Evie Tarr gives us the low-down on this year’s festival
We’ve always heard good things about Green Man. Heck, if we’re being honest, it sounds like our perfect place: it’s a music festival, nestled in the heart of Wales, and one that consistently boasts one of the most unique lineups of any festival we know of. So, when the brilliant Evie Tarr offered to scribble down a few words about this year’s Green Man for your reading pleasure, we thought that we’d be fools to turn her down. Here are a few words from Evie about a few things she thought were special about this year’s festival:
The setting was absolutely stunning
‘Green Man, nestled amongst the emerald peaks of the Brecon Beacons, is the most beautiful festival I’ve ever been to. As I stumbled out of the shuttle bus into the Thursday sunshine I did not expect to cross an old stone bridge, walk through a turreted stone archway and enter a Rivendell of tents, trees, mountain views and cool glittery people. Nice… Well, at least until it became clear that the dramatic Black Mountain skyline can throw some serious shade. Yep, the sun certainly didn’t last as long as the torrential rain but Green Man still managed to completely win me over.
There were plenty of musical highlights
‘The festival team pulled out a varied and interesting line-up for their 15th birthday party, despite a few mumbles over the headline acts- isn’t there always, though? Despite the fact that PJ Harvey came out on Sunday night and absolutely smashed it, all the while looking like a raven goddess queen of darkness itself… In all honesty, this year wasn’t about the headliners for me:
‘Aldous Harding’s haunting performance was one I won’t ever forget. Harding manages to contain so much power in a voice which, in turn, can be moulded into many different voices, re-disguising itself with each song and bursting out with all its force when you least expect it. Her live performance added a whole new dimension to the music I’d been listening to over and over again over the months leading up to the festival. Her characteristic facial expressions, unusual, even darkly comical, postures and glaring eye contact had me hanging on every word. Amazing.
‘I’ve seen Kate Tempest perform a few times now and she’s always pretty special… but this was something else. Tempest stirred up an electric atmosphere inside the Far Out tent, it really did feel like the brewing storm she describes throughout her narrative album Let Them Eat Chaos– which she played in its entirety. Let Them Eat Chaos relays the stories of seven people living in London- all awake at 4:18AM, whilst commenting on the state of today’s society. Tempest’s powerful and emotive delivery was coupled with two synth players and a drummer who set the tone for each segment of the piece with deep, other-worldly sounds and energetic beats. The performance came to a dramatic climax with the music suggesting that the storm, the revolution in thought, had begun. There was a strong feeling of unity amongst the crowd as Tempest’s final message rang out… “wake up and love more”.
‘I’ve never seen someone spit so much on stage. It was raining the whole time, I got soaked- maybe in rain, maybe in saliva. It was great. I went to see Conor Oberst because I love Bright Eyes; in fact, I hadn’t really heard much of his solo stuff before. He’s not really a solo act though… At all… Even if he is playing under his own name now. The band with him were brilliant and his interaction with them made the whole thing come together. The lyrics of the songs drew me in and kept me interested while Oberst’s scruffy energy and sarcastic charisma kept me shufflin’ my feet through the Welsh monsoon.
There were some fantastic new acts, too
‘A couple of interesting acts that I first heard at Green Man and loved were Deep Throat Choir and Andy Shauf. Deep Throat Choir, a name which apparently started as a joke and then stuck, are a group of young women from Hackney who sing a mixture of covers and originals. They brought warmth and wholesomeness to Green Man with a gorgeous array of vocal styles, swapping lead singers with each song change. I want to join.
‘Andy Shauf was recommended to me by a friend, so I went to see him. I wasn’t disappointed; Shauf writes delicate melodies and has a soft, sad and calming voice with an addictive element to it that I can’t quite put my finger on. He uses clarinets on most of his tracks which gives them an interesting freshness. Check him out.