Ey Up Mi Ducks! Part two.
Before I start I should make a small confession – we might’ve had a bit of a Roystonbury-style breakfast experience that rendered me a little bit asleep for some of the acts, haha. So I’m terribly sorry to King of Rome and Amy & Paul whose sets I have limited memories of, and more particularly The Star Botherers, The Outlines and Blind Fever whose sets I missed entirely… it’s not big and it’s not clever, folks!
So the day started with a wander – rather than breakfast in the clubhouse I struck a deal with Pete and Becky to trade coffee for a bacon cob, which was a pretty genius deal I thought! A chance to trade jokes with the kids and play with Buster before heading back to Camp Copier where folk had been stirring – I’m going to single out Mark for suggesting early morning gin and tonics – it soon escalated with tequila, salted caramel vodka and heaven knows what else!
With a degree of merriment we were keen to go see Adam Thompson open up the day on the acoustic stage – I only recall hazily seeing Adam perform at very late night open mics or round camp fires, so I was looking forward to seeing him with a clear head (ahem). Inkeeping with Dave’s adult-oriented opening the day before, he announced his first song was about a certain part of Teresa May’s anatomy.. and so Dock of the Bay opened up the set.
Adam’s silliness between songs belittles his great singing and guitar skills – next up was presumably an original love song which featured the tender lyrics ‘cut your head off and keep it in a jar.’ A rock stance was taken for Sit Down, whilst we cantered through a generic pop song, a song about falling in love, the end of the world – then Hey Ya (I’ve noted it had racier lyrics – I couldn’t tell you what they were now!).
A fun set drew to a close with Ow Do Swan (or Ey Up Mi Duck, of course) dedicated to the festival itself, Love Is Blindness and then finally Creep – with the strange addition of rimming into the lyrics. We wandered back to the campsite, and this is where things get a bit sketchy – we could hear King of Rome and I caught snatches of Johnny Come Lately and Sons and Lovers drifting over the field. I made a noble attempt to support Amy & Paul but I couldn’t tell you much about the set I’m afraid!
Then on to The Silk Road on the main stage – kicking off with No Revolution and then I Don’t Care (if I’ve got this set list right it will be a miracle), Master Race was up next – then I’ve noted an instrumental, I think it was Elizabeth Rose from the album. Cities Under Siege was up next, then I’ve missed one out before The Ancient Road led into the awesome Montagu’s Harrier finishing up the set with Boats Come in at Midnight.
Back at the campsite folk were getting drinks whilst I was nodding off a bit on our camping sofa – eventually being compelled bedward by Ella to sleep it off a bit. I had vague memories of hearing The Star Botherers, Ella attempting to wake me up in time for The Outlines and the strains of Blind Fever – eventually I was awoken by Dean and Mark (I think) grappling with me and worried that I was missing out a bit. Who could ask for a nicer wake-up call?
So that got us to Headsticks, so I’m doubly glad to have been awoken. Feel a bit fragile I’d grabbed a burger and settled down on the bank with Russ and Merlin to watch, they kicked off with Two Sides and then into Mississippi’s Burning. Andrew’s energy on stage the polar opposite of mine at that point! Flat Line Town led into new song I’m Alright Jack and then Cold Grey English Skies led into the singalong anthem of Fanatics.
Paper Flowers brings down the tempo a little and then another new song Family Tree lambasting the 1% pretty much – then Dying for a Lie. I’m presuming since it’s not in my notes that What Do You Want was next – clearly unhappy with the crowd participation levels Andrew singled me out sat eating my burger (which presumably I’d actually acquired mid-set) to go and get the crowd geed up – Merlin lucked out with the rest of the burger and I gave it my best shot, but he probably couldn’t have picked a less suitable person – haha!
Next up was the amazing Karl Phillips and the NGF Rejects, I think it was at this point that Suzy presented me with an inflatable storm trooper, in echoes of last year it didn’t last too long and soon enough the torso was floating off over the field towards the south! Oops. On stage the bouncy ska hiphoppy fusion was underway – The Limit, Too Much, Strongbow were all up early doors – my personal highlight was Be A Bigger Man Boy – I’d even mustered up the energy for a bit of a bounce around.
An explosive set finished up with Let Go, Attack the Brain, That’s The Way We Roll and Pink Champagne. They really are bloody good – props again go to the soundcrew who had quite a lot to be dealing with on that stage! To mounting excitement though as the stage was changing over it was time to prepare for The Leylines who were gradually getting themselves sorted – I found myself a spot with Adam and Hollie on the bank to sit and watch the set commence.
They kicked in with Stone Circle and into You’ve Changed – a hefty crowd gathering in front of the darkening stage meant the lights really came into their own (and of course, the epic smoke machine). With the trailer stage layout having limited depth it was really nice to get to see Dave (in his outlandish sunglasses) unobscured, and Pete not able to skulk near the back. In Your Shadow was up next and then Let It Go.
Standing by the Waterside was next and then my favourite My Own Worst Enemy. During Long Way From Home Steve quite charmingly started picking people’s names out of the crowd. I wandered down to the front for Fly Away which was followed up with the emotional anthem that is Queen and Country, with Hannah’s Song up next time was tick tocking away – with a choice of Run for Cover or Sat in a Field it really had to be the latter – although sadly it meant Ella didn’t get to do her backing vocals. A splendid set!
Which left the headline act, the mighty Funke and the Two Tone Baby – he kicked in with Never Used to Dance at which point I headed up to the merch tent to spend a bit of time with Pete, Becky, LJ, Andy and Buster – giving the former the chance to go and enjoy the act whilst I kept an eye on the merchandise. You could still hear really clearly – Bella’s Kiss led into I’m Not Well and then If You’re Nice to Me.
Next up was the la la la la office song I’ve yet to learn the name of – followed by another new one I’m Going to Buy a House. The epic The Signal is Cut was next with the 11 o’clock curfew looming alarmingly close – with Andy and Kev both with ape suits I must admit I was a tad worried they might miss out on some bonobo-based frolicking – but it was indeed up next, both getting to cavort on the stage along with a giant stuffed gorilla to bring the set, and indeed, the main stage to a close. Superb stuff.
We spent the rest of the evening initially on the merch desk and then popped to the club house for a while before eventually finding our way to bed. What an amazing weekend – Suzy and her team did such an amazing job, and hopefully as well as raising awareness a goodly sum of cash has been raised for Meningitis Now – the charity being supported by the event. Whilst I understand the commitment and pressure that festival organising comes with – I really hope we get a third Ey Up Mi Duck next year!