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Fareham Grecian

EOTR 2015 - so how was it for you?

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7th year in a row for me. I don't know quite how they do it, but this year's was the best ever for me. Stunning lineup and everything came together to make a brilliant weekend.

Musical highlights: Low, Sufjan, War on Drugs (first time I've ever thought the headliners lived up to the undercard), Andrew Combs, Delines, Ultimate Painting - really though, too many to list. The strength in depth, helped of course by the fantastic sound quality (thought the Big Top was much improved this year), still makes this the best festival bar none.

Disappointments: thought Future Islands and Mac DeMarco were dull to the point of annoyance. Back to disposable plastic gasses for the beer - what a backward step. If two dull bands out of 90-odd and less than perfect drinking receptacles are the limit of my criticisms then I am a very happy punter.

Early Birds to be purchased tomorrow.

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they were handing out masses of the sturdy plastic EOTR Cups on the way out last night - I was handed 20 but managed to disperse them down to 6

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I had a cold since saturday. SO, whilst i could see it had the makings of a classic year, my head was full of flem and could not fully get into it, unfortunately. 

 

It was just me though. Low were beautifully amazing. I thought Unthanks were beguiling too. 

 

I cannot think of ANY disappointments, really. I guess, the little shop running out of milk was a bit annoying (tea with UHT is just NOT the same). But that is really just clutching at straws, i think.

 

I have NEVER done early bird tickets (I still need the guarantee of a good line up). BUT....i am SERIOUSLY considering doing so for EOTR.....

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First time back at End of the Road since 2012 and had an amazing time as always. The site was a bit more crowded than I remember it, but even if it might have lost some of its intimacy, there's no way you could say it has lost any of its magic. The weekend was full of great performances and some incredible musicianship, but the act of the weekend for me has to go to Natalie Prass who surpassed all expectations and was utterly spellbinding.

 

Other highlights included:

 

Brakes - possibly the most fun I have ever had at EOTR in the mosh pit at the front. I can't remember the last time I've been to a gig with so many people of all different ages brought together in joyous euphoria with everyone singing along to every word. Phenomenal.

 

Ought - extremely tight band, challenging but never inaccessible. Played all the best parts of one of last year's best debuts and the crowd was a lot more into it than I was expecting. What a cracking song they have in 'Beautiful Blue Sky'.

 

The Delines - masterful storytelling as ever from Willy Vlautin really brought to life in the beautiful Sunday afternoon sunshine by Amy Boone's soulful, powerful voice. The Garden Stage really comes into its own for sets like this.

 

Fumaca Preta - surely the only band on the planet to effortlessly merge together psychedelia, metal and acid house. Great costumes, ridiculously charismatic bassist, and thrilling from start to finish.

 

Sufjan Stevens - beautifully intimate and at times euphoric, was pleased with the inclusion of 'Casimir Pulaski Day' and the horn section was a nice touch. A couple of the live reworkings of songs from 'Carrie & Lowell' didn't quite hit the mark for me, but otherwise it was a wonderful set.

 

Alvvays - perfect scuzzy sunshine pop had me captivated from the start and left a huge grin on my face with big singalongs to 'Adult Diversion' and 'Archie, Marry Me'

 

The only disappointments were The War On Drugs who I found extremely dull, and Drinks who proved to be far less than the sum of their parts. The Vryll Society didn't really do anything for me either.

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Here we go then...arrived Thursday, had a wander, a warm cider and retired to bed (tired, and Broken big toe aching..).

Was worried this year about the curse of NME (10/10) but need'nt have been. Probably a bit of a younger crowd this year, but no less appreciative of the music and atmosphere. Enjoyed Ryley walker and King Khan, but the only dissappointment of the weekend for me was Tame Impala. I'm afraid i just dont get the "new" psychadelia thing, with Temples etc. After 4 songs we retired to Low on the garden stage, who were superb.

Saturday ended  bit messy for some reason, possibly drink. This was a more boozy EOTR for me than usual, and saturday was the nadir. Cider, Ale, lager and a wine box. I will leave it at that...

