So, how was it for you then?

Notwithstanding the rather shitty end to the festival (see Idles thread) which meant I was sitting out the burning and the fireworks in the first aid tent it was another great year. Musically the previous two years were better for me but there was still more than enough to keep me happy.

Settlers was great as always (apart from thinking I'd lost my wallet on tuesday evening - many thanks to Kirsty at the Horseshoe In Llangattock for reuniting me and said wallet). Monday night with David Ian Roverts and Jim Ghedi was as much of a treat as last year's session with Toby Hay and Gareth Bonello. nice to keep bumping into Toby during the week, he's a lovely guy. Not quite so lucky with our camping neighbours this year. First family arrived monday and cordoned off a huge area with police 'do not cross tape' - I mean how un-Green Man is that? Rest of them turned up on Thursday with about a hunfred children and woke me up every morning at around 6.30. The kids weren't bad it was their insufferably middle class parents doing all the yacking.

As always great to camp with longstanding Green Man mates, Elizabeth and Jack and their (extended) family and Rachel and Joe (who kept me up to date with the Test score). A very happy camp.

Lovely to bump into old friends (Johnny Pictish, peridot, blackcatista and, of course mr ray among others) with some regularity and chat to loads of new friends young and old.Major disappointment not to see Richard aka cyfarthfa again - expect he was being kept busy (also didn't manage to catch this year's Merthyr College film - hope it's going up on youtube at some point)

As always it is a week of pure escapism (much needed even more this year) where 99% of the people are thoroughly lovely (I'd have probably gron to like our camping neighbours in time) and it's always hard re-adapting to the 'real world'.

Musical issues dealt with on 5 best thread but I was more than pleasantly surpised by stuff I hadn't intended seeing but thought was really good. Villagers were outstanding, I fell in love with Anais Mitchell, and, after a rather surly start ('not making much noise are you?') Skinny Pelelbe was rather fab. Also loved Adwaith's set.Also great to see Mama's Broke after discovering them on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans four years back (have I mentioned that before?)

Food: loved the Oasis stall - great value and lovely people, crispy duck in Waled Garden also well tasty. Also big thanks to Cashells for keeping us supplied in the settlement and all week.

Stewards, security, litter pickers all wonderful as usual, all doing a good job and smiling throughout.

Thanks to Adam Walton MC'ing the Walled Garden for playing a Jim Ford song for me on Sunday evening,

Looking forward to mr ray's recordings - especially the festival highlight for me by a mile - the iconic (not a word I'd normally use - I'm not Mary Anne bloody Hobbs am I?) Richard Thompson. Good job I wasn't standing too close to ray when he played Who Knows or my blubbing may have made it on to the recording.

See ya next year!

once again, mrs rad and i had a wonderful weekend

particularly enhanced this year by not only mrs rad's youngest and his lovely other half - but also by mrs rad's middle child and her lovely other half

and consequently not one but two grandchildren

spending that kind of cumulative family time in such an amazing place puts a very big smile in my grumpy old beard

another thing that made this year rather marvellous was getting to have a proper chat with a few of the folks from here - rather than just the usual rushed hello

a long and fascinating conversation with born in the fifties about his family history as we ate indian food and escaped big thief (also big thanks to him for introducing me to the chai cafe - where mrs rad and i ate again on sunday - that thali was so good)

then a nice long gab with kras after richard thompson (to make up for the two previous times i'd bumped into him and had to immediately dash off - first to catch disappearing family - and second to empty a dangerously full bladder)

sorry i didn't manage to get a chat with elizabeth

though did very much enjoy her suddenly appearing next to me during 'catharine & huskisson' at bill ryder-jones - grinning from ear to ear

and her husband - a man who, outside of wales, would probably be granted mountain status - giving the two wankers to my left, who'd been chatting loudly through the preceding portion of the set, a proper furious telling off

kras assures me that he is very much a gentle giant - but, as i've mentioned, he is a giant nonetheless - and they looked appropriately terrified

