Once again the bank holiday has passed and I'm reflecting on the delights of Festibelly, the intimate 3,000 capacity festival in the New Forest, that I compere every year.
And the verdict is, that it just gets better and better every year. And it was ruddy excellent last year!
Several people said to me Festibelly this year felt like a hippy commune, lots of happy people everywhere having a good time. I think that's always been the case. There aren't queues, it feels safe, it takes about a minute to get back to your tent to re-fuel, anything goes and the crowd were fully off, having it, from the Reggae Roast DJs at about 4pm! DJ Oneman and T.E.E.D then kept the energy up on the main stage throughout the evening, to say the least.
There were so many highlights this year with bands gracing the Terrapin Station and Le Disco having a full line-up of DJs. There was a lot I didn't manage to see so from what I did, I've narrowed it down to my seven favourites, so here we go...
Headliners London dance-punk band New Young Pony Club of course, were a really good fit topping the bill playing hits like Ice Cream, We Want To and The Bomb. Tahita Bulmer is such a great frontwoman and they have their live show dooown, so they definitely get a shout out!
Mercury Prize-nominated experimental hip-hop artist Ghostpoet absolutely smashed it on the main stage. It was epic. It was emotional. Loved it. This is Liiines.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs played a monster electronic set before New Young Pony Club. He had two dinosaurette dancers on either side, who had some serious moves let me tell you! It was one big rave up.
T.E.E.D's new single Garden is out in October 3rd, his second single on Polydor. We can expect a full debut album early next year.
Gutted to say I missed Dimbleby and Capper's performance at the Terrapin Station because I was busy with main stage duties but I heard very good things. She also popped in to the Amazing Radio tent to do this session. Check out more recent live tracks recorded at the Blank Studios here. The new single Educated fully blew me away.
Ahhh the lovely Kyla La Grange. One of the earlier billings on the main stage people gathered as they heard her siren call. She played a rousing set of tracks that will be on her imminent debut album. The singles Been Better and Walk Through Walls left a lasting impression as well as the new double A-side songs, out on October 17th, Heavy Stone and Lambs.
It might have been showering some rain droplets on us at this point but Hollie Cook certainly put a little bit of sunshine into our lives at Festibelly this year with her dub reggae sounds and psychedelic melodies. She's the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and looks set for big things. When I spoke to her afterwards, it was a surprise to me that she hasn't played live much with the band because it was a slick performance and very engaging.
Lastly, it was traditional cotton-eyed Joe style knees up fun from this lot, Skinny Lister. When they played on the main stage they had a gaggle of girls in paisley dresses, one even with what can only be describes as a part tankard, part jug of rum (I think was the drink of choice) to feed the crowd! Here they are minus the naughty side-kicks doing a session in the Amazing Radio tent.
Watch this space for my interviews in this taxi below with Kyla La Grange, Hollie Cook and James Yuill. The latter two were also on the bill.
FESTIBELLY OFFICIAL SITE