A music festival? On my doorstep? A free pass? What’s not to like?
The Slouchettes donned their coolest festival gear and headed downtown to Bakewell Showground on a lovely summer’s eve. Cordially welcomed by Jonathan Rowlands and his obliging partners in crime we arrived to find a compact festival site with a lovely chilled atmosphere.
Two stages undercover in a rather plush marquee with a hard floor, chairs and tables. A little like Phoenix Nights in the sticks. A Thornbridge Brewery bar proved a distraction (although it took ages to get served). Highlights of a
Sheffield flavoured evening were Steve “Papa” Edwards‘ solid soul funk and the Everly Pregnant Brothers, armed with many ukeleles, seducing the gathering with their usual charm and humour!
Saturday and Bakewell is hot and sunny and people are chilled, children are playing and the bar problem is sorted. The place is not crowded but nicely busy. I have been advised by the Mayor of Bakewell, Paul Morgans, that Jake Morley is not to be missed. He’s right. Morley (accompanied by his bass player ) is outstanding and popular .
His bluesy and soulful voice are the perfect vehicle for some superb songs .The Re-Entrants offer more ukelele action as they crank out some classic tunes. At last a drum kit arrives and four likely lads appear on stage with electric guitars. It is Bakewell’s own Neon Railroad. Front man Charlie Jobson soon wins the crowd over and the band deliver big time with a rousing set. Every one is having a good time young and old alike. We even have a break for food. The little acoustic stage carries on so I forgo a stone baked mushroom pizza to see Sam Draisey. A strip of a lad with a soulful voice, lovely manner and great songs – what a find!
Would you like a drink? It would be rude not to..so back to the “main stage” area and Flight Brigade wow they are really good. Slightly prog, with a healthy slice of psychedelic folk -I’m knocked sideways. Very Tasty. Next up the legendary Gypsy Fire technically incredible they perform latin/jazz/flamenco in a dazzling display of dexterity that is stunning. They go down well but I prefer the gentle honesty of Mr Draisey.
Well we have all been waiting for Seth Lakeman. Frankly, he is brilliant. I know he’s a folk superstar but his genuine manner and brilliant band just sound great tonight.
Somehow they conjour up a magical atmosphere that is perfect on this summer eve. People dance, smile and engage in friendly banter. I am happy and wander home under starlit skies hoping to see some meteors. I don’t.