Andy Mapp's Mappfest at Link Top in Malvern - 18.06.11

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Now really it's just an excuse to celebrate the birthday of an old mate of mine - but Mappfest in Malvern seems to have developed into a mini-institution in recent years. I arrived mid-afternoon amid the intermittent and occasionally squally showers at the courtyard location close to Link Top in Malvern for one of the more off-beat events of the year.

A great set of spacey proggy numbers from Gandhi's Walrus featuring the brilliant Sleepyhead and Blues In 9/8 - and yes it was because I counted it! Frontman Paul Jeffreys also heads up the more rootsy Players who are a bit like Babajack - Mansize, Funky Junky Monkeys, This Wicked Tongue and Slack Granny were among the outfits I missed as I tried once again to cover as much ground and as many gigs as possible in one day.

But I do get there eventually - and great to finally catch a full set from ex-Fellfield front man Sam Eden - playing numbers like Shades Of Grey and All Cried Out from his excellent new album Kill The Lights. Sam's been one of the main forces behind the brilliant Malvern scene for a while now - despite coming from the 'wrong side of the Hills' in Colwall - if you remember the classic Place I Know - I think you'll enjoy the new Celtic reworking with bagpipes - as the album was mastered on the Isle Of Skye no less.

Only time for a couple of numbers from up-and-coming covers outfits The Harpers featuring Matt Bird from The Oohz before I had to hightail it back to the Wu - so many great gigs taking place last weekend including Oysterband at Linton but in the end I plumped for something a bit closer to home.

Andy O'Hare

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