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Bearded Theory 2014 – Saturday

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bearded theory 1True deceivers got things started on the main stage.  With a mix of guitar, fiddle and vocals they were a good start to the day, but I was more interested in heading over to one of the other stages.

Over in Tornado Town, East Town Pirates were putting in a great set with their pirate themed catchy rock songs.  They clearly suspected the crowd was there more to shelter from the weather than to see them joking at one stage “It’s stopped raining now, you can go if you want”, but listening to their set I think most people were actually there to enjoy their music.

The Karma party were next on main stage, a young band with a rock/punk sound mixed with newer elements.  Again, a band that didn’t appeal to me particularly, so I headed off around the site to enjoy some food and to watch people having fun.

Merry hell come next and really take things up a level, really putting the first two main stage bands in the shade.  It’s folk rock, a genre which covers a fairly wide variety, and with Merry Hell I’d say they’re more Folk than Rock, but they do contain a reaonable rock element.  It’s a great set and one that inspired me to pick up a copy of one of their albums alter on.

3 daft monkeys were up next.  Regulars at the festival they’ve played multiple times including the very first year, and draw a big crowd for their great fun infectious music.  The guitar and fiddle plus drums and great vocals work really well and I thoroughly enjoy their set.  Part way through they introduce Roy Harter who comes out and guests with them, playing Accordion for several songs.  Definitely a band I want to hear more of in the future.

bearded theory sat 1Dexters were up next, a young band with more of an indie-rock sound.  They put in a good performance but musically they weren’t my kind of thing.  That’s the beauty of Bearded theory though – there’s stuff to appeal to every possible taste

Oysterband were up next with some traditional folk music.  I really like their latest album, “Diamonds in the water”, but this was my first time seeing the band live.  I really enjoyed their set an thought they deserved a larger crowd, but the weather seemed to have driven a lot of people to the beer tents.

pop will eat itselfPop will eat itself were net up, and were a band I’d been looking forward to since they were announced for the festival.  I’d seen the band several times in the late 80s and early 90s, but not since.  While the band may be older these days, they certainly haven’t changed and are full of energy and mayhem.  Several times the two singers charged into one another, on one occasion coming close to knocking one of them off the stage.  With their use of a megaphone for some of the vocals they sounded just as good as I remembered them, and playing plenty of their old classics this was a set that brought back a lot of memories for me, and the rest of the crowd looked to be enjoying them too.

stranglersThe wonderstuff were next up.  This was one of their first shows with the new lineup – they have a new drummer, and also a new guitarist in the form of Dan Donnelly who was playing the first of two Bearded Theory shows of the weekend (he also had a solo set at the Locked in the woods stage on Sunday). As you’d expect from a festival set it was mainly made up of old classics, including “Red berry joy town”, “size of a cow”, “A wish away” and “Give give give me more more more”, although we did get some new material with Miles introducing one song with the line “I’m going to use the words no festival audience wants to hear….Here’s a new song”.  A great fun set.

Tonight’s headliners were music legends The Stranglers, a band that appeals to young and old alike judging by the crowd they draw.  This year is the band’s 40th anniversary, and they give us a great selection of songs from their career including perrenial favourites “Peaches”, “Always the sun” and “Golden brown”.

 

 

Ant May
I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.