As everyone awoke on an increasingly hot and sticky Saturday morning, it quickly became apparent that shade was going to be at a premium. One tree next to the Cave must have seen a significant proportion of the site eat breakfast and share stories from the night before. This need for shade meant that when Grappler took to the cave at just gone midday, there was a large crowd – and what a treat they were in for. One of the heaviest bands of the weekend, the band went straight for the jugular with band members jumping in the pitch. Intense and quite hardcore, there was a touching moment when the band played the deeply personal ‘Edward’. Up next was Stagecoach, on the main stage. The early afternoon sun was the perfect backdrop to their frenetic indie-pop soundtrack, with it taking the whole of two songs for Chop to join the punters. The likes of ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Work, Work, Work’ were welcomed like old favourites while the elongated ‘VideoShop’ also saw a few people raise their pints (or bottles of water!). Joined by Alexei from Johnny Foreigner to finish with ‘Good Luck With Your 45’, this further proved that Stagecoach are a band made for festivals.
Michael from Jumping Ships showcased his new project, The Strong Silent Type, up in the Greenhouse and these deeply personal acoustic tales were highly intriguing. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, it’s a lot more reserved than Ships but the same influences shine through, falling somewhere between Reuben’s quietest moments and American acts like Death Cab For Cutie. Former Meet Me in St Louis and Shoes and Socks Off main man Toby Hayes’ new project Bermuda Ern’s ramshackle brand of arty garage rock was a real high point and sounded somewhat like Pavement covering Dinosaur Jr, with some extra distortion thrown in for good measure. After this it was back up to the Greenhouse for some songs about Jurassic Park. Yes, Jack Clothier of Alcopop! Records fame was once again welcoming us all to Isla Nublar and this time, after previously playing solo, he’d invited some friends along to perform as Jurassic Pop. With samples from the film, velociraptor masks and a saxophone adding extra layers to tales of seeing the greatest film ever made for the first time, playing the accompanying Mega Drive game and sleeping with Jeff Goldblum, this was a treat for any dinosaur fan, especially when Jack delivered the ultimate quote of ‘Shooooot her’.
The Physics House Band are a prog-driven band with moments of mind-bending pop and dance brilliance. An electrifying prospect, there’s barely a chance to catch breath as they effortlessly switch between genres and end up sounding like a mash-up of Three Trapped Tigers and a freeform jazz band. Back up at the Greenhouse, things were a bit more relaxed with Gunning For Tamar’s acoustic set allowing us to gain an altogether more intimate insight into their intelligent rock music, while Stagecoach also played a quieter set that was equally as well received as their earlier slot on the main stage. Over in the Leaf Lounge and with a new bassist, Sky Larkin played a set mixed between old favourites and cuts from their yet-to-be released new and it sounds like they’ve turned everything up for this one. The new songs seemed to be louder, fuller sounding and a bit longer than ever before, with less of the quirky touches and plenty of more rockier moments, although they still sat happily alongside ‘Fossil, I’ and ‘Still Windmills’. Trees regulars Maybeshewill’s set in the Cave was possibly the most well received of the weekend. There was so much love for the band and this really translated across to the band who seemed genuinely touched, and perhaps a little overwhelmed. There was no need to be, their hour seamlessly mixed new songs with old favourites it felt like you were once again watching a band at the top of their game.