By: Stuart Tidy
3 July, 2017, 11:29
What began as a simple impromptu gathering of some friends and music in a field years ago has grown into one of the best pocket sized festivals the South West has to offer. Not to mention the fact that if you can get your camp stove to work then there are actual fresh eggs available very close by; clue’s in the name.
After hosting mercury music prise winners Young Fathers last year as well as a long anticipated return to the stage from DJ Format, the organisers of this year’s Farmfest have again managed to pull some prestigious rabbits from the hat. Also, those in Bristol who are familiar with the festival know that a large helping of our home grown talent often end up at the Gilcombe Farm. Last year saw an appearance of the menacing and increasingly popular Idles amongst others.
2017 sees an appearance of the dance electronica act Elder Island who have been making waves with their new material this year. The cello at the centre of their sound often gives an eerie edge to the infectious grooves as it injects melancholy aside the contorting samples they stir into the mix. Goan Dogs make another appearance with that buoyant feel good indie sound which goes down very nicely with a glass of rum.
We also see the return of the psyche rock beasts Stone Cold Fiction having had a busy year, including their first national tour as support for Peur. From our re-launch show this year the grandiose psyche-pop theatrics of Cousin Kula having recently released ‘What You Know’ single will take to the stage. Finally just a mention for ex-Bristol resident hip-hop act Disraeli – now playing with DJ Downlow; this eloquent and evocative wordsmith shows a supreme level of skill throughout the multi-faceted moods of each song.
Further up the listing Beans on Toast with his straight to the point lyrics make for a refreshing and confrontational type of folk music, a genre which can often be littered with pretension is most certainly not in this case. DJ Yoda on the other hand leans far more heavily to the less than serious side. Anyone who has heard the ‘How To Cut and Paste’ albums will know how his bizarre and at times plain ridiculous take on track-mixing will make the playful antics of ‘Too many DJ’s’ seem like a philosophy lecture.
Hopefully after last years tent bulging rush for Nightmares on Wax there will be more space to gather the interested parties into the sphere of their soulful grooves and funk orientated tracks. With a long history of smooth and beautifully produced albums, the DJ nights show them in a slightly different guise as they display the ability to string together marathon length sets, all the time lining the performance with those disco/funk/soul threads that inhabit the DNA of their music.
Ending the weekend this year we are treated to one of the longest serving and well known MC’s in British hip-hop. A serial collaborator having worked with DJ Shadow, Mr Scruff, Gorillaz, Beth Orton, The Herbaliser, Ninja Tunes and Leftfield, Roots Manuva probably most famous for his song ‘Witness (1 Hope)’ has been around since the 90’s and is credited by many as one of the artists to pave the way for grime music. With a mix of reggae, ragga and hip-hop, his tracks are often very tongue-in-cheek not to mention his lyric choices.
Last few weekend tickets are available via the festival website. Check out Elder Island’s single ‘Bamboo’.