Having said that, the final 3 acts on the Woods were as good a trio of performers as i can remember at EOTR. Unthanks were sublime, My Morning Jacket were perfect, and Sufjan was something i have waited a long time to see and he didnt disappoint. Ended the evening with Robin Ince and Charlotte Church (yes...Charlotte Church) at the comedy stage.

Sunday was a beautiful day, and we had a game of croquet, took the tent down, and generally took in several bands as we strolled. Future Islands i enjoyed, and Laura Marling was excellent.

Home and hosed by 12-30am.

Thanks to Cafe Dish again for great coffee and superb Lemon palenta, and the Curry house for there 3 curry platter.

Looking forward to next year already.

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I've not long got back so apologies if this turns into rambling nonsense...

 

5th End Of The Road for me and as an all-round experience possibly the best. It was End Of The Road, and no finer compliment can be placed on a festival. So in a slight change of how this thread normally pans out, here are the good and bad things I noticed were different to previous years:

 

 

Good:

 

The Garden Stage I swear just becomes more perfect every year. I actually ended up watching all three of the headliners on this stage - Low were heartbreakingly beautiful, probably my musical highlight of the weekend, Mark Lanegan was as badass as ever and Laura Marling a perfect way to end. Ryley Walker kicking things off on Friday was great too.

 

Pucket was back!

 

It definitely seemed busier but not overly crowded - while there were more people there, queues for food etc were never too bad and you could still get vaguely near the front at all the stages. Gave the main arena a much more buzzing atmosphere too.

 

The light-up fox that was controlled by the piano. I spent more time than a grown man should have done playing with it on Thursday night.

 

It seemed more of the woods/area around the Garden Stage was open this year. Was great to be able to go inside the temple for a close look at the model EOTR and I'm pretty sure I ended up on quite a few little paths through the gardens I'd never been down before!

 

The weather on Sunday. It says a lot about the festival that by far the biggest queue was at the gin & tonic stand when the sun came out...

 

 

Bad:

 

The cold! Saturday night was brutal.

 

Getting out and home on Monday seems to be becoming more and more of an ordeal every year. If the capacity keeps increasing I think access needs a major rethink because sending everyone through the traffic control in Newtown just isn't working. It only takes one little thing to go wrong and it totally buggers up the whole journey - last year it was steam fair traffic, this year there was an accident in the really narrow bit. What should have been a 2-hour journey back to Brighton took nearly 4. Is there really no other way onto the site other than down that tiny little road?

 

Don't know if it was just EE or every network, but phone signal seemed to be nonexistent this year - had to rely on bumping into people or planning exactly where to meet after every band (either by the bear or by the fox!). But it did mean I managed to make my iPhone battery last all weekend, I just put it on flight mode and basically turned it into a massively over-specced camera and watch!

 

There seemed to be a higher dickhead quotient this year. Not enough to spoil the festival - all you had to do was stay away from the Radio 1 indie bands - but I suppose booking the likes of Tame Impala, Django Django and Future Islands is going to attract the fancy dress/neon facepaint spoilt teenager types. Didn't bother with any of the above bands but I did go and watch a bit of Pond, and it was full of lads in vests and neon facepaint who'd spent too much time on their hair, doing the rap finger-pointing thing all the way through the set, which I don't think is something white people should be doing to a psychedelic pop band. I hope this trend of booking quite 'mainstream' bands (major quotation marks) doesn't continue or it'll end up overrun with TOWIE types who are going to a festival because it's cool. Or maybe at the age of 27 I'm just turning into a grumpy old man.

 

(On the subject of dickheads, if you were trying to enjoy a peaceful sit down by the fire last night and got annoyed by the two guys shouting Alan Partridge quotes constantly and very loudly, I'm sorry)

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You're right, the area around the ponds by the Garden stage was opened up for the first time this year.

It was End Of The Road, it's always going to feel special and this year, the cold especially on Saturday night excepted, was no different. Top twelve, in no specific order:

Sufjan
Low
Brakes (I never realised how much I'd missed them in the Big Top Sunday closer slot)
Laura Marling
Saint Etienne
Nadine Shah
Meilyr Jones
Ex Hex
Aero Flynn
Human Pyramids
Slow Club
Delines

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Not a vintage year for me, but still the best weekend of the year (as always).

