Sixpenny Handley

The final day. There was a very relaxed mellow atmosphere, possibly from too much revelry the night before? As the predominant lunchtime tunes echoed out across the people slowly mingled between the stalls and music tents, with more smiles than apparent hangovers.

The general vibe of lunchtime was a reggae/ska feel, which seemed totally fitting to the atmosphere.

In La Boite A Musique, a small stage, possibly the smallest at the event, between two red buses, saw Skimmity Hitchers playing to an enthused crowd.

Over in the Oxjam/Wig-On, which was a circus stye yellow and red striped tent, Puchango were playing a very infectious blend of ska/reggae and producing a great atmosphere. They finished their set with time to barely squeeze another one in. Although they delighted the crowd with one more. Great atmosphere. Finished their set with time to barely squeeze another one in.

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Over at the Bus Bar The Inbredz performed, this 4 piece used scratching and rapping to familiar samples, and yes, I heard the Wurzels in there! They where reminiscent of Pop Will Eat Itself at times, with the energy and sampling. The audience enjoyed the sound, and were certainly dancing along.

Endorse It: Inbredz

Back at the Oxjam tent Bigface Reggae opened to a very small crowd, and a very laid back atmosphere. But as their first track progressed people started to trickled in, and were immediately moving and dancing to the beat. It was not long before the tent was filling up. As there set progressed it had more energy and on stage chaos. With shouts of fire power, the audience cheered for more. Their set even saw Tony of Champions dancing in his blue dress to the track “Sunshine”.

Their final track was “Moody Spiteful Bitch” a slightly slower number, and rougher edged sound. With a more bluesy sound, aided by the harmonica playing.

Endorse It: Fat Drunk Stupid

As lunchtime progressed, and energy levels picked up the ska/reggae bass lines slowly subsided to a more party atmosphere, encouraged by the more party/punk fuelled beat coming out across the event.

Possibly as the effects of the Saturday night revelling were wearing off and energy levels were rising.

Over at the Wild Cat Tent, Fat Drunk Stupid were giving it a good what for. Having drawn a good crowd that were into their punk sensibilities with plenty of singing along to classic punk covers. Thankfully I was not down the front getting an eyeful of the lead singer in his kilt.

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Next up in the Oxjam Tent were Lady Winwoods Maggot, featuring the unique Dave Lambert on Banjo, Mandolin, and a few other stringed wonders, having been given a weekend out from his “Maximum Security Twilight Home”! These guys always draw a crowd, and this was no different, opening with “John Henry”, receiving much approval from the audience. The crowning moment for the audience must have been “Fat Bottomed Girls” sung by Mr. Lambert. They encored with Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”. As ever their whole set was thoroughly approved by everyone present!

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The Trav Cats had good turn out at the La Boite A Musique, with support from a small group off Umpa-Lumpas who were in the audience! There was plenty of crowd response to their version of “Hotel Yorba”. A great 5 piece that had total encouragement from the crowd.

The Wurzels took to the Bus Bar Stage to great response from the crowd. With everyone cheering and shouting, even before they played a note. This ageing group got the crowd going and provided the packed tent with plenty of entertainment. Especially with their claims that they were the original boy band, and also a announcing they have been chosen to represent in the 2012 Olympics. Not only was the tent packed on the inside, they had a drawn a fair crowd outside the tent.

Endorse It: Wurzels

Alabama 3, acoustic, sans D.Wayne, took to the main stage. Well, Larry Love on his own walked onto the stage and sang along to a backing tape. This received a mixed reaction, and not what I would consider acoustic. With political overtones in the lyrics, the music was laid back and had the crowd swaying to rhythm. Towards the end of the track the other band members took to the stage on by one. At the end of the first track, with the four of them seated, guitar, harmonica, and vocals, they opened proper with “Too Sick To Pray”.

With dedications to Amy Winehouse, and other modern day rock women. Larry Love was inciting, almost preaching, to the crowd.

As their set progressed they had the attention of the crowd, and dedicated to those who have not met a partner online or a stranger in the dance tent the performed “Sound of Loneliness”. Followed by “Woke Up This Morning”, made famous as the opening to the Sopranos. Folsom prison blues – Train a coming johnny cash cover.

“What’s the sound of the police?” was the cry from Larry Love. For which he had no trouble getting the audience to participate, and got the crowd raving with no techno and no bass, and was dutifully followed with “U Don’t Danz To Techno” any more a slow version of” She Loves You” sung as Larry Love put it “if Amy Winehouse was looking down on us with Janis Joplin whilst doing triple tequila slammers”.

In the church of rock Alabama 3 are the enlightened ones preaching to the audience, and the congregation are led by Larry Love. Having played for over an hour they finished with “Barricade” with crowd keen for more. The four piece put on simple no nonsense set that was effective, and totally loved by the crowd, from amazing Rock Freebase on the guitar through to the wonderful vocals sound of Aurora Dawn.

Ending with Larry Love chanting “Invest In The Youth”, and ending with the statement “that’s the truth”.

The crowd screamed for more.

Endorse It: Alabama 3

Walking around the event as the sun started to set, it was open mic night at “The Something Else Tent”, which had a great little crowd, and atmosphere, as well as the very welcoming fire, and settees at Strummerville positioned next to a tiny stage seemed more welcoming as dusk settled.

Back to the main tent, to see who was once the lyrically master of hard sleazy rock…Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction. They came on to an almost empty tent, which rapidly filled, and opened with “Live Dangerous and Pretty”, this was followed by “High Priest Of Love” taken from their first EP. Playing a tracks from across their catalogue, the classic “Backseat Education” had the crowd singing along.

They were definetly still sleazy, but in a different way to when this reviewer last saw them…a long time okay…they seemed a lot mellower than expected. Possibly by over partying by Mr. Mindwarp over the weekend, and almost confirmed when the crowd were asked “Have we ruined it [the festival] yet?”, followed by “give us 10 minutes”.

Amusingly during Holy Gasoline saw Mindwarp forget the lyrics, but the audience let this ride as they sang along. For the classic track “Prime Mover” Cobalt got a young member (son of our very own Chinners!) of the audience up on stage and had him play guitar to great crowd reaction and clapping.

They ended with Rock Whore for the encore. It was an unforgettable performance, that the crowd enjoyed for a number of reasons. Definitely a lot mellower than performances from days gone by, but no complaints from a happy audience!

Endorse It: Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction

For this reveller, it was a great day, with brilliant atmosphere. Next year? Oh yes!

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Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction

Alabama 3

Check out our Saturday review here.

Words by Jon.
Pictures by Rob Whetton.