Top 5

Always great to see how many different permutations people have. For me:

Hurray ftRR

Lift to Experience

Thee Oh Sees

Richard Dawson

Conor Oberst (with Felice Brothers)

Michael kiwanuka 

Oh sees 

Timber timbre 

Allah Las 

Big thief 

I think. Saw a lot of very good sets! 

For me, in no particular order...

The Comet is Coming

Badbadnotgood

Lambchop

Lift to Experience

Oh Sees

Loads of others I could give honourable mentions to and really enjoyed the Far Out line up this year. 

 

 

Wolf People

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Wave Pictures

Trembling Bells

Pictish Trail

detailed match report to follow when I'm not so bloody knackered

Saw some ecellent sets this year spread throughout the festival but five memorable ones in no particular order

Future islands (just listen to the music, not the dancing, when they get on a roll they are immense)

Shame (absolute cracking live band who should have been on much later than 2:30pm. These boys can play)

Oh sees (simply amazing live band who didn't disappoint)

Big thief (exciting band to watch as you don't really know where they are going next)

Happyness (superb, again on too early but really enjoyed their set)

Hard to pick 5 but I'd probably go with:

Richard Dawson

Liam Bailey

Wave Pictures

PJ Harvey

Michael Kiwanuka

 

but could just easily be Kate Tempest, Warhaus, Sleaford Mods, HftRR, & Sunflower Bean

More thoughts to follow when my brain starts functioning again.

almost tempted to pick that early 'run' of bands on Saturday afternoon in Walled garden in its entirety, just fabulous curating.

trying to be objective (yup) for a second:

PJ Harvey - if there is a classier headline set at a festival this year its got to be off the scale

Aldous Harding - with or without mistaken identity intro, just spellbinding

Kikagaku Moyo - get in there!

Warhaus - likening them to Dirty Projectors doesn't even begin to tell it, brilliant

Francobollo - just nuts. wonderful nuts, but nuts

Polly Harvey - Just. Amazing.

Richard Dawson - completely bonkers.

Michael Kiwanuka - danced my tired legs off.

Kate Tempest - even her soundcheck was brilliant!

Lambchop - understated loveliness (but you needed to be right in front of the stage)

Could have put Michael Chapman and Wolf People up there too.

PJ Harvey - she is an artist at the very top of her game.  Love the "Bad Seeds" vibe of her band too. Best headliner i've seen at GM (11th year this year!)

Hinds - energy and fun

The Big Moon - as above

Big Thief - my new favourite band

Kate Tempest - just awesome

Oh Sees - OMFG

(next year:  Sufjan, Nick Cave and Bonnie Prince Billy please)

 

 

Happyness

The Big Moon

Pumarosa

Oh Sees

Shame

Also saw a couple of bands on the Rising stage for the first time and enjoyed H Grimace and Madonnatron.

Main highlight for us was my daughter politely swearing on stage at the 15 Years of Green Man discussion on Sunday morning.

 

Musicwise it was definitely our best GM so far.

Richard Dawson (3rd attempt to see him, finally did - just totally "bonkers" brilliance

Badbadnotgood (part of a truly great Thursday night support) - Ride were a bit like a Ride tribute act I thought)

Hurray for the Riffraff (my album of the year played with real passion)

Lambchop (was at front, my Tindertsticks moment of the weekend - beautiful)

Oh Sees (Up front for first 20 mins with my 5 and 11 year olds - totally mental bonkers - but they started to flag a little)

Yorkston Thorne Khan - best set I've ever seen at GM

GospelBeach - present day Flying Burrito Brothers

Michael Chapman - took us on a train journey to Texas

BadBadNotGood - beautiful 70's film soundtrack-like

Lambchop - sublime

....... also loved Richard Dawson, Grumbling Fur and Andy Shauf (despite the rain).

 

Very difficult to pick a top 5 but here goes ...

 

1. PJ Harvey  - I knew what to expect having seen the show online but to witness that live was very special. For 3 glorious minutes during 50ft Queenie I felt 25 years younger!

2. Conor Oberst - With the Felice Brothers, the freakin' Felice Brothers!! Magnificent. 

3. Hurray for the Riff Raff - Passionate songs sung with passion

4. Big Thief - What a voice!

5. Moddi - A trip around the world with rewrites of forbidden songs doesn't sound like an enjoyable hour but it was brilliant.

 

Honorary mentions for Michael Chapman, Fruit Bats, Lambchop, Kate Tempest, Warhaus, Fionn Regan, Michael Kiwanuka and Aldous Harding who were all excellent 

 

 

PJ

Julian Cope

Liars

Lambchop

British Sea Power 

 

..as was definitely the best and largest amount of music I have seen at any Green Man (clocking in at 30+ bands!) But my top 5 (quite heavily leaning towards those that I had no expectations for but just blew me away!)

