Live Review

THE GREEN MAN FESTIVAL : DAY 2 / PART 2 – Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons

Half time on this the second day and the rain just keeps on coming. Does this affect the crowd numbers, absolutely not in anyway as the capacity crowd keep on going. Does this effect the overall attitude of the revellers gathered in the mud, not even a little bit. This location and this festival is a true revelation and even walking around is pleasurable in its ease of attitude as not for one minute do you think some Chav is going to class or do you expect to see the toilets on fire at any point.

Vetiver – Main Stage – 7pm
Vetiver are the band that has caused a pre festival buzz with the likes of Huw Stephens declaring that this lot are the ones to catch. Hailing from the west coast they play an ultra mellow brand of country rock that sadly is not supported by the tragic Welsh weather on this day. For music this laid back you need sun, blue skies and a comfortable position to lay back and let the wave of soft melodies wash over your soul. The set is filled with cuts from their recent release with time for a new track called ‘Sister’ before they close with a Hawkwind cover. The crowd cheer gleefully despite the atrocious never-ending drizzle that has at this point engulfed the site.

James Yorkston – Folkey Dokey Stage – 8pm
For those that have attended the previous 4 years of the festival they may have seen certain Jason that joins Yorkston on stage to accompany him on one track. This year the audience for Yorkston is almost ten fold greater and talk is that JQ (Jason) has been drinking for a solid 7 hours to calm the nerves. Yorkston plays a mix of both his albums before calling JQ to the stage. He gets up to rapturous applause and proceeds to just about remain on both feet for the duration of the song before leaving to a deserved collection of cheers from those from the North who know him so well. Yorkston plays a gorgeous set of intimate folk songs that fill the air with an essence of quality of a true song-smith. The highlight comes from the last track that seems to fuse traditional folk with a Floyd-esque wall of sound that jut goes on and on for what seems like an age.

Fridge – Folkey Dokey Stage – 9:30pm
Over the past 4 years of the festival the organisers have been shifting slowly away from the folk aspect and concentrating more on just providing a fantabulous mix of unique and independent bands from many different genres of music. Fridge are an instrumental four piece that play Mogwai-esque guitar driven sound that allows the listener to sit back close your eyes and be transported deep into the recesses of your own mind. Having never even heard of Fridge prior to the festival I was keen to check them out and sample their wares and thank god that I did. They play a full on guitar driven set of pulsating sounds that fill the tent all the way out to the back where I’m standing. Coupled with a superb light show and you have feedback guitar rock heaven for the purist.

Battles – Folkey Dokey Stage –
As Robert Plant unleashes some Zepplin style rock on the main stage the tent is packed waiting for New York’s bright young ravers. Battles are highly touted to say the least and it’s refreshing to see that such a prog act would be gathering such a big reputation. The set is loud and challenging to say the least as Battles unleash songs such as ‘Atlas’, ‘Tras’ and ‘Prismism’ off the new album. Those gathered allow the prog to just wash over them allowing for almost a rave type feeling to develop amongst the revellers. The band alsoseem somewhat bemused by the reaction they get as people just lap up the superb headlining set from what must be the most unlikely act to be booked for this weekend.

Fence Collective – Green Man Café – After Hours (PICTURED ABOVE)
Having announced and impromptu gig during his set last night King Creosote and the other members of the fence Collective are mulling about around the bar café stage. After a short inquiry with one of the girlfriends that are gathered just off stage it becomes clear that there has been a miss-communication and that the sound equipment has been cleared off the stage and will not be put back. So is that it? No not at all as the collective proceed to get a table and play behind and on top of it, delivering the undoubted moment of the festival. With no amps the sound carries no further than about four rows back, thankfully I’m in the second and will not be moving very quickly. This is a moment you just wont get at any other festival as it would include security, annoying BBC presenters and god knows what else. The collective play the most delicate versions of ‘Going Down to the water’, ‘Come on Eileen’ and the King Creosote driven cover of ‘The Happy Song’. Proceedings are closed by a sing along version of ‘Take Me Home’ before those gathered return to their tents in the assured knowledge that they were genuinely present at miniature moment of music history.

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