Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Two Beards Are Better Than One......


Now in its forth year and rapidly gaining plaudits left, right and centre it was my pleasure to have attended the 2006 Greenman Festival this weekend. Hosted and organised by Brecon based indie folk duo Its Jo & Danny the festival found a new home this year. Namely the picturesque grounds of the Glanusk National Park at the foot of the Sugar Loaf mountain range.

70+ acts on three stages over three days and line-up which transected all sorts of folk from the traditional folk of the vanguards of the genre like Bert Jansch and Wizz Jones. To the electronica based noodlings of Tuung & the folktronica crew all the way through to the no mind wanderings in the free folk leanings of Sunburned Hand Of The Man.

Alongside the musical attractions were a number of other attractions; a literature tent which chaired interviews and discussions by numerous luminaries. Joe Boyd was the subject of one such slot, Joe whose book "White Bicycles: Making Music In 60's" is available in most good bookstores was a leading figure in the folk music industry that sprung up in the UK at the end of the 60's and he oversaw the production of a number of albums by artists such as Vashti Bunyan and The Incredible String Band. A cinema tent which premiered a live sound track to Ira Cohen's avant garde film "Invasion Of The Thunder Pagoda" as performed by Sunburned Hand Of The Man. There was also alot of provisions in place for the younger members of the audience in the form of both a science tent and a puppetry tent where numerous projects could be enrolled upon.

The food on site was to an immensly high standard; suitable concessions were made for both Vegetarians and Vegans being well catered for too. Lebonese, Mexican, Indian and the all conquering Pieminister pie stall which seemed to have a queue all weekend even when it was shut. The bars were both efficiently run by pleasent staff and had a range of alcoholic and non alcoholic beveridges that were again a very pleasing thing to see. The idea of charging a "deposit" on pint glasses meant that litter was kept mercifully limited in comparison to other music festivals i've visited' this in conjuction with a very strong recycling message meant that the campsite come Monday morning was almost completely litter free. A critiscism though aimed at the insular owners of the general store who seemed quite happy to slap very large mark-ups on their produce, which seemed to be in complete opposition to all of the other vendors on site.

So thankyou Jo & Danny for an excellent weekend; for some mindblowing music which i'll be delving into and writing up later in the week......... Oh and see you all next year!

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