Day two…all that cider and real, fine, local ale is not going to drink itself.
With the rain steering clear from the festival site for a second day, End Of The Road kicked into life with a one-two sucker punch in the Big Top tent just after breakfast had finally been digested: the laser-guided focus of TRAAMS and their Kraut-influenced riffing began Saturday in fine style, but they were upstaged by a stunning performance from Adult Jazz. The four-piece somehow managed to replicate the breezy complexity of their debut album whilst switching through a variety of instruments, with the jazz stylings of Gist Is coming wonderfully and theatrically to life and attracting quite a crowd for the early afternoon.
If you happened to wander down to the Tipi tent for a bacon-infused spiced rum Bloody Mary (yes, an actual thing much to the wonder and excitement of Best Fit’s esteemed founder) you might have caught the high-tension work of New Yorkers Celebration before strolling down to the Garden Stage which became the property of a bunch of close friends for the afternoon and early evening. First off was Sweet Baboo and his surprisingly rollicking electric set, before Cate Le Bon brought her excellent last record Mug Museum to the stage - the highlight being a sweetly sung “Are You With Me Now?”. If that wasn’t enough, the Welsh contingent was completed with a glorious set from Perfume Genius. Mike Hadreas was joined by a full band for songs from his new album Too Bright for his beautiful Garden Stage set, before giving a select few a real treat with a secret, solo piano show tucked away on the Comedy Stage, complete with touching covers of “Song To The Siren” and “Bright Eyes”. Wracked with emotion, a tearful Hadreas struggled to finish one or two of the tracks without breaking down - and to be frank, most of the audience were on the verge of tears as well.
Elsewhere, Hookworms and The Horrors stormed their way through sets on the Woods stage and the Big Top tent before the main event of Flaming Lips took centre stage to close off Saturday’s proceedings. Speaking to Wayne Coyne before the band’s set, he spoke of how he sees a festival show as the most inclusive way of seeing his band, and it really showed from the moment the Oklahoma dudes opened up their colourful show with blasts of confetti, psychedelic visuals, giant inflatables of maggots and a sun with a giant smiley face. We were treated to hit after hit, and the show ended with Coyne atop a moveable platform, baby in his arms (not a real one, fun police) singing a cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, whilst Sean Lennon watched from the side of the stage. The Lips are the brightest, craziest party band around - and the crowd left happy, caked in glitter and confetti.