Accessible to all, the festival has multiple runways and flat platforms to keep wheelchair users as near the action as possible. Signers (very enthusiastic and entertaining) made sure the hard of hearing didn't miss a word. Food was available from local traders..our personal favourite for a second year running, was Pizzette, a mobile stone cooked pizza van. When you're not into meat, you do often find your diet limited at festivals so this was a lovely change from chips.
Chase Park Festival had a good start with sunshine and Beth Macari..her backing band made up mostly of 3 at Sea. Beth continues to develop her soulful pop sound. Beth knows how to engage the audience and was a formidable first act of the day. Patrick and Holly then treated us to a street-dance routine. This was fun! Would love to have joined in but my joints just don't do that!
Ambient electro beats from Soundbeams (from the Percy Hedley Foundation) kept the audience happy until Hot Soles were pulling in the little dancing kids with their funky soul rock. A truly spectacular performance from this duo. Who needs a bassist, or indeed a stage!
Amazing Radio's Tom Cotton hit play a few times to fill the air with music while Gallery Circus set up on the main stage.
Gallery Circus were superb. Just two (obviously twins if you don't know already) jumping all over the drums, guitars and keys to create a massive sound, sometimes with hints of Muse and Jellyfish (whom they and you have probably not heard of). Nothing wrong with telling the audience who you are, and where to get the tunes though, lads! Fantastic performance from this pair.
Aukestra : part of a project helping people with varying levels of autism. They were great, harmonising with a backing band, 5 singers performed some uplifting crowd pleasers.
Blizzard was a bit late on Stage 2, but his combination of rap, singing and piano was a teatime treat! Really loved the Megabus Song!
Monogram proved to be a quality anthemic pop rock band in the vein of the Futureheads. Massive electronic drum sound and synths with guitar. I detected a sound of Big Country at one point, which isn't a bad thing. This band are surely bound for greater things. I think I need a CD. Yes, a CD, I do like something I can hold...old fashioned again, I guess.
Hulkenburg seriously brought the noise with a punk sound, again just two blokes, some drums and a guitar proved to be enough for me to get the old head banging. Think White Stripes but harder and more blokey.
Slug brought the most catchy avant garde music. What a great artist. Not mathrock, with the time signature, but sometimes felt that way. The crow were surprisingly receptive to the quirky set. A great band put together for this project and it's good to see a band enjoying themselves on stage. Call me old fashioned but bands who stare at their feet while mumbling half-baked vocals...not for me. Slug are nothing if the kind and lifted the mood at the festival with their attitude.
Turin Brakes took the reigns with professional hands, a fabulous performance of their beautiful songs. They do have a familiar sound from all that radio play, and the crowd appreciated the quality of their show.
The headliner, Ash, played an absolute blinder. No sign of the band letting up on the pace after all these years. They blasted through favourites such as Girl From Mars, A Life Less Ordinary, Go! Fight! Win! , Kung Fu and a crowd pleasing finale of Burn Baby Burn. Ash tunes are all great music to jump around to. I propose an "Ash Fit" fitness class! They had the horde bouncing, a great end to a special festival. We are looking forward to next year..keep it ambitious, keep it inclusive, keep it real.
All photos © Joanne Oliver for Jowheretogo 2015
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