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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 Review, Saturday: Stornoway, Gabby Young, Caitlin Rose and Mud!

Saturday was marred by sporadic heavy rain showers, but that didn't put a dampener on the amazing Larmer Tree line up: highlights included Gabby Young, Stornoway, Caitlin Rose and Gary Stewart.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Gabby Young and Stephen Ellis
Gabby Young and Stephen Ellis at Larmer Tree. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

By Saturday the rain had well and truly settled in at Larmer Tree Festival and it was quite a struggle to get out of the tent.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Bane Joe Bone
Our first stop was Daytime Club Larmer for the second part of Bane, which was equally as much fun as the first episode. Apparently there is a third one kicking about too and if you are going to Secret Garden Party this weekend then you will get a chance to see it! Well jel.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Chameleon by Fiona Campbell
Overnight a host of art installations had sprung up around the Larmer Tree Gardens, including this magical bottle top Chameleon by Fiona Campbell

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review The Thatcher and The Peacock by Simon SinkinsonLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review The Thatcher and The Peacock by Simon SinkinsonLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review The Thatcher and The Peacock by Simon SinkinsonLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review The Thatcher and The Peacock by Simon Sinkinson
…and a peacock hut inspired by a poem called The Thatcher and The Peacock by Simon Sinkinson, a tale of a poor boy who asks the advice of a peacock on how to win the heart of the girl he loves. How? Under the Larmer Tree of course! Simon is a thatcher as well as an artist, and he was also responsible for the ten hidden miniature woodland doorways dotted around the site. Sadly I didn’t find any myself.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Mis(Guided) Protest by Fuse
At the Mis(Guided) Protest by Fuse these girls were bearing placards with slogans such as Processed Cheese, Yes Please and Bunting for All Ages. Worth protesting for I’m sure you’ll agree. I do find it intriguing that protest has become ripe for artistic intervention – wherein ‘revolutionary rhetoric’ is rendered utterly banal.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Gary Stewart duetting with Rosie Doonan
The Oxjam stage was hosting an open mic when we wandered in and I caught the tail end of Scottish singer songwriter Gary Stewart duetting with Rosie Doonan (I sadly missed her own slot). Beautiful folk harmonies, and great yellow wellies!

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Pete LawrieLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie is a Cardiff based singer songwriter who nearly played on my Climate Camp stage at Glastonbury last year but had to pull out with a throat infection at the last minute, so I was excited to finally hear him properly. Since then he’s released an album and gained an enthusiastic following for his soulful singalong folk. His easy banter explained the premise of songs, including one dedicated to all those who’ve worked in shit jobs at petrol stations. At this show it was really brought home to me just how impossible it is to place a sound anymore – he may be Welsh but Pete’s music, as with most musicians now, boasts a host of international influences.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Caitlin RoseLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review Caitlin RoseLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review Caitlin Rose
On the Garden Stage Nashville born Caitlin Rose lucked out with a bit of brilliant sunshine for her lush country-influenced tales of love and loss. Americana never sounded so good: I particularly loved the laid back dude on the steel pedals. Read our interview with Caitlin Rose.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 reviewLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review artLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review Flowerpot men
I’m not sure if the Bill and Ben Flowerpot Men were meant to be performance art or extreme fancy dress but who cares when they look this fab?!

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Wishing TreeLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review Wishing Tree
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Wishing Tree
Over at the Wishing Tree I took a few moments to read through the fabric wishes. The most striking thing was the amount of wishes that children should grow up to be healthy and happy – another indication of the demographic at this family friendly festival.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Moustache on a Stick
A festival favourite: Moustache on a Stick.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Gabby Young
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Stephen Ellis
Gabby Young by Gilly Rochester
Gabby Young by Gilly Rochester.

