Past Glastonbudgets

The Main Stage at Glastonbudget in 2014

11th June 2014

Special feature article on

Glastonbudget Festivals in the past

See our main page on GlastonBudget 2014

PREVIOUS FESTIVALS

A few weeks ago, the website for Arts in Leicester was taken off the web, in order to make way for a new version of the on-line arts magazine. Because all our previous reports from Glastonbudget  are no longer available, we decided to gather them together and re-publish them on Music in Leicester.

So here is our special feature on by-gone Glastonbudgets.

On this page:  reports on the Glastonbudget Festivals for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

2008

Bands that played in the 2008 “New Acts” stages included:

20 Below Zero
207 Miles
Aikon
All Systems Fail
Dead Slow
Deride
Dirty Laws
The Eaves
Egeszegedre
Exit 21
Family Machine
Forty More Autumns
Gambos
Gluttons
Haich
The Iconics
Idle Hollow
Idle Silver
James Warner Prophesies
Just For You
Kid Vicious
The Librarians
Local Heros
Lux Mundi
M48
Maffa Kings
Mannix
Mars Bonfire
Midbeats
Nate Pilgrim
Nemisto
Neon Sarcastic
NG26
Nate Pilgrim and the Magnificats
No Cassandra
Ockhams Razor
Patchwork Grace
Pink Strip
The Procession
Proud to Have Met You
Purple and the Rains
Rassadooks
Razmataz
Rider
Shortwave Fade
Team 12am
The Sixth Circle
Skam#
Skankadelia
Smokin The Profit
Smoking Kills
Starko
Stiff Nakid Fools
Stonedogs
Stonevibe
The Strands
Strange Gods
Subdude
Sworn Amongst
Themselves
Toxic Federation
Voodoo Vegas
With a Story
www Generation

Hope that’s all the bands that played (not including those that played the Tribute stage). Let us know if we missed a band.

Stories from Glastonbudget 2008

Our own very personal anecdotes from this years festival.

The day the stage blew down

Pretty much the same kind of stage this year as last year. A stage about five feet high, overlooking a large field. In the middle of the field, a sound control box, pretty much centre-stage. Last year, the rain was blowing on to the stage so heavily that it had to be swept off evening during the sets. This year the main problem was strong wind.

Saturday morning. A force 8 gale is blowing. 8 stewards gather in the field to erect the sound control gazebo. Its a large metal frame structure to which the roof and sides are fixed. The stewards manage to get the metal structure up, anchor it to the ground with 18 inch metal stakes and then try to get the sides on. The roof canvass is already in place and tied on to the framework. They get the sides attached and then put on the back – it acts like a set of sails. The whole structure is blown forward by the force of the wind. The four telescopic side legs buckle – which means that it is impossible to raise the roof high enough or indeed to lower it.
After a heroic struggle the stewards realise that it is impossible to get the gazebo erected – and even if it was, it would soon be blown away by the massive gusts of wind. Festival managers decide to abandon the new acts main stage and transfer all the acts booked for it into the New Acts Marquee.

This is a strong metal framed tent with a low stage at one end and a bar at the other. Most bands agreed that they were more likely to get an audience in there – out of the wind and rain – than they were in the middle of a totally exposed windswept field.
The lineup rolls on with some sets achieving audiences of up to 700 people – vastly more than gathered in the field during the previous two festivals.

A further advantage of a marquee is that it can be lit after sun down. Aikon’s massive closing party set worked inside the marquee in a way that it might not have done in the middle of a darkened field. Another thing we noticed in the marquee this year was that it was easier to hear the bands; last year the two main stages competed with each other. if a particularly loud band took to the tribute stage it could easily drown out a quiet song by a band on the new acts stage. This seemed not to happen in the marquee – there was little or not cross-over sound, or it was much less noticeable.

2009

The Glastonbudget Festival took place near Wymeswold in May 2009  over the May Bank Holiday. Three days of dry, warm and sunny weather made it the best event yet, with five stages playing a wide variety of new, tribute and covers bands and artists. The biggest live music event in Leicestershire and one of the largest tribute acts in Europe.

New bands (playing original music) played in the big top marquee (the new acts main stage), the Oxjam tent, the Chary Arny tent, the Campsite Marquee, and at a number of other locations.

Apart from bands, the festival also saw several of Leicester’s top solo singers performing, as for example, Steve Faulkner who entertained a crowd of nearly 1,000 after the main stages had closed for Saturday night (a large proportion of whom sang along to his set of modern indie and rock classics) . Steve also played on the main stage in the New Acts Marquee.

The festival’s tribute stage featured a rich lineup of bands and an appearance by 80s star Chesney Hawkes. Sweltering in 22 degrees of sunshine, the fancy-dressing festival goers indulged themselves in a feast of rock classics, from the look-alike tributes through to first class covers band. Led Zeppelin band The Rubber Plants drew a huge ovation from the large crowd in the Oxjam tent after their hour-long celebration of songs from the ‘Zeps.

Over 6,000 people went through the turnstiles, a smaller turnout than the organisers had predicted, but still a good sized crowd to fill the Wymeswold site.

2010

The weekend (28th – 30th May) saw the 2010 Glastonbudget Festival taking place at Turn post Farm, Back Lane, Wymeswold, Loughborough LE12 6ST.

As the huge main stage gradually comes down and the marquees are packed into lorries, it seems like only yesterday I was standing in a field in Wymeswold listening to some top class music. Well, yes it was yesterday.

With the bands of Europe’s biggest Tribute and Original Acts Festival still ringing in my ears, I wonder if it will continue to grow and perhaps one day even get as big as Download. Maybe, who knows? Glastonbudget may not be the only tribute bands festival in the UK but it is the biggest and the only one to also feature a full line up of original bands and artists. With its huge main stage, original acts big top and a variety of other stages, the sixth GF attracted a gate in excess of 7,000. Fans and bands came from far and wide to rock out at this mammoth party – from all corners of the UK and from across Europe.

More bands than ever before.

New features of this years event included the BBC stage, the re-positioning of the new acts Marquee back to where the open air stage was originally and the inclusion of LOROS as the festival charity. For the first time, local original bands played on the main stage and a few tribute acts played on the original bands stage.

Taking to the main stage was a lineup of top tribute bands: Blurb, Oasish, the Fillers, The Four Fighters, Dubpeche Mode, Mercury (as in Freddie). State of Quo, Guns 2 Roses, Green Date, Cold Place, Blings of Leon, Stereotonics and many others.  Some of these tribute bands are officially recognised by the bands they are tributing. All of them are top class musicians and they all provide the crowd with a delicious diet of well-known popular rock music, over two and half days.

The main stage production was much improved on previous years, with new lighting features such as the video wall behind the stage. In the New Acts Marquee, where the original bands played, production facilities were of a good standard and the sound systems in all the smaller stages were also well up to scratch. With increasing ticket sales, the organisers are investing in providing the best possible sounds.

Leicester’s young bands did well.

Though many of the new acts came from all over the UK and Ireland, Leicester’s top bands were much in evidence: Ashdowne, The Boobytraps, Skam#, The Pennyhangers, Enraged, Go Primitive, Ictus, Smokestacks, and a good smattering of the best younger bands including The Heroes, Formal Warning, Kicking Habits, The Weekend Schemers, The Stiggz, Neon Sarcastic, The Dobsons … nearly all the bands that have contributed so much to making Leicester a great music scene, were there. Some very notably exceptions were absent and not all of Leicester’s bands sees Glastonbudget as a must-do event but for the young bands, especially, this was the first time some of them had played a festival and for them it was an exciting experience.

The party begins at midnight.

After the main stages had closed for the night, a thousand music hungry party-goers crowded into the campsite marquee for a massive sing-song. Friday night has become the traditional slot for Oasis classics and some of the acts on this stage, such as Dan White and his band and Armson, got to play to a thousand strong audience. Not something that happens much in the centre of Leicester. This is a feature of the GF experience: late night drinks and a chance to sing along to some of the best loved songs of recent years. As with most other rock festivals, music does not come to an end when the official programme closes. Many musicians picked up their guitars in the camping area and jammed the night through.

You don’t go to a festival to sleep and for some, like me, three nights in a tent is enough for one year. For a quite a few however this is the first festival of the season and they will soon be packing their tents again for Download, Glastonbury and later for Reading and Leeds and may be also the Isle of Wight. From now until the season closes in the autumn, there will be at least one live music festival somewhere in the UK, every weekend.

Bands came from far and wide.

A big posse of local bands took to the GF stages and they were joined by bands from many parts of the UK. I managed to get to see Abduction of Margaret from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sons of Beaches from Kidderminster, Primal Device from Milton Keynes and Swift Flasby from Burton on Trent.

