By: Stuart Tidy
31 July, 2017, 16:50
The ability to escape our cities and indulge in an atmosphere full of music and art a world away from work is all the more tangible at Green Man Festival with it being nestled in the middle of the Brecon Beacons, flanked by mountains and streams. The 9-5 quickly fades from your mind as you reside in what feels like a panning shot from Lord of Rings. A ‘Settlers pass’ at Green Man enables you to spend the whole week on site to peruse the surrounding areas.
The festival boasts of a vastly assorted array of music, art and literature with some long serving artists such as British drum and bass mastermind Roni Size who has been active since the mid 90’s. Crushed velvet sounding Brighton indie act British Sea Power, likewise with a stack of material under their belt, produce an upbeat set full of soft punches lined with a strangely optimistic melancholy. In a similar fashion, Celtic folk performer Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit (responsible for the soundtrack to BBC2 sitcom ‘The Detectorists’) provides beautiful narrative folk full of charm and sparkle.
Some of the bigger names include anarchic Nottingham provider of political and social diatribes Sleaford Mods. Brilliantly witty and confrontational they feel like a tourettes saturated string of cathartic pros. In fact it feels very fitting having Kate Tempest at the same festival; writer, poet, author and MC, she is off the back of her concept album Let Them Eat Chaos and brilliantly successful free upload single ‘Europe is Lost’. Eloquent and alarmingly poignant with her lyrics, she is staggering example of musical authenticity.
American solo singer/songwriter Ryan Adams is one of the headliners this year playing his well crafted and sharply executed brand of alt-country. Alongside him are synth rock oddity Future Islands whose front man Samual T Herring is perhaps disproportionately remembered for his overtly bizarre dancing. His somewhat Jekyll and Hyde vocals massage the back line grooves while intermittently mutating into vicious snarls adding character to songs which echo of the 80’s pop purists. Top of the bill is the ever surprising indie, grunge, country, punk juggling PJ Harvey who has worked with Nick Cave and Josh Homme just to name a few people. Like Kate Tempest she has dipped into many other avenues including, in her case, composing. Her guitar based songwriting shows just how much range you can achieve over a career despite maintaining a distinctive and recognisable sound.
In the comedy arena we are treated to Josie Long; a creative and ever transforming comic who began her long comedy career early winning the BBC new comedy award at just 17. Quite appropriately and possibly refreshingly, at present she is focused on the idea of possessing left wing leanings in a time besieged by alt-right media and an overtly conservative press. Rob Deering on the other hand takes a musical approach to his act incorporating a loop pedal and beat boxing for multi-layered tracks. The timing and level of coordination in itself is spectacle enough before the hilarious story telling takes hold.
Tickets have sold out for the festival. See you down at the front!