Tanglewood Festival 2012
It may only be in the second year of its lifespan but Tanglewood Festival seems to have filled a much needed gap in the Co. Down live music market. With a decent line-up of well gigged acts from around the country and a merciful sun god allowing the day not to be a washout things look set to go according to plan.
After a slightly ropey start with some car park confusion and a few bands carrying equipment across soggy fields the grounds of Narrow Water Castle slowly fill up at the now larger field site. The ambitious 3000 capacity field provides ample room for festival goers to frolic around and experience a host of live music, drama, comedy and even the odd bit of burlesque cabaret if that’s what floats your boat. With so much on offer it’s a shame then the vast majority of people don’t seize the opportunity to make a day of it, instead flocking in around 6 or 7pm missing some great acts and leaving the site with a fairly sparse audience for the first few hours
Things do pick up however for bands like Dead ‘Til Friday whose viciously loud sound check is enough to entice stragglers into moving away from the bar towards the second stage. They blast through a solid set filled with brutal vocals and relentless breakdowns finding time in-between the madness to showcase their cover of The Temper Trap’s ‘Sweet Disposition’ which reminds us there are more reasons to be here than just the sunshine.
After an impressive and highly crowd pleasing set at Glasgowbury it turns to Runaway Go to keep the energy of the day going. They start slowly pulling in a crowd from the spread out site and in no time people are dancing away and relishing every moment. Fiona and David’s combined vocals layered with James’s twidily guitar and those interjecting stops in all the right places make everything a joy to watch.
Soon after as the light starts to fade Shilouette take to the main stage winding the crowd up into a frenzy in no time. ‘I Can’t Keep Up’ pleases as always and ‘Running Against The Wall’ is delivered with the same passionate intensity that we’ve come to expect from a band who seem determined to go from strength to strength.
The real highlight for tonight also turns out to be one of the lowlights with Fighting With Wire headlining The Mr Blue Sky Stage. With the vast majority of the crowd over at the main stage watching Aslan or busting some serious shapes in the dance tent there can’t be more than 30 people left to watch FWW play through an incredibly impressive set. We’re treated to that same impressive energy and intensity that made FWW stand out as of the best acts as Glasgowbury a few weeks ago. They’re here to play and put on a show and that’s exactly what they do for those left to appreciate them. When things finally draw to a close they’re even good enough to come out for a much requested encore which other bands in a similar position might not have bothered with. It’s sad to see a great act underappreciated but regardless the night draws to a successful end for the festival and one that will hopefully aid a reinvigoration of the local music scene.
Words: Ross Haymes
Pics: Emmett Moore