Having enjoyed the Great British Alternative Music Festival at Skegness so much last October I was delighted when the guys at The Revival Music sent me down to Minehead to see how their weekender measured up.
Although the site layout was slightly different, basically it was the same great offering from Butlins. Music across three stages each day, plenty of choice to eat and drink, plenty of socialising and most importantly a really great line up of bands for our entertainment.
Let’s start with one of the best sets of the weekend, Peter Hook & the Light. This was a most enjoyable set from Peter and his band, a powerful set full of Joy Division and New Order classics beautifully delivered. It was my first time hearing these amazing songs live and was certainly worth the wait.
For the old school punks in the audience there were the usual riches, including GBH, Angelic Upstarts, Sham69 and the Anti Nowhere League. These established bands are all masters of their trade and never fail to deliver. The
Cockney Rejects played their set of terrace anthems so furiously that drummer Joe managed to break his sticks, a cymbal and his pedal.
We were spoilt with two female members of punk/alternative royalty both playing the festival. Toyah and Hazel
O’Connor both have an amazing catalogue of work and both played to large crowds who enjoyed singing along. If you ever get the chance to see Hazel perform ‘Will You’ live with her brilliant saxophonist I can’t recommend it enough.
A problem at a lot of music festivals is the risk of band clashes, and this weekend was no different. The Wildhearts played an immense set of rock’n’roll bangers that deserved to be enjoyed by a much bigger crowd. The most unfortunate clash of the weekend happened on the Introducing stage with The Papashangos clashing with both Big
Country and The Vapors. The small crowd didn’t stop them at all and singer Lawrence completed the whole set in the audience singing and dancing with each individual member of the crowd. I’d love to see this band play again with a much bigger audience if only to see a huge crowd singing along to their cover of Tom Jones’ ‘Delilah’!
Congratulations to Plague UK, Knock Off and The Ramonas for all winning the daily vote for best band on the Introducing Stage and landing themselves spots on the main stages at next years festival.
I also really enjoyed the hardcore punk set from Criminal Mind, including new songs. A thumping good set of Oi/Punk from Resistance 77 and some drunken fun from Kid Klumsy. Look out for all three of these bands at future festivals and gigs.
One of the biggest crowds of the weekend enjoyed a real 2-tone musical treat from The Neville Staple Band. A full band delivered a really uplifting set including several classics from The Specials. This was a real crowd favourite.
So, thank you Butlins for another great weekend. I’m already looking forward to Skegness in October and being back at Minehead in 2020. Have no doubt that these weekenders are an absolute blast and come highly recommended.
Find out more at www.bigweekends.com