 

Good;

 

The Big Top sound was brilliant this year - a massive contrast to last year.

 

The food/bar/toilet situation, as always quick and easy. I don't think I had to queue for anything for more than 5 minutes. It always amuses me to see a big queue for a set of toilets when you're always within about a 3 minute walk from another set with no queues. I like lazy people, they make it easier for me.

 

The Fox, obviously.

 

Sunday's weather - perfect, and the general lack of rain.

 

Music wise, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Riley Walker, Andrew Combs, East India Youth, Sufjan, The Black Tambourines, Dawes, TWOD.

 

Cheese. There was lots of cheese. Of the right sort.

 

 

Bad;

 

I personally thought the line up was a bit... average. I saw lots of bands that were ok, but didn't blow me away. I struggled to really get into anything on Friday or Saturday (until Sufjan, who was great once I'd moved several times to escape from dickheads). Sunday was generally much better - maybe it was the sunshine.

 

All stages with the exception of the Woods seemed a lot more crowded this year, particularly the Tipi. The late night secret sets seem to have outgrown the size of the tent. Actually I'm basing that on a single set - after that I didn't bother trying to get in there - others may have been less busy.

 

Glitter, face paint, furry tails, inflatable animals, men in dresses, dickheads generally.

 

 

 

Overall, not a classic but still a fantastic weekend and a lot of fun.

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Hi, first End of the Road after fancying a change from Glastonbury and really enjoyed it.

Highlights:

Mammut

Nadine Shah

Du Blonde

Human Pyramids

Brakes

Sufjan

Comedy stage (spent Sunday afternoon here and spent some time there late on Saturday)

Sleaford Mods

Also liked

Future Islands

Hinds - but was still feeling the effects of the cider bus

Ex Hex

Fat White Family

Ought

Fuzz

Metz

Mark Wynn - did anyone see this?!

Got to see so much music even if missed 10-15 minutes of acts. The choice of food was good, especially the Kedgeree and the curry shed. Manna was also tasty and Pizza Taburn as always ran like a well oiled machine, nachos were a disappointment.

Staff at bars very friendly and never found a loo without paper in it!

Did get stuck right in front of a really noisy group during future islands who shouted over the band and ruined it a bit for me. A loud talker right next to me at Sufjan too

I would definitely go again, a relaxed festival with nice people and a great mix of music. Really enjoyed the comedy side of it, the campsite was great and managed to get a shower ob Saturday with only a ten minute wait. Got out this morning at 0800 with no delays.

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Good - Pretty much everything!

 

Bad - The quiet camping could do with some signing (if there was I missed it) to make it clear it is meant to be so. On one night I was woken by a guy having a row with a bunch of guys who were being noisy (probably didn't realise it was quiet camping). The biggest irony was that I didn't hear them, but was awoken by the bloke shouting at that them to be quiet!

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Thought it was exceptional. Only went Saturday and Sunday as saw Sufjan in Brighton on Friday. More suited to a theartre but still lovely to watch.

Highlights were Dawes, The Delines, My Morning Jacket, WOD, Kevin Morby, Peter Matthew Bauer and Sufjan. Low set sounded marvellous.

Thought Saturday was full of idiots trying to be cool and different-not typical EOTR festival goers. Didn't ruin any music as only needed to move during MMJ as some lad came barging down chatting to his mates. But pleased we did as sound better once we did. Thought MMJ should headline myself.

Will go again next year and think they could make some improvements. The stacking cups at Green Man were fantastic and less litter that way. Still feel the main stage needs screens.

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From a personal point of view I thought that this was the best one that I've been to, it was lovely to see additional parts of the gardens being accessible with great unique decorations on the wooded walks. Fantastic weather on Sunday certainly helped.

