Arrived Thursday for our 10th EOTR, excited as ever, but still slightly nostalgic for the beardy Americana of the first few years. As it continues its steady creep towards Pitchfork, my love diminishes slightly each year, yet still i return.
Headed in to the festival, determined to get an early Fever Tree to start the festivities but disappointed to only find the new Hendricks concession. Undoubtedly lovely, but less choice of gins and tonics which was a shame. #firstworldproblems
Managed to catch Moonlandingz and Bo Ningen for two of the best performances of the weekend. Listened to Brix etc for a bit from outside the Tipi but thought they were average at best.
Started Friday later than planned with Dan Romano who was fine, hung around for Shovels and Rope who were fine, stayed a bit for Margaret Glaspy, who was… yeah fine… Watched Ryley on GS who was good, but seemed a little hyper and didn’t hook me in as much as usual, before heading back to WS for Parquet Courts who produced my first top notch performance of the day.
Slight break before Ultimate Painting, who again didn’t inspire as much as hoped, before our first headliner, Lucinda Williams. Thought she was amazing, much rockier than expected, and such a pro. Gig would have been improved massively if it hadn’t been for a bunch of ignorant middle aged tossers who literally talked at full volume all the way through, despite being clearly aware of the impact they were having.
Headed over to Tipi to watch Xylourius White for one of the sets of the weekend - just trancendental. Hung around for the first secret set (Jens Lekman) but got bored and ended up at Silent Disco which is always fun. The dead won BTW
Wandered through the woods, checked out the new Cinema/Disco area which was enchanting.
Had another lie in Saturday (ah, the joys of a festival sans kids!), started with a bloody Mary (£9.50!!) and caught Courtney Marie Andrews set on GS which was great. Saw Futur Primitf who i love - been following him since first i first caught him at EOTR the year Low Anthem played (2011?). Seemed more engaged (and less hungover) than his GS set last year, but was disappointed he didn’t end up doing a secret set. The late night gig when he joined with Barr Bros a couple of years ago was exceptional. Saw Duds, who seemed aptly named, before heading over to Woods to soak up the sunshine and blissful sounds of Alvvays. Headed back to top up on wine, before returning to catch the last half of Car Seat Headrest. Hadn’t expected much TBH, but thought they were amazing. FJM seemed self indulgent (as per), then Ty Segall who was less psychy and more metal than i’d hoped, but the day was saved with a top set in the Tipi from Tootard - a great band, absolutely in the groove.
Sunday arrived with the deluge i’d feared most (esp. after the same at Greenman) so took shelter in Tipi. missing out on some of my must see sets of the weekend. Legends of Country were fun, but a bit pastichey, Nadia Reid was lovely, Alison Crutchfield not as good as hoped (but was great playing with Waxahatchee during the Secret Set later on). Headed back to regroup before one final push. Girl Ray were nice, but nothing amazing. Marika Hackman was fab, just a shame she was delayed by 40 mins and had a shorter set as a result. Ended up watching all 3 secret sets which were some of my highlights of the weekend. Stayed up to hear ‘Hit the Road Jack’ as the traditional last song of the festival but it didn’t appear
Gutted to have missed: Michael Chapman, Real Estate, John Moreland, WH Lung, Rolling Blackouts (main set), Waxahatchee (main set), Nap Eyes, Timber Timbre, Julia Jacklin, Amadou & Miriam, Perfume Genius, Bill Callahan and J&MC!
Top 5: Bo Bingen, Lucinda Williams, Waxahatchee (Tipi), Xylouris White, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (Tipi)
Good: Just lovely as ever…. Stewards and staff were great as usual; loved the new set up of cinema etc; beer choice was great, some lovely ales and stouts and a great range of vegan beers; great food, fave was the lamb tagine - their burgers were great too
Not so good: Seemed busier than previously, with less toilets; too much chatting during sets; the amount of rubbish just left by idiots