Finally arriving at the remote site of Merton Farm, we stretched our legs after adding another hour to the journey, due to poor map reading skills. When my friend and I slowly ascended from the car into the summer heat, we found ourselves in the middle of a field, a perfect setting for a festival.
|The Cow Shed|
I had to keep reminding myself this was a farm, as I began to pass spare tractor parts laying idle to the side of a dusty path. Once inside the grounds I could then begin to experience the festival itself. From the outset I could tell that this was no Glastonbury but that was ok. The atmosphere from local music lovers was relaxed, which took away the intensity of some major festivals like Reading.
A whole variety of people were there to see a whole variety of music. From Club to Punk, the dilapidated farm catered for all. Whilst standing in line to sample the festive food, I could not help but notice Vincent Vincent & The Villains, one of the main acts, were standing in line. Failing to receive their complimentary burger the four piece made their way down to the aptly named Main Stage Hoedown Barn, to prepare for their set.
Rock & Roll
|Vincent Vincent & The Villains|
Realising the main stage was actually a disused cow shed I began to weave my way round the old cattle gates to the front, preparing to wait for the burger less band to enter on stage. Vincent Vincent & And The Villains have style, and lots of it. As their presence hit the stage the crowd began to take interest.
The 1950's rock and roll look pairs nicely with the band's overall sound. Even at 5 o'clock the crowd had not really filled out at the main stage but that did not deter the lead singer, Vincent, from giving his all.
As the set was drawing to a close a spark was lit within the crowd and everyone was dancing. A perfect mood was set for the arrival of Billy Childish and The Buff Medways.
After a short wait, the distinct Billy walked on stage surrounded by an array of sound equipment that looked somewhat archaic. Dressed like he had just walked out of a time machine from 1020's Britain, Childish instantly captured the attention of the scattered crowd.
Following long talks with the sound engineers, Billy mentioned to the crowd that there was a possibility that he "may be electrocuted", due to a strange buzzing sound coming from the microphone. Regardless of their safety, the band broke into a rush of punk with a hint of rock and roll. By now a once static audience had just become very mobile. As drunk as they were, I could now see the crowd starting to fill to the back of the enormous corrugated iron shed.
|Relaxing at the acoustic tent|
Curious of the Arabian Acoustic stage, I made my way over to the stage which turned out to be no more that a small Bedouin style tent, with the crowd casually sitting cross-legged on the floor next to the inch high stage. Trying to ignore the drunk behind me shouting at the act, Anecdote, on stage.
By the time the story telling had begun the drunk had finally fallen asleep. An unexplainable force was attracting me to a group that were telling stories. A small act of mime and humour intrigued the audience of all ages.
As the day was breaking into the afternoon, I could still hear The Dance Tent. Even at 11 o'clock in the morning people were dancing with beer in hand. The DJ's were varied due to the sound they produced but provided a relaxed environment. Not a fan of dance music, I was still happy to sit outside the tent and to absorb my surroundings.
The festival provided a whole range of entertainment, which appealed to a whole range of people. Lounge On The Farm had the ability to bring people together to appreciate the contrasting music.