 

I'm certain that Sufjan walked past right in front of me and my wife during Human Pyramids

 

Music wise, the good -

 

Sufjan - absolutely breathtaking

St Etienne

Django Django

My Morning Jacket (only heard 3 or4 songs before being dragged off to see St Etienne)

Low - great set

Dawes (my surprise package of the weekend)

Brakes (listened to them from outside the Big Top)

The Delines (great music on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Garden Stage

Kevin Morby

Human Pyramids

 

Didn't really enjoy Future Islands or Tame Impalas, so glad we left them after a few numbers to see the Low set.

 

On the downside, not really a great deal, apart from the usual chatter during acts and people pushing their way through to get to the front of the stage - but these aren't just confined to EOTR its universal with all festivals. There did seem to be more of a younger element this year, hopefully they enjoyed it as they will be the lifeblood of future EOTRs.

 

And finally it was great to actually get see the macaws up in the trees.

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I was horribly torn between seeing Delines and Dawes. Missed the last Delines song and legged it to see Dawes and was still in the front row. So happy! We didn't think much of Future Islands and ended up pogoing to Brakes instead - who we found quite by accident.

Incidentally Willy Vlautin of Delines/Richmond Fontaine writes novels - gritty and depressing like his songs but ultimately uplifting. I would recommend Lean on Pete in particular.

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Fourth EotR and first solo due to wife & teenage sons commitments, which made experience different and may have coloured my mood a bit !  Hopefully back to family camping next year.  There was a group of a dozen or so lads at the very far end of quiet camping who I don't think left their tents all weekend unless they just went to the Disco - made a right racket.

 

Musically I didn't think it quite hit the heights of previous years; there was the usual lovable variety and plenty to enjoy but with fewer discoveries than last year. Perhaps I'd done too much research and had heard the great stuff already. I also missed the weird stuff and euro pop seemed scarce (Jakko excepted).

 

That said, I saw some wonderful sets from Low, Ultimate Painting, The Unthanks, Marika,  Delines, Jane Weaver (great new single), Jessica Pratt and, particularly, Natalie Prass.  Her rendition of "My Baby Don't Understand Me" was breathtaking, even if I kept hearing the Matthew E White emebellishments in my head.  I also enjoyed St Etienne's 1960's film show set to house music.  The sound was superb, and much better in the Big Top than previously. I'm not a fan, but Tame Impala made a great sound for the 5 songs I heard before moving to Low.

 

I may get banned for this, but I didn't enjoy Sufjan.  Whether it was the bitter cold or the relentless chatter and desparate attempts by some groups to have "FUN", but I just wished I'd got tickets for the indoor gigs. I left for Lanegan after 20 minutes, and wasn't the only one.  Overall the Woods stage is the hardest to love.

 

Music aside, I saw some brilliant films in the lovely cinema; Nuts in May and Dig ! (chronicle of the demise of the Brian Jonestown Massacre) were the funniest things I've seen in years.

 

I enjoyed pretty much everything I ate again this year. The Dorset Blue soup, Marsh Lamb Tagine, Salt Beef Bagel, Goan Kedgeree and Dosas were all exceptional.  The beer would have been good but I never saw the famous Zigzag Stout.

 

Finally, this year I got off-site each morning and did some walks between the site and Shaftesbury.  Cranborne Chase is wonderful walking country and that alone made the trip worthwhile, as did all the lovely people at EotR.

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The ponds/temple etc was opened last year, but I think it was just on the Saturday afternoon. I've been down there before.

 

4th year running for me. My favourite year is still 2013 but this was still a good one.

 

Highlights

-Stayed dry as ever and got my favourite camping spot without any difficulty

-Slow Club, Stealing Sheep, Mark Lanegan, Diagrams, St Etienne, Alvvays, Tame Impala.

-Natalie Prass, Bird Of Prey is my song of the weekend and the improvised Johnny B. Goode was a great moment.

-Tipi late on, Sunday night

-The Tea Stop!

-More of the white portaloos (I won't go in the others)

-Easy getting off-side, climbing into my car at about 1.30pm today (Monday).

 

Lows (well, not really lows, but...)

