Green Man Festival 2015
Glanusk Estate, Wales
At this point in the summer anyone up for festivals who still has the enthusiasm or the brain cells left at their disposal after a summer of ‘avin it, needs to go to Green Man.
And if you haven’t ‘ad it? Well it’s also recommended. This is the music festival re-aligned for pleasantry.
Can you remember when the music festival meant some intelligent conjuncture with pals, the opportunity to go and hear some sounds you hadn’t ever heard before, to try out the local produce and maybe smoke a bit of the old green stuff. Nah us neither, because tired line-ups and the traditional British way of ‘avin it as hard as one can ‘ave it has meant many festivals that bear the name festivals have become glorified gorge outs on the above. Green Man is a ‘festival’ proper. Talks, food, comedy, music, spontaneous performers and 40 different local ales cram their way into a site space that sucks as much from each area as it possibly can. It’s green, it’s extremely Welsh and it’s beautiful – the air feels better here.
Everything about Green Man is refreshing. No fucking Heinz Ketchup arena or Colgate dance village here, the whole event is completely sponsor free and did we mention the air? It’s really clean. Even the fact it absolutely pelted it down on Saturday night into Sunday was less annoying when surrounded by natural beauty.
Highlights this year included watching a Mojo journalist trying to deal with interviewing Mark E Smith, before watching The Fall play later that evening. Credit to the journalist for handling him and even taking that interview on in public, but asking him questions like “did you have any training for your role as God?” were rightfully met with disdain from one of music’s spikiest characters. Less can be said for Super Furry Animal’s rather dry and perplexing interview that followed Mr Smith but was more than made up for by the two-hour headline set in the evening that drew from Welsh-language album Mwng as much as anything, but was, despite the rain, a full celebration of the weird and wonderful music they’ve given the world. The whole thing presented in full colour on their home turf.
Hot Chip brought the party as they’ve been doing consistently for over a decade now, the William Onyeabor band probably out-partied Hot Chip for sheer vibe generation on the Main Stage and Sun Ra Arkestra continued their wonderful lineage in the Far Out Tent. Jamie XX and Midland got the ravers out to play (there are some ravers at Green Man) and those that braved the rain to see Richard Dawson in the afternoon were rewarded with one of the richest and fullest vocal talents in the business at the moment. Adam Buxton’s YouTube commentary declines to get even slightly old and is a delightful comedic hour that is also enjoyed by a troupe of fully perplexed youngsters at the front. Fair play to parents that let them hear a few f-words.
Goat continued to let everyone know they’re the most engaging live band on the entire planet, the Staves evening main stage set showed everyone just how far they’ve come as a band and Father John Misty continued to make everyone double-take on what an utterly engaging performer and orator he has become as a solo performer.
Beyond the music, the festival “mooch about” at Green Man was as enjoyable as any performer we experienced. Families, so many tents with so many different artistic practices and an in-built collectivity you just don’t get at Wireless Festival. Much of this is down to it being an annual gathering of all the alternative characters of the Welsh music industry who know this is their pin-drop of the summer. It’s perhaps because of this that the attention to detail is a finite as it is here. Their resides a fierce Welsh spirit here and rightly so. Gweld chi eto y flwyddyn nesaf.