REVIEW festival Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Sun, Sea & Sound... Boardmasters Festival 2015 (Part 2)

Saturday... Up. Out. Suntan lotion. Bus. Wetherspoons.

Even at only the second day, this was a solid routine. While the morning clientele of ‘spoons are in an even worse state than Friday morning, the terrible sights seen are quickly forgotten on the relaxing walk to the beach. It’s a beautiful day once again and the waves are bigger than Friday’s. Although I’m itching to get back and watch some more music in the arena, it feels like there’s all the time in the world to catch some world-class surfing, as well as some smaller-scale music from the Beach Sessions

It’s over to the Maverick stage once we’re back at Watergate, for Yak. The crowd is small, and the band aren’t particularly energetic, but the sound is loud enough to make up for both these factors. I’m not blown away by the band but they have a solid garage rock sound that’s very much growing in popularity at the moment. A bit more on-stage presence and connecting with the crowd (there’s a lot of silence between songs) and this band could possibly be onto something.

On the main stage, Seasick Steve is a pleasure to watch. His mix of ballads, blues and rock n roll with stories fill the field, and with the sun high in the sky you could forgive yourself for thinking you’d been transported to a southern US state for the afternoon. An odd moment occurs when he’s complimenting the audience’s good looks, before picking out a (very) young girl from the audience to serenade. But oddities are the essence of Seasick Steve, and almost as endearing as his humility.

The mobile network Three are a sponsor of the festival for 2015, and they certainly made their mark. As well as a ‘refresh’ tent filled with straighteners, spray on deodorant and dry shampoo (needless to say this was constantly full), they had a few other attractions around the site. The main of these was a ‘secret’ bar, entry to which was gained by collecting stamps from each of the Three stalls and entering via a large purple portaloo. The bar featured a viewing platform at one of the most spectacular locations of the site, some deckchairs and games, and various DJ sets.

God Damn drew a smaller crowd than I expected, but that was never going to deter the duo. In the midst of a festival populated by DJs, this loud brutal rock was the energetic wake up call the evening needed. Despite the sweltering heat still lingering from the day’s sun, the duo play furiously, with an energy unmatched by any act I saw across the weekend.

Returning to the tent to grab some food before Lethal Bizzle, we have to almost fight our way through crowds moving in the opposite direction. Initially puzzled, I realise too late that they are heading for exactly the same tent, but several minutes earlier-and sure enough by the time we’ve returned to the arena there is no way of even getting close to the Unleashed tent. The same is true several hours later as DJ EZ plays the post-headliner set-a tent rammed to the brim (and almost certainly dripping with sweat).

The headliner in question is Rudimental, an act I’ve never really got behind. I’m willing myself to enjoy their set, but something about it just doesn’t cut it. The on-stage arrangement seems to be a jumble, and the sound barely reaches our position in the middle of the crowd. It feels like there’s too much going on in the performance in terms of the different groups of instrumentalists, and the crowd around us don’t seem very interested.

Closing the Maverick stage at ‘gosh is it really that late?’ are Drenge. The two-piece-turned-trio are on usual brilliant form, and the crowd are moving from the word go. The band members themselves seemed to be enjoying it as much as the audience, and the energy of both carried the Maverick tent through till the end of the blistering Sunday morning slot.

Click to read part 1 or part 3.

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Words & pictures by Emily Kyne