-They still run out of EVERYTHING. The t-shirt I wanted was all gone by Saturday lunchtime, you couldn't get a zig-zag stout (or any stout) almost anywhere, no ale at all by Sunday night (when we ran out of cans) and you were basically down to rum at the Woods stage, no tapes for the recording booth, most of the food vans ran out of stuff on Sunday...

-It's now far too crowded in the Big Top and Tipi at times. Presume the capacity is still going up? Surely they need to make the tents bigger too.

-There was a lack of "wow they've booked them" this year, I thought the line up was pretty consistent overall but lacked any big pulls for me personally, Woods headliners especially.

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The bad...

The cold, cold nights

The 12 strong stag party that appeared right next to my tent in what was supposed to be the quiet area on Friday night and made a hell of a racket all the way through to 5 a.m. On complaining to the stewards, my neighbours were told by them that they were were unsure that there was a quiet area

Ringwood beer - dull and lifeless, bring back Shepherd Neame

Paper cups at the Tea Bus - suddenly all the tea and coffee tasted like it was "fresh" from the rail station

More and more dickheads - 15 minutes into Future Islands, a crowd of archetypal f**kwits dressed in shellsuits, visors and sunglasses shouting "Coming Through" elbowed their way in to the front and proceeded on the basis that they were in fact the show. They did exactly the same thing for The War On Drugs

Pond - after my friend pointed out that the main man in his frock was a dead ringer for a young Imelda Staunton, I'm afraid it was downhill all the way

The astonishing proficiency and number of wasps taking up residence in sugar bowls, jam jars, etc. Give the buggers credit where it's due

The good...

Ryley Walker - my second Walker show of the week, and I'd have welcomed more

Frazey Ford

The Delines

My Morning Jacket - I went right off them several years ago after a particularly crap show at the Forum, so it was a very pleasant surprise to hear them hitting the spot again

Houndstooth

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear - I suspected they might be a little special, and they were: warm hugs all around

Darren Dayman - filling in at the last minute, it's too easy to take Darren for granted: class act, top guy

The War On Drugs - full on rock-out to finish the festival, what's not to love?

The members of the 12 strong stag party that came across on Saturday afternoon to apologise, and literally picked up and carried my fully erect tent 40 yards to a quiet spot (hey, stewards, see, there IS a Quiet Area!)

The macaws! It's taken 7 years to get to see them!

The inscriptions on the leaves

The indifferent...

Low - somehow or other, I'd always wanted to but failed to catch them: on the night, despite a few moments of real beauty, I found them curiously uninvolving

Sufjan - my personal gripe is that I should have (i) been much closer or (ii) got good seats at a theatre show: unsurprisingly, any necessary intimacy washed away into the night sky

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First End Of The Road for me!

So I don't know if things were better in the ol' days or whatever but as a newbie this is my first impression. I love End Of The Road!

First of all I don't think I've ever seen such a well run and organized festival, at least of this size. The toilets were pretty much always clean and stocked with toilet roll, everything ran on time, and I never caught myself thinking to myself 'This is a shambles, someone needs to sort their shit out'... well actually that is a lie the bar at The Garden Stage is a bit of a shambles and really needs to sort it's shit out, every time I went to that bar they were out of stock of pretty much everything, thankfully though nothing is more than a few minutes away so an alternative is always close by.

+ The setting, environment, and general atmosphere 
+ No sound bleeding, all stages generally sounding great with a few exceptions (will get into that a bit later) 
+ The non-chemical toilets! With seats, lights and vacuum flushing! Also enough room to actually sit down and do a shit in comfort! I will now hate any festival that doesn't have these as an option. 
+ Little to no instances of congestion and very little queueing with the exception of certain food stalls around dinner time. 
+ The gardens, the games area, the art installations, the pond & general serenity available if you felt like a shambles. 
+ The comedy stage had some great stuff on it and is in a great location. 
+ Not a fan of silent discos in general but something about the Garden Stage and being in the woods made it actually have an atmosphere and as a result I enjoyed the first Silent Disco of my life. 
+ I liked the disco ship a lot, although it did get overcrowded at times. 
+ I had the best bacon butty of my life 
+ The weather on Sunday and the fact it didn't rain the entire festival! (it rained a lil bit at the crack of dawn on Saturday... or so I have been told)

 

- Wasps! Wasps everywhere! Tedious bastards as well kept on hovering around my face. 
- The toilets at the silent disco did get pretty grim 
- I had to wait 30 minutes for the best bacon butty of my life. 
- Saturday night was brutally cold! Getting out of my tent at 3.30am to go to the toilet was pretty a pretty miserable experience.

