Saturday, June 17, 2006
A little background information - the festival is named after the pub where it is based in Telham, near Hastings, East Sussex. It occurs annually over the last weekend in May, starting on Friday night and running through to Monday night. 2006 was the 17th year of the festival; I estimate that I've been to around 10 of those.
As usual, the line-up was nothing if not eclectic, I selected the best sessions from my point of view - Friday night and Sunday night. Friday saw playing: The Rob Tognoni Band, Nelson King and The Wilko Johnson Band, whilst Sunday night featured: The Tabs (Acoustic), Shooglenifty and Blue Horses. The highlights were both headline acts.
The Wilko Johnson Band consist of Wilko himself (formerly of Dr Feelgood) on vocals and guitar, Norman Watt-Roy (of the Blockheads) on bass and former Jesus And Mary Chain drummer, Steve Monti. I was already sure that the rhythm section would be fantastic, just from looking at the artists and bands both Monti and Watt-Roy have worked with - Curve and Gang of Four, The Clash and Nick Cave being the most impressive respectively. What I wasn't prepared for though, was Wilko himself. His uniquely choppy style (others have 'chopped' but none so effectively) and yappy vocals combined brilliantly, the band were incredibly tight as you'd expect. You can see a video of the band performing from way back when, here on YouTube.
Blue Horses were an altogether different act. Described by the BBC as being "probably the only Celtic-rock-folk-heavy-metal-goth band around", they're quite possibly right. No doubt you are now thinking - there's a good reason why they're "probably the only Celtic-rock-folk-heavy-metal-goth band around". I don't think I could listen to a whole Blue Horses album (which is where I differ from Mojo magazine who made them album of the month and Classic Rock magazine who named them best of 2005) but in a live enviroment they make for enchanting viewing and great fun. Besides, where else can you hear a medley of celtic-goth songs played on electric harp, electric violin and space mandolin?
Having finally now signed up to Flickr, you can see some photos of the festival here.
Tags: blue horses | wilko johnson | live music