Three Tuns, Bransgore

County Fair Music Festival

23rd & 24th May 2015

Day 1 (Saturday)
It’s that time of year again when we think Summer is upon us, and a glut of small festivals all arrive at once. We at Rock-Regeneration have chosen the County Fair as our destination for the weekend. The brainchild of messrs Shaun and Michaela Morris, this is a first at the “Three Tuns” Public House in Bransgore. One could be forgiven for asking why this venue was chosen in particular, yet when you see the amount of space out the back it’s easy to see why! Normally a destination for newly-weds, it is perfect for a festival on this scale.

And so to the music. We arrive in time to catch the 2nd act on, “Carter County”. Despite playing to the “early birds” among us they serve up a happy rendition of Country/Americana. The sun is shining and we all show our appreciation as this band have the unenviable task of trying to get people moving. It’s a tough ask this early as most people are happy just to sit and catch a few rays on this bright, sunny Bank Holiday Saturday. They garner gentle applause, leaving us in anticipation of more ‘Country’, in the form of Clockwork Carousel. My photographer partner in crime says they remind him of a “Country Travis”! High praise indeed, while wholly accurate! The strong, heartfelt vocal delivery is simply ideal considering the setting and weather. I’m hearing a bit of David Gray in there and it’s an all round unfussy sound, yet they simply deliver and receive great applause.

Carter County

County Music Festival Day 1 1234

It’s a complete contrast when the “Rapido T Lusso Duo” take to the stage. This “fifties” guitar and drum combo certainly divide opinion, yet are unique enough to be different from the other acts on offer today. They are great if a tad samey on most of their songs. I did however detect an “Anarchy In The UK” guitar intro to one of their songs-whether deliberate or coincidental it worked for me! I just feel they are crying out for a vocal. I totally miss “Ruby and The Roughcuts” while taking a food and drink break but arrive at The Barn just in time for some Punk!

Over at the “Barn stage” old skool London Punk revivalists “No Lip” are sound checking. For fans of “1st and 2nd wave” Punk these guys are right on the money. They deliver a set chock full of Punk classics-the bulk of the material being Pistols, Clash, Subs, Ruts etc. The singer has a look of Jeff Turner (Cockney Rejects) about him, and puts everything into his vocal on “Join The Rejects”! He has all the moves and mannerisms, while sharing vocal duties with the impressive Laurence (guitar/vox). He delivers a snarling vocal with real spite in places. They end on a high with a charged “Borstal Breakout”, and we depart with earache-but it’s worth it!

Over on the “Marquee Stage” Disco’s Out, Murder’s In are delivering their off the wall brand of Festy favourites to a slightly larger crowd than earlier. With the sun still shining and people still seated it’s hard to get anyone dancing so they plough on regardless. Their brass section today sounds bigger than ever and they are really loud, yet they never disappoint. Almost as soon as they finish local favourites Lady Winwood’s Maggot take to the barn stage. It’s no surprise to see a full house! They welcome Shaun (Bamboo Vipers) to take on additional vocal duties on his own “Banjo Hill”. It’s a rip-roaring performance and hugely impressive having been recently laid low through illness. Their version of “Jolene” gets a hearty singalong going and once again they deliver a great set.

County Fair Music Festival
County Music Festical: Morgellons 1234

Back over on the Marquee stage “Double Barrel” are inducing the first wave of dancing of the day! Their brand of “karaoke ska with keys” is going down a storm. Clearly not taking themselves too seriously they use every inch of the small stage afforded them. I have to admit I’m not blown away. I am however in the minority as a small but energetic crowd is dancing uncontrollably!

A hop, skip back to the barn is taken to catch London-based purveyors of all things Elvis, “Viva Las Vegas’. This 5 piece once more entertain a full room and the singalongs are guaranteed. “Suspicious Minds” and “Teddy Bear” go down a storm, yet with this setlist they really can do no wrong-who doesn’t like a bit of Elvis once in a while? We remain in the barn for tonights headliners The Morgellions. Another band down from “the Smoke” these Post/Punk(ers) offer a completely different sound. They open all Joy Division-esque, before hitting their stride with some well-chosen covers; sprinkled in with a set of originals. They have many influences going on here, too many to mention. Iggy Pop’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” becomes the “song of the weekend” as Morgellions are the 3rd band of the day to perform it. They end with Adam & The Ants “Red Scab” and Iggy’s “No Fun”, which makes this reviewer very happy.

All in all for Day 1 things have gone well. Maybe a bit more footfall on the 2nd day would prove welcome; but for a festival in its infancy, a good start.