Bands then!

Highlights- 
Mammut, Metz, Torres, The King Khan & BBQ Show, Tame Impala, Human Pyramids, Du Blonde, Girlpool, Ex Hex, Sleaford Mods, Saint Etienne, This Is The Kit, Brakes, Laura Marling, Hinds, Alvvays, Future Islands

3 other notes - 
Didn't care so much for Sufjan. I think purely because it was a Saturday night and don't think the show worked at an outdoor festival. I enjoyed it and moments were hair-raising however it failed to keep my full interest the whole set. Came in with high hopes but left slightly disappointed.

Django Django - Jesus that might have been one of the worst sounding gigs I've ever been to in my life. The sound, for the most part, was spot on around the festival (even The Big Top which I heard was terrible last year) but all you could hear was the fart and rumble of the bass/synth and nothing else and it also sounded FARRRR too quiet. As a result the crowd quickly lost interest and spoke over the whole thing and to be honest, I couldn't blame them.

Also saw: 
Menace Beach - Were Okay, The Palma Violets - Bland but the front seemed to eat it up, Aero Flynn - Thom Yorke By Numbers (the crowd seemed to love it), Pond - Fun but only caught 2 songs, Oscar - Decent summery pop and a solid performance, Dolores Haze - Shambolic but fun riot grrl band, Eaves - Seemed okay but didn't feel the desire the stay for more than a couple songs, Stealing Sheep - Don't like their new material but their older stuff sounded great, The Vryll Society - Awesome guitarists & good vocalist but weak percussion, Houndstooth - Enjoyable 'sway in the sun' music, The Black Tamourines - They seemed okay.. good live but didn't love the songs, Happyness - Still a little inconsistent but enjoyed them a lot more than when I saw them at The Great Escape.

An absolute highlight for me? Probably a toss up between Saint Etienne, Future Islands, Metz, Laura Marling and Ex Hex. I think Saint Etienne win out for me, Foxbase Alpha sounded damn good in the Garden Stage and I'm a sucker for balloons.

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The shellsuits and visor (and glitter) group were the group stood right behind me at future islands. Shouting over the whole thing, shoving and elbowing people around them as they danced.

Wish id gone to the silent disco now, was going to go on the Sunday but had run out of deposit money. The forest disco had some good music though, late night jenga was also fun.

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I think this was my 8th, having missed the first one and another a couple of years later follwing a dramatic cardiac event.

 

I'm one of the boring old farts who preferred the old days, but I'd say that about anything, not just EOTR. I don't mind it being crowded too much, though I prefer it less so, but it's the new breed of punter, I don't like......the look at me brigade and those that crowd near to the front of the stage and then completely  ignore the band, whilst intruding upon yer personal space.

 

It also makes the Tipi Tent and Garden stage sprawlers a bit harder to tolerate as there less less room to pack in around 'em

 

But,as others say, tune the dickheads out or move away from 'em (not always as easy as it sounds) and this is still the festival to beat all festivals.

 

The Good Stuff:

 

Honeybell tents were ace, despite me waking up on 2 nights on a completely flat airbed. The guys and gals were friendly, approachable and efficient, much better than the hotel bell tent lot last year and the bogs and showers justified the added cost on their own.

 

Raclette Shack

 

Pie Place

 

Cocktail bus thing. I only had one drink from there on Sunday, man, it hit the spot.

 

Funky Monkey

 

All the piss corners for men......never had to queue once.

 

The Bad Stuff:

 

Apart from the increasing dickhead quotient, there really isn't any bad stuff. My chilli pork from Manna was a bit disappointing as there was very little chilli and if there was any pork in it at all, it was too shy to reveal itself.

