How was it for you?

Started with Settlers for the first time which was beautiful - why have I not done this previously?

Spent 3 days idling, drinking Growler and getting stuck into the programme which i always enjoy. Food options were nice, but pricey, music great (loved Plu) and lots to do if so inclined, addition of bike hire was inspired
 
Thursday came and as we were all set up were able to take things easy whilst watching all the arrivals scramble for the best spots. As ever I missed way too much over the 4 days, partly due to weather and partly indolence, but had as lovely a time as ever.
 
Thursday: Missed openers but feedback was they were great, saw H Hawkline who was pleasant enough, Anna Meredith who was very good - always nice to see a tuba on stage, BBNG interesting but noodley (almost borderline lounge jazz at times). Missed Ride, and kids gutted when discovering they’d been introduced by Ramsey Bolton, who was there to support his brother playing on the Rising Stage (reports of whom were very complimentary). 
 
Friday: Started beautifully but rain was an issue in the evening -  to be expected considering location though. Managed to miss Karl Blau (again), Kikagaku Moyo, Chris Forsythe, Cobalt Chapel and Hinds annoyingly - way too many good bands to see all.
 
Started with Nathan Ball in the WG who was nice enough, as were Happyness and Fionn Regan on main stage. HFTRR and JF&TSW were excellent, but headed back to van to listen to BSP from afar to dry off. Headed back in for Lift to Experience who were immense. Watched end of Angel O, but she was a bit meh compared to previous viewings. Couldn’t take Future Islands seriously so wandered for a while until we saw the start of Roni Size. FO tent was packed and bouncing - lots of love for the old school jungle.
 
Saturday was best weather wise and we started as ever with a Bloody Mary and watched Pictish Trail open events. Johnny L was excellent and funny as ever (15 consecutive performances - he must love it here). Jessica Pratt seemed a little lost on the main stage but things got back on track with Wave Pictures. 
 
Missed This is the Kit unfortunately but Big Thief were great on WG, followed by Alasdair Roberts (lovely) and Trembling Bells (brilliant).  Saw a bit of Michael Kiwanuka who was nice, if a little smooth, so headed over to FO for Oh Sees who were freakin’ amazing as ever - highlight of festival for me. Headed back for Ryan Adams which i found uninspiring. His subsequent twitter rant suggests he may not have been fully engaged… Also missed Shirley, Lambchop, Allah La’s and Yorkston TK annoyingly
 
Sunday started bright but rain descended once more throughout the day/night. Started with Circulus who were barking but fun and headed back to main stage for Holly Macve who did just fine. Back to Far Out to shelter from rain where we saw Shame - lots of energy and did a great shouty show. Sunflower Bean were great but Richard Dawson smashed it - just amazing. Saw end of Fruit Bats who were lovely and Conor Oberst (playing with Felice Brothers!) who was seriously great. They should have had him rather than RA as Saturday headliner IMO.  More rain, so ended night at Far Out with Julian Cope (good but has been better), Sleaford Mods  (great but have been better) and St Etienne (great, but crowd was small - assuming PJ was the big draw). Ended with the usual burning and some extra special anniversary fireworks
 
Random notes:
 
Bad
Bloody Mary Stall - not a patch on last years concession
Too many queues for food and toilets - assuming numbers have been bumped up again
Lack of shelter - especially outside FO stage
 
Good
Great food throughout as ever - loved the Duck platter especially
Beer festival was a winner, though queuing still a lottery. Would be nice to have a porter/stout option on offer in all bars as well please
Some great art installations around the event
Great to see Frank Water back again
 
Top 5
 
Hurray ftRR
Lift to Experience
Thee Oh Sees
Richard Dawson
Conor Oberst (with Felice Brothers)
 
 

Obviously more people - 20K as opposed to 15K I thought was capacity in 2015

Better use of space in Walled Garden with bigger stage and repositioning of pub (great to see a variety of proper perry on sale too)

More loos and better shower facilities in general camping

Repositioning of consessions/food/workshop stalls leading naturally down to Babbling Tongues

Green Man (and fantastic dragon) centrally placed made last night viewing much better in the round

Even more family friendly (I don't have small kids or grandkids but can appreciate what a great family occasion GM is)

Things that stayed the same :

traditional blocking of the camp site loos with reems of paper after midnight by the terminally stupid

the weather ("no bad weather, only bad clothing" should be the GM motto)

amazing variety of music etc

Chai Wallahs still the best venue on site imho with the best and widest range of artists plus dar plus Bailey's hot chocolate

 

Regarding the toilets, the new style ones by the round the twist bar.  Better layout to give more room to maneuver and, a foot peddle button to flush.  Must have been a lot more hygie than using the hand flush.  Hope they have more of these in future years.

Agree whole heartedly. Much more space and more hygenic too.

