Another incredible year at the best family festival around comes to a close

With the likes of Peter Hook and The Light, Ash, Reverend + The Makers and the Wailers, it was always going to be good, but it was better than I could have expected. 

For me, Friday kicked off with Saytr Play, who are possibly one of the greatest upcoming bands about, with a truly incredible stage presence. The Tim Peaks Diner stage was the perfect intimate setting for Saytr Play, small enough to let Fred do his thing and get involved with the crowd, but big enough for a sizeable crowd to gather and watch them do what they do best.

I then took the short walk across to the main stage, as nineties Northern Irish indie rockers, Ash took to the stage. They played some of their best known tunes, from ‘Shining Light’, ‘Burn Baby Burn’, and ‘Girl From Mars’, among many others, making a perfect set to prep the crowd perfectly for the delights that Peter Hook and The Light were about to blast through the speakers to the soaking wet crowds.

Peter Hook might just be one of the most well known, and possibly loved, musicians to come out of Manchester, and the love that the crowd showed him on Friday night did nothing but confirm the admiration which has helped to cement Hooky’s place in Manchester music history, as a founding member of both New Order and Joy Division.

Saturday kicked off with some of the finest talent around in surrounding areas, from La Mode, Dirty Laces, C33’s, and Liines, among many other smaller bands, who all delivered absolutely stellar sets throughout the day. The best part of it all was that every band drew a crowd, no matter how big or small they were, there was a fair sized crowd for every band that performed on the day.

Things got a little different on the main stage around 4 o’clock, as Patawawa took to the stage and delivered an extremely energetic set, but to me, it felt like I was watching the entertainment at a holiday park in the middle of high season. I’m not saying it was a bad performance, it was fun and energetic and the crowd loved it, I just think it was one of the most confusing things I have ever seen. Or so I thought…

Things got a little more confusing when Oh My God! It’s The Church, took to the stage. At first, I thought it was something a bit more aimed at the families attending the festival, that is of course until ‘Sexy Jesus’ (or Michael Alabama Jackson, whichever you prefer) rattled off swear words like an machine gun rattles out bullets. An innuendo ridden set, which involved mentions of all kinds of unspeakable acts, felt extremely out of place at what is supposed to be a family friendly festival. Whilst it may have been amusing, and I kinda wanna see them again, I feel it may have been out of place in a festival full of young children.

As the day drew to a close, the bigger acts took to the stage, with Reverend + The Makers kicking off the run of the bigger acts. Now if you want to see a band absolutely smash a set, then go and see this band. Not only is it tune after tune for the full set, it’s non-stop energy, and non-stop performing. They know how to write songs capable of getting masses bouncing, and it’s truly incredible to witness a band control a crowd in such a way. The masses then piled into Tim Peaks Diner, as it was closed by the man himself, Tim Burgess. He was admired by everyone, delivering some of his best Charlatans tunes to an extremely happy crowd, with members of Reverend + The Makers watching from backstage.

An incredible festival was drawn to a close by The Wailers. The band that once provided the backing to Bob Marley, now continued his incredible reggae legacy, with the likes of ‘Buffalo Soldier’, ‘No Woman, No Cry’, and ‘Is This Love’, among many, many more. It’s not my sort of music, but jesus, was it good. It was the perfect end to a truly wonderful festival, and no doubt I will be back again.