Posts Tagged ‘Staycation Live Music 2014’

Staycation Live Music 2014

August 3, 2014
Staycation Live 2014

Staycation Live 2014

Staycation Live, two day live music festival on the banks of the River Wey in Godalming.

Getting there not easy on a Sunday.

Public transport on a Sunday is a disgrace. Change trains at Guildford, nearly an hour wait for a train to Godalming.

I arrived a little before two o’clock. I had not missed much. The New Hawleans Jug Band and Straubenzee were finishing. Straubenzee a hill billy act, not missed a lot.

I looked in on the acoustic stage in the cloisters, nothing happening.

Shanty, seven piece reggae-salsa fusion.

Professor Elemental was the low point though went down well with the kids.

Cream tea in the Octagon, ugly extension on the Parish Church. I would have gone to Café Mila, but they closed at four.

I walked through to the church. Candles lit for Palestinians and Cristina. Service wrapped in newspaper reporting the start of World War One.

Bare Jams, reggae-funk fusion. Their rendition of Eric Clapton / Bob Marley classic I shot the sheriff was brilliant.

The wrong way around. Use soundcloud for tracks and work in progress, bandcamp for albums.

I kept looking in on the acoustic stage, either nothing there, or nothing worth staying for. There is better playing on Guildford High Street.

I caught the end of the last act, Gallows Ghost. If what I caught was typical of their entire set, then a pity I missed, as they were good, and crowd gathered indicated that too.

Gallows Ghost have an album out soon.

Sam Green and the Midnight Heist. Awesome rock group. Suggestions: Eric Clapton classic Layla and Bob Dylan / Jimi Hendrix classic All along the watchtower. I have never before seen a double bass played the way Pete Townsend plays guitar. Sam Green and the Midnight Heist have an album, but had sold out at a previous gig. They forgot to mention it was available on bandcamp, I had it announced for them.

Contrast with yesterday, bands appear to be making better use of bandcamp and selling their music at sensible prices, charge a tenner and you sell little.

Hint: Use soundcloud for tracks and work in progress, bandcamp for albums, not the other way around.

There also seems to be a better understanding of the way the music industry works.

Looking to next year, I would love to see the return of Alternative Dubstep Orchestra who played last year. So here are a few suggestions:

cloisters (acoustic stage)

  • Jewelia
  • Faldie
  • Tomm Blackwood
  • Karen Page

bandstand (main stage)

  • Alternative Dubstep Orchestra
  • Gallows Ghost
  • Steve Lawson
  • Imogen Heap

On Saturday pleased to find Dylan’s ice cream, selling quality ice cream. Not today, Loseley ice cream. Loseley is not local, not quality, it comes far away from a big industrial dairy.

The Sail Bar sold most of their real ale Saturday. Had it not been for a local brewery stepping in, they would have sold out on Sunday. By late afternoon it was a choice of this ale or nothing. I had never heard of them, the Sail Bar said they were new.

Staycation Live is not just the music, it is the location, the atmosphere.

I had tossed my loose change in a bucket. A free festival still costs money. Then, as I was leaving, I gave a fiver. I thought, how much would this cost, if not free, a lot more than a fiver.

When the last note was played, and people made it to the first available train, the platform was busy, many on their way to Guildford, some London.

Special thanks to Godalming Town Council for making Staycation Live possible, and the many volunteers.

Staycation Live Music 2014

August 2, 2014
Staycation Live 2014

Staycation Live 2014

The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers

The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers

Andy accompanying Jewelia

Andy accompanying Jewelia

Jewelia acoustic set

Jewelia acoustic set

Jewelia acoustic set

Jewelia acoustic set

New Rising

New Rising

Tree House Fire

Tree House Fire

Three factors determine a good music festival: the weather, the food and the music.

Staycation Live manages all three: lovely sunny day, good food, excellent music.

River Wey

River Wey

But let’s add a couple more: lovely location in the park by the river and it is free.

It was forecast rain, early afternoon, dark clouds, a heavy downpour, then the sun came out.

I arrived around one o’clock, it started at midday, so I missed Spotlight Cannibal on the bandstand and Telephone Road in the cloisters. There were not a lot of people, but then it was threatening rain.

As I arrived, Morris Men, reason enough to wander into the town. The reason Morris Men, to keep the noise level down, so as to not disturb a wedding in the Parish Church. These were Morris Men with attitude, Dark Morris, The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers. The music was good, as were they.

When people dress in traditional costume, play traditional music, I always find it dire. On the other hand, add a contemporary mix, and it is usually quite good, and that was true of The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers.

I bumped into a friendly face from The Tumbledown Dick campaign. We both agreed, councillors in Aldershot and Farnborough retards. Godalming hosts a free music festival, wonderful atmosphere, good food. In Farnborough, councillors destroy c 1720s Tumbledown Dick for a drive-thru McDonald’s.

I wandered over to the cloisters which was an acoustic stage. Telephone Pole had just finished, and Jewelia was setting up. Jewelia was good, very good, backed by Andy on acoustic guitar. Mainly her own stuff, excellent rendition of You Know How I Feel, Nina Simone classic.

It was a pity the second half of her set was being drowned out by bells from the church. Then if that was not enough, the wedding party decided to muscle their way into the cloisters.

One has heard of people gate crashing a wedding, but a wedding gate crashing a music festival. They made themselves very unpopular. A pity they did not show the same consideration as had been shown to them.

Back to the bandstand where New Rising were playing. They did an excellent blues number.

Followed by an Argentinian group Silvestre y la Naranja. They were pretty dire. Time to to wander into the town.

afternoon tea at Café Mila

afternoon tea at Café Mila

Afternoon tea at Café Mila.

Sadly I missed whoever was splaying in the acoustic stage, and they had finished by five o’clock.

The timings between the two stages needed to have been better synched, ideally one is playing whist the other has change over.

Tree House Fire a rock-reggae fusion. At times brilliant, most of the time good, occasionally dire. They have a new album out, but not released until Monday. They played Staycation Live 2012.

The final act, Smoky Bastards, were unbelievably bad, it was almost as though a parody of a bad act.

Last year, everyone was selling CDs at a fiver. A fiver and people will part with their money and not think twice, make it a tenner and people will think twice. Last year bands were shifting their CDs, today those selling at a tenner were not.

Knowledge of bandcamp finally seems to be sinking into the conciousness of musicians, and yet perversely they are still not using. Announcing a new album on iTunes is crazy, anounce it on bandcamp. And to direct people to spotify it total insanity.

Two years ago, excellent food, then last year stainless steel burger vans, commercial tea and beer tents. Notice seem to have been taken, as no one was happy, this year back to local food and drink, Sail Bar with real ales, a hog roast, local Thai and vegetarian curries, and Dylan’s ice cream. A pity though the local butcher with his hog roast was not there.

Suggestions for next year:

  • local butcher with hog roast
  • Curries from Home
  • HoBo Co
  • Jimmy Bean
  • Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage in Guildford

Last act finished at 7-30, allowing daylight to clear up.

This is Godalming, no litter anywhere.

Staycation Live continues through the night in various pubs in the town, then back in the park on Sunday, midday until around eight o’clock.