With so many bands playing at the same time on different stages I couldn’t be everywhere at once, but here are some the acts I did manage to see. On the BBC stage on Saturday, Northern Quarter from Loughborough put on a set of their likeable acoustic songs and got an appreciative crowd on the grass. Tribute band Oasish did an acoustic set and we also heard some Reggae and Soul from Leicester singer Nathan Murray with some help from Leicester’s Tom Johnson. Ashdowne, also from Leicester, did an acoustic set as did Steve and Matt from Skam#.

On the stage of the Showcase marquee (the main stage for the original bands), The Weekend Schemers put on a crackin’ performance of their own songs, one of their best performances yet. In the Campsite Marquee, Silent Resistance gave us an electrifying performance of their wonderful, hard, nu-rock songs. From Loughborough, dubstep rappers Shelly Soljaz put on an amazing set of their top class raps and RnB hits. Indie songsmiths The Pennyhangers were another big draw with a great performance from front man James. Leicester’s Room 300 gave us a really nice set of songs, fronted by Daisy Richards. Power rocknroll was in good supply from the excellent Skam#, a veteran of the GF stages, and Steve and Matt did an acoustic set on the BBC stage. Geordie rockers Abduction of Margaret introduced us to their fabulous new sound and a raft of new songs, with their new red bodied dancer, Ryan. Neon Sarcastic brought us a delightful half hour of their pop-punk classics and IggyPop lookalike, IzIggy and the Weird Sinners and definitely was the re-incarnation of the young Iggy Pop. They got a mention in the centrefold coverage of the festival in The Sun newspaper.

Kicking Habits headlined the Original bands stage on Sunday; they filled the Marquee and had a packed throng of supporters down at the Crush Barriers. Great set which brought their songs alight. A great set from the pop-punk heroes Neon Sarcastic was top, on Saturday and they also managed an acoustic set on the BBC stage. From Burton on Trent, Swift Flasby gave us a goodly set of their energised rock songs and The Heroes played the Charnie Arnie stage in great style. An almost headline slot from Formal Warning was another stunning performance from this popular and impressive show band, with a goodly posse of their fans cheering them on. They were followed by the electrifying Leicester band Go Primitive with a thundering set of hard rock power songs, which brought Saturday’s main new acts stage to a resounding close.

Sunday morning got off to a good start with a set by the excellent blues rock trio Smokestacks. The Dobsons came on with a set of their crackin’ indie songs, followed by Coalville band Identity Parade (now renamed City of Dan) featuring the vocals of Zack Wisehall from Third Time Lucky, who played the Campsite Marquee on Saturday.

Pop punkers Ictus played a vibrant and thoroughly enjoyable set in the Charnwood Arts tent with quality vocals from Aaron, Adam and Chris and they have a new single coming out next month. A good set of booming sounds was delivered with bite and energy by White Fix on Sunday, followed by a superb set from the Aromatics featuring drumming and vocals by Jordan Birtles from M48.

All good bands playing fine music and putting excellent performances. For me personally the best set of the whole festival came from Primal Device, on Sunday. The hard rock band from Milton Keynes are pure magic with razor sharp playing and hair-raising vocals from their lead singers. Their set ticked all the boxes for me and topped the whole event. I heard them and went home happy.

Ok so I missed the Rugged Sound System, which was shame but I working elsewhere on Saturday when they on. But people said it was a fine set. Leicester tributers Blings of Leon went down well with the crowd in front of the main stage, by all accounts.
It was an exhausting but deliriously enjoyable three days of music and I think the record crowd will be back again next year for another weekend of partying and bucket loads of rock.

2011

Glastonbudget 2011 took place over the Weekend, 27 – 29 May at Wymeswold near Loughborough.

Kevin Gaughan and Trevor Locke report.

The stages: The Main Stage | Charnie Arnie | Saddle Span | BBC | Big Top

The artists: Chris Ostler | Enraged |

Bigger than ever

Each year the festival has got bigger: more acts, more people, more stages, more to do. This year was no exception. We counted over 154 acts on the pre-festival lineup page on the official web site. Whilst we could not get to see every act, on every stage, we did get to see a good cross section of them. This years festival site saw quite a few changes from last year, including a new stage, the Saddle Span.

What we saw

Once again the main stage saw a line up of the nation’s best tribute acts including the likes of Green Date, Oasish, Jilted Generation, Enraged, The Jamm, Mercury, Blings of Leon and many more before it closed with Guns 2 Roses on Sunday evening. As with previous years there was the Charnie Arnie stage featuring a variety of new acts; the Big Top featured all the biggest original bands and a new addition this year was Saddle Span where a cross section of mainly original bands played. In the late evenings, the Big Top also became the Acoustic Stage for the after-party. During the day BBC Radio Leicester ran its small acoustic stage and recorded the acts for possible broadcast on Radio Leicester.

The audience increased again in this, the festival’s seventh year; last year’s record 7,000 gate was exceeded by this year’s (unofficial estimate) of at least 9,000 festival goers. The weather this year was not unkind; apart from a few brief showers of light rain, the three days were dry, any moisture being quickly evaporated by a fairly constant wind. Saturday afternoon saw the best spell of continuous sunshine while Friday and Sunday saw sunny periods.

Musically this event was a cornucopia of styles: almost every kind of rock music played somewhere, at some time: death metal, indie, punk, folk, post-hardcore, melodic songs, classic and mainstream rock ‘n roll, pop-rock, reggae, ska and new and experimental sounds, with a bit of folk and hip-hop here and there.

Overview of the festival

By Trevor Locke

This year the festival moved from its traditional May bank holiday weekend to the 1st to 3rd June, to take advantage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the extra three public holidays that had been created for it. There were more stages and even more acts to see, with more than 160 acts performing. The festival began as an event devoted mainly to tribute bands but soon began to take on what were then called “New Acts ” or those bands playing their own original music and/or covers.

Last year the festival attracted over 15,000 music fans, not just from the UK but from all over Europe and other countries. Like all festivals, it is a chance to enjoy a very broad range of musical idioms and to party, and, as last year showed, fancy dress was in abundance and everyone had one huge party.

In 2011 the weather was kind, compared to this year when Sunday suffered a great deal of rain, unusually low temperature and winds. This did not dampen the resolve the of the fans to have a good time, just as it failed to put off the thousands that had lined the banks of the Thames on Sunday.

Several of the bands that could be seen on the line-ups of original acts, were new, playing their first Glastonbudget, if not their first ever festival. Many of the local bands that are now well established began their live experience on stages at this festival. There are very few events of this size which welcome start-up talents and it is a great credit to the organisers that they can give this valuable opportunity to young acts to get a taste of the big stage.

Equally, many veteran bands have returned this year, having played, in some cases, at nearly every previous Glastonbudget. Fans would have seen nearly all the bands playing on stages in the city venues, particularly at the auditions for the festival, that were held at The Shed, during the autumn of last year and the first few months of this one.

We looked at hundreds of comments made on Facebook or Twitter from fans who went to the event (and a few who decided not to) and generally all of them were positive. The general feeling we saw was that it was an enjoyable festival and nearly all of the musicians and singers who took part in it had a great time.

Main stage kicked off at 4 pm with The Humberstones, another local band, with Absolute Bowie next up and signaling our Friday night theme of “Glam Rock” with further sets from our special guests Showaddywady and The Sweet. Closing the stage were the amazing tribute to Marc Bolan’s T-Rex, T-Rextacy. What a show they put on.

The Big Top’s highlight for me was of course none other than Leicester’s indie guitars, The Boobytraps, who played to around 1500 people during their 45min set. Some great tunes, and the band I know certainly enjoyed it, but, they always do! I didn’t get to see Pearl Jammer but I did send some Pearl Jam experts who simply said that the tribute were “Amazing!”

Friday night for me, was extremely busy, hosting and checking in our VIP media partners and guests, I didn’t get around to seeing any of the smaller stages. I always feel like I’ve missed out on lots of new acts. This year saw over 130 new acts and bands perform across our 7 stages (we say 7 as The Big Top turns into the late night acoustic stage at midnight – ssshhh don’t tell anyone!) but I did get to see Leicester’s Chris Ostler in the late night acoustic.

With a little sleep, along came Saturday, site running smoothly, campers re stocking their tents from their cars, lots of smiles and fun. Talking of fun, the funniest for me was the arrival of Leicestershire Constabulary.

Now of course for everyone’s safety and security we must have the bobbys onsite, some plain clothed, some in uniform, but this years Police Sgt. was out of uniform. He walked straight into the band accreditation office, announced he was “With the Police” and our lovely band admin team leader Angie, set about checking him in as a band member! She didn’t bat an eye at first as we had “The Police Academy” – Police Tribute band performing that day. It got quite funny when she told him he wasn’t on the list! I felt an “A List tantrum” coming on! He just kept repeating “I’m in the Police!” “I can’t find your name on the list” Angie kept repeating. My how we all laughed as we were led away in handcuffs for “Obstructing a Police Officer in the line of his duty” – Not really, as soon as he was pointed to the correct office, the joke was over. I’d personally have liked to have handed him a guitar and walked him onto the main stage. I’d think that Nigel our main stage manager might have had something to say about that. It was indeed very funny. Later on I explained that had he walked onto the correct office andshowed his warrant card, it wouldn’t have happened. He did chuckle, eventually.