Had a wonderful time with family and friends this year, as usual. One thing stood out for me right away. There must have been a lot of settlers this year because trying to pitch a tent on Thursday morning was difficult in the area around the blue car park. This seems a new direction in recent years and might mean even more settlers next year as people go even earlier to try and pitch up together. I guess GM need to put a capacity on settlers.

My one appeal to GM is – can there be some extra, non-music tents up for young children (age 7-14) when its raining cos the choice for us parents was – 1. Stay at tent under cover or 2. Drag children around watching bands they don’t really enjoy, in the rain. The Far out tent gets way too busy these days, the comedy tent might be inappropriate etc. The little folk field didn’t have much appeal for our eldest (age 11).

Not really sure what can be done, Einstein’s garden is great but there isn’t much cover when it rains. Might it be possible to have a very large tent with an indoor football pitch perhaps? Whatever, more large tents with kid activities would be good for us?

Saturday was a superb day for us, mainly because of the weather and enjoyable outdoor play, Sunday was hard going!

I'd agree with you here re a specific tent or area for children, people with chairs, trolleys etc who need to sit down or shelter go a while but dont actually want to see the bands or it's not appropriate content wise!!! .  I have children too etc & don't want to get shot down in flames, but personally found it very very frustrating trying to get into bars, watch a band etc when lots of people are largely sheltering on chairs, blankets etc.  Surely this is also a bit of a safety issue too particularly in entrance areas where common sense didn't seem to prevail sometimes and needs stewarding somehow.  

As my tent gently dries out, here are my Green Man 2017 thoughts . .

Settlers was great fun again. A lovely day out in Crickhowell with the McEvoy clan and a day of not doing very much at all. Some great music particluarly from Plu and the mighty Cowbois Rhos Bottwnog. Also warmed to Alys Williams. 

Thursday and the traditional ritual of waiting on the steps to get in and the inevitable delay. Then the joy of seeing a horde of kids race away up the hill not to be seen again for a few hours. Site looking great and everything where it should be and a lovely big bowl of bhajis from the excellebt South indian street food stall. H. Hawkline was the only one I bothered with in the Far Out and lovely it was too. Nice to meet plenty of folk at the forum meet too.

Friday started with Warm Digits who were hugely enjoyable - krautrock electronica from the North East accompaned by a digital Sarah Cracknell, Devon Sproule and Field Music's Peter Brewis. Tried out Fionn Regan on the reccommendation of various forum experts - pleasant enough way of passing 45 minutes. Down the front for Hurray for the Riff Raff who were immense. Pa'lante had me in tears. Alynda Segarra is a brilliant performer - everything I'd hoped for. Assumed it would be my set of the festival. Even being stung by a wasp that was actually hunting down mr ray before the start of the set didn't spoil it. Only caught a bit of Nadia Reid as the Walled Garden was heaving (as was the case each afternoon). Caught a few songs by Karl Blau in the rain with Peridot. British Sea Power did the business but not the best set of theirs I've seen. A bit of a lull halfway through with back-to-back Hamilton songs. The 'lets pretend to play Sechs Freunde' thing was funny the first time around, less so the second. I'd have liked to have heard more from the new album. My boy was flagging by this time so we took in Gintis on the Rising Stage who are definitely worth a listen. Went to bed trying hard not to be too jealous of my daughter going to see Kate Tempest.

Saturday - what a start with Johhny Pictish on brilliant form. Three costume changes and several slides along the front of the stage. Bloody great songs too. Just a great fella. Wave Pictures never let you down and they were predicatbly brilliant. My bass-playing son got to meet Franic afterwards and I did the cheesy photo with David Tattersall. This is the Kit in their Corbyn t-shirts were perfect for a relatively sunny afternoon. Rather than try to see everything this year I paced myself and sacrificed seeing Shirley Collins to make sure I saw all of Alasdair Roberts' set which was just wonderful, Alex Neilsen hot-footing it from the Mountain Stage to join in a third of the way through. Lovely harmony vocals from the female singer too. Stayed in WG for Trembling Bells - what a fucking great band. They're getting heavier and more proggy and sounded bloody fantastic. Would have preferred to stay for YTK but boy wanted to see Miichael Kiwanuka. A bit of a mistake as by the time we got there the place was packed and we had to settle for a square foot of grass up by the crepes stall. Sounded good but couldn't really get into it. Would have dearly loved to have gone to Oh Sees but boy too tired.

