Corbridge Festival continues to grow as the family music festival of the Northeast. All visitors are catered for, with a wide range of food offerings, children’s activities, entertainment a fairground and of course world class musical talent.
I didn’t get to see absolutely everyone perform as there were three stages, but we had a great time. It must have been great to be a punter relaxing at this vibrant event.
The first band we caught was Coquin Migale. They’ve become more psych rock, less jingly indie. They have a harder edged than their debut here 3 years ago, and we liked it.
In the Dragonfly Tent we found Chris Kelly, a talented young fella playing acoustic guitar with lush songs and confident presentation.
Amy Ridley has a great voice. She performed a single song set as well on the main stage. Dancing on My Own was dedicated to Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry, tragically lost at the Manchester terror attack this year. Chloe was a good friend of Amy’s and it must have been terrifically difficult to perform, however Amy did a fantastic job.
Keston Cobblers Club got the first dancers up with their addictive folk pop. Seasoned festival players, they really got things moving.
Back in the Dragonfly tent, Just So entertained the crowd piano driven pop with harmonies and guitar upping the pace and edge.
Bloxed Beats upped the ante with the audience responding well to familiar hits being given the beatbox treatment. These guys are amazing and seemingly achieve the impossible with their voices!
Dan Donnelly brought his years of experience playing with bands such as The Levellers and The Wonder Stuff. Using a loop pedal and a guitar he played songs of friendships, not caring about politics and a cover of Cecilia for his little girl who joined him on stage briefly. The audience managed to get one more song out of him in an encore, such was his appeal.
Haythem Mohamed made amazing sounds from a loop pedal a Macbook and a guitar, again in the Dragonfly Tent.
Back on the main stage the large crowd was treated to Lucy Spraggan. I found her to be a ballsy songwriter, with great tunes and a grittier performance than we expected. I’ll be watching out for her.
The Selecter brought classic ska to the fore at the festival, it is noticeable that ska goes down really well with this crowd. The energy from the band including frontwoman Pauline Black and MC Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson was amazing. They just oozed cool.
Meanwhile, in the Dragonfly tent, the Baghdaddies were holding court to a big crowd of ska fans too. Skanking was the main dance style in this hour! The ‘daddies are definitely worth seeking out for a fun night of ska.
Finally, on the main stage, Cast begin playing hits from their classic album All Change but threw in a respectable spattering of lesser known but still equally good tracks. John Power dedicated Fine Time to the spirit of Jeremy Corbyn but had to deal with some political interaction from an audience member. He dedicated Walkaway to his heckler. The thing about festivals is you can get a mixture of political beliefs fuelled by beer. I’m glad this one blew over because the rest of the set was great. Cast are still a great live band and I recommend catching them on tour when you can.
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