Saturday’s theme of “Kings and Queens of pop” was brilliant, tributes to Wham, PSB, Erasure and Madonna, not forgetting Michael Jackson who for me was the highlight of the weekend. An amazing main stage performance I thought, made complete by the team of stage dancers and my observation post on the upper deck of our “Glastonbudget London Bus!” He (MJ) remained in character both on and off the stage too. Local band highlight had to be The Rugged Sound System, Emilie’s vocal is amazing, such a soulful and funked up sound. If anyone missed them headline The Charnie Arnie Marquee, they missed out! I’ve never seen them fail to get a crowd rocking.

Now of course Saturday night saw the heavens open up a bit more, things became a little damper but it didn’t dampen the fun. Site movement became a little more difficult, the wellies came out, and in general everyone looked after themselves and each other. That’s the power and beauty of music, it brings people together. Your everyday lives simply left at the gate as you enter.

I spent most of the night walking around, chatting to friends, and strangers alike, even a few of our traders, several trips to the VIP bar to ensure that our press people had access to bands for photos and interviews – ahem! Everything was in hand. It’s an amazing feeling, rather like the theory of flight, once you hit V3, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to prevent takeoff. That’s how being involved in the event feels, I didn’t need sleep on Saturday! I finally hooked up with TRS’s Emilie to congratulate her yet again on an amazing set and before we all knew it, it was daylight.

Sunday’s theme of “Britpop and Rock” had arrived. I couldn’t wait for the Kasabian tribute, Kazabian, to perform. I’d been speaking to Lee their drummer during the week, they had had an amazingly busy Jubilee Weekend with 4 gigs, but were equally excited to smash up our main stage. As I moved around site, I bumped into Paul “Iggy” Higginson who has performed at Glastonbudget from the start. He plays “Liam” in the Oasis tribute, also “Bryan Adams” in the Brian Adams tribute, he also plays “Kelly Jones” in the Stereophonics tribute we have had in previous years! Oh and finally, he’s a guitarist in Chesney Hawke’s band. We joked that next year the festival would be re named “The Iggy Fest” on account of his three performances this year!

Of course it was nice to catch up with Chesney Hawkes again, such a nice chap. He’s keeping very busy and folks may see him in the jungle soon! He divides his time between LA and UK these days, producing and writing for, and with other artists. He was extremely happy and excited to be performing for us on our main stage. I’d say for me personally, Sunday’s highlights were Kazabian in the rain, Prodigy tribute “Gilted Generation.” Again local Leicester band Ferris played a blinder in our Jubilee Marquee. Front man Scott Grocock is an amazingly talented singer song writer with such a huge repertoire. Again, an un-discovered treasure. Be sure to catch them next year! Queen tribute Mercury closed the main stage and it was time to head over to the VIP bar for a final meet up before bed.

On hand was solo acoustic gem Esther Turner who for someone so young has such a mature singing voice and a hugely versatile range. Esther co writes and writes her own material as well as performing some amazing covers, and came to us from the West Mids. She blew me away and it was a pleasure to chat with both her and her Dad afterwards. It was then pretty much time for some sleep, but not before having a catch up with our compares “The Earl Of Mongoose” (Main Stage) and “Matty Blue Eyes (Big Top) who between them make me laugh rather a lot, both with backstage antics and onstage gags and stories.

Monday morning arrived, the site began to clear, campers began leaving and the tear down began! As soon as the clean-up is over, its time to start again for next year. Of course those eagle eyed festival goers will have noted that we separate the rubbish at source with coloured wheelie bins and re cycle where we can. Our specialist cleanup contractors help us do our bit for the environment and we always insure that we return the land back to Farmer Giles in the same condition that we received it in, all be it slightly damper this year!

And so next year begins soon. Even through all this years wind rain and damp, the countless weeks and months before the event, the dealings with our media partners, the invitations onto many radio shows to “talk festival” these are all worth it to see the smiles on peoples faces. To see the effort with the fancy dress, to absorb the atmosphere, to listen to peoples conversations. It’s all absolutely worth it. For those that have never been to an outside music event or festival, don’t miss out any more. Come to ours, find some music, and find yourself! My only regret, I didn’t get to see EVERYTHING! But, I’m bound to say that, so, see you all next year!

As a music festival it was still oriented to the broad church of rock: no classical, no world or ethnic stuff, no bangra, not much in the way of traditional African or Caribbean sounds, even though the Midlands abounds with this kind of music. What some festival goers might have liked would have been a dance tent for the best in DJs and electro artists. Well, Glastonbudget is the “Mecca of Tribute” but it has certainly done a great job of giving stage time to bands and artists playing original music and offers aspiring new acts their first chance to get to play.

Good things this year for the fans: lots of food stalls to choose from with a wide range of menus on offer. A real ale bar with a fine selection of beers for the serious drinkers. A mall of stalls and shops offering pretty much everything you might want to buy at a three day festival. Of course no rock festival would be without its endless supply of beer. Full marks to the wonderful selection of real ales available in the main bar – until it all ran out, sadly, before the festival did.

What we missed: a prominent cash point where all those people who forgot to fill their purses and wallets could get a top up. There was a charging point for all those mobile phones that ran out over the three days, but was not in the main arena so people easily missed it. We also saw organised fancy dress with groups of fans dressed in matching outfits including Smurfs, Santas, Star Wars characters, Thunderbirds, Where’s Walley and a few more we couldn’t quite make out. The Loros Shop offered a wide range of ladies garments which the men took to in large numbers; it was one big fancy dress party and we saw people dressed outfits that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. Much face and body painting was on view and there was always the stall where you could get a temporary, spray-on tattoo.

Festival organisers had gone to some trouble this year to attract family groups and, judging from the large numbers of push chairs, this seems to have worked well. Parents could be seen with their off-spring of all ages, giving the impression that although this is a fairly beer-soaked rock and roll extravaganza, it is still a fairly safe place for little children to enjoy an introduction to live music.

Fortunately, the festival is still able to attract a large army of volunteers to work alongside the contingent of professional security guards and Medics and Fire Appliances were reassuringly obvious. There was even an on site field hospital, just in case. We didn’t get wind of any serious incidents and all the volunteers had attended pre-event training sessions and on-site briefings.
For some fans, very many in fact, this was the highlight of the show, judging from the comments we got afterwards. The Prodigy tribute act on the The main stage was massive and these guys rocked every damned inch of it. Their show was electrifying, high octane, in your face, beginning to end, non-stop moshtastic! They looked good, sounded superb and absolutely smashed it! I thought I was having a great time until I saw these guys, and the crowd were packed in to capacity. The massive mosh pit was heaving, these guys had every right to be headlining the opening night at Glastonbudget, they were awesome in every sense of the word. Their energy was unstoppable, the crowd feeding off it just having a fantastic time. They sounded very much like the real thing, so people expecting a Prodigy experience, got it.

The Hot Red Chilli Peppers on the main stage did a good job of playing some classic Pepper’s tracks. They sounded great and played well, although they didn’t look like the real thing they did sound quite like them. Their imitation was by no means perfect. Either way, they still played some great songs that were immediately recognisable that got the huge crowd moshing at times and gently swaying at others. A good act, but you would be disappointed if you were expecting a Red Hot Chilli Peppers experience.

Whole Lotta DC opened the main stage at 11.40 on Saturday and put in a great performance of some of AC/DC’s classics. There was a big crowd and great atmosphere, occasionally the vocals didn’t sound exactly like Brian Johnson. Overall it was a good imitation of the great band. From a distance, they looked similar to the real thing and 99% of the time they sounded like them, too.

Leicester band Enraged played on the main stage. Their tribute to Rage Against the Machine was massive. One of three Leicester Tribute bands to appear on the main stage.

Tribute to Queen’s Freddie Mercury from Mercury was enjoyed by a lot of people. For this Act, the main thing is the sound, lights and atmosphere, all the things that shout Queen, with a massive, heaving crowd. Thousands of people singing out to fat bottomed girls, a proper festival experience. I was so pleased to be part of and was, myself having such a great time.

Oasish played the main stage on Saturday at 19.20. Now here’s a band who look the part and sound the part, too, complete with bad boy attitude from the Liam look alike. I was blown away by them last year and this year was no different. The crowd was heaving and really getting into the old Oasis classics that we all know and love. Crowd surfing, too, made you feel were at an Oasis gig. Balls, these guys had aplenty, giving you a healthy slap round the face time after time.

US4/U2 played on Saturday at 17.55 on the main stage. A U2 tribute act looking a bit like the real thing and sounding a lot like them, they played to a large audience. Most of the classics were there, as well as an abundance of audience participation who were all singing along. On the grounds that they sounded much like the original band, I thought they were a good tribute act who were faithful to the original.

