Search The Line of Best Fit
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I may have had a bit too much cider, but if this isn’t the best goddamn festival in the world I don’t know what is.

Nestled in the beautifully conserved Larmer Tree Gardens in the lovely county of Dorset, Simon Taffe’s festival is now in its ninth year and it seems to be going from strength to strength. Day one and many pressed apples later, I’m finding it hard to think how he’s going to top it for 2015’s event.

In between spotting several examples of 2014’s festival must-have item (a toddler with headphones, if you’re asking) there were some fine musical experiences to be had in this most relaxed of vibes; the country rock anthems of Philadelphia’s The Districts were the starting point for many festival goers, and they were closely followed by the crazed prog excesses of Arc Iris who amazed the Garden Stage crowd through unpredictable time signatures and a fine line in gold jumpsuits. No less intense were Peggy Sue, their close harmonies and bluesy rock in attendance as usual, and thankfully they chose to give us their glorious a capella cover of “Hit The Road Jack” as the crowd swelled in some welcome afternoon sunshine.

When you weren’t taken by the music you could wander the festival site through the woods and uncover the small piano stage, where secret gigs will take place over the weekend. St. Vincent’s Annie Clark dropped by the forest library to take place in a low-key Q&A - taking questions from Laura Snapes and the congregrated crowd about her latest self-titled record, her live show, and Dylan Thomas.

Your walk might also take you past Jenny Lewis having lunch before she delivered a lovely performance on the Woods stage, rocking a look of white trouser suit and purple kimono like it was the most obvious of style choices, right before Steven Malkmus and the Jicks gave the crowd a brilliantly fun show, with Malkmus as louche and laidback as he always is.

If you ignore the Sophie’s Choice nature of the schedule clash, you could have taken in St. Vincent’s dramatic stage show as the Woods headliner or headed to the Garden Stage to catch a once-in-a-lifetime performance from The Gene Clark No Other Band (oh, just Beach House,Robin Pecknold, Daniel Rossen, Hamilton Leithauser and other luminaries, since you asked) who played the lost masterpiece No Other from start to finish for the last time, in tribute to the genius of Gene Clark. As Pecknold, Rossen, Leithauser and ex-Fairport Convention member Iain Matthews gathered round the microphone to delivery a hauntingly beautiful version of “Eight Miles High” - one of the final songs that Clark recorded with the Byrds - the show closed with one of the most special festival moments in memory.

If the cider hadn’t got to you come midnight, there was the dual discos - Forest and Silent - to enjoy before retiring to your tent. What a glorious day: packed full of music, special events, great food and drink, new friends…is there much more you can ask from a festival?

End of the Road continues today. Check out our photo gallery from Friday here.

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