Intended seeing Circulus for a laugh but opted for 15 years of GM with Johnny P, James Y and assorted festival goers - very enjoyable. Then off to see Wolf People and my SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.  I've seen these guys a few times before and love them to bits but this set just really hit the spot and I well and truly wigged out. Aparently said wigging out was caught on the cameras much to the amusement of the McEvoy clan. Next up was Michael Chapman who brought the rain (he being the Rainmaker) but was stunning. Have missed seeing him so many times and this was a real treat despite the weather. Richard Dawson! What can you say? Grinned throughout. Bravura performance. Hilarious to see people walking out after a few songs looking concerned and shaking their heads. Do your homework folks! Then the biggest disappointment of the weekend, missing field music due to child-feeding and rain resulting in an over-full FO tent. we scurried back to the tent , missing Conor Oberst on the way. Back out for a lovely Girl Ray and up for Sleaford Mods. The teenaged contingent in our group made it down the front. Me and the lad watched from a disatnce, got bored and went over to Chai wallahs for some jazz fusion and chips. Not a great PJ Harvey fan but have to say her set was quite stunning and a perfect finale (especially after the other two headliners both of which sounded shite from back at the tent). The boy stayed up to witness his first burning (in his tenth Green Man) - thanks for the Mars Bar Liz!

And that was that.

I've mithered on about chairs elesewhere but it has become a problem. There did seem to be more people around this year especially in the Walled Garden and in the campsite. Was there really only 20K?

Toilets excellent - didn't witness a dirty one all weekend. The ones near Babbling Tongues were particulalry super.

Food largely very good. Had my first Goan fish curry and was not disapointed. The pie place near Chai Wallahs every bit as good if not better than Pie Minister. Loved the Dragon Deli for ridiculously cheap drinks, cakes and pastries - gave them an extra couple of quid each time (for a community charity). Cwmdu stall as always a haven.

Security guy on main entrance deserves a mention - he must have worked nearly all weekend and was cheerful throuhgout - well done sir!

Great bumping into people I knew and didn't know all of whom were lovely. Great company courtesy of the McEvoys and the Sluggers. Kids had a whale of a time. all in all another brilliant Green Man, possibly my most enjoyable ever.

A plea to Fiona - please don't increase the capacity - it feels as full as it could be without getting unpleasant. Keep everything else the same because it's bloody great. Oh - how about duckboards by all the water taps?

Back to drying out . . .

 

Probably way more detail here than any of you will care for, but here goes.... this was our 4th GM (08, 11,16, 17) and ranks alongside 2016 as a frankly bloody amazing weekend. This is what we saw over the weekend, with thoughts and a rating out of 10.

Thursday

H Hawkline – nice gentle start to things, no trees pulled up though. 6/10

Ride – Really good set and got us all in the mood. Sound a little muddy to start with, but sorted after a few songs. 8/10

Friday

WH Lung – very good set to start the day, a bit like Hookworms but more groove and less pissing about. 8/10

Warm Digits – Really enjoyed these, tick a lot of the boxes I look for, and had me dancing around a fair bit. Not really a lunchtime band, but what can you do if that is when they are on? 8/10

Fionn Regan – Honestly I would prob have chosen Kikagaku Moyo, but having already seen two fairly lairy bands we thought we’d tone it down a little. Nice set FWIW, especially as the sun was shining, but I won’t be rushing to get his albums. 7/10

Chris Forsyth & TSMB – saw first 30 of this and was a little disappointed to be honest. Was a guitar short and the lack of interplay between guitars left it feeling a little dull. Was something I was looking forward to but didn’t deliver. 5/10.

Hurray for the Riff Raff – Good set, but was focussed entirely on the current album so felt a little one dimensional. Some older stuff thrown in would have been nice and improved things. 7/10

Nadia Reid – Was pleased it was just her and her mate on guitar, rather than full band, as I think she sounds much better with minimal accompaniment (I think the album is actually a bit bland). Much bigger than expected crowd and she played a lovely set. 8/10

DD Dumbo – This was an unexpected highlight, really a very good set indeed, and the only act we saw with duelling clarinets (unsurprisingly). Can recommend highly. 9/10

Laura Gibson – Started watching but realised that what we had heard before coming was perhaps not representative of her stuff. Had that warbling sort of voice which frankly annoys me. Unrated as she may have been good if you like her!

British Sea Power – saw the last 40 minutes after bailing on Laura Gibson. I really enjoyed it, they are a band I’ve somehow managed to not see until now despite them appearing at a ton of festivals I’ve been at. 7/10

Lift to Experience – They won’t have been for everyone, but I thought they were great. Josh T Pearson seems like a genuinely humble and lovely chap and provided light relief in the breaks between their somewhat fire and brimstone epics. 8/10

Angel Olsen – Saw the last 30 minutes and was a bit underwhelmed. Don’t know if the rest of set was the same, but it was all a bit too woozy and slow and lacked any kind of momentum or oomph. It really wasn’t helped by the biggest gathering of twats having a chat over the whole weekend. The massive wankers. 5/10

Pumarosa – Superb. This was a great set from them in the intimate walled garden. 9/10

Roni Size – Meh. The way it was billed I was expecting a live performance of New Forms with a band of some sort. It was just him doing a DJ set of generic drum and bass. I’ve never really liked heavy drum and bass – dance music for piss heads – so this was not for me. 1/10.