i haven't met you, sir - but i am forever in your debt

also managed a nice convo with blackpumpkinhead before modern nature

and a briefer but equally pleasant one with smithers before squid

didn't get to chat with peridot enough - but we'll catch up on email, no doubt

you are lovely folk, all - and it's so nice to get to know everyone a little better every year

this was an excellent year for music for me - after 2018's slim pickins

so i don't have too much to say about anything else that i won't eventually post in that top 5s thread

the only thing i thought was that it seemed significantly busier this year

the crowd in the main stage area for eels was the biggest i've ever seen / been in

it was hard to move at all anywhere in that giant space

the moment we left and went through the courtyard, the difference was striking

has the capacity gone up to the full 25,000?

i know they have a licence for that number now - but thought they weren't expanding ticket sales to the full possibility yet

i thought thursday seemed way more mobbed than in the past too - even with the extra stage open

along with those bigger crowds, there definitely seemed to be more of the 'casual' attendee

lads on a jolly - or even stag dos

that giant group in the 66 world cup shirts and the twat in the gold body paint throwing his football about

much more of that would dramatically change the vibe, i think

but i guess it's just the price of success

GM is so good - meaning it gets a lot of press - meaning more idiots know about it

i dunno

it's not like it got particularly lairy at any point

but it kind of felt like it might!

which is a first in the 15 years weve been coming

hey ho

certainly not a big enough thing to take away from how marvellous it all was

51 weeks tomorrow until the next one!

More reason to buy tickets early (preferably on early birds) so it sells out quick with all you lovely folk, and twats on a stag do who leave it too late end up being the ones who miss out on next years glorious festival.

Getting back to the original thread, loved it including my second year of settlement camping.  The music from Monday onwards was top class plus my first ever experience of a silent disco on tuesday night.  Wednesday with the quiz and comedy was something special with the added bonus of Ada HD the wonderful drag act.

the festival itself was so good, starting off with the nice surprise of The Wedding Present appearing on the Thursday night.  So many clashes in packed weekend and forced myself to watch something new rather than who I was more comfortable at seeing again.  A tactic that paid off for Bill Ryder Jones. Not sure if the right choice seeing Amadeou & Maryam over FWF.  

Certainly seemed busier this year and wonder how close to the 25,000 licence they got to.  Hopefully, some shifting about and tweaking will help accommodate the higher numbers in future.  i am sure the site could accommodate 25,000 (or more) if they are all lovely folk but would be a lot less if there are more stag do twats in gold paint and (disrespectful) England strips.  

Sorry that your weekend ended up less well for you Krasnyi, hope Green Man makes it up to you and your family with something really special next year.


Glad it wasn't just me that thought the twats in '66 England kits were out of order. Stick to the Saturday at the Edgbaston Test in future lads.

Another amazing year for us - can’t believe it’s our 7th in a row.  This was our first with my niece and the kids cousin, she loved it and is already asking about next year.

Also our first year using Tangerine Fields instead of hassle finding space for a tent and putting it up/taking it down in the rain.  Bit pricey but so good having a tent waiting for us when we arrived that was close to the festival action and handy a quick get away on Monday morning, so would probably do it again next year.

Generally it seemed busier than last year but no real issues with queues for toilets (we walk to quieter ones) or food (go with flow and eat when/where it isn’t busy).  Seem to be a few more dickheads each year (I’m looking at you England 66 squad), but not enough to spoil it yet.  The site coped reasonably well with Fridays deluge amd luckily the sun came out for 2 days to dry everything out nicely.

It’s all about the music for us and this year was a cracker.  Bodega excellent on the Thursday - just our kind of thing.  Friday was a struggle in the rain, but we braved it after The Beths for Whitney, Squid and Fat Whites - all worth a proper soaking.  Really wanted to see Snapped Ankles, but with a 2 hour wait after Steve Mason the kids crashed out and tbh I didn’t take much persuading to go back to the tent either.


