The Festival Special, Best of All…Bestival

The end of summer is fast approaching, which means an end to the mud, cider and frolics of the festival season, the icing on the cake being Rob Da Bank’s Bestival. But with the autumnal times there comes change, that change being me! As the new addition at HMCMB, I’ll be joining the team to help keep you all on the ‘cultural’ ball. So…Hi..I’m Ruby, and armed with an Oxfam Steward pass and as much camping equipment as humanly possible to carry, I was ready for what the Isle of Wight had to throw at me.

The first highlight has to be Dog is Dead. If you find the folky harmonies and brassy sounds familiar it’s probably because they were featured on the finale of last year’s Skins. These Nottingham boys have a tap-your-feet to youthful swing. Let’s hope to hear some new stuff from them soon, which with recent signing to Atlantic is kind of inevitable, but in the meantime…

Dog Is Dead  –  Young

It seemed there was something for everyone, be it the comedy tent or the roller disco that served as a lively setting for Radio 1 DJ Benji B’s soulful house and hip-hop. As Pendulum literally set fire to the main stage I snuck off to find Frank Turner and his loyal crowd of chanters. Next to this clump of communal protest lay the ambient forest which was just as eerie and magical as the name suggests. The forest held morning meditation sessions, though anyone that managed to crawl out of their tents before 9.30 was doing exceedingly well! Those that didn’t make it still had the chance to be lulled by the very sweet Lucy Rose who charmed the crowd with this little number, look out for the the xx style break down too.

Lucy Rose  – Middle Of The Bed

With the fancy dress competition judged by the Village People things really began to kick off on the Saturday. This became apparent on my way to the main stage as I shuffled past a couple of Lady Gaga’s and The Doors, appropriately dressed as doors with knobs and all.

Ed Sheeran packed out a tent clearly unprepared for his exploding popularity, the programmer should be taking some notes for next year. Though the main event of the night had to be The Cure. There was a great buzz of excitement surrounding the headliners and they truly were the perfect headpiece to the costume of the festival that cloaked the island’s landscape.  Robert Smith held the gravitas and majesty suited to his position as ‘King of the Bizarre’. This was a performance people will remember. And watching them surrounded by teenage boys dressed as old women added a certain je ne sais quoi.. Literally, I don’t know what, but it was fun. Of course you’ve all heard this before (and if you haven’t, just pretend you have.)

The Cure  –  Just Like Heaven

Johnny Flynn wooed the crowd with his swinging folky sounds, the full band supplying the right balance of energy and intricacy that the songs from ‘Been Listening’ deserve. His blistering trumpet solo did a good job of blowing away those hazy Sunday morning hangovers too. Can’t really get enough of this man…

Johnny Flynn  –  Kentucky Pill

Rumours of a hurricane were spreading like wildfire around campsite, but this in no way put a stop to the joviality, if not it made everything a little more exciting. And as I made my way through some half naked Harry Potter fans duelling with broken tent poles, Sunday was looking to become an interesting night. To begin, the ambient sounds of Daughter were welcomed by a bunting-fashioned bandstand.

Daughter  –  Landfill

However, my absolute highlight of the festival was the delicate and mesmerizing Ben Howard. A sea of seated onlookers lapped up every twang and percussive sound which astonishingly came from a singular guitar and a very talented young man! Keep a watch out for more Howard happenings here, he has a new (exceptional) album out soon, but before that is single release “Keep Your Head Up” which you really should head over to YouTube to check out:

Apologies for a less than comprehensive music report, but I spent a large majority of my time as a steward in a luminous orange jacket dutifully escorting lost and drunk bestivalers back to their tents! All for the sake of Oxfam though. If you were stumbling around at 5.30am on your own and looking confused I probably offered you a cereal bar and a hug…


R x