The Wickerman Festival 2009
Friday 24th to
Saturday 25th July 2009
Kirkcarswell Farm nr. Kirkcudbright, Galloway, Scotland,
£80 w/e incl camping, child (13-15) £40,
last updated: Fri 17th Jul 2009
Saturday brings with it another day full of sunshine. Luke Leighfield
is the first thing I catch on the main stage, waking everyone who is up yet with easy listening songs about relationships and tales of travelling up from South England. After watching kids and adults alike fall about on the Mountain track course, its over to the Acoustic Village and time for Swampstompers
, a couple of guys from St. Helens ("A small hamlet outside Liverpool!") with their country blues and their boot on a stick.
After wondering around the site catching bits of music from the Ho Down Wendy House and the poetry tent, taking a break from the sun and wondering whether to watch 'The Wickerman' in the cinema (like 'The Snowman' at Christmas, the festival would not be the same without it!) we settle into watching limber people taking on Yoga sessions and the drumming workshop. The laid back pace at this festival really stands out, and it is the most family friendly festival I have been to for years.
There is no trouble, no rowdy people, everyone is enjoying the sun and music. The fancy dress theme for this year is camo and tartan; if ever there was a clash or bold patterns there it is. I do not see many combinations, hardly any in fact, though I do see a bunch of Romans and 20, yes 20, members of Kiss. When I went to take their photograph one shouted 'Kissassemble!' to which they all through a pose.
I catch the Casiokids
on the main stage, but unlike the comedy of the Kiss poses their show is all about posing, and this cocky attitude from a band that have an indie style name but believe they are punk does not tempt me to stay. Goldblade
are on in the Scooter tent anyway, and are much more entertaining. Singer John Robb has just done a book signing at a punk CD stall for his latest book 'Death To Trad Rock - The mid Eighties UK Underground' and then rushed straight on stage to perform another Goldblade high energy show. 'Psycho' sees the crowd sing a along and 'Riot' sees crowd members invited on stage to hold a sign saying that very word.
Over on the main stage is Candi Staton
, singer of 'Young Hearts Run Free'. She has a huge voice and great stage persona, with a smile for the crowd as large as the sun on the stage backdrop. It's just a shame that many of the songs she sings are not hers and covers, though well done, like Elvis' 'Suspicious Minds' amongst others. Still great uplifting music to see out the day, with not a cloud in the sky.
Even more festival feel good action now from Dreadzone
, also on the main stage. MC Spee has a knee problem and spends the set sat down and swinging his crutch in the air. The band perform 'Life Love And Unity' as if it's its first airing, and 'Iron Shirt' as always goes down as the stand out track.
arrive on stage late, and I catch a couple of tracks but it's Bad Manners
and their larger than life front man Buster Bloodvessel over in the Scooter tent that I want to watch. Unfortunately so does a lot of the festival, and the tent entrances can not be breached. I miss the chance to snap them too as The Zutons overlapped. Lines of people spread out of the two tiny entrances to the tent, which would benefit from a full open wall (forget about the sound clashing with the Solus tent next door, we want to see punk!).
Never mind though, they will be back, but the skilled crafted Wickerman figure alone on the hill will not be, not in this Robert Burns effigy anyway. Crafted by local men Trevor Leat and Alex Rigg, it really is the highlight of the festival, and crowds soon gather to watch it's demise. The addition on fireworks looks amazing against the black as soot sky and huge burning figure, which goes up a lot quicker than I first imagined.
And then on to end the night with a listen to the Utah Saints
performing a DJ set until 1.30am, mixing dub with techno and everything else in between. I then slink back to my tent to doze off listening to Reggae beats rumbling the soil under my tent, to get woken up in the morning by the first rain of the weekend.
: Danielle Millea