Sixpenny Handley

So, Saturday at the Endorse it in Dorset Festival. This being my first time I immediately get lost (twice) en route! Eventually I arrive,a good two hours after it starts. My first ‘gig’ of the day is watching Los Albertos playing their brand of Ska. It’s early still & there’s not many people here Nevertheless, they carry on undaunted getting generous applause.

After that I head on over to the ‘Wig on Casino’ tent to catch Pye Shoppe, a heavy/Punk wall of sound 5 piece. They’re all attired in black & while the songs are similar they sound decent enough. The singer seems a tad frustrated with the band, his frustration echoed in his vocal, which at times is harsh.

I then go to the Desmond Dekker stage to catch Yorkshire ska/rap punkers Random Hand. The singer has loads of energy & a great voice. However, he does go & do something (his words) mindyou, not very Punk-out comes the hanky & he blows his nose to mild crowd derision! Amid the banter/laughter he gets on with the set which (for this reviewer) is the first highlght of the day.

Endorse It In Dorset

Random Hand play straight up Ska/PunkRap which is not lost on this crowd. More generous applause. After a spot of lunch & a catch up with like minded souls I head for the ‘Wildcat Stage’ to see C-30’S, minus vocalist Andy Nazer who’s an expectant father as the band play! The drummers brother takes on vocal duties for the day,shared with the bassist. A decent set is ended by the singers lady & baby joining them on stage for a rendition of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. Said child remains asleep throughout as the band are well received.

Next on are Tapioca, a band of middle aged men re-living their youth with their mohicaned energetic singer. Its dirty rock n roll with a hint of the blues, yet the vocals are unintelligible & I don’t stay long!

Endorse It In Dorset

I head back to the Wig’ to catch The Emerald Guard. These guys are different than most bands here playing their experimental indie/beats/samples soundscapes-pidgeonhole them at your peril! Whatever you make of them they have youth on their side & a great lead vocalist. The lyrics are at times heartfelt while the music almost throughout is atmospheric. Definitely a band to look out for in future & perfect for midday at a festival.

I catch a glimpse of Southampton’s Stone Them Crows but their mid-70’s leanings are lost on me. Once again the vocals are drowned in the wall of sound created by the band. They don’t lack stage presence, far from it. I just don’t think they have the songs!

Endorse It: Stone Them Crows

After a brief listen to Wolfe I head back to the Wildcat to catch Henrys Phonograph. Having not seen these guys for a few years I look forward to a set of classic indie. I’m not disappointed. The sound is harder these days,perhaps more confident, but they deliver a set choc full of great songs. As they leave the stage the town crier calls them back for an encore. They duly oblige with a great cover of ‘Ever Fallen In Love….. The perfect ending to an excellent set.

Endorse It: Henry's Phonograph

Heading over to the Bus Bar Stage I stumble across Archive 45, a 4 piece Garage/Punk band. They’re loud n proud & very very good! These middle age guys know their way around a stage & deliver confident vocals amid a heavy Punk sound. Definitely ones to keep an eye out for. Back over to the Desmond Dekker stage to see minor league New Wavers The Members. The only original member waxes lyrical between numbers about song origins, but most are here for the big ‘hit’ ‘Sound of the Suburbs’ which they save til’ last & receive generous applause.

Endorse It: Archive 45

After more food I return for more New Wave in the shape of The Rezillos. Almost from the off they seem to be experiencing sound problems. However, once these are sorted we get a mix of old & new. Top of the Pops starts the better known tunes in their set along with Cold Wars, Cant Stand My Baby & the classic finale ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight’.

Endorse It: The Rezillos

Half an hour passes before local heroes & festy faves The Cropdusters take to the stage. A massive pit ensues as they take a trip down memory lane with a set culled from their back catalogue. Singer Sean reminds us they’ve been doing this for 25 years now, then brings his daughter onstage to ‘dance’ to their music! An accomplished set but this reviewer is disappointed with no ‘Get Busy’ tonight. What do I know,everyone else loves them!

Endorse It: Henry's Phonograph

And so to the headliners. New Model Army take to the stage for another reminisce. We get the usual high notes, Here Comes The War, I Love the World & the simply timeless No Rest. Another large pit & some brave souls stood on top of shoulders. For once security relent, it’s so peaceful here & the band play on.

Endorse It: New Model Army

I could bang on about this festival & makes comparisons with others but I won’t. I’ll simply highlight the best things about EIID; No long toilet queues, no long trek from stage to stage, no need to force your way to the front of each tent, no rip-off drink tariffs & no trouble-just a chilled out festival for all ages. A bargain at under £80 for a weekend ticket. Will I be returning? Oh yes,cant believe I waited so long!!!

Endorse It In Dorset


New Model Army

The Cropdusters

Archive 45

The Sporadics

The Rezillos

Check out our Sunday review here.

Words by Ross.
Pictures by Rob Whetton.