Lounge On The Farm 2009: Rated!
Merton Farm, Canterbury 10-12 July
Photographer: Claire Elshaw14 July 2009
Overall - 8/10
As the festival season is now well underway, and the midsummer breeze blows in from the English Channel, Lounge on the Farm sits pretty on Merton Farm in view of Canterbury Cathedral and stands tall as Kent's finest festival.
Getting There and Back – 6/10
Getting there by car would be a little tricky without a good map reader or a satnav as the festival is poorly sign posted from the city centre, but most people know where it is so just ask someone for directions if you get lost. If you are local, it is a very pleasant bike ride to and from the site and there are safe places to lock up your bikes on the site. Bikes can be hired from Downland Cycles in Canterbury City Centre or if you prefer the relaxed luxury of a train, then Canterbury East is the closest station to the farm. To make life a little easier LOTF run shuttl ebuses to and from the train stations and the farm all weekend.
The Site – 9/10
The festival is set on a working dairy farm. The main stage is a cow shed! How very British are we dancing around to the likes of Roots Manuva, Dub Pistols, The King Blues and The Aliens in a fantastically adorned barn (the cows were actually in the next shed down).
Atmosphere – 9/10
Although the event attracts punters from around the world with it's all star line-up and beautiful location, the energy is centred around the local community. The atmosphere is very friendly and chilled, the people, a diverse array of gleeful spirits that reflect the vibe of the festival, and the line up, a medley of tastes to cater for a wide audience.
Music - 10/10
With a vast array of bands DJs and musicians this festival has selected a perfect line up year after year to cater for all tastes. The Dub Pistols were the most popular band of the weekend as they got the Cow Shed jumping to the sounds of dub, ska and big beat and interacted robustly with the buzzing crowd.
The Horrors screamed out songs from their debut album, ‘Strange House’ with it’s 60’s garage sound and teased in material from their new album release ‘Primary Colours’, which echoes sounds of Joy Division and The Chameleons, but as Farris Rotter and Spider Webb both passionately argued when asked, just what is their fascination with Joy Division, “the sound from Primary Colours is far from that of Unknown Pleasures.”
The King Blues, unafraid to mix up dub bass lines, doo-wop a cappella songs, ska rhythms, Lonnie Donegan-styled skiffle, British folk and gritty poetry, were one of the finer acts of the weekend. Itch told VF after their performance that they hadn’t a chance to soak in the atmosphere of the rest of the festival as they were off to NASS Festival in Bath pretty much straight away but they loved the vibe and intend to return next year.
The Aliens blew the crowd away with a very surreal experience: a psychedelic explosion of sound and a burning performance from all band members.
Golden Silvers played tracks from their new album ‘True Romance’. Gwilym Gold told VF in a pre-performance interview that their extensive influences reflect their sound, unranked and far from typecast. He went on to say that they won a competition at Glastonbury Festival and from then on they have become popular on the festival scene, supporting Blur in Hyde Park last month.
On Sunday Mr Scruff chilled everyone out in the baking sunshine with his Afternoon Tea session in The Hoedown tent as farm revellers either danced to his funked up grooves or sat and drank tea on the giant hay bails outside. Then later on the same stage Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip played us off into another glorious sunset.
The unknown surprises found by meandering in and out of the smaller tents are what make this festival a bit special. Bands like 6 Day Riot, The Coco Lovers and A Hawk And A Hacksaw played on an adoring and aghast crowds’ heart strings in the Farm Folk tent with their diverse brands of folk dance and brilliant musicianship, while The Casio Kids, Little Fish and Hotrods And Dragsters, transformed The Sheepdip into a wild combustion of human enthusiasm for celebration. So much new and virtually unknown talent deserves to be experienced by Lounge On The Farm's passionate crowd.
Nothing, overall this festival is well worth the trip to Kent where ever you are in the world.
One interviewer thought he was interviewing the drummer from The Horrors, it was only five minutes into the interview after asking him questions that he had researched with scrutiny about The Horrors, when he realised he was interviewing the wrong guy. It turned out that the guy he interviewed ended up playing drums for Hotrods And Dragsters on an impromptu call up as their drummer couldn't make it. Priceless.