Keeping things separate from the Top 5 thread I thought I'd start a sort of persoanl review thread - so here goes . . .
Settlers - what a blast and a superb opening night in the Hurly Burly with David Ian Roberts, Toby Hay and Gareth Bonello
Bumping into Johnny Pictish a couple of times and getting big hugs and my (green) beard stroked.
Spending time with lovely people - you know who you are
Bumping into old friends, new friends and random acquaintances throughout the weekend.
Having Roadrunner dedicated to me by David Tattersall (the t-shirt choice was well made)
Friendly and efficient bar staff - they deserved all the tips they got from me
Clean loos - didn't encounter a messy one all weekend.
The Goan fish curry - never disaappoints
The Community Cafe and the Dragon Deli - great food at budget prices and all for a good cause
Excellent camera work on the Mountain Stage and Far Out - congratulations cyfarthfa!
Fecking chairs everywhere!
Too packed around Far Out particularly on Thursday evening - maybe time for a rethink for the Thursday - maybe open up the Walled Garden?
The one bloke (all weekend!) who I saw queue-jumping at the bar (we all thought you were an arsehole mate)
Er, that's it . . . .
International Teachers of Pop: good fun, even enjopyed their version of Another Brick in the Wall
Ed Dowie: caught the second half of his set and was immediately charmed - one to check out - loved his biscuit eating contribution to Seamus Fogarty's set on saturday too
Bas Jan: less said the better
Pictish Trail - brilliant obviously and so professional and slick - two words I thought I'd never say about Johnny
HMS Morris: great start to the day - another one to check out more
J Bernardt: I'd wanted to see the Lovely Eggs but my lad wanted to see JB and none of his mates were going so I went along - inspired choice boy, a powerful set and JB quite a charismatic performer
Eleanor Friedberger: a tad disappointing, her most recent album doesn't do it for me as much as the previous ones and without a band the songs struggled to really stand up, she was lost on the main stage
Ari Roar - rather sweet but again really needed the full band and maybe the odd song that lasts more than two minutes - really enjoyed the set though
Wye Oak: first real belter of the weekend, was expecting something more folky and restrained but was blown away by them - uplifting stuff.
Didn't see much else on Friday due to tired child
Jim Ghedi: despite the fact that I never miss Sweet Baboo I went for Jim because his album's one of the best things I've heard this year and Toby Hay was playing in his band too - utterly phenomenal performance, mesmerising soundscapes, Banks of Mulroy Bay just about had me in tears
Seamus Fogarty: many thanks to slugger and others for recommending Seamus - got his latest album and loved it - as soon as I saw Emma Smith was in his band (she's played with James Yorkston, Pictish Trail, Meilyr Jones) I knew it would be great. Didn't realise they were a couple - loved it when Seamus referred to them having their first child six weeks ago - 'ten weeks, Seamus, ten weeks,' replied Emma. Great songs, lots of humour - fecking awesome!
Shannon Lay - utterly charming perfect sunny afternoon in the Walled Garden music
Courtney Marie Andrews: WOW! Possibly the overall highlight of the weekend.
Girl Ray: daughter passed on a message that GR were stepping in for Kelly Lee Owens - of joy, i bloody love Girl Ray. Despite only finding out they were playing a couple of hours previously (they were at the festival anyway) and despite not having practiced in weeks and despite not having their own instruments (they borrowed Boy Azooga's) they were wonderful and getting better each time I see them
Teleman: stayed in the FO rather than venture down to see Cate le Bon - danced throughoput the brilliant, brilliant set and was congratulated by those around me for my vigour and shape-throwing. Life affirming if also knackering
Hawk and a Hacksaw - caught half of their set before retiring to tent with boy - intriguing stuff but rather odd time to be playing it?
Lost Horizons: stumbled upon rather than searched out - pleasant enough with some great vocals
Haley Heynderickx: Liked this a lot more than I thought I would - but she might have been advised not to experiment with the 12 string?
Charles Watson: so looking forward to this, his album's probably my favourite of the year so far - not disappointed at all - great band, great songs, great set. Shame there weren't more around to see it.
Kevin Morby: another belter, enjoyed the newer stuff much more live than I thought I would.
Frankie Cosmos: OK but I was flagging a bit by this time and saving my energy for . .
Surfing Magazines: consumate musicians playing with joy and abandon, utterly, utterly wonderful and just when it can't get any better they play Roadrunner for me - fucking hell!
Tunng: After that it was always going to be after the Lord Mayor's show but caught have of their set before setting off for a good spec for the burning - htey sound like a band back on form.
I probably say this every year but . . . this was the best one ever (and I've come every year since 2007) and certainly the driest.
I did hear a rumour that one or two of the big festival companies are sniffing around - please keep it independent Fiona!
Popped into my local record shop this morning (Left for Dead in Shrewsbury) and bumped into a guy who played sax with Boy Azooga on Saturday - small world innit?