With his tribute to Frank Sinatra, Morgan Perkins drew a massive crowd to a minor stage last year. This year, he earned himself a slot on the main stage where the crowd went mad for his selection of songs from old blue eyes and his witty banter between songs.

Young band Vengeance – This four piece with their female vocalist only recently appeared on the local music scene but already are showing people what a lot of potential they have. Their set of own songs and covers went down well with the audience in the Charnie and have clearly improved a lot since they first started playing.

Loughborough Rapper Ricky C took to the stage of the Charnie, now with added musicians, his familiar CD backing was replaced by a full band. Good on personality and talent, the top Rapper clearly went down well with his fans and a large chunck of the crowd who were in the tent anyway. He ended his set with his freestyle rap, picking up suggestions for topics from the audience. He is a star performer.

Making several appearances on various stages was Leicester singer Chris Ostler, who’s big powerful voice boomed out into the vast areas of the Big Top as well as the confines of the Charnie tent, but was always good.

Lambone Splinter – This folk band put on a really enjoyable set on the Big Top acoustic session and then played, the next day, at the Charnie Arnie. A thoroughly entertaining set of lively and enjoyable songs that the crowd really warmed to.

A big crowd of kids turned up to support Leicester’s pop rock band Panda Youth. The band had them jumping with their hans in the air with its big dancy numbers. They pulled off an energetic set drawing a lot of screaming and shouting from the crowd. A great fun set.

Sam Hutchinson – Local singer/songwriter, Samuel Hutchinson, played on Saturday at 17.15 in the Charny Army tent. Sam played to a good-sized, appreciative crowd. With just Sam and his guitar, he played a selection of his own songs, sounding excellent, with his occasionally gravelly voice and wide ranging selection of songs. For me, however, he didn’t seem to quite have that magic sparkle that I had experienced when I saw him in the Shed in Leicester a few months earlier which was probably down the the less than perfect acoustics in the tent.

The Big Bad I Said No band played in the Charny Arnie and also in the Big Top on Saturday and did a delightful acoustic set on the BBC stage.

The Furies – A four piece indie band from the Leicester area, The Furies, played the Saddle Span stage at 13.55. Not much of a crowd, but then they did have to compete with the headlining Doctor and the Medics who were playing the main stage. The crowd that were there, however, couldn’t help but appreciate the home-grown, as catchy-as-you-like indie rhythms emanating from this band. The crowd grew as they performed and most were bopping along. They have their own unique style and stage presence was never a problem, as all four of them looked confident prowling around the stage. I particularly enjoyed a good few of their tracks and look forward to listening to their CD. Looks like I’ll just have to see them again.

Citizen Smith, a four piece rock outfit from Leicestershire played on Saturday morning at 11.35 a.m. in the Saddle Span. An awful time to play, seeing as the arena opened at 11.00. However, there were a lot of people on site by the time Citizen Smith warmed up the Saddle Span. Considering the time of day, a reasonable crowd had assembled at the outdoor stage. Citizen Smith played their mix of classic rock ballads with screaming guitar songs and addictively catchy hooks. These guys played and played hard. They performed meticulously well and put in a great performance. I’ve only seen them once before and already are one of my favourites. A short, twenty five minute set, but left me wanting more.

Coalville based Beauty Killed the Beast (BKTB) played their last performance ever at the Saddle Span stage. Despite a rain shower, the crowd huddled together under the dry part of the outside stage. Thankfully the rain only lasted about 10 minutes. BKTB played all their old original, catchy, classics with plenty of crowd participation. Always great to watch with manic Josh on bass guitar jumping around like his pants were on fire, while still seeming to be note perfect. Charismatic Elliot up front on vocals is a fantastic front-man with his humorous chatter between songs and his wonderful vocals always hitting the spot. A great, solid performance from these guys, as they performed for the last time. Most of the band members, however, will go on to perform in other projects.

Weekend Schemers – Some say they sound like Muse. Today they were clearly having a good time at the festival. These bad boys know how to party and, full of festival spirit, they played some of their established favourites. Starting life as one of the brat pack young bands, they have now established themselves in the musical hierarchy of Leicester, having developed a new style and solidly likeable discography.

Pop rockers Neon Sarcastic played their high energy set of dance anthems on the Saddle stage on Sunday afternoon. Always a great addition to a festival, they played their set of energetic, listenable pop rock classics, led by the vibrant vocals of front man John Willson.

Nottingham jazz rockers Tokyo Green played the Saddle Stage at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday. The lads played their hit single Kyoto Bluu, a medly of Dire Straits, Rage Against the Machine and Fleetwood Mac. Kyoto Bluu, Fire and Theftand Ebb and Flow were composed by guirist/bassist Geordie Mackintosh “when asleep”, according to the band. There were some good comments on the band’s Facebook page about how hard it was to hold an audience with an instrumental set – no singing at all with this jazz rock fusion quartet – except in the heads of the audience.

I saw Spyritus at the Glasto auditions and have seen them at the Shed a few times. Always a top notch post-hardcore experience with their magnetic and spine tingling songs and mesmerising stage presence. An excellent band that deserves respect on the heavier side of the circuit.

New Town Image formed from Coalville’s Third Time Lucky. They are the kings of pop punk and all three are great musicians. Catchy enjoyable songs, they capture the spirit of Blink 182 and keep alive the infectious beats of the early post-punk era. A solidly good young band with some highly enjoyable music.

Jack Kenworthy and his band, who recently won the OBS 2011, played the Saddle Span stage at 15.05 on Saturday. He brought his chocolaty-smooth, Jamie Callum sounding voice to the afternoon’s proceedings. Sounding absolutely gorgeous, I love this young trio. They drew a large crowd to the Saddle Span stage which isn’t surprising with a voice like that, it would have traveled well around the arena, not allowing any passers-by to just pass by, they were all taken in with Jack’s voice. Quite rightly so.

One those random moments was when I stumbled across a young four piece, female fronted band from Essex called Reachback. They played in the Saddle Back stage on Saturday at 20.20. I just couldn’t help but stop and listen to their indie/rhythmic rock sounds and watch their on-stage antics. These guys rocked, with conviction and very catchy tunes, hmmm, first time I’ve seen them, won’t be the last, even if I have to go all the way to Essex. Luckily, they’re playing the Shed in Leicester on 24th June, I advise you to get down there!

A nice young band with a set of ear-pleasing songs, they have been making a name for themselves recently on the stages of Leicester. They should do well.

Formal Warning’s, Ash Wright and Kyle Harrold’s acoustic set drew a large crowd of their fans on to the grass in front of the stage. Their songs were delivered with a good deal of passion and vitality and the whole set went very well.

Gemma Lakin – With her fine voice and just a guitar, Gemma Lakin provided a nice interlude in the afternoon’s events with an up-tempo range of home-grown acoustic songs. A couple of human dancing boxes who were dancing to Gemma’s songs provided some amusement. One of our best local singer, songwriters, Gemma delighted audiences both on the smallest stage and on the biggest, when she entertained the late night crowd in the Big Top.

We Are The Few – A large number of musicians crammed on to the stage for a terrifically good set by the ironically named We Are The Few. A big crowd gathered around the stage to cheer them on a enjoy their music.

The crowd in the Big Top at night.
The Big Top was what is said on the tin: BIG and a TOP stage. Looking like a circus big top, it was a huge tent with a large stage and a capable to holding a crowd of up to 1000 people, which it sometimes did.

The Big Top’s programme was launched on Friday by singer Chris Ostler. With his name in lights behind him, Chris launched the stage with a resoundingly good set of very vibrant songs which easily filled the capacious space of the enormous tent. A sizzlingly good start to the weekend’s musical feast. The sound system was brilliant. Chris’s strong voice is well suited to a stadium level setting.

Performing on stage with a bass player, Elizabeth Cornish enchanted the audience with her listenable folk songs. However, good though her material is, her soft and quiet songs did rather get lost in this vast space. Fortunately the main stage had not yet started, otherwise there would have been problems in hearing her set.

The Boobytraps – This is particularly good year for the ‘Traps; they are popping up all over the place this summer with plenty of festival appearances and local gigs to keep their fans engaged. Their set of broad, rolling, memorable melodies is performed with considerable aplomb by this good team band. Big expansive tunes with great dynamics, they are always a hit with lovers of popular rock. Jamie Williams led the vocals with Scott Laywood on lead guitar, they pushed out some passionate songs with a good layer of style and panache.

Ashdowne, a four piece from the Leicester area, appealing to the slightly more mature audience, drew a good crowd in the Big Top tent. Their set consisted of their more vocal-based classic rock sounds, notably with Lee Wakeling at the helm and his fantastic voice. I’m very pleased to report that the sound was set up just right for Lee, too, piercing through the instruments, conveying pure emotion, sometimes a hypnotic experience. You don’t hear Ashdowne, you feel it. They went down well with the audience, too, I spoke to a couple of people who hadn’t seen them before and they said they loved the it.