Saturday

Pictish Trail – A fun start to the day, left the crowd with big smiles on faces, not sure what genre I’d call it though! 7/10

Grumbling Fur – All sorts of meh. Really liked the track I’d heard before, but live it was just so, so, flat. Yawn. 4/10

Wave Pictures – Perfect band for mid afternoon, hit the spot perfectly. 7/10.

This is the Kit – Underwhelming. Just seemed a whole lot of nothingness really, I’d have forgiven people for talking through it, almost. 5/10.

Big Thief – Was blown away by how good this was, I liked what I’d heard before, but they were truly excellent. Singer has an incredible voice and music was a good mix of Americana with occasional wig outs. 10/10 Set of the weekend so far.

Allah Las – Massive decision to pick over Lambchop, thankfully vindicated. Superb set that had our group of 5 bobbing and boogying all the way though. 10/10 Best set of weekend so far………….

Michael Kiwanuka – The best set of the weekend crown was held for just a few minutes again. This was, and you’ll need to excuse my French, fucking incredible. I don’t own any of his records but know enough to recognise most of the set, and it was simply stunning. Even the simplest songs became huge with his band absolutely nailing it. 11/10. 

Oh Sees – Holy shit. One of the most intense sets we’ve seen for a while, had the whole tent going for it, and he is one full on front man. Stopped the last tune to break up a fight at the front, then promptly went off again. 10/10

John Hopkins/Daniel Avery – Yawn. Just really dull dance music on both counts. We really wanted a bit of a dance late night but it was all so terribly dull. Bear in mind that I like a lot of dance music, have DJed in Ministry of Sound and Space in Ibiza, and still do a monthly radio show. It’s not as if I’m some rock purist who doesn’t get dance music, but a relentless 4/4 kick drum, with a relentless one note sub bassline over the top of each kick drum, which is what Daniel Avery played, is FUCKING BORING. 0/10.

Sunday

Benedict Benjamin – Lovely stuff. Wouldn’t usually be “my thing” but I love the recent album and he was great live. 8/10

Wolf People – I love this band a lot, but it was a bit hard at lunchtime on Sunday to really get into it. Saw them in London a few months ago and they smashed it then. This was OK. 7/10

Andy Shauf – As Mrs OapDub observed, he makes music that sounds like it should be the soundtrack to an American indie film starring Michael Cera in around 2010. Very good it is too, plus it hasn’t started raining yet which makes everything better. 8/10

Sunflower Bean – Love the album, loved this set. Some of the newer stuff seemed to have a bit of Blondie to it. Torrential downpour #1 happened about now too. Felt pretty smug at being in a tent. 8/10

Fruit Bats – Really good set to a disappointingly small crowd, possibly due to the aforementioned downpour. Me and Mrs had a lovely singalong to You’re too Weird. 8/10

Field Music – Finally got to see them live and they didn’t disappoint. Really pleased the rest of my crowd (who didn’t know their music) also really enjoyed it. Plus it REALLY pissed down during this set. Felt even more smug than before at being in a tent. 9/10

The Shins – Despite not owning any albums it turns out I know a lot of their songs. Very good, and they had the best back drop of any band all weekend! 8/10

Timber Timbre – Picked them over the Mods, despite having seen before and them being at EOTR, very glad we did as they were fantastic. Some of the newer stuff gets a proper groove on live and had a decent sized crowd dancing away. Plus the two of our crowd that saw the Mods said it was pretty dull. Feeling of smugness becoming a little overwhelming at this point. 10/10

By this point we were pretty much dead on our feet so passed on any of the headliners and watched Tom Wrigglesworth in the comedy tent and he was very funny.

So well done Green Man, and all who sail in her, bloody good weekend was had and we didn’t even get too wet. Best food of the weekend from the Manna Noodle place in the walled garden. Minor gripes on gig talkers, but it only very occasionally became too annoying.

Hello. Posted this ramble in 'another' forum (one thats even worse for you lot than the one you pretend not to like down in Dorset...). at first I thought it would be self indulgent to splodge it here too, but maybe it can give an - affectionate - third party perspective. If not, please forgive!

Woody's review: When we got the invite to my mate's son's wedding well, well in advance in 2016, it was of course a very happy thing. And all at a rather (really) fabby destination too, so waahaay yes?
Then I clocked the date: Friday 1st September 2017. Fuck. Bastard. Shit. Horrible realisation I'm going to miss EOTR, and there is no way that Mrs RL is going to allow a serious dress, hat and shoes opportunity to be missed, so not getting out of this one. Depression.
But of course then you run through unrealistic ideas like staying sober at the wedding (yeah, right) and driving down to Dorset through the night afterwards. But of course EOTR starts on Thursday now so I'd be killing half the weekend, and Sunday is always a bit more sensible isn't it? Yeah, right. So a real alternative needed. Hmmm.
And of course this review isn't about EOTR is it? Or maybe it is, but as a reference point. Because I saw an opportunity - let's try Green Man! Everyone who goes to both, rates both? So tickets booked to Green Man before the lineup is announced. Plan B is off and running.....

