Review: Galtres Festival, day three: Pirates, lumberjacks and Stranglers

Blue skies at Galtres… Photograph: Galtres Festival on Twitter
26 Aug 2013 @ 12.04 pm
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Blue skies at Galtres… Photograph: Galtres Festival on Twitter
Blue skies at Galtres… Photograph: Galtres Festival on Twitter

Review: Galtres Parklands Festival, day three
Venue: Duncombe Park, Helmsley, Sunday, August 25

I’m woken at 6.30 by that same soul destroying sheep. I try my best not to cry, but I’m so hungry and exhausted that I can’t help it. I need constant access to a kettle in order to be happy.

I need structure to my days and home comforts to feel mentally stable. Needless to say I throw a massive strop, pack up the car and demand to be driven home tonight.

The fact that I’m going home, and the long-awaited appearance of the sunshine, makes this the happiest day of the weekend for me. I kick start the morning with a pot of tea and a slice of carrot cake from the Deliciousness Mobile Teashop, and wait for Grand Old Uke of York in the Arts Barge tent.

Well, what a lovely way to start the day, a gang of pirates and parrots playing covers of The Monkees, and even headliners The Stranglers, on Ukuleles. Inflatable Ukes are handed out to the best dancers, my half hearted clapping didn’t make the grade.

Rocking… the Arts Barge stage
Rocking… the Arts Barge stage

I decide to have a wander around the stalls, where I accidentally become a member of the RSPB. I feel like a bit of a do gooder, even if it was purely to receive the free great tits T-shirt.

Then I’m lured over to the Physics In The Field tent to play with some experiments, a group of youths laugh at my limited knowledge. I got a B in Science GCSE I’ll have you know. I head back to the music, where I feel ever so slightly more comfortable.

Holly Taymar and Chris Bilton are playing The Black Howl stage. I think she’s the loveliest woman around. She even shares with us how self conscious she is about her chin. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I’ve got some exercises I could teach you Holly, so get in touch…

They’re playing a sedate set today, to get everyone through their sunday morning hangovers. It goes well with my tea. They perform a cover of Pumped Up Kicks that they learnt last night. It’s not fair that they’re this good.

On the way over to Pirate Village I give the camel racing another go. They still won’t let me ride one. But I do learn that the noise of Chewbacca was actually a camel.

I’m a little bit early for the York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir so I catch the last ten minutes of a Snickelway Theatre production called Captain Comet, the children are loving it, and I wish I’d seen it all. The general message seems to be appreciate what you’ve got.

The lads from the choir take to the stage all clutching their pints. This is my kind of choir. They sing a few sea shanties, fitting as we’re at The Galleon Stage, a couple of their personal favourites, including Bobby Shaftoe, and as if they’d known I was coming they end on Do You Hear The People Sing? from Les Mis. Emotional.

At Camp Lumberjack with Alfie's stag do
At Camp Lumberjack with Alfie’s stag do

I get a little self conscious about spending too much time in Pirate Village, there’s only so much time a woman can lay on a hay bale surrounded by children before someone get’s suspicious. So I head to The Duke Stage to see Hull based ska band The Talks.

There are 30-odd men in denim bum skimmers, checked shirts and bum bags skanking like their lives depend on it. It turns out their on a stag do and the theme is Camp Lumberjacks, they know the band, and Alfie, the stag, is invited up on stage. Soon enough everyone is up dancing, even me.

I have another wander about, and find myself back in Pirate Village. There’s a grown man dressed as a pirate dancing around on the Galleon Stage. It turns out he’s the Bhangra Pirate, and he’s teaching the kids to dance. He is absolutely hilarious.

The kids dance, the parents laugh. He’s got such choice moves as the “scratch your armpits like you haven’t showered in days” and the obligatory “screw in the lightbulb”. Children and a grown man dressed as pirates Bhangra dancing to The Final Countdown. Only at Galtres.

Martin from The Lake Poets is about to play The Black Howl stage. Now, this was a personal highlight for me. Maybe it’s the over tiredness, but I have a little cry.

He’s a Sunderland boy and his accent comes through just as much as you’d want it to. He’s of the same ilk as Chris Helme. Really beautiful acoustic songs. The ones about his grandparents almost kill me.

A man a row in front of me has clearly had a big weekend, he’s swigging from one of the four pint kegs, wearing two hats and fist pumping along to every strum. What a guy. He really loves The Lake Poets.

Quick tea break then back in time for Chris Helme. The tent is absolutely packed out, and I’m not sure he can quite believe it. He plays some tracks from previous albums, Darkest Days sounds incredible, and then debuts some new material.

The Stranglers headline the final day. Photograph: Galtres Festival on Twitter
The Stranglers headline the final day. Photograph: Galtres Festival on Twitter

It sounds great. Really great. It’s a pretty thrilling set actually. The audience are clearly impressed. Honestly, you could have spent all weekend in The Black Howl tent and never have been disappointed.

Finally it’s on to headline act The Stranglers. Alfie’s stag do are all there, slightly worse for wear. It’s the largest and most animated crowd I’ve seen all weekend.

Everyone is dancing, people are throwing glow sticks, which I’m a little scared of being blinded by but rather that than bottles of you know what. As with The Talks earlier in the day I can’t help but dance.

Peaches shortly followed by Golden Brown goes down amazingly. The friendliness of the crowd echoes the friendliness of the whole festival really.

I leave everyone dancing and head to the car. I just can’t wait to wake up at home.