 

The Good Bands:

 

Palma Violets: great fun

 

Ryley Walker, blew me away, much better than expected

 

Andrew Combs: love the record, and he put on a fantastic set.....what an ace band he has. Bonus to see a slightly bewildered Barna Howard with him later on the comedy stage 

 

Juan Waters: great, very quirky fun

 

Frazey Ford: Incredible, much better than I expected

 

Natalie Prass: Incredible, much better than I expected, and what a bloody charmer!

 

Darren Hayman: loveable rogue with great songs and great chat. Was ace to hear a socialist anthem. Brightened up what had been a pretty mediocre day music wise. Great day otherwise though.

 

Charlie Cunningham: Amazing set, Garden Stage resplendent in the sunshine, a respectful and very appreciative crowd, and Charlie genuinely taken aback by his reception. Will live in the memory.

 

Kevin Morby, abolutely love the bugger, perfect time and place for his set

 

The Delines: Beautiful

 

Dawes: Missed last 10 minutes of Delines to see Dawes. Good decison. Twas a brilliant, rousing, singalaong set

 

Giant Sand: Awesome

 

Brakes: Still bouncing!

 

NB: teenage son and daughter, who had the time of their lives, would provide a completely different list.....there really is something for everyone

 

 

The Bad Bands.

 

There weren't any. Not everyone was my cup of tea, and some like MMJ and Peter Mathew Bauer seemed to be phoning it in but still put on good sets. Plenty that wasn't up my street but still enjoyed. Plenty I didn't see much of but still enjoyed.

 

Saturday, I didn't have one band that enthused me so took the decision to just chill on Woods stage grass or stroll around taking it all in and it turned out a beautiful day.

 

King Khan was just an annoying novelty act, but that was the only blight on proceedings.

 

I'd agree with whoever said earlier that there seems to be a move to the mainstream, I'd like that move to go into reverse. Sufjan was a coup, but there were too many twats there who clearly didn't understnd or respect what was in front of them nor who was around them and thus rendered it impossible to stay. 

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This was my eight EOTR on the bounce and may have been close to being the best (though Sigur Ros and Mogwai are both my absolute fave bands).

 

I wondered as I was leaving on Monday whether it was approaching perfection, more later.

 

My first killer surprise was to find when I walked through wristband exchange my son waiting for me, him having driven down from Manchester (me - up from Devon). He had bought a ticket in June, not long before they sold out, but had kept it a surprise from me!

:cool:

 

Camping, as always, was a joy. Plenty of room, reasonable neighbours, little mess.

The site, as always, was gorgeous, and kept so over the weekend. Having reverted (last year or before?) to large 'catch-all' bins for separation/recycling off site now seems to be working a treat. I noticed that there were regular bin empties / bag collections, and so very little rubbish around site. The stages' detritus was also cleared regularly, even during the day.

 

I used standard portaloos all weekend and never had a problem with any of them.

 

I think there were also even more seats through the food area this year. Never any problem finding somewhere to perch.

 

The general layout and items such as the art installations have now found a natural niche, and bring the site alive.

 

Missed the Morrocan food stall - their boureks are one of the best things I have ever had at a festival - but plenty of other choice. Manna's Pad Thai, Roaming Rotisserie chicken and Barnaby's pie kept me going over the weekend. The 'ribs' place near to Tipi though was a disappointment - fatty ribs, not rendered down enough, and not cooked in the sauce, just cold 'BBQ' sauce squirted over the top - I can do the same with a ketchup bottle!!

 

Didn't drink so much this year, and what I had was fine. But it is disappointing to hear elsewhere about cloudy beers and items running out.

 

Once again I missed any secret sets around the site (excepting the Tipi tent late nighters). I heard the Unthanks say that they had played in a shed so I'm guessing that at least 1 lucky punter got sung to by the Unthanks at 'Folk in a Box' - lucky buggers!

