End of the road

in Artists/Lifestyle/Music/Musicans

After going back to England to play with Laish at End of The Road, I wanted to share my experience of this festival with you.

Everyone I met beforehand told me it was amazing, their favourite festival ever. I was almost afraid as we arrived that it couldn’t possibly live up to my newly formed expectations, but the beautifully decorated ticket hut soon put an end to my fears.

I am however not used to being involved in a festival and documenting it at the same time. When I look back at the programme, I kick myself metaphorically, because there are so many great acts that I missed because I was a combination of: lost, drunk, or talking about the impact of the fall of the Berlin wall with a very interesting new friend instead of watching Belle & Sebastian.

What I did adore first and foremost was seeing David Byrne & St. Vincent on Friday night. Without a moment’s hesitation they stormed in with a troupe of all singing and dancing brass players to give one of the most spectacularly choreographed yet rock and roll performances I’ve ever seen.



Lo que adoré, ante todo, fue David Byrne & St. Vincent en la noche del viernes . Sin dudarlo un momento en que irrumpieron en una troupe de todos cantando y bailando jugadores de cobre amarillo para dar una de las más espectaculares actuaciones aún coreografiadas de rock and roll que he visto nunca .

Me insistieron para ir hasta el final del destival para ver algunos temas de Efterklang , que en retrospectiva, no era lo que realmente quería hacer. Sin embargo, cuando una llovizna suave comenzó a caer sobre la más bellas partes del jardín, me sentí feliz de estar allí viendo su show misterioso y cautivador. Entonces vi Lobo Alice, la banda londinense muy elogiada que ha estado robando corazones en todo el lugar con su grunge fresco, y sutilmente bella composición. Ellie es una vocalista increíble.

I was led away towards the end to watch some of Efterklang , which with hindsight was not what I really wanted to do. However, when a soft misty rain began to fall over the most beautiful of garden stages, I felt happy to be there watching their mysterious and captivating performance. Then I caught Wolf Alice, the highly praised London band which have been stealing hearts all over the place with their fresh faced grunge, and subtly beautiful songwriting. Ellie is an amazing frontwoman, full of smoking anger and childlike charm. She’s also my cousin, which is a weird coincidence, so I guess I shouldn’t go on about it too much!

The next day I saw Angel Olsen and was completely mesmerised. She played completely alone, completely simply, with a voice carved out of the ghost of Edith Piaf yet somehow completely new in spite of the strong references to the golden days of iconic female singers with their hearts on their sleeves.

Eyes & No Eyes are a band I have seen before, and would always make an effort to see again. They are a powerful four-piece combining experimental use of cello and bass with pure melodies, poetic lyrical landscapes, and driving beats. Their drummer Tom Heather is one of the best drummers to watch ever, as anyone who has seen them knows. Their singer Tristram is great at croquet.

Bo Ningen were another highlight for me. I mainly went to see them because I knew my boyfriend likes them, and probably thought I wouldn’t like them. There was a moment where we were loitering at the back, afraid of the crowd, but then we decided it was a ‘do or die’ sort of moment and die we did, out of sheer surpirse, deafening beauty, and genuinely breathtaking musical experimentation. My ears were ringing, but I was completely amazed. It’s also fun trying to guess whether they are boys or girls!

Warpaint was another band that I decided to go and see out of curiosity. I was worried they’d be too cool for school, but I was happily surprised. They were completely relaxed, and had the same effect on the audience. I loved their grounded, rhythmic style, and sort of wanted to become best mates with all of them.

The final act that caught me were The Walkmen . They were really fun to dance to, and I enjoyed the refreshing almost karaoke dude attitude of the frontman Hamilton Leithauser. His voice was strikingly loud, pure and heartfelt, even after all these years.

My final tip is to look out for the peacocks, parrots, and the disco DJ ship if you go next year. You’ll know what I mean.

Final day at WOMAD festival 2014, in Wiltshire. July 27 2014.
Final day at WOMAD festival 2014, in Wiltshire. July 27 2014.

Text by: Martha Rowsell

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