And then they announce the line up (end of January, please note Melvin) ....... and all of a sudden plan B becomes fuck yeah! PJ, The Shins, Conor, Thee Oh Sees, The Big Moon, Nadia Reid, Pumarosa etc etc etc And much better (for me, personally) than what EOTR then announces.
Summer comes, and goes (that was May, I think?). Then Latitude comes and goes, wonderfully in BLM terms but with a few notable exceptions, underwhelmingly so in it's line-up . And all of a sudden it's late August, and I'm zipping along the M50......in the sunshine.....then parking up in a glistening grassy field, next to a gorgeous river which runs through quite stunning scenery. And here is what I thought.

The site: as just said, scenery just wonderful. But its quite a sizable site, probably Latitude size for just half the crowd (well, maybe more than half given Latitude didn't sell particularly) so it feels spacious, no real feeling of pressure on space in the camp or the arena. You get to walk a lot of course. Main stage is just stunning, natural amphitheatre with stepped slopes falling away to the river and the mountains seemingly impossibly close behind. Next, Walled Garden is really delightful, just what it says it is - an EOTR Garden stage size venue with its own cider festival at the back (danger, yum!) and a few little choice food outlets (if you like the smell of pork Pho with your cider and music, this is you), "much time going to be spent here" was the immediate thought. The Rising stage is like a mini Lake stage in its own secret garden - you cross a little brook to get there. Kids play in the brook! None of them drowned! It's that kind of place though, immense trust in people. A bit further across site is Far Away (EOTR style / scale Big Top) tent but its open sided so a bit less humid but more noise bleed than EOTR. Didn't visit Chai Wallahs, which looked like a very old style EOTR "The Local", open fronted square tent from about 2010?

Pluses:

The aforementioned trust - barely any security, even in front of the stage. So, so light touch. And despite no drinks in the arena rule, no actual searches for drinks (perhaps if you wheeled a keg in they'd notice you?), certainly wander in with your 4 cans at will Sir! And you see artists around as you would at EOTR, making the most and being chatty.
Clean, like incredibly spotless. Apart from post Saturday headliners on Mainstage, precious little litter (you think Latitude is tidy? Go to EOTR and it will prove you wrong. You think EOTR is tidy, go to Green Man and it will prove you wrong again). People almost without exception PUT THEIR RUBBISH IN BINS...the novelty could catch on. Probably helps that many of the bins are big and red and obvious and everywhere, but it also illustrates the community spirit that seemed really evident.
Child friendly, lots of provision for them, and seemingly general acceptance that they should be there from everyone, even grouchy gits like me. Mind you Chris still stood his ground at the barrier....
Drinks: a real ale festival with thirty or forty brews from a dozen different Welsh micros? Tick. A cider festival with two dozen niche Welsh ciders on? Tick. All at Latitude fizzy shit prices. And default tap beers that are pretty decent too (Montgomery cider, Wrexham Lager etc) at around £4 / £4.5? Tick. 
Food: I'd put food on a par with EOTR, no better or worse, but streets ahead of Latitude.
Space: campsite space. Arena space. Space to get to any stage (almost at will). Space outside. Lots of space!
Acoustics: got to say I though that they had the sound pitch perfect at almost each stage. Some complaint about in the Far Away (tent) apparently, and some bleed between Main and Rising, but fundamentally better than EOTR imho.
A fucking amazing big bonfire and fireworks to finish. Woosh! Accompanied by the Welsh (forgive the stereotyping) deciding that it deserves, rather movingly and amusingly, singing along to  
Walk to town! A nice pretty wee town on the river, with coffee shops, flowery hanging baskets and a nice deli and a bookshop, 4 x 4s that have been washed in sheep shit, and one of those furniture shops where you can still (unironically) get comfy chairs upholstered in brown draylon. And pubs that look like they would be great if the festival got a bit tooo much, and friendly enough not to worry about whether they sacrifice visitors who are wearing flowery shirts & cargo shorts combos.