 

I went to Friday's Tipi late ones and they were OK. Missed Saturday's - was at Comedy instead, so didn't get to see the fat White Band kick off. When I was there Sunday I see that for 11:15 they had introduced an in via tipi / out via the side system, which pissed off a few people who just failed to get in at the first attempt. When they did re-open, after only a few minutes, some dickheads to the right of me practically threw the unopened section of barrier to the ground and there was a moment or two of unseemly jostling - and let's be clear, with the queued crowd behind this could have been dangerous. The system wasn't in place for 12:30 but it was considerably less busy by then.

 

Dickheads - yes they were noticeable this year. I have no problem with 'costumes' and outfits, whatever floats their boat, but I hope the dickhead brigade is not going to become a trend. Fortunately I was little troubled by them directly, but I did see them around.

 

That said, at sets I went to that required/deserved some quiet attention - Low, Unthanks in particular - the crowd on the whole were very reverential, very little chatter at all.

 

The music - I'm not going to attempt any in depth reviews or listings. I'm just grateful that I can honestly say that I didn't see a duff act all weekend.

 

Even as I entered site on Thursday I was still torn between T Impala and Low, but my son wanted Low and so we were their for their mesmerising set. Sufjan was everything we expected, and more, and War On Drugs - although my son pointed out that 'I'm sure they played this one two songs ago' more than once they were a fitting finale to the weekend.

 

Brakes were as infectious as ever - how about 21 songs in 50 minutes, plus two renditions of Happy Birthday, then three more in an 8 minute encore! Talk about bang for your buck.

 

But also great shout outs for Love LUV, Natalie Press, Jane Weaver, East India Youth, Human Pyramids, Unthanks, The Vryll Society, This is the Kit, Future Islands - though these are less than half the acts I saw.

 

Sound was great at Woods, Garden (especially), and at Tipi. I thought the sound in the Big Top still far too muddy, even in the inner square between mix desk and stage (it's even worse outside that area).

 

I like that there are gaps between bands such that you can go see someone else, BUT some of the changeover times when you are staying put for the next band can seem a little long. Thought also that too many acts stopped short of their alloted time by 5 or even 10 minutes which is a disappointment.

 

How about Charlotte Church at the Comedy stage on Saturday night? Robin Ince had 'bumped into her' and asked her along. She did sing a number after an "I'm so drunk, more reverb ...... no, more reverb .... I'm so drunk I must sit down .... no, even more reverb PLEASE" plea. I also saw her around site on the Sunday.

 

Anyone else see the two satelites overhead during the early part of War On Drugs' set? My son spotted them and pointed them out. One travelling from back to front (mixing desk to stage) left of centre line, the other almost at right angles to that left to right.

 

Also, during WoD a large flag appered - arena right, but was only there for a few minutes. I'm hoping that that was EOTR going in and getting it taken down - no way do we want to be going down the Glastonbury flags route blocking any decent view for those further back.

 

And please don't get screens for Woods stage, I hate them as they distract attention from watching the band towards watching the tele.

 

So, 'Perfection'?? - well maybe not quite. EOTR seems to have lost a bit of edge and relaxation. Both Saturday and Sunday when I was in there there was hardly room to swing a peacock at the Garden Stage - a victim of its own success I guess. Possibly just tipped over into being too large

 

And getting off site on Monday was a nightmare. Was in the car by 10am, and got nowhere other than the rear back of the track from the car park by around 10:40. In the end I followed my son's lead and cheated - drove through the area of early parkers (to the right of the track) popped out near the front and was eventually on the road at around 11am. Looking at comments elsewhere eg Facebook, I'm guessing it would have been 12:30 or later to get out if I hadn't Q jumped. EOTR need to control the 'zipping' though the car park by having people controlling that , otherwise it is only those nearest the exit that get 'zipped though' . I hear that there was an off-site blockage but traffic should still have been got onto the road quicker.

 

So not quite perfect

 

But I am sat here at my PC waiting for the Early Bird tickets to go on sale - it's a bummer that they haven't given a time for this!!!!!!

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But I am sat here at my PC waiting for the Early Bird tickets to go on sale - it's a bummer that they haven't given a time for this!!!!!!

 

3pm. I've set a diary reminder!

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