1) The Big Moon

2) Oh Sees

3) Happyness

4) Warhaus

5) Anna Meredith

And a special shout out to Conor Oberst for somehow being the funniest act I saw during the biggest deluge - no mean feat!!

I will tell my daughter, she will be pleased.  She said she was nervous - but it didn't show.

i thought everyone did well and it was interesting to listen to some GM stories and hear how the festival has evolved over the years.

Loved the King Gizzard story. My then 10 year old and Elizabeth's then 13 year old were down the front on their own and mine was slightly traumatised. Went on to be a KG fan so no harm done!

oh, all right then

1)   GospelbeacH - if you were in that tent and you didn't enjoy them, fuck you, you mentalist (unless you are genuinely mentally ill, in which case, of course, as you were)

2)  the big moon - we really only went out of curiosity and because we'd got a bit bored with hurray for the riff-raff's choruses (yes, ok, living in the city is hard, is hard, is hard - but can you perhaps expand on that a little?), but the sheer infectious joy of that performance was impossible to resist.  tunes aplenty - and they were obviously having the best time.  mrs rad, who doesn't like that kind of thing, really liked that kind of thing

3)   fruit bats - playing almost the exact show i'd hoped ryan adams might play the night before.  i was also enormously cheered by the large group of feral teenagers i'd eyed with weary caution just before the set turning out to know every word to every song - and all hugging each other with unabashed joy between the tunes.  i hope you all grow up and run things

4)   fionn regan's hat.  that was a good fucking hat.  worn with aplomb.  why did he only play for 45 minutes of his allotted hour, though?

5)   the three alcoholic devil dwarves fucking the fuck off of their own accord just before julian cope played 'great dominions' on a mellotron made the year i was born

6)  (yes, six. get me)  saint etienne - playing more insanely catchy tunes than anyone has any right to have written in the space of one career while not seeming to mind that most people had gone to watch nick cave's ex tell them how terrible everything is while strumming a zither instead

lots of other great stuff.  happyness being better every time i see them (come on, though, jon - posture, man).  angel olsen's fuck you grin remaining the best in christendom.  the allah-las  - despite really needing a pee for the whole last half hour (me, not them. as far as i know).  johnny pictish's costume changes.  watching some of GospelbeacH watching trembling bells and wondering whether it made any sense at all to someone from california.  realising that conor oberst's band were the felice brothers having just explained to mrs rad's youngest that conor oberst's new material sounded quite a lot like the felice brothers.  thinking conor oberst's drummer was ian felice - and thinking that wow, ian felice's hair has really grown - before conor oberst introduced him as someone else entirely.  benadict benjamin leaning down off the stage to kiss his baby just before his set - and then singing a song about his baby being a motherfucker.  realising that gaelyn lee really is genuinely great, and doesn't just seem great because i'm accidentally patronising her.  karl blau being a bit pedestrain but then sudeenly playing tom t hall's 'that's how i got to memphis' and following it with that townes van zandt song that made me really, really happy - despite me now not being able to remember what townes van zandt song it was.  michael chapman just being michael fucking chapman.  everyone working at GM being just as fucking marvellous and relentlessly unflappable as they are every year - despite having to deal with several fields full of tremendously drunk people

If I needed you

mr ray, you are in danger in setting both elizabeth and me against you with your comments about HftRR and Gospelbeach (I refuse to do that silly thing with the capital letters)

good job we might have forgotten by next august

it was your casual dissing of HftRR that surprised me mr ray

I got kicked up the arse by a friend of elizabeth's for dissing the Vic Reeves-a-like who sings with tindrsticks

mind you even he's preferable to that future islands knob

i was fully prepared to enjoy HftRR

and did for a bit

but thought it all got very ploddy

she's got a belting voice

but not sure the material lives up to it

i know i'm in the minority here

but i like that, of course

ha-ha!

i can see why you might hear radio-friendly 70s rock

definitely a tom petty vibe to the new record

but mixed with enough country to really work for me

i knew i was going to love it

but just not quite how much

i'm a sucker for a tune, though

Great account mr rad.

It's not my favourite genre, but I thought the Gosplebeach set was wonderful and was genuinely surprised that there wasn't more general enthusiam for it.

I thought HftRR were equally but differently wonderful. I kinda get what you mean about the material ... I find I have to listen to the whole album for it to make sense which, having grown up in the era of concept albums (or just albums for that matter), is no hardship at all.

1) Conor Oberst

2) Ryan Adams

3) W.H. Lung

4) Sleaford Mods

5) Saint Etienne

Could just as easily have included Julian Cope, Brtish Sea Power, Gill Landry, Warhaus, Warm Digits, Michael Kiwanuka, Liam Bailey and loads of others.

