Something Else Solar Warm Up Party 22 April 2017
I have been going to the larger 'Something Else in the Dean' festival for the past 3 years but this was the first time I had been to the smaller 'Solar Warm Up'. This party is only a one day event but ticket holders can arrive on the Friday where the bar is open and there is acoustic music around the fire. The main day is the Saturday with music on from midday, a few workshops and stalls and of course the bar! On Sunday people are asked to leave but for £25 for two nights camping and a day of music it is great value for money!
Saturday brought us the most glorious weather and it was like a beautiful summers day. First on was Cara from The Defekters with her solo project Cara Means Friend. She sang all the songs off her new 5 track EP (available at Bandcamp) as well as a few of her other songs, a Defekters song and a cover! She was a great start to the day. Next up on the other stage was Samantics, a poet/rapper/hip hop artist (Gosh I hate these categories we put musicians into but when writing a review it is so hard not to use them!) Samantics was great and my best new artist find from the festival. Songs sung straight from the heart with depth and meaning. I was so impressed I just bought his album on Bandcamp :)
Next on the other stage was Firepit Collective, one of my all time favourite bands and they played some great tunes although its hard not to feel disappointed when the singer, Jay Terrestrial slags people off for talking. I saw it once before with Mark Chadwick of The Levellers and then as this time I just feel like these people seem to think they are so self important that no-one should talk anywhere near them while they are singing. Well newsflash, gigs and festivals are social occasions, people talk, get over it. If as a musician you are put off by people talking then hang up your instruments or practice focusing your mind on the music you are playing.
For the rest of the afternoon I just floated around, chatted to friends, walked the dogs and chilled back at camp. Early evening saw Emma and the Professor play and as they had been recommended I went and checked them out. Lovely tunes and vocals, very folky, not my own favourite out of personal taste but good all the same and well worth catching them if you are ever at a festival where they play.
What I had most been looking forward to was Phat Bollard. They had played at the main festival in September but I had missed them. A friend had seen them and got some of their albums which I had heard and loved their sound and their ethos. They played a blinding set, they really seemed to be enjoying every minute of playing and their vibe and music got the crowd smiling and dancing. By the end of their set I had drunk too much gin and was exhausted from bouncing around. Brilliant live band, they busk many towns and cities as well as doing gigs and festivals so check them out!
Next was Funke and the Two Tone Baby, now this might seem strange but I have seen this name on a few line-ups and on boards at festivals I have been to but have never caught the music. I was totally expecting a band as the name kind of suggests! This is another one man power house full of strong songs and lyrics spreading good tunes and good vibes. Really glad I managed to see him at last even though I had defiantly had too much gin by that point.
Last but by no means least was Tarantism Duo (aka Mel & Magnus), I had ditched the camera back at the truck by this point (due to the high gin intake) so no photos but needless to say they were awesome although only caught the last few songs due to chatting away with friends :)
All in all a great weekend, a lovely vibe at a lovely venue put on by a lovely crew with lovely bands!
Below are a selection of photographs from the party.