Bearded Theory Festival 2010
United Kingdom | 26 May 2010
After disastrous weather laid waste to much of last year's festival, it is a real testament to the organisers of Bearded Theory that this year's event took place at all. Gladly, the hard work required to ensure the festival's survival was wholeheartedly worthwhile.
The 3,000 or so in attendance enjoyed glorious sunshine for the duration of what was a fabulous weekend of high quality music, dubious quality dancing and world-record levels of false beard-wearing.
Musically, this year’s Bearded Theory punched well above its weight for a festival that costs just £65. Friday saw storming sets from the likes of Babar Luck, Tarantism and The Wonder Stuff. However, it was The King Blues who stole the show on the first night with their mix of politically astute folk-tinged punk bringing down the house.
Saturday’s highlights came in the form of Mancunian alt rockers the Jerzey Street Band (check them out), a hugely entertaining performance by Goldblade (who played in the bar last year), and the always-enjoyable cabaret-influenced folk from veterans Rev Hammer and Dan Donnelly. New Model Army drew the biggest crowd of the weekend, demonstrating why, after 30 years, they are still top of their game. A special mention must also go to 3 Daft Monkeys, who played a number of new tracks during their energy-sapping two-hour set in the big top, which didn’t even start until gone midnight!
Cheeky Girls aside, Sunday largely belonged to the dub/ska influenced acts, such as Pama International, The Specials’ Neville Staple and Back to the Planet, whose political dub-punk brought back nostalgic memories for many in the crowd. Headliners Dreadzone ended the festival in style with a full-on, no holds barred 90-minute show comprising favourites from their extensive back catalogue, as well as tracks from their recently released new album.
It is astonishing to think how in three short years Bearded Theory has grown from a birthday party outside a pub to a fully-fledged festival in its own right. One thing is certain, though: 2010 marked its ‘coming of age’, and BT has firmly established itself as one of the best small festivals in the UK.
By Michael Eccleshall.
Wednesday 26 May :
Whoo ! Whoo ! Cheeky Girls auditioned for Britain's Got Talent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYdhTzJUmXg