overview

Plymouth Festival 2004

published: Fri 9th Jul 2004

Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th July 2004
Newnham Park Estate, near Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, England MAP
£45 - adults, £10 - kids (7-14 years). Day tickets: £13 - £15 (adults), kids £3 - £5 .
last updated: Thu 24th Jun 2004

The weather forecast must have put a lot of people off which was a shame because anyone who didn’t make it, missed out on great music, an excellent atmosphere and friendly people. There was plenty to do in the day like climbing walls, and watching BMXs and skateboard displays with good quality food and beer available, reasonably priced.

The Blockheads

Best band all weekend for me were the brilliant Blockheads on Friday night. They played lots of old tracks, ‘Wake Up’, ‘Sex and Drugs’ and ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ and lots of new ones. Ian Drury would have been proud. That gig really stood out as the shape of things to come for the whole festie.

There were four marquees: The Rock Sound stage focused on punk and new metal; the Twenty Four Seven tent featured funky dance beats, great cover bands and folksy roots and the Evening Herald Stage, upbeat ska and roots music. On Sunday, Diamond Geezers did seventies and eighties covers, getting everyone dancing their socks off. They did brilliantly well in the wake of Mad Dog McCrea who were a hard act to follow having packed the tent to bursting point.

Selecter Acoustic

Selector Acoustic deserved a bigger audience. Two guys (who didn’t know each other and who couldn’t have been more different from each other) did some great dancing around to Pauline Black’s beautiful voice. I am just so glad she is still performing. Baka Beyond (more beautiful voices) and Zambula also performed in the Evening Herald marquee (on Saturday). They went down a storm! I wish I’d seen more of Laurel Aitken who couldn’t do an encore due to illness.

I missed the Jelly Jazz DJs in the Twenty-Four Seven tent on Saturday and heard reports of stunning sets from Afrodizz and Speedometer but I did see Too Hot doing great ska sounds. I missed all the stuff on the Rock Sound stage but Drive like You Stole It, The Once Over Twice, Orca, No Comply and Biffy Clyro are apparently worth experiencing next year for loud guitar noise.

Glen Tilbrook

Glenn Tilbrook could have been the whole band, Squeeze, rather than just one man alone, putting real energy into his performance. Equation were a surprisingly interesting folksy-roots type band – Kathryn Roberts has an amazing voice - and another amazing female vocalist was Louise Parker, singer with the Tritone Subs, a jazz band who turned up on Saturday evening on the Plymouth Extra stage (incorporating comedy and local bands). I passed by looking for a beer and ended up sitting outside in the sunshine chilling to their great latin-tinged sounds.

The only other drawback was camping access for mothers with pushchairs and also for the disabled especially those travelling by public transport. The campsite was at the top of a steep hill, only five minutes away from the beautiful level field where the stages were, but hell to walk up and down if you had mobility problems and no car. Buses ran to the festival site, but stopped running back on Sunday so people dependent on public transport had to leave early, missing the bands on Sunday evening.

site photos

However, Plymouth Musicians Co-operative did try to think of everything, and succeeded in achieving a smooth-running, friendly, laid-back event. Even the security people were reasonably chilled. There’s so much local talent often ignored in favour of the big names and big money. Plymouth festival celebrated diversity and originality in true friendly festival spirit
review by: Jane Jarvis

photos by: Jane Jarvis

Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th July 2004
Newnham Park Estate, near Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, England MAP
£45 - adults, £10 - kids (7-14 years). Day tickets: £13 - £15 (adults), kids £3 - £5 .
last updated: Thu 24th Jun 2004


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