Just landing after a super sparkly sunny funny time at the Sunrise festival in Chepstow. What an awesome gathering of chilled out, open hearted, beat loving funksters. I had an amazing time, despite the rain showers on Thursday night that had me wishing I was at home in my nice warm toasty bed. But no, Joe Driscoll and Seckou Kouyate were playing at Chai Wallah’s and I wasn’t going to miss that for all the rain in Wales. They played an awesome set – so happy I finally got to hear them and to see Seckou’s unbelievably fast finger work. I see why they call him the Jimi Hendrix of kora.
Mouse Outfit, a nine piece band with MC Dr Syntax rocked the tent on Saturday night with an exciting and eclectic blend of hip-hop, jazz and funk – tight in delivery and devilishly good. Then it was over to the Cat’s Cradle stage for Eat Static for some old skool trance and then back to Chai Wallah’s to catch Bristol based band the Allergies.
Sunday’s smorgasbord of sonic delights included Bristol Afrobeat Project who play afrobeat flavoured with a heavy dose of soul and jazz. I interviewed Ben and Marie from the band afterwards and this will be played on Phil Vickery’s “In-tune” show on BCFm 93.2. A staple of the festival circuit, Sheelanagig got everyone dancing with their blend of Balkan beats. Top band of Cat’s Cradle on Sunday was Smiley and the Underclass, dub punk rockers from London – loved their energy and the sassy performance of their female vocalist. Born to perform!
Asbo Disco revved up the party vibes with a massive mash-up of house, jungle, hip-hop, funk and everything else in between. A brilliant roller coaster ride through sound and the perfect set to close the festival.
Also saw some amazing circus acts – Merlin as Wonder Woman – doing her costume change not in a mere phone box dear readers, but whilst twirling several hoola hoops around various limbs. I can’t even manage one so my respect is mighty.
Loved the new site too, although it did take time to grow on me. Just off the Chepstow racecourse, it was a more interesting site to discover with a hidden faerie grotto, craft workshops, talks and to see the Severn Bridge lit up at night as it stretched back to Babylon.
I have to give a massive thank you to the Back Angels who visit festivals with their luxurious inversion tables. Designed to hold you comfortably whilst you hang up side down, they take all the pressure off your spine and joints and help re-align the vertebrae. Just the job after all that dancing, carrying back packs and sleeping in a tent. Hanging like a bat is blissful – so good to feel those deep stretches and the relief is immense. I’m sure that my sessions there helped me last as long as I did and would totally recommend trying them at a festie if you see their stall. They have their events listed on their website – backangels.com/Back_Angels.
Huge thanks also go to Jos and her team in the GAMA field who help the disabled festie goers. The job you guys do is amazing and makes it possible for so many people who would otherwise be excluded attend these events.
So thanks to Sun Bird and all the crew involved in making this event safe, sparkly and successful. See you for more fun in a field sometime…. :-)