Saturday in the sun was perfect,  great vibe around the site and we really enjoyed Hen Ogledd, Big Moon (with bonus marriage proposal) and Big Thief before hitting the Goan Fish curry (used to be a Sunday treat, but they ran out of fish last year).  The evening was all about Car Seat Headrest for us and they didn’t disappoint, back to a 4-piece after playing with the excellent Naked Giants on the last tour, the sound was still huge and we had a great time singing along to the hits and listening to the new stuff.  One of our favourite festival sets ever.  Akso enjoyed Richard Thompson whilst we were waiting for CSH, not bad for just one guy and a guitar!

Sunday was another busy day, which started with a great set by Yak, quickly followed by another welcome discovery - Pottery (twice) with a bit of Eels in between.  Daughter made her move for the front of IDLES at 6pm, so we also hung around the Far Out for a while.  Not really 8nto jazz, but Ezra Collective were amazing and the tent was bouncing.  The Growlers were ok, but most people down the front were there for IDLES, Joe and the gang not everyones cup of tea I know, but we had a great time at the front of the pit.


EOTR next week is helping with post-GM blues and we’ll definicely be back at Glanusk next year. many ways due to ’shit happening' but turned out to be one of the best. I do say this every year though, despite coming since 2008. Normally I’d be charging around from stage to stage to ensure I caught everything I wanted, but this year was very much ‘I’m just glad to be here, so let’s take it as it comes….'

Thursday was lovely, music generally passed me by, but having The Wedding Present pull out a last minute show was an unexpected highlight. Bodega were fun, but I never managed to get to Walled Garden, despite it being high on my list for the evening, especially as it’s not been open previously. Lots of lovely ales from the Courtyard bar and a meh meal from the African outlet near the Far Out - I think I expected much more spicing so it’s probably just me though.

Friday was generally a wash out, so encamped in Chai Wallahs for the day. First time I’ve done this in many years, but had a lovely time (apart from being stung on tongue by a freakin’ wasp!). John Denver sing alongs with audience when sound broke down was fab too. Listened to Whitney and FWF from our van which was relatively close - both sounded great. Pad Thai from Manna for tea - very good and great packaging which enables transportation of multiple orders through the rain... Fortunately the weather started behaving and we were able to catch YLT headline set - just love this band and so impressed at how they just suck you in to their sound. Ended up on Ginger Ninjas and Usain Bolt cocktails at CW - now that’s a way to finish a night…

Saturday started with sunshine thankfully, so picked up a couple of bloody Mary’s and settled down in from of Mountain Stage for Adwaith (very good), followed by Mapache (beautiful harmonies but may have lost crowd) and Stella D (just lovely). Sons of Kemet were great - not seen many free form tuba jazz soloists previously, but topped by Lee Fields. We were definitely feeling the love at this stage. Quick break back to the van to top up on wine and layers and back for Big Thief. She never seems very happy but I do love what she/they do…. Checked out the Caribbean food venue by the WG (jerk chicken, goat curry etc) - best meal of the weekend. So good I did it again next day!  StereoLab were stunning. Saw Lætitia Sadier solo previously at GM in Walled Garden which was great, but nothing like this. Car Seat Headrest were great in Far Out when we ventured inside - sound is very muffled outside (which I guess is unavoidable) and doesn’t convey quality of what is usually happening inside. More Ginger Ninjas and Usain Bolts to finish the night. Sheelanagig were fun as ever. Also remember seeing crazy lasers across the night sky at 3am - no-one else I met seems to concur….

Sunday dawned with the realisation that yet again the festival had gone far too quickly yet again. Regular kedgeree and Bloody Mary for breakfast and any rough edges were knocked off.  Weather was holding up so headed into Walled Garden for the first time that weekend. Gwenifer Raymond was outstanding, then Foxwarren at MS (expected more TBH) and Anais Mitchell (just love her). Aldous H from back at van (not as engaging as hoped) and back in for Eels (may be set of weekend for me). Sharon VE was lovely but headed over to Far Out for Growlers. Saw a shambolic blacked up set from them at EOTR many years ago, and, whilst great, were so dissolute I assumed they would disintegrate soon after. Pleasantly surprised they were still going and making such good music. Singer still seemed to be arguing with his bandmates though. Ditched anticipated throng for Idles (seen them before) and begrudgingly headed back to FJM to be with family - very surprised in the end, more of a show than expected but still not on any must see list for me. Ended up back at CW for even more Usain Bolts - hope my liver forgives me. Fell asleep in Cinedrome watching Thelma and Louise.

