Workhouse Festival - 30 June - 2 July 2006
I had never been to this festival before, now in its fourth year I believe. It's still nice and small with only about 3000 people in a beautiful location, Llanfyllin in Powys, Wales. We were in for a scorching weekend but luckily there was a stream running at the back of the festival site and lakes and waterfalls a short drive away.
I arrived on friday evening just in time to set up for the weekend and have a look around the site before Freestylers DJs came on. I bumped into a couple of friends from Glastonbury who I chatted with for a while and then headed over to the main stage. I then bumped into my other friends, who I had arranged to meet up with there all ready for the Freestylers. They really spun some wicked tunes and they rocked out big time, everyone went crazy! I had never seen them before but they are definitely on my list of people to catch live again. Everyone wandered off to sit down and chill out for a while but I was getting cold and tired so headed off to the van for a nice sleep!
Saturday was boiling hot so instead of hanging round all afternoon getting sunstroke we decided to head off to nearby lake Vyrnwy which has an amazing looking dam built in the 1890's to provide Liverpool with water. We stopped for ice-cream, had a wander over the dam and a drive round the lake stopping to sit by one of the little streams running into the lake. We then drove to Pistyll Rhaeadr, the highest waterfall in Wales and England cascading down 240ft! We got back into Llanfyllin just in time to drop a couple of the lads off at the pub to watch the football whilst we went back to the site.
After food and a chill out and everyone getting back from watching the football we went and watched Horace X. I had never heard of them before, billed as high energy reggae-dance fusion where Celtic, Gypsy and Asian tunes collide with drum & bass dance beats. They were pretty damn good and got us jigging around and warmed up ready for Zion Train. After a brief pause in the entertainment Zion Train took to the stage. As is always the case, beautiful dub tunes, gorgeous brass sounds and some great vocals got the tent rocking and the people sweating. We walked off danced out and happy! We found ourselves at the open mike session in the Eartheart cafe until the early hours listening to a guitarist and a double bass player which I really enjoyed.
On Sunday it was again stupidly hot so we sat on the bank of the stream that ran along the edge of the festival site for a couple of hours. We watched the kids playing and talked to random people. The last band was on at 5pm so we made our way over to see them. They were called the Herbert Spliffington Allstars and are a mix of modern jazz, ska, reggae and calypso. They got us bouncing a little and were a nice chilled out end to the festival. After a couple of hours chatting back at the van it was time to tat down and go home. Everyone else was staying another night but I had work in the morning! It was a lovely festival, I highly recommend it, I just hope it doesn't grow too much!
Below are a selection of photographs from the gathering.