Chai Wallahs

i'm gradually getting through sampling most of the acts now the line-up is as good as settled (still hoping for that B&S announcement!). the list of 'must sees' (that i never stick to) is starting to form. but one area I never plan for is Chai Wallahs - maybe thats the way to approach it! without fail I stumble across interesting stuff going on there each year and leave with the impression i've missed some belters. any top tips from anyone who's seen any of the acts appearing this year? i'll experiment with just about anything (so to speak). some might not be grabbing me on immediate listening but are well worth catching for their live performances.

Hi Pedro

I'm just the same regarding Chai Wallahs. With the ridiculous number of bands I really want to see, I'm unlikely to venture there until after dark, and unlikely to do much pre-GM Chai homework. Saying that, I'm then likely to stay there until stupid o'clock, happy to dance away to whatever CW can throw at me. The atmosphere in there is fab, and better than a half-empty Scary Tent if it's like a lake in the Far Out as it was in 2012...


The first couple of years I attended GM I barely knew anyone on the main stages and Chai Wallah's was complete obscurity. It's a measure of how much the festival has contributed to my musical education that this year for the first time I recognise quite a few of the names on the CW bill and have seen more than one of them previously.

I've always spent a bit of time there and wished it could be more. Spending Sunday morning (probably more early afternoon!) there has become a bit of a tradition for me.

My recommendations for further listening would be Count Bobo, Smerins Anti Social Club, and Sheelanagig.

I haven't had a chance to listen to many of the others but have liked Syd Arthur and Kathrin Deboer too.

I shall be heading for Talisman for old times' sake. They are old school roots reggae, which you don't get a lot of at GM, and apparently a couple of the original lineup are still going strong

We tend to stroll into Chai Wallahs when there's nothing else on, occasionally catching something good. Plans to stay there until the early hours usually fall by the wayside as fatigue sets in though... Talisman sound excellent, proper roots reggae

I hadn't twigged that was *the* Talisman - oh man ... straight onto my must see list ...

... which prompted me to do some proper research on the CW line-up ...

... and I've now got John Langan, and Tako Lako on there too, with Marc O'Reilly just bubbling under.

This can only end in tears.

Mind you, I have also discovered the embarrassment of the festival in the form of The Hot Sprockets - complete and utter shite!

haha, harsh appraisal of Hot Sprockets Peridot. they might just pack it in after that!

but definitely stuff going on more deserving than 'nothing else on. wander over to CW anyone?' agree Kathrin DeBoer has something about her. Bristol Afrobeat Project, The Melodic, Reeps One, The Drop, Syd Arthur, Talisman. and the Typesun set should draw a good (presumably late night) crowd. i can see me getting my groove on to him after a few ciders.
yip, perhaps pre-GM CW research isn't the thing to do. just given myself more clash potential now.

Therein lies the problem Pedro, difficult enough to see everything I'd like to so if CW was added to the mix it would be impossible. Happy to come across some good things there by chance

usually get a bit of bluegrass in there too

not enough country over the weekend altogether - so when in need of some fiddlin', we often drop in there

I would second both Sheelanagig and Smerins. I would also add Dizraeli and Bristol Afrobeat Project. See all of them in Bristol within the last year, and all were excellent.

Smerins were a local band when I was at Uni in Southampton, so I've seen them probably 6 or 7 times - generally excellent.

I'm quite keen on Martha Tilston in CW. She's got a lovely voice and has written some beautiful songs - quite a traditional English folk vibe to them (her dad's Steve Tilston), but with a decent wodge of the 21st century stuck in there too. I've caught her live at quite a few festivals over the years. She tends to appear on the fringes of whichever festival she's playing in the CW-equivalent areas, so extra kudos for that . She's even got a song about one such venue - the solar powered Small World Café. Perhaps you've stumbled across it in the Green fields at Glastonbury, or perhaps at the Big Green Gathering if anyone remembers that.