By Karl ‘Buff Enuff’ Brown
Penn Festival, now in its 7th year, has really started to blossom and has now established itself as worthy addition to the growing list of outdoor gigs on the live music calender.
Based in the heart of the South Bucks countryside and only 40 mins from London, this friendly two day festival attracts families as well as a clued- up, knowledgeable crowd that loves to party no matter what the weather.
An eclectic line-up of new and established bands rocked the main stage while the Big Top tents hosted a varied mix of old-school house DJs alongside their young gun protégés.
The proceedings kicked off nicely with the surprisingly good NOASIS. Tribute bands can be pretty hit and miss but NOASIS really won over the audience and set the party atmosphere for the rest of the weekend.
The anthemic Don’t Look Back In Anger and raucous Live Forever being highlights.
Continuing the Friday fun, was the immensely talented and effortlessly good Maverick Sabre. His unique style of singing, rapping and playing guitar captivated the crowd and won over new fans as he floated between his ace albums Lonely Are The Brave and Innerstanding.
Festival pros The Charlatans soon stormed the main stage to play a blistering set of indie rock classics intermingled with new tracks from the critically acclaimed new release Different Days. The hour long set was not long enough for these boys or even the audience but Tim Burgess and crew belted out rockin’ live winners including Just Lookin’, North Country Boy and the fabulous new Plastic Machinery.
Headliners, Primal Scream arrived as did the storm. Despite lashing it down, the audience were up for Bobby Gillespie and Primal Scream’s non-stop barrage of high quality rock n’roll, soul and indie dance.
The heavy wind and rain seemed to make the crowd even more up for a party as main man Gillespie strutted purposefully around the stage. Tracks from their seminal LP Screamadelica proved to be the set highlights. With Loaded, Come Together and Movin’ On Up setting the mood for the rest of the evenings shenanigans in the dance tent.
Refuge from the rain was welcome, as we skated across the muddy fields into the Lockdown Tent. The tent was already packed and shakin’ to the heavy…very heavy sound of SASASAS.
The crowd, mostly teenagers went absolutely ballistic. In truth, most of them eagerly awaited the exceptional WILKINSON to hit the stage for a relentless 60 minute set of huge house hits and massive dance anthems.
A sprint through the rain followed to catch Nicky Blackmarket’s rousing set as he smashed his way through the classics in the rammed Old School Warehouse Tent before we bailed out to catch the last cab home.
Penn Fest despite the weather you were massive. See you next year.