High Mead Farm, Ferndown, Dorset

Stockstock 2016

It’s a warm Friday evening as I head to a new festival (to me). In it’s 4th or 5th year and still an invite only festival I decide it’s time I paid a visit to ‘see what all the fuss is about’! At only a 30 minute drive away it is situated at High Mead Farm near Longham, so for us locals it’s not exactly a trek to get there. I arrive in good time to pitch my tent and catch the first band.

Tokamaks open the festival with some well-chosen covers and originals. Featuring on lead vocals none other than “Menace” frontman Noel Martin. “The Kids Are Alright” is decent while “Country Punk” seems somewhat apt. However they don’t seem so at home with a somewhat out of key ‘Time For Action’. They manage to redeem themselves with a great cover of “(We Don’t Need That) Fascist Groove Thing”. They’re a worthy opening act to the early punters though who number around 10!


StickStock: Tokamaks 

About an hour later local Indie starlets V2’s take to the stage. They deliver a confident set of covers and originals and play to a slightly larger crowd as a few more punters trickle in. They open with “Shake It” and proceed through a set of largely original material. “Westside” is an early highlight-so much so they are joined onstage by a passing dog! Animals welcome in the pit at Stickstock!! They continue to deliver old and new songs; most notably the 1st song they ever penned, the slightly Psychadelic “You Don’t Know Me” which is excellent. However, it’s their covers that will live long in the memory. First of all their take on Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” – for this reviewer a far better version. They then manage a classic stab at The Smiths “London”, to which I’m totally blown away. They depart on “Hey Joe” which again doesn’t trouble them and I for one leave a happy man.

Stickstock: V2’s 123

Headliners tonight are “D’Ska Assassins. Featuring none other than event organiser Harv Hark (guitar) they proceed to get us skanking early, which they achieve. A set largely made up of covers and a few originals thrown in was always going to be a winner. Noel (Menace) Martin makes his 2nd appearance at the festival and keeping with the in-house line up the soundman (Damien) is on drums. Quickly a few punters rise to the challenge, orchestrated by frontman Finn (vox/skanking) – a dead ringer for Harvey (This Is England). He is energetic throughout and never stops moving. The Specials take a large chunk of the set and “Monkey Man” is an early highlight. But there’s something here for everyone and the band quite simply deliver including Dave (bass) and a keyboardist whose name escapes me.

Stickstock: D’Ska Assassins 12345

The room has filled up more now and the great tunes just keep on coming. “Rat Race” and “Rat In Mi Kitchen” are well received while “Concrete Jungle” gets the first big singalong. “Too Much Too Young” precedes an excellent original, simply entitled “One Shot”. After an hour of classics they leave the stage to loud applause but the music carries on over in the “Chill Out Barn”. The DJ is banging out some old skool Punk among other tunes. It’s a brief venture for this near 50-year-old as I try to make the short journey back to my tent in near total darkness!



Festival Site

Words, Pictures & Videos by Ross A Ferrone.

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