Review: Galtres Festival, day two: Music, comedy and camels

Chilling out at the dream catcher workshop
25 Aug 2013 @ 12.14 pm
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Chilling out at the dream catcher workshop
Chilling out at the dream catcher workshop

Review: Galtres Parklands Festival, day two
Venue: Duncombe Park, Helmsley, Saturday, August 24

I hate camping. I really hate camping. I’m cold, wet and miserable. You can hear everything as well. There seems to be a sheep loitering just outside of my tent with the voice of a man. Terrifying.

I’ve had approximately four hours sleep since I arrived here. It’s the feeling of being trapped that I really don’t like. Please send transport or donations to help bring me home…

Despite my utter loathing towards camping, Galtres is incredible. You can just wander about and find something amazing happening. And not just music, there are craft stalls, camel racing and dance lessons.

I spent an hour making a dream catcher whilst people learned to jive in the Arts Barge tent. It’s the community feel of everything I like the most, when I’d finished my absolutely terrible dream catcher, I helped a little girl with hers…

Poor thing. It was quite possibly the world’s worst dream catcher.

One of the camel racing headliners
One of the camel racing headliners

The camel racing is hilarious, if a little odd. I don’t really understand why it’s here if I’m honest. I watched for a good ten minutes, never really knowing who won the race, and then they announced that I couldn’t even ride one… Well what’s the point in anything?

I went to get a tea to cure my rage… Which did not go well at all. Every food stall I got to that had a very clear sign reading “Tea And Coffee” said they couldn’t serve it because there are other vendors just selling hot drinks. I was quite rightly furious. There were longer queues for caffeine than there were for the bar.

Finally I acquired a brew, and after a quick box of mediocre noodles and a go on the dodgems I strolled over to The Duke’s Stage to see Littlemores for their second set of the weekend. I was tipped off about the presence of a brass section, and who doesn’t love a trumpet?

They’re sounding great, the band are tight, and something I’ve noticed over the course of the weekend is that the sound across all of the stages has been really well managed. Littlemores sound almost like a recording, as they entertain a damp crowd with their dark lyrics of real life working class tragedy.

They’re a little bit Arctic Monkeys, with the merest hint of ska.

We’ve all been gravely misled by the weather forecast because I’ve spent the past two days in and out of tents cowering from the rain. After Littlemores I’m straight back to the Arts Barge tent in a failed attempt to get warm.

I turn up for the end of poet Henry Raby’s set, who’s got the whole crowd shouting about a tyrannosaurus rex, he’s shortly followed by an African Dance Troupe. A perfect example of the diversity of the festival.

Frankie And The Heartstrings are on at The Duke’s Stage so I had a quick look over there. Their really catchy indie pop has the crowd of cagoules dancing, it’s getting late in the day so the dance moves are getting a little more elaborate with every trip to The Firkin Stage.

They’re frequently described as the friendliest band around, and I can already tell I love the lead singer. He flounces around the stage like a less serious version of Morrissey. I want to be his friend.

After that I decide it’s best to hanker down in The Little Top for the night. There’s a few great acoustic acts scheduled, followed by some comedy.

First up are The Nick Rooke Band to provide us with a wild bluegrass party. Lyrics about fishermen’s sons and big skies are soundtracked with banjos and guitars, it takes every fibre of my being not to get up and dance.

Melancholy: Edd Barlow
Melancholy: Edd Barlow
Strong voice, shame about the gimmicks: Josh Savage
Strong voice, shame about the gimmicks: Josh Savage

There’s a couple of children absolutely owning the dance floor. They keep running around for Edd Barlow‘s set, which is rather melancholy, though the tent lends itself perfectly to Edd’s powerful voice and mature lyrics. Showing his worth on a cover of Dark End Of The Street, this is where he’s at his best, him, his guitar and an appreciative crowd.

Josh Savage is another talent, with a strong voice, but doesn’t he just know it. He’s a bit too arrogant for me, laying out a guitar case at the front of the stage with a few coppers chucked in it.

He’s even releasing an EP in French. It all just seems a bit pretentious. Mind you, he has got a good voice, which reminds me a little of the lead singer of Bastille, and if it weren’t for all of these gimmicks I’m sure I’d appreciate it more.

He’s got a trio of strings with him, and strings always make things sound special. Mountains And Hurricanes is his stand out track. He tells a story about his ex girlfriend cheating on him with Johnny Borrell of Razorlight, who just so happens to be playing The Duke’s Stage right now. The most perfect festival clash in all of known history.

After all of the melancholy I could do with a laugh, so I eschew the rainy Maximo Park performance for the comedy night. Hosted by Andy Watson, the children are quickly removed after a couple of F bombs and even a casual dropping of the C word.

There are a few acts on tonight, Sketchy Theatre performing a couple of, you guessed it, sketches, Danny Pensive with his unique style, where the joke seems to be building to a punchline that never really comes, and Bethany Black, a little bit rude, a little bit of a feminist. I’m a little bit in love.

Bethany is the headliner, and by far my favourite, she pokes fun at the lesbian stereotype she’s become, shocks and sometimes disgusts the crowd with some, perhaps too, descriptive metaphors, and get’s massively distracted by a Daddy Long Legs throughout the course of the evening.

She’s also seven years sober, which just goes to show you can be really cool without having a drink. Remember that kids.

With my spirits well and truly lifted I decide it’s time to head back to my tent. Although, I’m happy, I am cold and all I want to do is get a bus back to York and get into bed… Oh well, maybe tomorrow night?