Now in its second year this small and friendly little festival in deepest Suffolk had a big sound and big heart. 500 or so festival goers camped out in these farm fields in a beautiful setting for a varied selection of music with a live stage in a large marquee and a smaller dj tent with sets from Wayward Natives, Solko, Hot Damn, Dub, Sweat & Beers, Chrome & Illinspired, and many, many others. It was hot, sunny and dry the whole weekend too.
Once camp was set up and the site explored it was soon time for the first of the weekend’s live acts – introduced by compere for the weekend Paul Mills – opening the live stage was Joe Quinn and the New Lunarians, all nine of them! They were followed by the wonderful soundscapes of The Wolf Number, Dr. Clyde, and the rapturously welcomed return of The Piratones. Two years since they last played the tent was packed for this and people were even dancing to their soundcheck! I have a lot of love for this band and evidently everyone else present felt the same way. Walking around the site the following morning I saw a sign on one of the food outlets saying “Closed. Gone to see The Piratones. Back later”.
The weather was glorious throughout the whole weekend and the vibe was relaxed and happy among all the music fans gathered.
On Saturday I caught marvelous sets by DLore, Maya Law, Piece, Alden Patterson and Dashwood, Binbag Wisdom, Nebula Sun, th mighty HANK, and Georgia King playing her first gig with her new band, featuring Flatlands organiser himself, Ash on bass, and Alex on drums. This format really suits Georgia, she looked comfortable, relaxed and confident and her voice has never sounded better. Strong songs, great playing and amazing singing … she made a big impression and has really found her place, style and format. It was lovely to see and hear!
The night was closed in fine style by Mansion of Snakes, the Leeds band who headlined the Flatlands Christmas Party at NAC last year. They too had the whole place dancing to their spacey, jazzy form of Afrobeat.
Thanks to Paul for allowing me onstage to snap the audience at the close of the set, and the festival, doing their best “Zombie poses”.
As people returned to the dj tent and the campfire I had a wander around and passing the main marquee later I saw the poignant scene of a couple of people dancing to the Specials’ Ghost Town as we all prepared to pack away the following morning.
Big thanks to Ash and all involved in putting on such a lovely event that truly feels for and about the people and the music. Thanks also to Paul, The Wolf Number, and Alden, Patterson & Dashwood.
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