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
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
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
Lift to Experience
Thee Oh Sees
Conor Oberst (with Felice Brothers)