Gabby Young was accompanied by boyfriend Stephen Ellis at the ARC, dressed, as usual, with impeccable style (with a little help from Amelia’s Magazine contributor Katie Antoniou – the lilac striped dress cost £7 on ebay). Her opera trained voice sounded as beautiful as ever, and she closed the set by leading the captivated crowd in a rousing singalong of We’re All In This Together. This was Gabby’s only festival appearance this summer because she’s busy working on a new album. Very excited about that.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Mark KermodeLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Mark KermodeLarmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Mark Kermode
Film critic Mark Kermode performed some well arranged covers and plenty of old sounding new songs with his band The Dodge Brothers for the early evening slot at the Garden Stage, entertainment geared towards those who had dressed up for the 50s themed fancy dress parade.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Stornoway
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Stornoway
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Stornoway
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Stornoway
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Stornoway
But it was Stornoway that I was most looking forward to on Saturday (read our pre-Larmer Tree interview) and they didn’t disappoint. Classic tunes such as Zorbing and Here Comes the Blackout from album Beachcomber’s Windowsill were played with great gusto – the guest violinist perched like a mascot at the top of the stage. Stornoway manage that masterful trick of combining folk elements and great song writing to create a new and instantly recognisable sound of their own.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Stornoway
Stornoway by Meg McCarthy
Stornoway by Meg McCarthy.

Lead singer Brian Briggs had a slightly deadpan style of banter so it took me awhile to understand his comment about picking up two small buoys from a Stornoway beach to include in their act. What I hadn’t anticipated, climbing into the photographer’s pit, was just what a boyband Stornoway are. The audience was a sea of screaming teenage girls disappearing into the horizon… and they all seemed to want one particular band member: ever so cute drummer ROBBIEEEEEEE, owner of the aforementioned buoys and brother of equally cute guitarist Oli Steadman. The signing tent afterwards was a seething mass of prepubescent excitement that any sane adults had clearly balked at joining.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Stornoway
For the finale Stornoway released a couple of giant Prisoner-esque white balloons into the audience to bounce about over our heads. The band liked one of my twitpics so much that they posted it on their website. A wonderful set and one of my festival highlights.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Vieux Farka Touré
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Vieux Farka Touré
Over at the Big Top the ever so smiley Vieux Farka Touré finally took to the stage for his delayed performance (passport problem apparently). He’s an exceptionally gifted guitarist from Mali… the son of renowned musician Ali Farka Touré, and purveyor of that unique Mali sound: an adept blend of Western rock riffs and traditional African beats that have given him the moniker of the African Jimi Hendrix. Best of all Vieux Farka Touré was totally laid back and made it all look so utterly simple to play the guitar with such skill. Maybe not quite so rock and roll then! His drummer looked about 12 years old but played an amazing beatdown on a large halved gourd for the encore.

From the back of the packed main stage we caught the tail end of Asian Dub Foundation, who provided a suitably energetic party vibe for Saturday night.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Iain Stirling
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review -Gareth Richards
Finally we headed back to the ARC for our daily dose of comedy, compered by kid’s TV presenter Iain Stirling. Gareth Richards attracted some drunken heckles, which he bashed off admirably… but I have to say they weren’t totally undeserved. Mediocre.

Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Arthur Smith
Larmer Tree Festival 2011 review Arthur Smith
Headline act was ‘old git’ Arthur Smith, who did a sturdy routine of well rehearsed classic one-liners before ending the show with his pants down.

Don’t forget to check out my Thursday review of Larmer Tree and my Friday review of Larmer Tree too.

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2 Responses to “Larmer Tree Festival 2011 Review, Saturday: Stornoway, Gabby Young, Caitlin Rose and Mud!”

  1. Joanna Kang says:

    It was our first time to the festival and what a wonderful time we had indeed! The weather definately didn’t put a dampner on things. It was great to see such a great audience in great spirits!! We’ll be back next year for sure!

    (Moustache On A Stick)

  2. Amelia says:

    Ah hello! I didn’t realise you had a website but I shall link it up now! x

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