Day 2 (Sunday)
A late start for me means I miss the “Daisy Ukeladies” but I arrive just in time to catch “Riteoff”, who on this performance are frankly a write off! A poor mans plodding Grunge! They open with a cover (“I Wanna Be Your Dog”) and to be honest it doesn’t get much better. They just sound totally unrehearsed. A couple of originals follow before another cover, this time the Pixies “Where Is My Mind” which isn’t great. I’m trying to pick some positives but I’m struggling. Even their own material doesn’t change my opinion. They end unsurprisingly with another cover, this time murdering Nirvana’s “Aneurysm”. I suppose they can only get better and as a fan of this genre I hope they do.

Fresh from appearing at the Bearded Theory Festival a day earlier “Matilda’s Scoundrels” are up next. With a somewhat smaller audience they attempt to get things going with their own brand of Folk/Punk. They open with an instrumental before powerfully upping the tempo with their Folkier numbers. They take a trip into “3rd generation Punk” with a great song called “Unity” with its anti-fascist sentiment, before going all “sea shanty” on us with their version of the “Drunken Sailor”. They leave us smiling before making way for the Trav Cats.

County Fair Music Festival
County Fair Music Festival 12345

The Trav Cats bring their entertaining lunacy to the fore almost from the off. They keep me smiling with a great version of the Stray Cats “Ubangi Stomp” (Folk style), before creating their very own genre of beer-related songs – “Special Brew” being a highlight! For entertainment value these guys are great and get everyone dancing once more, while outside of the marquee the sun is threatening to make an appearance.

First band of the day in the Barn are Continental Liason-self proclaimed “Electro/Post Punk” from Lymington. A band big on appearance and making an entrance. Sadly, it appears to be all style over substance. Bam’s vocals are virtually inaudible while Ryan (guitar) doesn’t appear to be actually playing said guitar. The whole sound is overloaded with Gwyn’s keys and effects. Sparks and the Human League come to mind, (or Soft Cell on a bad day); but overall it just doesn’t seem to be working for them. After the 3rd and worst version of Iggy’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” of the weekend I leave midset to catch a few songs in the Marquee tent from the Riverside Blues Band.

I head back to the Barn to catch old skool purveyors of Ska “Boy Le Monti”. They set the mood early, gently building up the set with some danceable numbers that get heads nodding and a few punters dancing. I will admit I don’t know many of the songs but we can hear every instrument; such is the clear, clean sound. This 6 piece use every inch of the tiny stage and their set is polished in all areas. Vic (vox) is doing his very best to get us moving while Kensta (trumpet/keys) steals the limelight. Everyone likes a bit of Ska now & then don’t they?!

So it’s back over to the Marquee to catch weekend show-stealers the Wessex Pistols. What could best be described as “Banjo Punk” is nothing short of brilliant. Throw in some comedy and a few props and you get the picture! A set choc full of 1st Generation Punk classics, sung in a comedic manner is just what the doctor ordered! Their Sham 69 medley interspersed with Jilted John had to be seen to be believed. This band are pure comedy, stealing drinks from punters while telling awful jokes-it’s all in there! They get the best reception of the weekend and end with the “Duelling Banjo’s”/“2 Pints of lager” mash-up which we weren’t expecting.

County Fair Music Festival
County Fair Music Festival 1234

I miss Pronghorn, who I’m reliably informed did a great set in front of a full house. I arrive in time though to catch Barry Island’s finest Ramones Tribute the “Shamones”. They duly oblige with all the songs one would expect to hear in a Ramones best of set. “Bee Bee” (bass) we are told has only been with the band 2 weeks, quite some feat learning this many songs! D Jay (drums) however is the overriding star of the show with his (sometimes) overpowering hitting. Sadly Johnny (vox) vocals are largely drowned out. He is energetic and chief shapeshifter, but somehow I expected more. However, they leave to great applause.

And so to the headliners. “The Ukranians” (eventually) take to the stage! They give us their wonderful blend of covers in their native tongue. The best bit is trying to work out which song they are playing! “I Predict A Riot” is a highlight, along with the Smiths “Bigmouth”; but most of the songs sound great if a little different. Sadly the bands late start means an early finish, which doesn’t go down well with band & punters alike. A disappointing end to what has been a great local festival.

If I have one gripe it’s the catering. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or like me a fussy eater; it’s just a case of too bad! A bit of variety would have gone a long way I feel. However, the Three Tuns itself has a comprehensive menu which served me well, and a menu I would recommend.


More Videos from the Festival can be found on our You Tube Page here.


Words By Ross A. Ferrone.
Pictures & Videos by Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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