High Mead Farm, Ferndown, Dorset

Stockstock 2016

Sleeping in a tent at a music festival is not conducive to a good night’s kip, and this 49-year-old is no exception! After a good lie-in, I realise I’ve left my book at home. What to do to kill an hour or two before the first band at midday. “Punk(s) hoopla”, whatever next?!

12 o’clock finally arrives and after a lengthy soundcheck Meat Sweats begin their set. I’m warned in advance that their singer’s voice is completely shot! The volumes have somewhat risen for the Saturday and this early on the sound is huge. An early cover of “In A Rut” (The Ruts) is a highlight; delivered confidently, albeit in a gravelly tone. “Psycho” is a classic song with Indie/Rock-sounding guitars-the snare is heavy but the all round sound is great. “Don’t Talk About Love” is Pogues-esque-possibly down to the raspey vocal. “Is Vic There” is almost note perfect, complete with that classic intro (the re-formed Department S take note)! They end on an angry and direct “Stupid Hair”; most notably aimed at Donald Trump, and leave to good applause.


StickStock: Meat Sweats 123

The late arrival of Oebus means a slot jump for Harvey’s 2nd outfit of the weekend “Missile”. They play a moody, Grungey, heavy Rock which is bass-heavy. The drummer has a style not unlike Topper Headon (The Clash). They also deliver a confident set of originals and possibly some covers I didn’t recognise. Oebus eventually arrive and perform a scratchy take on Rock, with an interesting vocal style. They proceed to bludgeon us with their angry, direct and sometimes gravelly tones. I’m afraid it’s totally lost on me and I retire to my tent for one of a few siesta’s.

Game Over
StickStock: Game Over 1

My slumber is awoken by Game Over who I have to say are deafening. Their set of covers and originals go down well with this crowd. No one song particularly sticks out but they certainly deliver, with strong clean vocals and simply huge drumming. Out of towners “5 Go Mad” (Hampshire) are up next and proceed to entertain us with a high-octane set of Punk originals. “Mockney Cockney” is delivered at a ridiculous pace, replete with mistakes and cock-ups!! Old Ad Nauseum track “Thatcher” gets a rare outing today while “Drinking and Wanking” is dedicated to those of us alone in our tents! They give us one cover in the form of “Knife Edge” (GBH) before everything goes Pete Tong with the mic’s on “What Shall We Do With 5 Go Mad”? It’s a hilarious end to a decent set.

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Dead Lettuce are up next, and boy are they loud. No half measures here as they bulldoze their way through a set of largely Stoner Rock. They are tight as; and the swirling chords, huge drums and expansive song length(s) are there for all to witness. Plenty of jam’s going on and a hint of PiL in the vocal (to me). Once again it’s all too much for this 49-year-old as I beat a retreat back to my tent to swallow some more flies!

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Menace are next; after taking an age to soundcheck, and play a largely best-of set. They open with “1,2,1,2” before playing the classics. “Insane Society” and “Where’s Your Feeling” are early highlights in an all round tight set. Thumping drums accompany “Screwed Up” while “So F*ck You” and “Electrocutioner” are simply warm-ups for “Carry No Banners” and the song that broke the band, “GLC”. It gets the usual stage accompaniment, complete with dogs! They end on a bass-heavy “Dirty Ole Town” and are clearly “band of the day” (so far)!

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Penultimate band of the night are London quintet “The Duel”. Their Punk Rock wall of sound and Tara’s Poly Styrene-esque vocals largely pass me by I’m afraid. It’s more 3rd wave than first and that vocal at times seemed strained, but they really do nothing for me. Luckily (for them) I’m in the minority as they play to a decent sized crowd.

The Duel
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Headliners tonight are those local funsters The Vultures. Harvey makes his 3rd appearance onstage, joined by ex-Vultures main man Mr. Mark Pay and Martin (drums) also putting in a shift with 4 different bands. Bringing Mark back is a wise choice, if only for his enthusiasm and lunacy! What follows is a set choc full of classic Rock, Pop and Punk covers. Despite a straw strewn tent he gets us all to lie down for a Snow Patrol cover. “Gay Bar” (Electric 6) is huge while Blink 182 and Green Day covers compliment the set. Without a setlist I’m going from memory but for sheer entertainment they end the evening on a high. Queen, Duran Duran, The Undertones et al. This is a crowd-pleasing set and this near full tent look pleased.

StickStock: The Vultures 1234

I decide as a certain Andy Murray is playing in the Wimbledon Final and the Euro Cup Final is on afterwards, to head home Sunday morning for a better diet and a comfy bed. Stickstock was a first for me this year and it won’t be my last. In an age where large expensive festivals are the norm it’s so good to find a small, niche festival; devoid of overpriced food and drinks and a chilled vibe right on my doorstep. An inexpensive weekend ticket and a boost to the charity based within the festival surroundings, it ticks all the boxes. I (and many others) I’m sure look forward to the next Stickstock.



Festival Site

Words, Pictures & Videos by Ross A Ferrone.

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