Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"I guess all songs is folk songs. I never heard no horse sing 'em."

I am playing my new Rachel Unthank album as I pen these words. It is a charming recording. The version of Nick Drake's River Man is spine-tingling.

The Saturday at Green Man was certainly damper. I awoke to hefty raindrops cascading against my tent’s fabric and the precipitation continued unabated until mid-afternoon. The resulting muddy mess never cleared. I enjoyed the day though.

PG Six was a pleasant surprise. Having read my programme, I was expecting a folky and fey vibe from the New York collective but, instead, was treated to a jingly-jangly procession of pop pearls. They were fine. Clinic, on next, continued the non-folk scene on the main stage with a set of belligerent and angular and no-nonsense art-rock. They kicked up a mighty racket and I appreciated the independent plough they somewhat assertively furrowed in their surgical masks and gowns.

What else? Six Organs of Admittance rocked the Folkey Dokey Stage with some uncompromising and challenging post-rock before the more traditional James Yorkston treated a receptive crowd to his special blend of sensitive and hugely melodic folk-tinged delights. S and I missed the end of Yorkston’s set as we plodded through the mire to catch the rather wonderful Richmond Fontaine on the main stage. I must confess that I’ve ne’er really warmed to the recordings of this band but I loved their set here with its country-tinged ballads and beautifully textured arrangements. You can’t beat a slide guitar.

Vashti Bunyan was marvellous. Her hushed and serene tones and sensuous songs of pastoral peace kept the rain at bay. She appeared thrilled to be there and a most receptive crowd echoed the thrill. I admire her. After a quick trip back to the Folkey Dokey to catch twenty minutes of loud and studied math rock from the mighty Battles we headed back to a blistering hour of remarkable hard rock from the compelling Robert Plant who banged out an astounding procession of numbers, all delivered with pomp and power. He looked the part too. His set was a highlight of the weekend. As the noble S pointed out, the opening riff of Whole Lotta Love was worth every groat of the admission fee.

There’s a worthy review of Green man in today’s Guardian. A is seemingly planning a whole host of Green Man related postings on his weblog.

A couple more photographs:

1. The Folkey Dokey Stage. Appalling name.

2. Clinic on stage. Many kagools.

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