Minuses:

Vamboozle posted about this, but you can't ignore the weather. Think this year was very lucky, there were a few showers Friday & Saturday but in general it was fab, even quite hot when sunny and I recall Saturday particularly was wonderful. But when it rained on Sunday evening for a couple of hours, oh man did it rain. If there was more than one of those two / three hour spells through a weekend it would become pretty tough. And (I hope Kerry doesn't read this) this seemed to give a few people the 'right' to employ umbrellas in addition to their Everest style expedition wear - and we all know how umbrellas should be 'employed' at festivals right?
Wifi / 4G: BitF was unusually succinct in saying "if you're on O2, forget it" but as usual, he was correct. Maybe this isn't a bad thing? So, apart from "I'm alive" messages out to folks when in town, I didn't know about cricket, about poor Brucie ;( and I was surprised that between Saturday morning and Monday lunchtime I racked up 75 missed whatsapp messages. WTF is more accurate I think?
I like EOTR's secret sets, and there were none here. Some will prefer that there is nothing left to chance in the schedule, but I love getting to EOTR to find you get some "extras", particularly those not so secret late tipi sets (or even the Alcove) where bands let themselves go in their 'second' sets, have a few drinks and invite their mates in other bands along to mash up. And no piano / comedy stage for an acoustic version of your favourite singer / songwriter.

So those are my impressions. I have band thoughts too but won't bore with them.

If you could ignore or wish away the weather, I'd buy early birds in a shot. And I also love EOTR too much now - I'm sort of 'spoken for' I guess. But if they invite War on Drugs, The National and St Vincent to the Brecon Beacons next year I'm in 

The trick with O2 is just to send text messages. No internet see. 

And War on Drugs/ St Vincent was two years ago. 

Nice to know GM is better then EoTR though! ;-)

Sorry if this shatters some illusions but the main stage area is pretty bad for rubbish by the end of the night, although there are few plastic glasses left lying discarded since the stackers were introduced.  What is good is the number of litter pickers who go round in teams throughout the day but mostly in force in the morningS.  Leaving the area cleared of litter by the time most of us are up and wandering around the site.

good to acknowledge the many good people in the Green Man crowd who use the bins or take their litter away but also fair to applaude the good work the volunteer litter pickers staff do as well.

Yeah, I thought there was quite a lot of litter at times. Good work by all the litter pickers for getting it sorted so thoroughly, shame on all those who couldn't be bothered to put things in bins.

I too felt there were more people this year. I arrived late morning on Thursday to find the site filling up. However it was when folks were both leaving and trying to get in to the Far out tent which caused me the most concern. It was quite dangerous there were trolleys to trip over in the dark and people lying on the floor! It was a great relief at one point when there was an announcement asking folks sitting on chairs to stand up to allow people to get in to the tent.

This isn't an anti chair rant, as I've said before at quiet times their use is ok. My only other gripe is people chatting especially

in the wall garden. Anyhow I had a great festival.

 

I wonder if seeing rows of people sitting on chairs affects the performers.  they are going to be more lively if the audience are up, dancing and just showing a good time. 

two years ago at Chepstow castle to see Jools Holland and his band and yes, most people had a chair and arranged themselves in rows from front of stage.  If anyone stood to dance they were told they were to sit down.  When a mother with her young girl got up (right in Front of me - I did have a chair but not to sit in all evening - but did I mind?) to dance, someone called the stewards over to tell them to sit down, despite my protests that this was unfair.  Ironically, members of Jools' band were gesturing for people to stand up whilst being told to sit down!  

Of course the highlight and best performance came at the end when most people had finally got up off their ar5e5.  

(Like a couple of the reviews above, I originally posted this on another forum)

So yes, it was a really good weekend with a lot of fantastic music, if somewhat variable weather, and great to have a mini-Billies camp there for the first time. And when you go to a non-commercialized festival like GM (or EOTR), it does make you wonder why you need the kind of crap you have to put up with at many of the ones run by Global or Live Nation.

And moving swiftly on to the music, here’s some highlights and other thoughts:

Acts that I’d never seen before and I now need to see again, and would pay to do so:
Nathan Ball – first act on the Friday, thought he’d be good, but was better than I expected. Bush Hall in October beckons. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the full set as I had to dash to…..
WH Lung – possibly my highlight of the whole festival, and I get to see them again next week at EOTR. Back home, I’m continually having to wait for my wife to go out so I can put the single on the turntable with the volume UP.
Kikagaku Moyo – A more pysch and subtler version of Bo Ningen probably best sums it up, and they look fairly similar (as pretty much all you can see is a lot of hair).
Pale Seas – headlined the ‘Rising’ stage on the Sunday, wonderful and extra wonderful for a blazing version of Neil’s ‘Revolution Blues’.

Acts that I’d never seen before and who I hope are going to be playing future festivals I’m at:
Bess Atwell – another from the ‘Rising’ stage, apart from her voice, the lead guitar was close to perfect for her sound.
Doomsquad – from Toronto, slightly strange looking with some face paint no doubt symbolizing something, but f*ck knows what. Apparently the first time with a new drummer and bassist, the bassist clearly in need of a dress-sense re-education programme to fit in properly with the band.
GospelbeacH – a bit like Poco and okay, would have been even better if they featured pedal steel, but you can’t have everything.
The Shins –main stage sub-head on the Sunday, and actually pretty difficult to think of anyone who would have been better for that slot
Aldous Harding – well not going to have to wait long to see her again, because she’s at EOTR next week. A massive crowd in the Walled Garden, and probably the most hushed crowd of the festival.

