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Bearded Theory 2015 - Saturday | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

Bearded Theory 2015 - Saturday

 Betyg

Review4081_bt_2015_sat_1

Three minute heist kicked the day off on the main stage. A local band (from Derby), there's a strong blues feel to their music, and it's just what is needed to get the day off to a good start - great music that's a pleasure too listen to but not too lively for any hungover fans who enjoyed a few too many beers the previous night.

Neck were next up. An Irish band from London they sound like the Pogues meet punk, so with the same strong Celtic sound as the Pogues have but with a heavier sound. It's damn good stuff - the sort of band you want to listen to while enjoying a few beers.

Skinny Lister were next, a band I've heard good things about. Wow - what an amazing live set! Right from the start it's high energy - where else can you see a double bass player swinging his instrument around his head? Lorna Thomas on lead vocals is a great frontwoman and makes the jbo of getting the crowd involved and having fun look easy. The music is great fun folk-based stuff and you can't help but enjoy yourself as you watch them. As if swinging a double bass around wasn't enough Michael Camino climbs off the stage and crowd-surfs with it. Lorna passes round a large jog of rum, and what you have is one of the most entertaining sets of the weekend.

Pronghorn had the unenviable task of following Skinny Lister. The band describe themselves as the Kings of Cowpunk, which if you arent famliar with the term, is a mix of country and punk. You get the power and energy of punk with the banjo and fiddle thrown in. The results are extremely fun - this is definitely feel-good music and they get plenty of people in the crowd dancing to their infectious tunes.

The Mahones were next. They may be Canadian but as the name suggests, they play Irish folk/punk. I hadn't heard anything from them before Bearded Theory so wasn't sure what to expect other than the Irish sound. It didn't take long for them to impress me - they put in a high energy performance that really gets the crowd having a good time, and they sound fantastic. I'll certainly be checking out some of their CDs next time I get paid.

British sea power came next. They're a band that I've heard a lot about as they've been getting a high profile lately but I've not actually seen them before. I've got to be honest - they're clearly very talented but I just found their set fairly dull and uninteresting coming straight after The Mahones.

Over on the woodland stage, The Jack Ratts were putting on a nice lively folk-punk set. They seem a bit crowded on the small woodland stage but don't let that bother them as they storm through a nice energetic performance that draws a good crowd of people who all look to be having a great time.

New Model Army were next up - a band I've seen several times over the years and who really are a great live act, so I was definitely looking forward to them. Judging by the number of people I'd seen around the site during the day wearing New Model Army T-shirts, I was far from alone in looking forward to them. In fact New Model Army T-shirts were probably the most common item of clothing seen all weekend. What can I say? They put in a storming performance that went down superbly well with the crowd.

Part way through the New Model Army set I headed over to the other side of the arena to get some food, which turned out to be a very lucky decision as it meant I saw Joseph Peace performing a spectacular show which saw him shut in a box which was then set on fire, and also saw him jump a bicycle through some impressively large flames, and ended with a het of flame going so high into the sky that there were initially reports from people at the other side of the arena of a campsite explosion.

Afro Celt Sound System were the final act on the main stage. As the name suggests, they blend Celtic influences with African ones, so you have West African rhythms, particularly on the drums combined with Irish drumming and to this they add electronic music, and influences from elsewhere such as Indian Bhangra. Musically it's great stuff, but this is a band where the performance is as big as the music, so it's a great visual spectacle. I'd have loved to see their whole set but as is so often the case at festivals, there was an act on another stage I also wanted to see, so I had to content myself with seeing part of the set from each.

Cara Dillon was on the Woodland stage, and as I walked over there I was impressed just how beautiful the place is at night - the clearing surrounded by trees and with lights suspended around the place gives a fantastic setting at night. I've seen Irish Folk singer Cara Dillon before - she's got a beautiful voice, and sings lovely folk songs. She also plays a tin whistle, but mainly the focus is on her voice. It's a great set and it's no surprise the are in front of the stage is so busy.

Check out the photos from the weekend at: http://www.festivalphoto.net/pictures&festivalID=1565&p=1&festival=bearded-theory

Review4081_bt_2015_sat_2

Writer: Anthony May
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