Our resident festival guru, Kathleen has her take on Green Man this year (with the odd interpolation from Marcus)
Green Man marked my first visit to Wales since I was about seven, and even back then we sped past the bilingual signs to go straight to Swansea, in order to catch the ferry to Cork in Ireland. Wales lived up to its rainy reputation on this particular weekend, but the odd burst of sunshine, good food and a tempting line up made it worth the schlep.
Day 1 after the jump
After an overnight stop in Bristol, we get on our way to Glanusk Estate. The climb up through the Black Mountains is shriven in fog, through which the odd farmhouse or group of sheep occasionally looms. As soon as we get out of the car, the rain starts bucketing down. The quagmire route to the campsite suggests that this isn’t the first of it, and it’s definitely not the last. We pitch our tent in the pouring rain, and then make our way down to the main arena. I was primarily attracted to Green Man as it seemed to be like Latitude (which I had enjoyed so much back in July) only smaller, and the main stage is only a five-minute walk away.
Our first discovery is Goodnight Lenin who play to a fairly packed Far Out tent. Their name sounds a bit too much like my favourite film, but they have a beautiful wintery hymnic style that sometimes sounds similar to Fleet Foxes. I like them so much that I stick around at the end to buy their EP, The Wenceslas Square, which has cover art to match their Slavic folklore image.
First on my to-see list are Stealing Sheep. Their slightly spooky harmonies are reminiscent of School of Seven Bells or perhaps Vivian Girls, and there’s an interesting medieval tinge to their chant-laden brand of folk that is particularly apparent in the lead single from their debut album, Shut Eye. It’s brightening up a little outside, and I come away from Far Out feeling like I’ve witnessed the beginnings of a big deal in this Liverpool-based band.
After a delightful rootle around the festival uncovering such delights as “Gods Nipple” and a unconquerable selection of delicious foods we prepare for the unmissable Slow Club. I [Marcus] have spoken at length many times about Slow Club, if you are reading this blog for the first time then suffice to say that I like Slow Club. Still playing out with the 4 man line up the band lark through the new album which is now the staple of their live sets. Lyrics are lost in laughing and dancing; melodies are carried by the crowd; mud is everywhere and it’s a blast.
We catch the end of Dexys on the Mountain Stage as well as watching Delete the Banjax navigate their way through a hit-and-miss array of ridiculous sketches in the Comedy Tent. The very international Vadoinmessico are a great band to lounge around and listen to in the Walled Garden area, particularly when the sun makes an evening appearance. Before calling it a night, we stand at the back of the packed Comedy Tent as Robin Ince meanders through a very amusing routine based around politics, newspapers and festivals.
Darkness descended, an extraordinary range of ales were supped and the evening strayed into wonderful, if slightly fuzzy, realms of shenanigans and escapades.