Four Go Mad In Lechlade

pieminister_pie_box1The feature piece in the July Gig Monkey column of The Ocelot was a review of Lechlade Festival. Sadly I only got to go on the Saturday, meaning I missed musical highlight Danny & The Champions Of The World. Still, it gave me an opportunity to post a picture of some of my favourite ever pies (got to be a first for me, a non music related photo!). As a side point, I suggest if anyone sees the Pieminister guys at a festival, dive in to one of the full monty meals they do, with pie, mash, peas, gravy and lovely crispy bits of onion etc, as they will keep you going for hours and hours. Total life savers!

So, the festival season is upon us again. Hurrah I hear mobile food vendors and tent salesmen the length of the country shout! And hurrah shout us at Casa Ocelot, as we love a good jump around in muddy fields to some great music. So we polished up the official wellington boots, collected a few kids to harvest opinion from and headed off to Lechlade Festival for the day.
As one of the earlier festivals in the calendar, the weather can always be a little touch and go for Lechlade. However, this year we were blessed with some unseasonal sunshine and blue skies so omens for the day were good and expectations high. As the younger team members rushed off to try all the kids stuff, waving the money I used to secure their willing attendance, I headed off to check out the music.

I started on the main stage with the Pirate Party Brigade, who are perhaps the identikit festival band, with their ska influenced jump-up-and-dance tunes, fancy dress and madcap antics. The crowd seemed to agree. I then followed this with the soulful, bluesy acoustica of Benji Clements in the beer tent (the set included a great cover of my favourite Hendrix tune, Crosstown Traffic) and stayed in-situ for the folk rock stomp of Missin’ Rosie, who pulled a huge crowd inside, despite the sun! They were brilliant fun, their mix of covers and self-penned songs of uproarious bar room shanties getting the place rocking. I just wish the sound engineer had been more on the ball. Sticking with the music, The Costello’s delighted as always with their usual funky ska schtick, and Ocelot pet band The Vooz proved once again they really know how to ignite the fuse on the party bomb with their upbeat punky-pop-rock numbers and high energy stage show.
Away from the stages, amongst all the fun crafty stuff and rides there was a great selection of food wagons (personal highlight being the legendary Pieminister, who have got me through many a festival) including the drag act cabaret-catering of The Camp Cooks, who have to be seen to be believed. Add to this some choice local ales and cider there is very little excuse to go home hungry, sober and un-entertained.
And the junior ranks? They had fun causing chaos, but as they are not music fans (I don’t count some of the stuff they listen to as music) they soon ran out of things to do and money (pretty much everything apart from the music cost extra, so take plenty of cash). Whilst a very well-run and planned event, with a bit more imagination and flair even they would have been kept amused.

First published in the July 2013 issue of The Ocelot Magazine www.theocelot.co.uk

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