Formal Warning played to a massive and very appreciative crowd in the Big Top tent. It was 7.15 on Friday evening, so more people were arriving and were starting to let their hair down. The sound was spot on and Ash Wright and the crew put on a fantastic act, with their meticulously choreographed stage show, such a treat to watch. Their range of original and well written up-tempo songs got the crowd oozing with enthusiasm and having a bit of a mosh. A good chunk of the crowd in this large tent were really going for it.

Meatloaf tribute band Maetloaf packed out the Big Top for their super hour of homage to the famous act. A great band giving out some top quality entertainment, they had the whole crowd singing along to I would do anything for love.

Rugged Sound System – A spectacular show from the nine members of the RSS drew in a big crowd. Their infectious music combined with with a glamorous stage show was marvelously entertaining and the audience loved it. One of the Big Top’s highlights on Saturday night it was half an hour of seriously good funk.

Hard rock band Go Primitive are well known in Leicester and tonight they took to the large stage of the Big Top and filled it with their set of strong, pulsating songs.

The Stiggz – It was mid afternoon on Friday in the Big Top tent when The Stiggz and their new five piece line up hit the stage. The sound system in the big tent had obviously been adjusted for the preceding less than ideal acoustics as it sounded superb. The Stiggz played all the usual classics like Sleeping on your own and Indie Disco as well as giving their new baby an airing – You and Me, which is yet another corker from the Stiggz stables. The song shows these guy’s endless talent for writing great, catchy material. Considering it was only Friday afternoon, there were a few people in the tent, but it was by no means heaving!

Leicester hard core band New Age have rocketed to recognition lately; here they are on the Big Top, beating several better established bands to this stage slot.

Singer songwriter Gemma Lakin held the sizeable crowd with her vivacious set of songs at the acoustic session in the Big Top, which started at 11 p.m., after the main stage had closed. The crowd, hungry for yet more entertainment, could well have been around 800 souls by this time.

Adam Dunmore – Stage name Find Pocket Girl, Adam is a gifted singer, guitarist and song writer. Having only ever seen him on small stages before today, I was impressed by the way he took to the Big Top stage and commanded that vast sea of people, holding their attention and winning enthusiastic responses from them.

Lambone Splinter – When I arrived at the Big Top, Leicester folk band Lambone Splinter were in full swing and the crowd were clearly loving it. The idea of the late night acoustic stage is to keep the party going after the main stage has finished. With their sing-along tunes and lively delivery, Lambone certainly kept the atmosphere alive.

John Anthony – Singer/songwriter John Anthony entertaining a huge late night crowds with his own songs. he played in the Big Top during the Acoustics on Saturday night. His own songs went down well with the crowd, who were also listening to a top notch line up of artists.

Bury the Ladybird, a four piece from Derby, playing in the Big Top tent came with their up-tempo, rocky sounds. The lead singer, Tiggy Dockerty, really giving it some welly with oodles of attitude and stage presence, they were a real treat to watch. She can certainly sing, too, really putting her young voice through it’s paces. Bury the Ladybird’s material went down well with the young crowd and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not having seen this band before, they showed real talent and promise, one to look out for on the local scene.

Alive and Kicking, a six piece, played in the Big Top tent to an ever growing crowd. They did a fantastic job of some covers, notably, Fleetwood Mac’s classic, The Chain, which really got the crowd clapping and singing along. Alive and Kicking put in a good, fun performance, but, in my opinion, I’m never impressed when a band have song sheets in front of them … which they did..

Abba Revived – It was on Sunday afternoon in the Big Top when the Swedish swooners from the seventies were exhumed by the Abba Revival.

Friday 1st June

Reports by Kevin Gaughan or Peter Coombs.

Miss Leicester 2012 was introduced, to kick off the weekend’s proceedings, by a man in a wheelie bin! Miss Leicester 2012 did a fine rendition of The A Team by Ed Sheeran before the first band took to the stage. Even though the sky was overcast, at least it was not raining for the start of the festival.

Opening the main stage covers band The Humberstones went down well with the crowd, playing their set of popular songs that included one by Nirvana.

Absolute Bowie – The songs of the Great David Bowie, presented by Absolute Bowie.

One of Leicester’s famous bands from the 70s, Showaddywaddy were a big pleaser for the main stage crowd. Performing all their well known classic songs they soon had people dancing and clapping along with them.

The Broombusters – The five piece band from Birmingham played opened the Main Stage 2 putting on a set of blues, reggae, ska and rnb songs. Despite some initial technical issues, they delivered an enjoyable set that included a Jimi Hendrix song. The Broombusters told us ” We had a fantastic time at Glasto 2012, we could have been onstage all day! Thanks to the staff and crew for a brilliant festival and hopefully see you again next year!”

Friday evening in the acoustic tent sponsored by the Roadhouse of Birmingham I saw Siobhan Mazzie doing a set. Looking forward to seeing her again on Sunday. A superbly good singer who is currently attracting attention for her songs and impressively good performances. See our main review of Siobhan’s performance on Sunday.

Chris Ostler – Chris Ostler told us “There was a lot of positive response from the audience which made the whole festival that much better, let alone just on my set. The crowd reacted very strongly to the covers played Black eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started, Crowded House – Weather with you, and especially Phil Collin’s Another Day in Paradise. “With the arrangement of cover, composed, cover, composed, and so on, I felt it was enough to get the crowd listening and keen to listen, although as expected, a rapturous applause was the natural crescendo given from the ever so engaging and happy crowd. I was even asked by certain fans to remove my clothes from my body, that amused me but I proceeded to play with the next song in my set-list.

“Overall, if acts in the East Midlands are looking for a show to play in, Glastonbudget is literally already waiting for you to set up play because they are most keen to listen. I give my greatest thanks to the whole of the Glastonbudget Staff and a personal thanks to Murray Stewart for his support.” Chris said.

2012

Glastonbudget Festival, Wymeswold, 2012

Overview of the festival

By Trevor Locke

This year the festival moved from its traditional May bank holiday weekend to the 1st to 3rd June, to take advantage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the extra three public holidays that had been created for it.

There were more stages and even more acts to see, with more than 160 acts performing. The festival began as an event devoted mainly to tribute bands but soon began to take on what were then called “New Acts ” or those bands playing their own original music and/or covers.

Last year the festival attracted over 15,000 music fans, not just from the UK but from all over Europe and other countries. Like all festivals, it is a chance to enjoy a very broad range of musical idioms and to party, and, as last year showed, fancy dress was in abundance and everyone had one huge party.

In 2011 the weather was kind, compared to this year when Sunday suffered a great deal of rain, unusually low temperature and winds. This did not dampen the resolve the of the fans to have a good time, just as it failed to put off the thousands that had lined the banks of the Thames on Sunday.

Several of the bands that could be seen on the line-ups of original acts, were new, playing their first Glastonbudget, if not their first ever festival. Many of the local bands that are now well established began their live experience on stages at this festival. There are very few events of this size which welcome start-up talents and it is a great credit to the organisers that they can give this valuable opportunity to young acts to get a taste of the big stage.

Equally, many veteran bands have returned this year, having played, in some cases, at nearly every previous Glastonbudget. Fans would have seen nearly all the bands playing on stages in the city venues, particularly at the auditions for the festival, that were held at The Shed, during the autumn of last year and the first few months of this one.

We looked at hundreds of comments made on Facebook or Twitter from fans who went to the event (and a few who decided not to) and generally all of them were positive. The general feeling we saw was that it was an enjoyable festival and nearly all of the musicians and singers who took part in it had a great time.

I would like to thank our reporters Kevin Gaughan and Pete Coombs for their hard work and excellent results.

The Storm Before the Calm: The AAA view of this year’s Glastonbudget

by Paul Mitchell

From an organizer’s point of view, this year’s Glastonbudget Music Festival was a complete success, even if the weather was not as good as we had all hoped for! Of course the festival for us, is a full 365 day affair and we know our attendees enjoy the event year after year.

Of course there’s always room for improvement and we will definitely welcome and expect some 360 degree feedback! My role you ask, well I look after the press and media VIP’s. This year included representatives for The Mirror, The Independent, several BBC regional radio stations and some independent ones, and lot of music and style/culture mags too, as well as our friends here at Artsin!

The site started to take shape some two weeks prior, with skeleton build and site crew arriving. Plan the work and work the plan, that’s how we do it. One of the first things to happen of course is the site mark out to a scale plan. Next stages then being the arrival of perimeter fencing and site power and lighting complete with a crew of electricians.

With just under a week to go, the exciting stuff starts to happen, staging and build. Light and sound, vendors and fairground rides in place and heightened security. Porta-cabins for all sorts, all terrain fork lifts moving around the site like modern mechanical dinosaurs. It’s really a quite amazing site to see. The complete transformation of bare fields into a self sufficient music festival site. Poetry in motion.

