Hop Farm Festival

This weekend I went to the Hop Farm Folk festival, the line-up included:

Foy Vance

A Northern Irish solo artist, his style can be described as Funk Folk. What I liked about his performance was his use of technology. All his backing tracks etc. were pre-programed on his Mac and he strummed along in a funk style on an acoustic guitar. His singing style reminded me of Van Morrison.

Johnny Flynn

A British folk artist, his songs where cheery and cathchy.

Laura Marling

Laura was the stand-out performance of the day, she is one of the great musicians and vocalist of our generation and here live performance exceeded expectations. She played hits from both of her albums, including my favourite track Blackberry Stone.

Pete Doherty

The tabloid favourite was one of the biggest disappointments of the day, he sounded terrible. He did several Libertines numbers, if I was Carl Barat, I would consider takening him to court and get him to stop ruining some of the best songs from my time at university.

Mumford and Sons

They followed up their much publicised performance at Glastonbury, with another stellar performance at Hop Farm. I have been listening this album for the last 6 months, the highlights of the live set were the same as the album Lionman and The Cave.

Ray Davies

The Kinks front man was great fun to watch, he did all the old hits and a couple of newer (more questionable) numbers. What was interesting about his performance is he seemed quite bitter about Bob Dylan, initially refusing to leave the stage on time and also making the comment “I’m from the real world and not a gated community like someone on the stage tonight”.

Bob Dylan

Bob, Bob, Not Bob? I don’t know if you have ever waited a lifetime for something and then been really disappointed when you get it. I have to sadly say this is how a feel about Bob’s performance at Hop Farm. I know he’s getting old and his voice is going, but during his performance most of his songs were unrecognizable apart from poetic lyrics.

I even have to question if it was actually Bob on stage, most of the music was played by his back rock band and more suspiciously the not once during the performance did the large screens at the festival show a close up of his face. Is Bob dead and there is a double masquerading?

Other highlight of the festival included, the most random university recruitment drive I’ve seen, The University of Greenwich having a stall at a music festival?

The other highlight was an excellent random celebrity spot the stunny Kaya Scodelario who plays Effy in the C4 show Skins.

This was my first festival in about two years, i was intrigued to see how things have changed, festival goers are alot trendier now and fashion seems alot smart than my festival heyday, everyone seemed to wear smart shirts, straw hats and loafers. I felt a bit of a scruff in my t-shirt, baseball cap and trainers. May be I’m getting old.

All in all the Hop Farm festival was great fun and a success. My only feedback to the organisers would be to investigate the queuing. At one point it took us nearly an hour to get a beer and another to get a bottle of coke.

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