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Galtres Festival - Day One - Sat 28th Aug (Live Review)

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 Written by Adam Simpson
Galtres Festival - Day One - Sat 28th Aug (Live Review)

Galtres Festival, in Crayke, near York, on the 28th and 29th August was an absolute success. This fantastic little festival offered something for everyone, a good day out or a great weekend away. Real ale and cider sampling, family fun or plenty for the music fan. The festival was a huge success and even the British summertimeís attempts to spoil the party could not.

The festival donates revenue to numerous charities, including the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, St Monicaís Hospital, The Arts Barge Project and Impact Young Heroes. The Arts Barge Project, a charity for young people in York, requires special mention for their thoroughly entertaining sets over the weekend.

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Opening The Dukes Stage, sponsored by Fibbers, York, were Littlemores and yet again this fantastic unsigned York band performed brilliantly and set the standard for the rest of the groups to try and match. But for a technical issue with Conor Hironís guitar during the last song, Larry, which the young four piece professionally dealt with, their set was near perfect. The usual danceable, jangly, upbeat ska infused indie pulled the crowd toward the stage and entertained everyone watching. This was an incredibly good set, with Obsession, setting the crowd alight, with Conorís exquisite guitar solo midway through the track.

Next on The Dukes Stage, were another local group, Buccaneers. Playing heavy blues and rock and roll, Buccaneers picked up where Littlemores left off and kept the momentum going. The four piece played a brilliant set with front man Andreís brilliant blues guitar and deep, gravelly vocals particularly impressing. Sounding something like Primal Scream during their Screamadelica album, crossed with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, their harmonica infused blues music impressed and entertained.

Down came the rain briefly and unfortunately the performance dampened a little too as Jess Gardham and her band took to the stage, not terrible, but not particularly convincing either, Jess Gardhamís set of plodding music and gentle vocals was sadly lacking any real intention or depth. After two brilliant sets previously, this performance sadly looked very average.

As the weather again brightened, so did the musical talent on offer at The Dukes Stage. Alvin Purple, another unsigned group dazzled with their electro rock/new wave performance. The four piece from Leeds playing drums, drum machine, bass, guitar, keyboards and synths were excellent and brought the level of performance right back up to somewhere near the opening performance from Littlemores. The screaming guitar, played through a synth was fantastic, the high, plodding bass, straight from the 80ís was also very good, but for technical issues. Pre dubbed effects and samples added more depth to the groups textured sound, which was very much danceable and stuck somewhere between The Ting Tings, Killing Joke and The Stone Roses. Lead singer, Carlyís energy on stage and fantastic eerie vocals were fantastic and like the first two acts, this set was brilliant.

The Dilfs set of covers was thoroughly entertaining and pleased the crowd no end. Covering everybody from The Small Faces, The Jam, The Buzzcocks, Elvis and The Queens Of The Stone Age, they provided something for everyone. The not so young three piece played brilliantly, the set was musically very tight and vocally very good, with plenty of between track banter to rouse the crowd and add to the entertainment factor of The Dilfs, very good set.

The highlight of the day was The Arts Barge Orchestraís set with Littlemores. Combining the excellent musical ability of The Arts Barge Projectís double bass players, brass section and percussionists with the musical brilliance of Littlemores and accompaniment from the very good Trophy Club and solo, acoustic artist James Lawes, this set utterly blew me and most of the crowd away, such was its brilliance. Every element of this set was perfect and the noise that the combination of all the instruments created was huge. Standing out from this was the performance of Littlemores songs, For The Ladís and Larry, which when backed with the other musicians, became huge orchestral delights. This was the set of the day and ultimately the weekend, it stole the show and followed on from the first set played by Littlemores and took their sound way beyond what had already been heard.

The headline act of the night were The Lightning Seeds. The 90ís Brit Pop stars played a mix of old hits and new and pulled a huge crowd to The Dukes Stage, but ultimately their set was off the mark. Indeed most acts would have struggled to match the brilliance offered by The Arts Barge Orchestraís set with the Littlemores, but Ian Broudieís vocals were way off the mark and a far cry from how the group sounded in their peak. Musically very tight, but overall a letdown in truth and also not particularly entertaining, what The Lightning Seeds managed to do though in their defence, is magnify the fact that The UK and indeed Yorkshire has lots of very, very good unsigned groups and artists on offer.

The festivalís first day then, was ultimately a huge success, with lots more going on away from The Dukes Stage and lots more acts not mentioned in this review, the entertainment on offer was brilliant and as mentioned, the music excellent, with Littlemores and Alvin Purple impressing whole heartedly. The groups put on at The Dukes Stage, sponsored by Fibbers, York, all deserved their place, some acts obviously better than others, but there certainly was not a bad act. As this festival grows year by year, the performances indeed grow too and this is certainly a festival worth visiting next year. It certainly gets my recommendation.





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