Dartmoor Devon

22nd-23rd July 2022

So, the predicted summer sunshine has hidden itself away for the time being after I awake from a freezing cold night’s broken sleep. Caffeine, biscuits, and fruit are taken on board; an early siesta, and then it’s back into the arena for another day’s musical entertainment. Opening up on the Main Stage is Dead Radio, an old skool Rock act. I don’t detect any covers and they confidently deliver a set of original songs. The vocalist has a strong voice with great range. Between each changeover there’s a five-minute gap, allowing one to grab a pint, chat, bite to eat etc… Over in the Big Top Lazy Snacks are bringing the youth element to the table with their trumpet heavy Funk. I’m almost immediately reminded of Hue and Cry! Sharp songs and vocal harmonies aplenty, very pleasant for a Saturday afternoon.

Lazy Snacks
Lazy Snacks 12

Back over at the Main Stage we witness Luna Gray with her sultry yet stirring vocals, fronting a four-piece Alt/Indie outfit.

Luna Gray
Luna Gray 1

A pie, mash, and gravy lunch is consumed before returning to the Main Stage for Bristolian trio IDestroy. Their youthful energy is infectious while their delivery is bass-heavy with a strong, potent vocal. I stay for three songs before my first visit of the day to the live lounge.

IDestroy 12

Stage Crew Erbertz I’m guessing are local? At least two of them erected this very stage! They bang out an assorted array of covers to the first of the day’s fancy dress enthusiasts – this year’s theme being “Summer Holiday”.

Stage Crew Erbertz
Stage Crew Erbertz 

Back over in the Big Top, I catch arguably the band of the day. The Native is a youthful Indie quintet with a bit of everything. Songs, tunes, stagecraft, and a wedge of confidence in a band so young. There are hints of Inhaler about them as they debut their new single “Changes”. The bassist reminds me of Mick Jones (The Clash), he has a great presence despite displaying an almost nonchalant style to his playing. He feeds off the singer who has a strong vocal while the drummer pounds the skins with power. Again, one’s to watch…

The Native
The Native 12

Saff Juno is fronting a four-piece originals outfit back over in the Live Lounge, a brief instrument swap allows the guitarist to drop his guitar for the bass, before taking on vocal duties for two self-penned numbers. Once he’s had his moment Saff takes over on vocals with some lovely harmonies. This band has been brought to us courtesy of The Cave Music Project, promoting youth music in the area.

Saff Juno And The Cave Music Project
Saff Juno And The Cave Music Project 

Back over on the Main Stage Flint Moore (and band) are giving us some original Folk/Rock numbers. I’m immediately reminded of Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) throughout. It’s Stoner in places but not unpleasant. Mim Grey is up from The Smoke to deliver some Bluesy/Americana and Soulful/Country, which she confidently achieves with her layered harmonies. Plastic Tramps are Rocking the foundations back in the Live Lounge, creating a huge sound for a band so young.

Flint Moore
Flint Moore 12

New Crisis and the Fireblocker I’m reliably informed are fronted by the Chagstock originator and founder. His fifteen minutes of fame come alongside a huge band and some vocal assistants. Ok, so it’s a set of covers; but with a big crowd to play to they really get the party started. The standout covers are Cranberries and KOL. This crowd responded with huge enthusiasm. Dinner is taken meaning I miss Pattern Pusher but I catch a bit of The Undercover Hippy and his Political/Roots/Reggae/Hip-Hop offering, which goes down well as the sky goes a little darker. Baskery describe themselves as “Three Bitches from Sweden”, and who are we to argue?! I catch the first two songs but they are lost on me so it’s back to the Live Lounge for Teignmouth Rock covers outfit Gun Runners. Their sound check alone is lengthy but they are worth the wait. The singer has a barrel of confidence, humorously bantering with a punter who dared to ask for “Wonderwall”?! His short impersonation of Liam (Gallagher) is hilarious! Again, a good mix of Rock/Indie/Glam covers is the order of the day and they deliver.

And so to our headliners. The announcer does all the festival “thanks” and ten minutes later Kula Shaker take to the stage. It’s an inauspicious start as timing seem a little ary on “Hey Dude”, but they reel it back in almost immediately. Crispin Mills (Guitar/Vocals) is in fine voice as they take us through the early back catalogue and big hitters. This crowd are still up for it and responds well to the hits like “Grateful When You’re Dead”, “Into The Deep”, and “Tattva”. Crispin talks mid-set of local pilgrimages, but it’s the music this crowd are here for. “Sound of Drums” is another highlight while I only detect two songs I haven’t heard before. An hour-long set is ended in fine style with the infectious ‘Hush’ and a huge sing/dance-along. The band take a bow and decline an encore, but an hour-long set more than covered it for me.

As if that wasn’t enough there’s the disco for another two hours in the live lounge for the Party People, but for this middle-aged man it’s time for bed. A howling gale and my now disintegrating tent mean it’s a kip in the car and I sleep like a baby. The weather hasn’t improved by the morning, but any disappointment is dampened by the buzz of my first Chagstock.

To summarise; Chagstock is one of many great small, family-run festivals on the circuit. Well run, clean, value for money, great staff, good selection of food outlets, a well-run bar promoting local ales and ciders, good facilities, everything a stone’s throw from everything else. For a 5K cap, all-age’s festival I am impressed. A mobile shower block or wash basin station I feel would elevate it to another level, but that would be knit-picking. And with this being my first Chagstock, who am I to criticise?! Would I return? Yes, in a heartbeat. I shall look forward to the announcement of next year’s headliners, and invest in a new tent/campervan!


Words & Media by Ross A. Ferrone.

Disclaimer While every effort was made to catch many bands, seeing every band is simply impossible. I have tried to cover all the bands I saw regardless of my favorites

Flint Moore