Of course there are always problems, decisions and the unforeseen, but here at Glastonbudget HQ, nothing fazes the team, even if we have to work up to the minute before we open the gates (and we often do), nothings going to stop the festival happening!

From a personal point of view, I really enjoy walking up and down the queue chatting to people before we open the gates, it’s amazing to see how excited people are, and who they are looking forwards to see. Last year we had BBC Radio One walking the line. This year Id say we had over 1000 queuing up before 10am and the gate didn’t open till noon.

When the gates opened, we were indeed ready; the campsite fields soon filled up, not too tight, plenty of room for everyone. As a regular event goer myself, there’s nothing worse than turning up with a tent to pitch and nowhere to pitch it. With that in mind, we get it right. This year saw us have approx 400 caravans onsite and parking for nearly 2000 cars.

There’s always plenty of time to get set up and get the party started, walking around that’s certainly the atmosphere which is created, a true family fun atmosphere that early rain certainly didn’t thwart. Of course it does take a little time to get onto site, but that’s because we employ the services of an extremely professional security organization to help keep everyone safe, so, sometimes it means that bags get searched and festival goers are politely advised as to what they can and can’t bring to site. After-all, after the fun factor, our customer’s safety is paramount. We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but safely.

So, the tents were up and the main arena opened. Everyone was happy. From the other side of the fence, backstage, the lessons we had learnt from previous years with band/trader/VIP check-in was proceeding best speed. Our Big Top kicked it off on the Friday at 3pm with the amazing Broombusters quickly followed by Wellard Willy. Jez and his band are truly one of the best covers bands I’ve ever seen. Jez gives a great show, wows the crowd and puts 100% into it. I sometimes think he has more fun up there than the audience!

Main stage kicked off at 4 pm with The Humberstones, another local band, with Absolute Bowie next up and signaling our Friday night theme of “Glam Rock” with further sets from our special guests Showaddywady and The Sweet. Closing the stage were the amazing tribute to Marc Bolan’s T-Rex, T-Rextacy. What a show they put on.

The Big Top’s highlight for me was of course none other than Leicester’s indie guitars, The Boobytraps, who played to around 1500 people during their 45min set. Some great tunes, and the band I know certainly enjoyed it, but, they always do! I didn’t get to see Pearl Jammer but I did send some Pearl Jam experts who simply said that the tribute were “Amazing!”

Friday night for me, was extremely busy, hosting and checking in our VIP media partners and guests, I didn’t get around to seeing any of the smaller stages. I always feel like I’ve missed out on lots of new acts. This year saw over 130 new acts and bands perform across our 7 stages (we say 7 as The Big Top turns into the late night acoustic stage at midnight – ssshhh don’t tell anyone!) but I did get to see Leicester’s Chris Ostler in the late night acoustic.

With a little sleep, along came Saturday, site running smoothly, campers re stocking their tents from their cars, lots of smiles and fun. Talking of fun, the funniest for me was the arrival of Leicestershire Constabulary.

Now of course for everyone’s safety and security we must have the bobbys onsite, some plain clothed, some in uniform, but this years Police Sgt. was out of uniform. He walked straight into the band accreditation office, announced he was “With the Police” and our lovely band admin team leader Angie, set about checking him in as a band member! She didn’t bat an eye at first as we had “The Police Academy” – Police Tribute band performing that day. It got quite funny when she told him he wasn’t on the list! I felt an “A List tantrum” coming on! He just kept repeating “I’m in the Police!” “I can’t find your name on the list” Angie kept repeating. My how we all laughed as we were led away in handcuffs for “Obstructing a Police Officer in the line of his duty” – Not really, as soon as he was pointed to the correct office, the joke was over. I’d personally have liked to have handed him a guitar and walked him onto the main stage. I’d think that Nigel our main stage manager might have had something to say about that. It was indeed very funny. Later on I explained that had he walked onto the correct office andshowed his warrant card, it wouldn’t have happened. He did chuckle, eventually.

Saturday’s theme of “Kings and Queens of pop” was brilliant, tributes to Wham, PSB, Erasure and Madonna, not forgetting Michael Jackson who for me was the highlight of the weekend. An amazing main stage performance I thought, made complete by the team of stage dancers and my observation post on the upper deck of our “Glastonbudget London Bus!” He (MJ) remained in character both on and off the stage too. Local band highlight had to be The Rugged Sound System, Emilie’s vocal is amazing, such a soulful and funked up sound. If anyone missed them headline The Charnie Arnie Marquee, they missed out! I’ve never seen them fail to get a crowd rocking.

Now of course Saturday night saw the heavens open up a bit more, things became a little damper but it didn’t dampen the fun. Site movement became a little more difficult, the wellies came out, and in general everyone looked after themselves and each other. That’s the power and beauty of music, it brings people together. Your everyday lives simply left at the gate as you enter.

I spent most of the night walking around, chatting to friends, and strangers alike, even a few of our traders, several trips to the VIP bar to ensure that our press people had access to bands for photos and interviews – ahem! Everything was in hand. It’s an amazing feeling, rather like the theory of flight, once you hit V3, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to prevent takeoff. That’s how being involved in the event feels, I didn’t need sleep on Saturday! I finally hooked up with TRS’s Emilie to congratulate her yet again on an amazing set and before we all knew it, it was daylight.

Sunday’s theme of “Britpop and Rock” had arrived. I couldn’t wait for the Kasabian tribute, Kazabian, to perform. I’d been speaking to Lee their drummer during the week, they had had an amazingly busy Jubilee Weekend with 4 gigs, but were equally excited to smash up our main stage. As I moved around site, I bumped into Paul “Iggy” Higginson who has performed at Glastonbudget from the start. He plays “Liam” in the Oasis tribute, also “Bryan Adams” in the Brian Adams tribute, he also plays “Kelly Jones” in the Stereophonics tribute we have had in previous years! Oh and finally, he’s a guitarist in Chesney Hawke’s band. We joked that next year the festival would be re named “The Iggy Fest” on account of his three performances this year!

Of course it was nice to catch up with Chesney Hawkes again, such a nice chap. He’s keeping very busy and folks may see him in the jungle soon! He divides his time between LA and UK these days, producing and writing for, and with other artists.

He was extremely happy and excited to be performing for us on our main stage. I’d say for me personally, Sunday’s highlights were Kazabian in the rain, Prodigy tribute “Gilted Generation.” Again local Leicester band Ferris played a blinder in our Jubilee Marquee. Front man Scott Grocock is an amazingly talented singer song writer with such a huge repertoire. Again, an un-discovered treasure. Be sure to catch them next year! Queen tribute Mercury closed the main stage and it was time to head over to the VIP bar for a final meet up before bed.

On hand was solo acoustic gem Esther Turner who for someone so young has such a mature singing voice and a hugely versatile range. Esther co writes and writes her own material as well as performing some amazing covers, and came to us from the West Mids. She blew me away and it was a pleasure to chat with both her and her Dad afterwards. It was then pretty much time for some sleep, but not before having a catch up with our compares “The Earl Of Mongoose” (Main Stage) and “Matty Blue Eyes (Big Top) who between them make me laugh rather a lot, both with backstage antics and onstage gags and stories.

Monday morning arrived, the site began to clear, campers began leaving and the tear down began! As soon as the clean-up is over, its time to start again for next year. Of course those eagle eyed festival goers will have noted that we separate the rubbish at source with coloured wheelie bins and re cycle where we can. Our specialist cleanup contractors help us do our bit for the environment and we always insure that we return the land back to Farmer Giles in the same condition that we received it in, all be it slightly damper this year!

And so next year begins soon. Even through all this years wind rain and damp, the countless weeks and months before the event, the dealings with our media partners, the invitations onto many radio shows to “talk festival” these are all worth it to see the smiles on peoples faces. To see the effort with the fancy dress, to absorb the atmosphere, to listen to peoples conversations. It’s all absolutely worth it. For those that have never been to an outside music event or festival, don’t miss out any more. Come to ours, find some music, and find yourself! My only regret, I didn’t get to see EVERYTHING! But, I’m bound to say that, so, see you all next year!

Friday 1st June 2012

To see a PDF copy of the original page with photos  click here (requires a PDF reader – will open in a new browser window)

Reports by Kevin Gaughan or Peter Coombs. Photos © Kevin Gaughan unless otherwise stated. All videos by Kevin Gaughan.

Miss Leicester 2012 was introduced, to kick off the weekend’s proceedings, by a man in a wheelie bin!

Miss Leicester 2012 did a fine rendition of The A Team by Ed Sheeran before the first band took to the stage.

The Humberstones

Opening the main stage covers band The Humberstones went down well with the crowd, playing their set of popular songs that included one by Nirvana.

The songs of the Great David Bowie, presented by Absolute Bowie. Drew a large and enthusiastic crowd to the front of the main stage.