Best news ever - turns out we won the raffle for free passes next year - diolch yn fawr!!!!!
Best in show. Seen 

Yo Lo Tengo - just mesmerising, sucks you in
The Wedding Present - was looking forward to M&A but these were a great way to end Thursday
Lee Fields - family favourite and a great showman
Eels -  could watch them everyday, such a showman and killer tunes to match
Car Seat Headrest - fantastic following from the crowd, delivered in spades
Anais Mitchell - such clarity of voice and delivery
Stella Donnelly - great empathic story teller, and fab tunes
Growlers - shambolic but they know how to groove
Stereolab - effortless engaging motorik
Gutted to have missed

So many, due to weather and general middle age etc

Snapped Ankles 
Aiden Moffat
Richard Thompson
Hen Ogledd
Julia Jacklin
Modern Nature
Brigid St John
Big Moon (not for the proposal)
The Comet is Coming
Jessica Hoop
Tiny Ruins
Steve Mason
Pictish Trail
Ezra Collective


Top stuff from Thursday to Monday, nearly all our camping friends were unknown to us before the weekend (united by some fairly tenuous links) yet they were all extremely fantastic people with great taste in music which made everything very joyful 

Rather than go through the minutiae I'll post my 5 word reviews that I do for festivals, 'cause I'm insufferable like that

Disclaimer: I appear to be against the forum consensus on Mapache, that is a hill I'll happily die on. I think I'd have enjoyed them a lot more in the Walled Garden..

Audiobooks - electronica Gandalf backs ribald pixie 5/5
Bodega - great postpunk snarliness, sexy hihating 4.5/5
Pictish Trail - competently crescendoing synthy chilled vibe 3.5/5

Pet Shimmers - bleepy bloppy fun and poppy 3.5/5
Penelope Isles - showboating riffs and dreamy synths 4/5
Tamino - really really ridiculously good looking 4.5/5
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - chugging topless metallers chugg toplessly 4/5
Marika Hackman - raunchy poprock gems, v. cool 4/5
Gwenno - beautifully crafted Brythonic synthpop bangers 5/5
Villagers - endearing singalong indie folk ting 4/5
Khruangbin - welcome to jaaaazzzz club. niiiice. 3/5
Snapped Ankles - wait what even are you 4/5

Adwaith - Fei i Fod is gorgeous 4/5
Mapache - saccharine country triggers irritation reflex 2.5/5
Stella Donnelly - highlight last year, doesn't disappoint 4.5/5
Sons of Kemet - tuba-led double drummer jazzcophonies(!) 4/5
A Certain Ratio - jesus christ that bass tone! 4.5/5
Porridge Radio - acerbic punk with great hooks 4.5/5
Jesca Hoop - enchanting spooky late-night harmonies 4.5/5
Scalping - euphoric rave rock joy party 5/5
Four Tet - not main stage stuff imo 3/5
The Comet is Coming - blank hour! probably good sign? 4.5/5

Self Esteem - unexpectedly high calibre synchronised dancing 4/5
Say Sue Me - likeable Korean bubblegum surf-rock 3/5
Anais Mitchell - kind of lacked an orchestra 3.5/5
Aldous Harding - entrancing oddball namedrops ferrets, eggs 4/5
Eels - best musical midlife crisis ever? 5/5
Sharon van Etten - Serpents: song of the festival 4.5/5
Father John Misty - master of the louche prowl 4.5/5

Booked my leave for next year (including settlers from the Monday).

the Green man should soon be asking for feedback including who we all might want to hear next year.  think carefully and give good suggest