Road to Somewhere

It’s great adding a new festival to the list of those I’ve attended.

It’s not a hugely long list considering the number of festivals there are every summer, but it includes Glastonbury, Sonisphere, Creamfields, Download, Leeds/Reading and the late, lamented Summer Sundae to name but a few.

And to that list can now be added End of the Road which provided a weekend of new delights with which to end the summer.

It lights up!
This lights up!

Held at Larmer Tree Gardens, it’s a small, friendly, well-mannered, respectful gathering of music fans with an impeccably chosen line-up.

It took an age to get there – Wiltshire/Dorset – on the Friday from the North West such were the delays on the motorway network, but we (Tony and me) arrived and found the site compact enough to get between the four main stages in a matter of minutes.

Not that we moved too far from the main stage with the excellent Django Django and the epic Tame Impala topping the bill.

Two full days on Saturday and Sunday allowed us to stage hop much more as we criss-crossed the site stopping only for coffee, cider or lashings of ginger beer.

Familiar with Stealing Sheep and St Etienne we watched both as part of the Heavenly Records 25th anniversary collection on the Garden Stage.

I’d waited a long time to see Northern folkies the Unthanks and they didn’t disappoint with a wonderful set that managed to be both moving and celebratory, and came complete with clog dancing.

Fat White Family filled a tent with their rock and roll thrills, but while the Big Top was rammed it maybe wasn’t their crowd.

The organisers had done well to get Sufjan Stevens to play his first British festival and he rounded Saturday off in heroic fashion playing intimate songs to a big field.

Sunday saw the temperature rise under clear blue skies and it was the perfect weather to lie back, listen to Dawes and pretend to be somewhere way out west, probably in 1974.

They just shaded main stage matters on Sunday from Future Islands who, I’ll be honest, I’d never paid much attention to but liked a lot since they sounded like my era, when my era was the synth-led early 80s.

Elsewhere I discovered The Delines and Giant Sand (I know, I know, where have I been?) and will spend some time catching up with both.

We also saw Gabrielle Drake being interviewed about her brother Nick, had a close encounter with a peacock, enjoyed the best festival food I’ve ever tasted and seriously contemplated getting a yurt next time round.

Might be time to grow a beard.


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