Cornwall's live music scene had long been a barren wasteland of Pink Floyd cover bands and "folk evenings". However, that was before K Fest came along. Premiering last year with the Fun Lovin' Criminals, it returned this year with a stellar line up.
Having to meander through all manner of country lanes to get to the festival site, I missed the first act, however there was no missing Reuben, whose "hardcore emo" sounds attacked my unsuspecting ears as soon as I entered the tent. Playing songs from their cleverly titled album, "Racecar is Racecar Backwards", the Farnborough trio entertained a typically (and literally) laid back Cornish crowd.
|Bez on stage at The K Fest|
Lunchtime then beckoned, and I was faced with a very difficult choice - a limp burger, or a limp hotdog...having settled for a bacon sandwich, it was then back to the main stage for Lucky Jim, who were playing to a rather larger audience than when I saw them the first time. Which was to an audience of two. Their acoustic driven music suited the festival well, and they seemed appreciative of the increase in crowd size!
Next up was Domino Bones, featuring the one and only Bez. The band themselves were great, playing an eclectic mix of music not dissimilar to that of local band The Barnaby Ray Quartet. However, despite it being "his" band, Bez's contribution to the act was debatable, consisting of the now slightly tired "freaky" dance, and urging us all to become "children of the revolution"...even if that wasn't quite his choice of phrase.
Local band Easy Kill provided a riotous half-hour, deafening me as I took advantage of my pit pass. Emo/screamo/hardcore (or whatever it's being labeled as today) isn't really my bag, so I retreated back stage to interview The Magic Numbers!
Having returned from backstage complete with my new "Access All Areas" pass, I rejoined the crowd to watch one of local band Wire Daisies' rare Cornish performances. Despite having only just released their debut album as part of EMI, Treana and co. played three new songs, and several favourites from the album. Backstage, Treana told me that they'd enjoyed the show as much as the crowd, which was evident from the volume of their cheers!
|Romeo from The Magic Numbers|
Throughout the early afternoon, the atmosphere had been slightly limp (and damp due to the appalling Cornish weather!), as many people had only come for the more famous bands, who played later in the day. Unfortunately, Billy Lunn of The Subways had collapsed on stage in Germany days before the festival, so they pulled out, leaving a slightly stagnant gap in the days proceedings. However, at 17.40, the sun came out!
It didn't really, but as The Magic Numbers took their summery sounds to the stage, it certainly felt that way! Playing last single, Forever Lost, and the latest offering, Love Me Like You, the crowds swarmed in their thousands to watch Romeo, Michelle, Angela and Sean play tracks from their top 10 album. The eight song set was ended with new song, The Beard, which, in Angela's words, is "a bit of a country hoedown!"
|"Down here in Cornwall you don't get many opportunities to see such big bands, so it was nice to see the likes of The Magic Numbers and others here."|
Unfortunately, I then had to make my way home, missing the Bodyrockers and The Happy Mondays (however, having seen Bez early, I'm not convinced I missed much - apparently between Shaun and Bez, they could only remember half the words to their own songs!) Despite the small complaint of really bad rubbish disposal and no recycling facilities, I had a great day, listening to some fantastic local bands, and experiencing some different music to the sort of thing I'd usually listen to! Being able to hobnob with the stars was an added bonus to the day, as well as the VIP bar - no queues for me!!