Acts that I’ve seen before and who delivered again:
PJ Harvey – superb headline set to close the festival
The Allah-Las – always a personal favourite, and got better as it went on as the stronger songs were stacked into the second half of the set.
Pumarosa – confirmed that Latitude was an aberration, back up to the usual high standard. I’ll be at the Bullingdon in November for them.
The Big Moon – only the second time I’ve seen them and I’m just beginning to realize how good they are.

Other:
Angel Olsen – a lesson in how not to structure a festival set, first half had lots of relatively up-tempo stuff, then slow builder after slow builder.
Ryan Adams – I hadn’t realized how tediously AOR he was.
Future Islands – wandered past the end of their set after watching Pumarosa, and found a Fleet Foxes sized headliner crowd, so it’s not just Latitude that gets its headliners wrong. And where was everyone, apparently in and around the big tent for Kate Tempest.
Thee Oh Sees - Second time I’ve caught a bit of them and wandered off. For some reason, they just don’t do it for me.

Summary: September 26th, 10am already in the diary for Early Bird Ticket + Blue car parking purchase again.

2nd year in a row for me & my merry band of men....didn't disappoint.  Earlybirds this year & blue car park = short haul to family field, nice spot facing the mountains & near to the Hurly Burly & amenties.  Hoorah. Tick.  Will do that again. 

 

Good Thursday night, lovely settling in day - Anna Meredith was the stand out for me, seen before but very enjoyable. 

Friday kicked off with Warm Digits who I really enjoyed as did my electronica mad son.  Onto the Rising stage where we caught the ace Goat Girl last year & fancied a look at Hotel Lux.  Fronted by a shouty man who turned his back on the audience and his rather sunburned and space faced cohorts.  These could be interesting on a different day a la Fat Whites but didn't quite work on a mid afternoon slot.  Will catch again another time perhaps.  Then Hurrah for The Riff Raff - enjoyable but a bit underwhelmed live, like their recorded stuff. British Sea Power were a revelation for me as never caught before and I really liked, then off to Angel Olsen whose laconic style didn't suit everyone but I knew her stuff well so a thumbs up from me.  Blighted by chair people & talkers a bit though... too knackered to see Kate Tempest unfortunately so swung by Future Islands on way back to the tent...what a weird experience.  The Killers with Vic Reeves pub singer fronting it!!! I'm sorry, I found it & him utterly hilarious, quite the most ludicrous singing technique I've ever encountered, dont get me started on his Cossack dancing.  errr....quite unique, but is it any good? Jury's out on that one...  woken up periodically by Roni Size or was it Dutty Disco during the early hours but I didn't mind & quite enjoyed.  I've had the experience of being camped by Block 9 at Glastonbury and nothing compares to that!  Missed Tom Hickox at Rising, pissed off about that tho'...

Saturday - Doomsquad, meh. Grumbling Fur, meh.  Should have seen Warhaus....grrrrrr. Aldous Harding enjoyed. This is the Kit, meh. Lambchop I loved but he didn't do Sisters of Mercy This Corrosion which upset me a tad...Liars up at Far Out, loved and seen before, good.  Siobhan Wilson, worthy winner, good. Ryan Adams....swerve.....shouldve couldve gone to Oh Sees...

Sunday - Circulus, excellent medieval times....Shame, yessss, get in there....big tick. Holly Macve - lovely voice & tone and songs, really enjoyed. Sunflower Bean entertaining & energetic, Richard Dawson ace, Madonnatron sorry just but awful, Copey - the MAN, yes, yes, yes, stood by Terry Edwards from PJ Harvey's band who was getting right into it & taking lots of photos. PJ faultless performance, one of her best in years with a superb band lineup right now akin to the Bad Seeds lineups of yore....the one time I also managed to get on the Greenman wifi also.  Note to self....DO NOT bring O2 phone next year, sooooo rubbish data wise....

Great food & quality once again - Gandhis Flip Flop being the stand out for me for sheer value for money, portions, and taste. Onion bhajis from Indian Street Food were ace too.  Hippy Chippy deserves a mention too...No coconut stall in Walled Garden this year....please bring it back. 

Dragons Deli....big shout out for this stall, fabulous and reasonable and all for a good cause.  Fave food stall for quick bites & wondrous cakes. A little gem. 

The book stall....great books at great prices, some nice clothing bits n pieces too in the Vintage Co Op. 

Bloody Mary stall - nice one.  Ran out of Tabasco though.... stall was possibly better last year?? 

Stack cups are such a great idea, why oh why don't they employ this at other festivals??? Think I was the only person who didn't bring their own drink into the arenas though!!  Serious money was burnt at the bars. 

