Live Review – The Green Man Festival (Saturday)

Keiran_hebden6Saturday began as Friday left off… patchy weather and great music. Early on the bill, I managed to catch the wonderful acid folk of Twisted Nerve’s latest prize, Voice of the Seven Woods. VOTSW created a potato hash of sitar ragas, drones and classic sixties acid with a healthy dollop of kraut to boot.

Due to persistant rain, the afternoon was spent entirely in the real ale tent next to the main stage, which enabled me to meet up with the creator of the fabulous Naked Fighting fanzine and eavesdrop a wonderful set from former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci frontman, Euros Childs.

After a short wait, everyone’s fave new folky, King Creosote took to the stage. Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) has been blessed with an impeccable voice and a good ear for a tune too. That said, the set performed was a bit flat, probably due to the fact he’s been performing the same songs (in virtually the same order) for the past two years. For those who have followed him, it was a let down, for those new to Kenny’s wares, it will no doubt have been a triumph.

Back over to the crowded Folkey Dokey tent for one of the most eager awaited sets of the weekend. John Renbourn, one of the fathers of Brit folk and guitar genius of Pentangle , took to the stage looking like old father time and acoustic strapped across his knee. What followed was one of the most mesmerising performances in my musical life. Renbourne really showed how to work a crowd with an understated manner, glorious musicanship and wonderful, wonderful songs. The tent was left breathless, and I wondered if anyone was going to be able to top what I’d just seen.

Late Saturday came the first of the timetable clashes. Jose Gonzalez took to the main stage just after 11pm, and began to reel off songs from his Veneer LP. Again, having seen Jose before, the set felt flat and he almost seemed to be rushing through his songs, be it through nerves or boredom. Thoe surrounding me seemed quite indifferent to him, and his music failed to fill the vast space in front of him. So, a quick charge up to the Folkey Dokey tent again to catch Keiran Hebden and Steve Reid. Hebden is formerly of The Fridge, and is more commonly known to record buyers as Four Tet. Steve Reid, somewhat unknown to most, has worked with Motown, Quincy Jones and more importantly, he’s influenced by African Rhythms and Coltrane. So the two went head-to-head in a freeform Jazz drum versus Electronic jam-down with breathtaking results. The polymath of Hebden’s work clattered along with Reid providing great clunks of skittering beats, making all wise enough to dodge the main attraction of the main stage foam at the mouth. Again, one of the highlights of the festival came in an unexpected place.

Mof Gimmers

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