprints launch into a full on and enjoyable set. This group have played a good few times to the Fuelled By Cider family and always go down well. ‘Space Pirates:?Pirates In Space’ is a personal favourite of mine.
Beans On Toast finishes up the night with his tales of festival nights. ‘M.D.M.Amazing’ and ‘Take Your Shit Home With You” penned at request of another festival. He also let us into why his new guitar is called Peter. Apparently his young offspring pronounces guitar similarly so the name stuck. ‘Send Me Home’ was performed among the audience. Beans was joined on stage by 10Sheds playing keyboards, this was a great addition.
Punk Rock Karaoke took place at 12:30 early Saturday afternoon, with different festival favourites and the OutCider community getting up to have a go at some commercial successes. Songs such as ‘New Rose’ by The Damned, ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ by The Ramones and ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ By The Clash were offered. A band and lyric sheets were in place and everyone was ready for a good laugh. My only complaint was the lack of female punk offered, such as X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie And The Banshees and The Slits.
Just Say No, an 8-piece band playing lively snappy songs with 4 part brass t'boot.? Bands Eff Off, Fraggle and Rhiannon, (I'm sure Doozer used to be part of this duo) play self penned Essex folk songs, about Chelmsford, Southend, and being a “Lada Lout”!. Roles are reversed on Sunday for The Brewer’s Daughter set. I think Fraggle played at least 3 sets over the weekend including with Back To The Planet
Man The Lifeboat are up next, I'd call them modern folk, but I’m not good with precise genres. They sing of being drunk on a Friday night in Brixton (for a Carter Unstoppable Sex Machine gig). They also sang of ‘Rolling Down To Rio’ which is dedicated to the only Brazilian audience member.
The Greatest Little Coffee Box On Earth, were present again this year providing lots of delicious treats and drinks. It is an upcycled horse box, run by the friendly and funny Nerys, that sells a wide variety of coffees, speciality teas, ice coffees, milkshakes, hot chocolates and accompanying treats. My favourite is their vanilla or caramel milkshake, made with coconut milk and vegan whipped cream. Vegans need not worry when they see the yummy homemade snacks and decadent drinks. The Box is also vegan and gluten free friendly, all is needed is to read the signs and made sure to ask for the dairy free option if required. My partner was annoyingly lucky on the Saturday to enjoy a chocolate and peanut slice all to himself. The Box probably embodies the physics of Mary Poppins’ bag or the Tardis with all the sheer amount of great stuff they offer. One of these great things is seating and tables outside, perfect for a natter and relax. We both wish we could have The Box at every festival we go to. I personally cannot wait to try the luxury hot chocolate (with marsh mellows). A task I will get around to once I stop filling up with milkshake galore!
Sunday was the final day and music kicked off at the most reasonable time of 13:35. The band on at that specific time were Banana High, a four-piece rock band from Yeovil. They are loud and talented musicians.
There are three separate food vendors on site. Wood Fired Pizza give exactly that and were incredibly popular. However, we did not venture to eat there as there was not any explicit signage of vegan cheese/options available. The other outside vendor was offering both meat and vegan burritos and chilli con carne. We opted for the vegan chilli burrito and really did not enjoy it. The sauce was so watery we both managed to get it all down our clothes. I assure you this was not out of drunken clumsiness but the burritos were practically pouring tomato water out. This was a shame as any flavour was significantly dissipated. Our favourite food option was “Dan’s Diner” under the same roof as The Agricultural Stage, a late step in as another food vendor couldn’t attend. Hot dogs, burgers, chips (by the plenty), cooked breakfasts and daily specials were offered such as mutton curry on Saturday and two different cuts of steak on Sunday. Also on offer were vegan burgers and sausages, both good quality ones not just generic frozen affairs There’s nothing like sausages, beans and chips for brekkie (vegan for us) after a night of heavy cider drinkin’. Talking of which there are plenty of proper ciders to choose from, all still, and well priced at £3.50 a pint or £4.00 for fruit flavoured. There are also three ales available, a lager, as well as wines and spirits from the well stocked bar.
My personal highlight of the weekend was acoustic singer Gavin Osbourn. His heartfelt and funny songs were entertaining and a pleasure. Favourites of his set included ‘Adam Woodyatt’, ‘Another Bath With You’ and ‘Closing Montage’. All of which are on the album Share Your Toys, which I definitely recommend checking out for fans of Nick Parker and early Gaz Brookfield.
The Wood Burning Savages are a rock band from Northern Ireland. Though guitar heavy and self proclaimed punk, they do not have the spunk, rawness and severity of punk. However, they are politically expressive in their dialogue in between songs. Lead singer, Paul Connolly, voices his disgust that in his home of Northern Ireland women are still not allowed free and safe abortions. As someone who cares deeply for gender equality, it is always gladdening to hear any man also care about inequality that does not affect themselves. This expression that women should be equal to men was followed by the bands’ song ‘The Sisters Of Mercy’. Anyone who knows me knows that those four successive words, in the shape of the post-punk band from Leeds, bring me more joy than most other things in this world. However, this catchy song by The Wood Burning Savages is great too, along with the song ‘I Don’t Know Why I Do It To Myself’.
Monkey Bizzle, an Inbredz side project, were absolutely fantastic and certainly upped their performance from the last time we saw them. Even though that was also a cracker! They introduced themselves to the crowd in the way hilarious way (no spoilers!) but we ended up completely barraged with bananas. This was an exceedingly special performance, after the passing of Jonny ‘Rankin’ Rench who was an integral member of the band (and to whom the weekend was dedicated to). Bizzle were on form and the crowd shouted, kicked and screamed for an encore. However, frontman Skoob was kind enough to the other band starting on the other stage, to ask everyone to head over there for another great performance.
Headlining Sunday night were The Barstool Preachers, they are a punk/ska band from Brighton. They fully embraced Ladies’ Day at Outcider and all of them genuinely suited a more ‘feminine’ look. The lead singer TJ McFaull is energetic to the max and can move quicker than the Duracell bunny on Redbull! He’s unapologetic, loud and political. Bands claim the punk label again and again, but a lot are all talk and no trousers, this is genuinely not the case with this bunch. They are a blast to watch and well worth seeing.
Overall, OutCider is always a pleasure and a joy to attend. The vibe is electric, friendly and everyone’s always out for a giggle (and all the cider apples can produce!). It’s perfect for a weekend to leave the kids behind, get legless, dance, sing and have a brilliant time. Thanks to everyone who made it so enjoyable and the Outcider team for working so hard to make another great event. Cheers!
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Outcider 2019 review
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