Booking early again for next year - Green Man keep doing what you're doing. You do it well. 

 

 

 

 

Personally, I and our crowd loved Ryan Adams, ok I would have preferred it if he'd picked up one of the acoustics that he had next to him all night (especially the Buck Owens one) and did more of his back catalogue, however his singing, playing, harmonies etc were superb.

My festival highlight was Yorkston Thorne Khan, rarely will you see a more captivating and moving set and was probably the best I've seen over all the years I've been to GM.

Thursday:

Arrived early set up camp in decent spot in Family, loafed around a bit then H Hawkline, very good. Off to Walled Garden bar for forum meet. Really nice to meet all of you after all these years, much nattering and a few beers then off to see a bit of Ride, not for me really.

Friday:

W H Lung to start and excellent they were too, obvious Manchester influences and a very confident front man.Rising for Omaloma, gentle welsh psych, very nice. Warm Digits next, very good indeed. Then Kikagayu Moyo, I'm a sucker for Japanese weirdness, excellent. Back to Rising for Hotel Lux, angry disaffected young men, not bad at all. Nip over to Mountain for HFTRR, enjoyed this. Back to tent for a bit then Nordic Giants in Cinedrome, fantastic. British Sea Power, fine as always then Lift to Experience, wonderful, epic stuff. Caught last 20mns of Angel Olson, ok. Torn between Kate Tempest and Pumarosa, settled for the latter, veered between inane pop and moments of brilliance for me, Lion's Den being a particular highlight.

Saturday:

Pictish Trail, wonderful start to the day, great set, bumped into to him later and got a hug. Grumbling Fur next, pretty good. Wave Pictures, wonderful as always. Flagging so back to tent for power nap then out for Shirley Collins, torn between her and Gospelbeach but figured I probably would not see her again, glad I chose as it was fantastic, lovely songs, anecdotes etc. Allah La's next, really good indeed, bit beefier and grungier than last time? Popped over to WG for last half of Trembling Bells, very good and very heavy. Back to Far Out for Liars, hadn't paid much attention beforehand but my this was good, loudest of the festival. Then Oh Sees, what a band, great set with added bonus of one of the drummers throwing his sticks at the security men. Over to WG to see Melt Yourself Down, not doing it for me so wandered over to see a bit of Ryan Adams, rather dull I thought.

Sunday:

15 Years of Green Man, very entertaining, particularly the young girl who's earliest memeory was falling asleep to Fuck Buttons, an impressive feat at any age! Wolf People, pretty decent prog rock, went for Gaelyyn Lea next over Shame, she was wonderful, beautiful voice and guitar accompaniment, the bird song near the end was lovely. Stayed there for Michael Chapman, terrific guitar, unfortunatley left early to get to Mojo interview which was rubbish I thought, Jason not given enough time to talk, should really give up on these interviews.Richard Dawson - awesome, the Vile Stuff with a full band was one of the finest 15mns i've ever seen at GM. Maddonatron next on Rising,great hopes but pretty poor, left to wander to WG and found Adam Torres, superb Texan singer, rather taken aback that people would want to stand in the lashing rain to see him. The Archdrudion next, lovely as usual, simialr set as recent tour, Great Dominions boughht a tear to my eyes, alwaysseems to have that effect, daft really. Angry Men in Cagoules next, lasted about 45mns, second time seeing them, very good but I think I'm done with them live. Starting to flag a bit, wandered over to WG for a bit of Methyl Ethyl then over to PJ, not really doing it for me but possibly because I was knackered by this stage. Back to tent to listen to the rest there and polish of the contents of the hip flask (Caol Ila 10)

A GREAT weekend, made even better by meeting some of you and occasionally bumping into people over the weekend First time on my own so more time to dash around and see more stuff, even so lots more I did not get to see, Peridot suggested running it over two weekends so we could all get to see everything, a fine idea. See you all next year.

 

Lovely to meet you smithers.

I shouldn't be surprised that someone with such impeccable taste in music should have similarly impeccable taste in whisky, but that is an impressive tipple to bring to a festival - sláinte.

 

Finally able to type on the forum again.

It was our first time back at Green Man after a 4 year absence, deciding it was time to make a return with our now 4 Year old daughter and i'm so glad we did, we had an absolute blast.

We watched more music than expected, which was mainly at The Mountain Stage and The Walled Garden due to ease of access for my daughter.

Highlight's included 

PJ Harvey (the star of the weekend for me)

Conor Oberst

The Wave Pictures

The Shins

Big Thief

I was expecting it to be alot more crowded than the last time we were there and although it was noticeably busier i think it's a credit to the layout of the festival that it wasn't oppressively busy.

Also i thought the amount of litter was a marked improvement, it must be have been the introduction of the returnable plastic cup's.

I even made it to the forum meet for a swift pint and a quick chat with Black Pumpkinhead.

See you next year