After a couple of so-so GMs I was thinking about giving this year a miss. I'd had enough of camping, bad weather, and line ups that I ultimately found a bit underwhelming. But after agreeing that we'd stay offsite this year in a cottage we booked tickets. And, a few minor problems aisde, I'm so glad we did. This year's Green Man was my favourite one, even better than the amazing 2013.

And a special shoutout to Krasnyi's Future Islands rant after Pictish Trail on Saturday lunchtime, it should've been on the comedy stage! 

Had another wonderful time, meeting up with old friends I see there every year, making some new ones, drinking some fine ale and cider (no surprise the excellent Grey Trees was first to run dry), and eating some great food when I found time (Goan fish curry a favourite as usual. Nice of someone to give me their unused artist's food vouchers Sunday night too as I was queuing for a couple of not particularly cheap pizzas). And then there was the music of course. Every day there was something great, and lots more that was very good. Hats off to the good people at Green Man who book such a great line-up with so little shite every year. Nice to see them all on stage prior to Ride on Thursday evening, especially Walter of course. 

I didn't spend a lot of time at Mountain Stage this year. Sorry I missed Conor Oberst, but that deluge swung that particular clash in favour of Field Music. My standouts were largely as expected really. 

1) Oh Sees - Marc Riley calls them the best live band in the world right now, and he's not wrong. I thought they were jaw-droppingly great from the off. A veritable garage-rock juggernaut. 

2) Aldous Huxley (as the poor girl introducing her I'm sure unintentionally called her) - Did someone mention talkers? Could have heard a pin drop in a very busy Walled Garden throughout her mesmerising set. I know she's not everyone's cup of tea, but she was extraordinarily good. 

3) Big Thief - The band that this year's festival playlist introduced me to, and they they didn't disappoint in Walled Garden. They even have a song named after me, which I also luckily managed to catch during their Rough Trade session. 

4) PJ Harvey - Peerless performance from Polly Jean, naturally drawing largely from last two albums which seems to fit with these times, but she also found room for a run of oldies towards the end of her set starting with 50ft Queenie. 

5) Richard Dawson - There's just nothing else qunite like him, and it worked well with the more expansive band setup. Reminds me, I must sort out tickets for his November show in Cardiff.

6) BadBadNotGood - I've enjoyed what's now become an annual addition to the line-up following on from Sun Ra and Kamasi Washington last two years, the jazz slot. Great stuff. 

I have to admit I enjoyed Sleaford Mods too, and Copey goes without saying, though I have seen a very similar set from him last four times now, down to the anecdotes. 

Michael Kiwanuka and PJ Harvey were the best of the later in the day acts on the main stage.

Melt Yourself Down and Aldous Harding in the Garden - two different experience on that wonderful stage.

Hurray for the Riff Raff

and for sheer fun and making me beam from ear to ear - Francobollo on The Rising Stage. 

 

This is really really hard. First thing to say is that I enjoyed almost everything I saw all weekend immensely. The organisation is truly brilliant- barely saw anything going wrong all weekend. 

Anyway, I've decided to think back to which 5 really connected with me emotionally in one way or another. If I had to say who was technically best or who had the best songs it would be a very different list.

Number 1 is definitely Richard Dawson. Just totally stood out as a brilliant set from start to finish. Nice balance of new and old stuff and the intensity never dropped.

Number 2  is also pretty safe- Lift to Experience. Their album is an all-time great in my mind. I'd been a bit concerned it wouldn't work at Green Man but couldn't have been more wrong, stunning stuff. 

Number 3 is British Sea Power. Seen them probably a dozen times down the years and I've always loved them. But this time round I felt I understood what they do even more deeply. That foliage and those songs up against the mountain stage backdrop on a nice evening are worth something. it was such an experience and their pastoral side really came out.

Number 4 is Circulus. So brilliant to hear them again and filled the heart with joy more than anyone else all weekend.

And number 5, Lambchop. Kinda bizarre set list but it worked a treat. Really pulled those heart strings at times.

I also really wanted to put WH Lung, Kikagaku Moyo, Trembling Bells (only caught the second half- the whole lot would probably have been top 5), Yorkston Thorne Khan, This is the Kit, Wolf People, Field Music PJ Harvey and Julian Cope in my top 5- they were all good enough to be up there.

And massive nods to Ride, Warm Digits, Shirley Collins, Gaelynn Lea (totally get what Ray says about the realisation that you're enjoying it and not just being patronising) and Michael Chapman who all deserve noting.

Gutted I missed loads of others who I know would have been good.

1. PJ Harvey

Then in no particular order Kate Tempest, Sleaford Mods, Sunflower Bean, DD Dumbo and have to mention WH Lung who were the surprise of the weekend.

Richard Dawson

Lift to Experience

Oh Sees

Adam Torres

Pictish Trail

Bubbling under - Liars, Allah La's, Shirley Collins, Michael Chapman, Gaelynn Lea