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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Wood Festival 2011 Review: Goodnight Lenin, Thea Gilmore, Telling the Bees

The first night at Wood Festival in Braziers Park was a relaxed sign of the weekend to come: wonderful folk music set against a beautiful backdrop.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Tents by Lorna Scobie
Tents by Lorna Scobie.

Wood Festival is billed as one of the greenest festivals in the UK, a fully sustainable event that takes place in the lovely sun dappled meadows of Braziers Park in Oxfordshire. It is the brainchild of the Bennett brothers, who started having babies and decided that they needed a more family friendly festival than their longer running Truck Festival, now entering its 14th year.

Wood Festival 2011
Wood Festival 2011
Wood Festival 2011
Wood Festival 2011
Wood Festival 2011
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

We arrived as dusk was falling after a hellish drive out of London, parked in a bordering field and walked past an immaculate recycling point with signs made out of old records to enter the festival a few yards down the track. As we waited for our press passes a man with his bike picked up a free beer token with his ticket, a thanks for cycling to Wood. It’s the special touches such as this that make Wood Festival quite unique.

Goodnight Lenin by Rukmunal Hakim
Goodnight Lenin by Rukmunal Hakim.

Once our tent was up it was time to check out Goodnight Lenin in the Tree Tent, where a protracted soundcheck was made light of with a humorous discussion about the various merits of certain crisp flavours.

Goodnight Lenin Wood Festival 2011 Goodnight Lenin Wood Festival 2011 Goodnight Lenin Wood Festival 2011
Goodnight Lenin.

If you’re a fan of Mumford & Sons and ilk then the sweet harmonies of this Birmingham based band should be right up your street. A real find, catch Goodnight Lenin again soon at the Moseley Folk Festival.

Goodnight Lenin by Lou Cloud
Goodnight Lenin by Lou Cloud.

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Then it was a short trot over to the main Wood Stage (when I say main, I mean it wasn’t inside a tent) for Thea Gilmore, who from afar sounded a bit 80s but up close was a bit middle of the road folk for my tastes. But she’s got a great voice and she had a good line in banter, bemoaning her lack of festival cider due to pregnancy.

Thea Gilmore Wood Festival 2011Thea Gilmore Wood Festival 2011Thea Gilmore Wood Festival 2011
Thea Gilmore.

Back at the Tree Tent the last set of the night came from Telling the Bees, at which point I must confess that I have a bit of a soft spot for protest folk. Telling the Bees are best described as Levellers meets Circulus – a mix of tuneful folk, protest lyrics, unusual instruments and a certain sartorial extravagance. Bagpipes and pearls should be obligatory at all festivals.

Telling the Bees Wood Festival 2011Telling the Bees Wood Festival 2011Telling the Bees Wood Festival 2011
Telling the Bees.

Before bed there was just time to hang out for a bit at the central camp fire, a lovely way to end the evening.

Wood Festival 2011 camp fire

If you want to know more about Wood Festival why not read my preview interview with Robin Bennett? More to come in my next instalment soon.

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One Response to “Wood Festival 2011 Review: Goodnight Lenin, Thea Gilmore, Telling the Bees”

  1. [...] and a world of other pies that she has her fingers in. Do pop over and read her far superior WOOD review instead relying on this ponderous [...]

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