One of Leicester’s famous bands from the 70s, Showaddywaddy were a big pleaser for the main stage crowd. Performing all their well known classic songs they soon had people dancing and clapping along with them.

The Broombusters

The five piece band from Birmingham played opened the Main Stage 2 putting on a set of blues, reggae, ska and rnb songs. Despite some initial technical issues, they delivered an enjoyable set that included a Jimi Hendrix song. The Broombusters told us ” We had a fantastic time at Glasto 2012, we could have been onstage all day! Thanks to the staff and crew for a brilliant festival and hopefully see you again next year!”

Friday evening in the acoustic tent sponsored by the Roadhouse of Birmingham I saw Siobhan Mazzie doing a set. Looking forward to seeing her again on Sunday. A superbly good singer who is currently attracting attention for her songs and impressively good performances. See our main review of Siobhan’s performance on Sunday.

Chris Ostler told us us “There was a lot of positive response from the audience which made the whole festival that much better, let alone just on my set. The crowd reacted very strongly to the covers played Black eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started, Crowded House – Weather with you, and especially Phil Collin’s Another Day in Paradise.

“With the arrangement of cover, composed, cover, composed, and so on, I felt it was enough to get the crowd listening and keen to listen, although as expected, a rapturous applause was the natural crescendo given from the ever so engaging and happy crowd. I was even asked by certain fans to remove my clothes from my body, that amused me but I proceeded to play with the next song in my set-list.

“Overall, if acts in the East Midlands are looking for a show to play in, Glastonbudget is literally already waiting for you to set up play because they are most keen to listen. I give my greatest thanks to the whole of the Glastonbudget Staff and a personal thanks to Murray Stewart for his support.”

Saturday 2nd June 2012

Reports by Kevin Gaughan or Peter Coombs. Photos © Kevin Gaughan unless otherwise stated. All videos by Kevin Gaughan.

Performing on the Saddle Span stage Common Side Effects played to an enthusiastic punk audience, doing a great, solid, ferocious punk set with growling vocals from Will including songs Kill The Taxman and their usual anarchistic punk set, proving what a solid punk band they are. Maturing very nicely indeed from when I saw them last a few months ago. The band told us ” It was amazing to play Glastonbudget! What a show and what a good crowd! An unmissable experience! Big shout out to everyone that came to watch us and to the sound engineers!”

Birmingham five piece Dakesis are a seriously heavy rock band with impressive vocals, rip-roaring guitar solos and a performance to match. Head-banging like mad and with a fantastic visual appeal, they very entertaining to watch. This was one of those chance discoveries that I love about festivals. Fantastic.

Glastonbudget has come on so much. Skam’s musicians have played there every year except the first one. It has grown since the first time they played, which on the back of a trailer, they told me. “Now we are playing in a tent with a capacity of 2,500 and that’s one of the smaller tents.” Steve said. “It’s a lovely friendly atmosphere and we are really looking forward to seeing Mercury and The Rubber Plants”, Matt added. It just gets better and better. SKAM is incredible. A band maybe more suited to next weekends visit to Download Festival, although they obviously love Glastonbudget and seemed very happy to be returning, this time on Main Stage 2, which they filled with classic rock come metal tones.  With only three members, SKAM created an enormous, stadium-filling sound. On stage they ooze confidence, engaging with the crowd and interacting together as a band with rock star swagger. Amazing! Skam is featuring in next month’s Classic Rock Magazine and one of Skam’s songs will be in the CD that comes with the magazine.

Playing in the Charnie Arnie tent, Jenny Cropper has a wonderful voice but came across as being shy, in front of an audience. Her voice is full of emotion. She sang a mixture of covers and her owns songs. Unfortunately she was occasionally drowned out by what was going on, on the main stage. Nevertheless, a beautiful performance, providing a welcome break from some of the less subtle acts that I have seen today. One for our radar without a doubt.

Playing in the Saddle Span, Delis Mix reminded me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They performed to an attentive audience. Full of confidence and showmanship, they were very entertaining, while delivering their own flavour of original funky rock songs. Another band to be seen again. I really liked them. The guys from Delix Mix commented: ” We think that atmosphere was amazing and that everyone was up for a good time! Not even the rain bought the moral down! We’re happy people enjoyed our set too! The amount of positive feedback we got back was awesome!”

Stumbling across the wet fields, I came to the Charnie Army tent in which there was a band called Park Bench Society from Loughborough. Playing their Reggae beat songs with a variety of instruments, including an elaborate Glockenspiel, they attracted a heavily sized crowd. Enthusiastic and professional, their original tunes were wonderful. The crowd loved them and so did I. Park Bench Society will be played on Radio 1 most of next week.

Neon Sarcastic. Playing on Main Stage 2 (the Big Top) they started with a cover called Under My Umbrella. The big tent was a third full as John Willson, the lead singer, got the crowd to join in from the second song. They unleashed their original catchy songs on the mostly teenage crowd, with the ferocity and professionalism of a much more mature band.

Following Park Bench Society in the Charnie Arnie tent was Leicester’s Lambone Splinter. They entertained the crowd with their impeccably performed takes on several classic covers, which included one by Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno – and Tainted Love by Soft Cell and a song by Adam and the Ants. Highly original and very skilled.

Energetic, enthusiastic, loud and a little crazy, New Town Image filled the stage with fast paced pop punk. Relentless guitaring and solid, straight drums leave the two lead vocalists armed with a guitar and bass and lots of room to express the fun element of the band’s music. Jumping, shouting, engaging all the audience with their passionate performance. Very sadly this has been NTI’s last ever gig a band I feel will be very missed. I expect this won’t be the last we hear from these musicians. PS – NTI posted this message on Facebook: ‘ We are finished, such an amazing gig at Glastonbudget, best way to end it. Thank you for all the people that watched us, there were so many of you and so many people said good things about us. Thank you to people who came to OBS, thank you to people at other coach gigs, local gigs. Gigs when when went Liverpool and Leeds. Plug and Plays 4 years ago. It has been the greatest 4 years ever and we will still be making music, just not under New Town Image. 3 members are going to Uni. So from me Josh, thank you to anyone who has said they like our music, and mostly the people who saw us play live because that means most to all of us. See you soon.’ Zack told us ” Glastonbudget was our last ever show, we were honoured to play to a packed tent of people singing along and dancing to our songs. It was the perfect goodbye “. They will be sorely missed.

Taking to the Saddle Span stage with some instrumental metal Final Coil captured the passers-by, drawing in a reasonable amount of listeners. Had they had a bit more stage presence, I reckon they could have caught a lot more. Although slightly repetitive, lyrically, their songs have a really good sound. Thumping bass and intricate guitaring backed constantly with simple heavy drumming. Vocally, the band has a nice sound, a tight well-pitched voice . However may be backing some backing vocals.

Krisis. Yet another selection of talented Leicester musicians. Crisis performed a wide range of covers, all note perfect and brilliantly played. The head vocalist has an incredible, unbreakable voice, nailing each cover with his own swaggerish attitude. Definitely up there with the best Midlands covers bands.

An ‘accidental’ encounter in the Charnie Arnie, Stuck in 2nd pulled me and many others into the tent, with their impressive reggae vibes. With a front man laden with dreds and Djembe at hand, and a voice reminiscent of the greats, Stuck in second played an incredible set full of dancing and fun-filled, crowd-pleasing reggaeness. A few classics and well performed covers completed possibly the best set of the weekend so far.

There was a bit of a stir on The Saddle Span stage where a very big crowd had gathered to enjoy the music of Vengeance. A band that is definitely going places, even festival organiser Murray (Muz) Stewart briefly appeared on stage with them for a guest vocal performance. Although a still quite young band, Vengeance played with all the confidence of Wembly Arena veterans. Their performance punched well above their weight. They were fantastic.

Playing to an enthusiastic audience on the Big Top stage, Formal Warning presented many of their classic songs, together with some covers (to keep the newer fans engaged.) The big stage did not stop Leon and Kyle from using every inch of it as they put on their choreographic stage show, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Lead singer Ash Wright gave his usual exhilarating display of singing although at times he seemed a little out of breath from strutting around on the large performance area.

A band I have had a good few encounters with over the last couple of years The Furies yet again don’t fail to impress. Backed by one of the best drummers to come out of Leicestershire – Neal Hill – The Furies play an intricate take on the Rock/Indie sound. Vocally huge and instrumentally as tight as they come. This has been the best performance I have seen by The Furies to date, a band I hope keep crossing my path.

Guns 2 Roses. The Main Stage 2 was packed for this fantastic tribute act. Having made a good attempt to look like the real thing, boy did they sound like them! They got the crowd going just like they were the originals. All the classic songs were in there, capturing the essence of the original legendary band. Every one in the marquee had a proper Guns ‘N Roses experience and loved it. A top class act.

