Photo: Alex Rawson
Whenever you tell people you’re going to Farmfest the vast majority will always ask “is that a festival on a farm?” The answer is yes. Hidden in the middle of nowhere in Somerset, those getting the train will need to grab a slightly hair-raising mini bus ride to get to the site.
What originally began as a bunch of friends playing some music in a field has significantly grown over the years in reputation and size. At around 2000 attendees, it’s still relatively dinky by festival standards but that doesn’t prevent them cramming in a busy schedule bursting with diversity and charisma.
Gracing the top of the line-up this year will be Young Fathers who have been wowing many punters across the country. Their smooth blend of poetically worded hip hop is reminiscent of the early Ninja Tunes London scene while still sounding fresh and sprightly in its own right. Currently touring with the resurgent Massive Attack, they are renowned for the intensity of their live shows.
We also see an appearance from Gogo Penguin, recently signed to Blue Note Records. They are an unusual act, being entirely acoustic and composing music which would best be described as electronica/dance if it wasn’t for the complete lack of electronic sounds. Well worth seeing how it’s done.
Some vintage appearances include a long awaited re-team up of DJ Format and Abdominal. Bentley Rhythm Ace will also be carving out some beats in their own inimitable style.
An honourable mention should go to some of Bristol’s big hitters too. Currently enamouring Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq, Idles will be spouting their gnarly quick march post punk, while Candy Darling have some new wave clad grunge to put on display. Fenne Lily brings a stripped down 60’s sounding folk which never fails to captivate.
Finally if you catch anything this year, The Flamenco Thief would be my top choice. I have never seen such a whirlwind of sound come out of one man with a guitar and a bunch of pedals in my life. He’s an absolute marvel of musical skill and would best any DJ at getting people dancing.
It should also be noted that this is a festival where you can literally nip down the road for some fresh eggs if you want.
Limited tickets to the festival are available here.