Farmfest Diary – Saturday

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Waking up with a slightly hazy head to a mud sodden field after two hours sleep… ready for more? Yep, rain you’ll have to do more than that if you want to knock our spirit. Day two was dogged by bad weather, meaning that the evening’s mainstage acts Mt Wolf, Art Brut and Black Strobe were shifted over into the cozy little tents.

Foreign Affairs are a light hearted indie folk band who took full advantage of the pounding rain by impressing a packed tent with upbeat acoustic numbers. They were swiftly followed by Awaken The Silence, who painted a dramatically different scene. “THEY CALL YOU HARVEY DENT, CAUSE YOU’RE A TWO FACED FUCKING, C**T.” Ahh, I love you Farmfest. The funny thing about this stark contrast in acts, is that neither felt in anyway out of place. Families stepped to the back, smiling at the aggressive metal kids throwing themselves about in front of the stage. Despite not being everyone’s cup of tea, the band certainly left a memorable first impression and were top notch entertainment.

Mt Wolf found themselves battling against technical issues due to the stage transfer, but despite the problems they were well worth the wait, with powerful harmonies cutting over ethereal orchestration the set compelled and silenced the busy tent. I took the chance to grab a few words with singer Kate Sproule.

Hi there Kate, so do you feel the set went well?

“Yeah I think it went well, the rain has been a bit of an issue, which is a shame because it’s such a lovely festival. I really enjoyed the set though, there was a massive crowd and they seemed to really enjoy us.”

I guess the rain could have worked to your advantage…

“In a way yeah, when we moved into this tent we thought it would be good because people would want to take shelter, there were a lot of people who didn’t know us so that was good. It’s always great to play to a new crowd.”

It took a while but in the end the sound was perfect, credit to the sound-desk right?

“Yeah, we took a while setting up but we always do that’s the nature of our shows. There’s a lot going on, most sound technicians are amazing but they take a look at our line-up and go for fuck sake! There’s so much shit here, like bass on both sides and eugh, it’s a bit of a nightmare but it all went well tonight.”

You also played the Farmfest warm-up show at Hoxton Bar & Grill, how was that one?

“That was wicked, it was a really cool night and we were pleased to do it for charity, we always try to do that where it’s possible and it was for a great cause. It was really nice to do the Hoxton Bar & Grill because I’ve never played there. The crowd were similar tonight just really up for listening to us and listening to new music.”

It’s a bit of a cliche but I couldn’t resist about asking about your influences, your voice is very similar to Bjork at times…

“Yeah, I trained classically as a vocalist at music school, so I can do the high notes which correlates to Bjork. When I was ten my older brother bought me one of her records and I just fell in love with her voice and the way she manipulates it. I love her and I guess she’s a subconscious influence more than anything. The guys in the band carry straight forward song-writing influences like Bon Iver with the acoustic element. We’ve worked hard on our sound over the last couple of years and it’s all starting to gel now… we’ve started working on an album, which is sounding really cool!”

Cheers Kate, have a good night!

Story telling legends Art Brut were left to round off my festival with a unique angle on pop punk. After ten years in the game they still know how to keep a crowd in the palm of their hand with frontman Eddie Argos putting himself at the centre of the action in the midst of a sweaty audience. Fresh off the stage I caught up with the man.

Hi Eddie, I thoroughly enjoyed that one… how was it from your side?

“Yeah! That was brilliant, we didn’t have a setlist and we didn’t know how long we were playing for, but we just made it all up! Play still we stop was the plan.”

The stage transfer all worked out okay?

Yeah it’s a shame, but it would be so dangerous to play over there in the rain. We had a big crowd in here and took full advantage. It worked out better for me though because we were supposed to be on at the same time as The Lovely Eggs and they’re my favourite band, so I got to watch them! The only downside is that they are tricky to go on after…”

Have you had much of a chance to get out into the festival?

“A little bit yeah, I queued for that stone baked pizza for like three hours, but it was worth it. I also bought a jacket which I thought was waterproof… it wasn’t, but at least I’m dry now.”

What are your plans for Art Brut then, is anything special lined up?

“We’ve just started writing our new album, it’ll hopefully be out next year sometime. I want to mix it up a little bit now and make a really English pop album. We haven’t had a good one in ages! Like a Blur, Squeeze, kinda thing. “

Cheers Eddie, it’s a pleasure.

After another sleepless night of full frontal partying, Farmfest 13 was brought to a close. A fantastic weekend, glued together by local organisers, bands, food companies and more. Despite unavoidable problems, they were all dealt with swiftly and there was no inconvenience caused to ticket holders. With proceeds going to charity, I couldn’t think of a better reason to attend next year.

Thanks Farmfest, you smashed it.

Miss part one of Rhys’ Farmfest Diary? Catch it here.