Oh my, do we have some talent at this festival?! A huge crowd of dancing feet represent the Fu Fu Sailors awesome sound. Many covers, all their own arrangements, make for an amazing sound. I especially loved the 90s medley.  The two vocalists are flawless, using their voices incredibly; mixing many styles, each one as good as the last. Impressive bass licks hold the pieces and equally impressive sax lines fill any gaps left with a soloistic flair. We Love this band!

The second stage now packed to the rafters, Rubber plants take the stage with glam/power metal sounds. A band made up of very talented musicians, (including a very good drummer and lead guitarist) they unfortunately sounded a little to generic for me. However, a sound that sells. So I expect to see this band progress to bigger things (once they clear up a few tightness issues.)

Michael Jackson (Ben). Bring on the big stage shows. A team of dancers and an intricate backing band set the scene for the long awaited tribute to Michael Jackson. Ben fills the stage with an obvious passion for his act. Performing hit after hit, it’s easy to feel like were watching the real thing. Ben dances, sings and entertains just as Michael would if he were playing. A huge crowd with a good reaction, all buzzing and awaiting the huge songs that make Michael what he is. Reaching every high an hitting every low, vocally Ben impresses all who listen. An amazing tribute worthy of his headline slot!

Sunday 3rd June 2012

Reports by Kevin Gaughan or Peter Coombs. Photos © Kevin Gaughan unless otherwise stated. All videos by Kevin Gaughan.

The Saddle Span first appeared at Glastonbudget 2011.

Playing to a growing crowd in the Big Top (Main stage 2) Rezurrected churned out rock cover after rock cover, to the delight of the crowd. Playing everything from Therapy? to the Cult, Motorhead and Metallica they did a good job even though sometimes looking like they weren’t quite feeling it ( I suspect this will be a common theme today as bands would have had a wet, wind swept night last night in their tents.) I could not help but admire the sound engineering and lighting and smoke machines in the marquees including all those robotic twisty turny lights. Rezurrected finished with Metallica’s classic Enter Sandman which perked us up at 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.

Foundation of Fusion. Playing a set filled with an eclectic mix of covers, this Loughborough College band kept the tent-full of fans on their dancing feet. Although starting a little nervously and musically looking a little forced, this didn’t shine through in their performance. Their confidence grew as the set moved on and, after an amazing reaction from the crowd to Spandau Ballet’s hit song Gold, the band found their groove. A high quality, well practiced sound which was made outstanding by vocalist Dom, an incredible voice and impressive comfort on stage. A shame this will be the band’s last ever performance together. However, they were musicians I expect to see again.

Otis No. A local covers band playing a wide range of songs from many eras. Unfortunately the band didn’t produce the quality this festival has shown so far. Vocally questionable at times and a few instrumental mistakes made it quite difficult to stand in the rain and watch.

Club O Family Band. Yet again Charnie Arnie out did the other stages with their sound quality and detail to each band’s performance with a crew who seemed to truly care for the performer, producing an outstanding quality and professionalism. A mixture of reggae roots, soul and some smooth rapping vocals, Club O warmed up a cold, cold day. Mother, Father, Son, Daughter and Cousin made up this family band from Leicester, whose sizeable crowd all found themselves tapping their feet and nodding along to the band’s melodic vibes. The lyrics were inspired, so much depth in what was said and all excellently performed. Their set closed with some solo pieces by Mahalia, the daughter of the band, an innocent, beautiful voice with amazing lyrics, all backed by pleasing picked acoustic guitar. She really could and should be huge. Another accidental encounter that paid off … amazing talent!

On the Saddlespan stage Feedback Voice performed a range of covers and their original songs to a limited crowd (the front of stage area was outside with no cover from the deluge and wind.) They performed well, delivering a professional set setting the stage off to a good start.Feedback Voice got through to the semi-finals of the OBS.

Naked Remedy. With a love of bands that do something a little different, seeing the set up of guitar, kick drum, floor tom and a microphone got me hoping these guys might fulfil … they did! Clever use of guitar effects and playing style created this duo’s surprisingly sizeable sound. Very pleasing to the ear. The vocalist (come drummer) is equally clever vocally; powerful and controlled he completed the band’s very well written songs.

Following Feedback Voice on the Saddlespan stage, Panda Youth drew a healthy sized crowd, despite the rain. It has to be said that lead singer Chris Pandit delivered outstanding vocals. This band’s musicianship and songwriting skills were masterful. Chris told me afterwards that the band had been a bit quiet in recent months because they had been writing new songs which they hope will result in some new recordings in the near future.

Playing in the Jubilee tent, Kickstarter mixed an exhilarating cocktail of rap and rock, layered with synth sounds and lashings of funk rhythms. I could not help but be impressed by their experimental edge, as they produced a fantastic set of songs. Credit goes to their professionalism in pulling off a highly entertaining show.

Packing the Big Top (Main stage 2) to capacity, Angels with Dirty Faces delivered a superb set of classic covers. I particularly liked their version of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics The band put on a solid, professional performance that the crowd loved. When the band had finished their set the crowd disappeared, so I guess they had all gone there just to see this one band, which proves how popular they were. They weren’t just sheltering from the rain.

Playing in the Jubilee Tent was Leicester band Creatin’ Havoc, who I had seen previously at the I Wanna be a Rockstar gigs. From what I heard today I would say this band is maturing very nicely. They certainly entertained the crowd with their set of aggressive original pop-punk rock songs delivered with a goodly dose of attitude. I think they will be a force to be reckoned with even though they formed only recently. They are coming on in leaps and bounds. Creatin’ Havoc told us : ” We really enjoyed playing the festival, even with the bad weather and we’re looking forward to hopefully playing Glastonbudget 2013.”

Meatloaf. The Meatloaf tribute band was a  great success last year. Good to see them back again this year. They are a great act. Pure entertainment. Last year we wrote, of them, ‘ Maetloaf packed out the Big Top for their super hour of homage to the famous act. A great band giving out some top quality entertainment, they had the whole crowd singing along to I would do anything for love.’ Meatloaf played on the main stage this year.
It’s always good to see young talent hit a stage, especially when said talent is local. Loose Connxtion have a cheeky style to their performance, engaging with the crowd and obviously having fun on stage. Well written songs, tightly performed. I look forward to seeing them again.

Bury The Ladybird. Love the songs, love the bass, love the singer, love the drums, love the lyrics, love the musicianship, love the guitarist, love the backing vocals, love the stage presence, love the band! Main stage next year please! Bury the Ladybird have a new single release in two weeks, and, my word, the song is amazing! Check them out! Bury The Ladbybird are from Derby and have performed in Leicester several times.

The Moderators. Big crowd, big stage, big band. A bit of UK Ska to entertain the muddy and cold Glastonbudgers. A fantastic set of perfectly performed classic mod covers. The whole crowd took part in The Moderator’s energetic set. Yet another amazing band.

The Incidents. Very well written, pleasing songs from this young band. Loved the guitar player’s flare and style, another amazing musician.Windy weather made it a challenge to hear the lyrics, but still a very good set from a very talented band.

Ferris. Very well played soft rock bringing the Jubilee Stage to a close for the weekend. The four piece band played catchy, sing-along songs with some clever writing and good performing. A very good drummer and brilliant voices with nice harmonies made this band a good challenge for the headliners closing the other stages. Ferris played on the Jubilee Stage.

Lady and the Tramp. Having seen this duo a few times before, they never fail to please. An outstanding voice and a very good guitarist make for an easy listening set of covers and originals. All really well performed and a pleasure to listen to.

Siobhan Mazzie. Finishing my weekend of music in style, this gifted guitarist and singer performed a brilliant set of well written songs. An outstanding guitar player, Siobhan used a mixture of styles including finger picking and tapping to create a unique sound to her performance. A really good voice finished off the solo act well, her voice hitting every tone effortlessly, portraying the lyrics beautifully. An artist I would love to work with. Very talented and quite unique.

Kazabian. No strangers to Leicester’s venues, the tribute band from Hull played on the main stage. Despite the fact that it was now chucking it down, the main stage area was packed with fans eager to hear the songs of the ever popular biggest band from Leicester. Looking a bit like the originals but definitely sounding like them, the crowd soon got into singing along with the tunes from the Velociraptor album.

Mercury. What better way to round off a festival of tributes than with the all time great Queen. As befits the current Jubilee theme of the weekend, the downpour did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd at the conclusion to this epic weekend. Regular visitors to Glaston, Mercury performed with all the spirit and sounds of the great Freddie with their selection of Queen classics and strutting stage presence. It was an amazing show to top a fantastic weekend. The rain and mud added a fun element of splish, sploshiness to it all and even now I am looking forward to doing it all again next year.

2013

See our report on the Glastonbusdget Festival 2013 right here on Music in Leicester.

See also:

Our home page for Glastonbudget 2014

Read about the Glastonbudget auditions shows

See photos from Glastonbudget

See more reports from festivals in 2013

About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan.