The Magic Loungeabout

The whole festival was not really what you class as a stereo typical music festival, even though that is exactly what it was! So incredibly chilled, family friendly, not crowded (a deliberate move by the organisers by limiting the numbers) and where was the mud! It was not until the headliners performed that there was any activity such as ‘standing up and getting involved’, this does not mean that for those who were fortunate to be completely chilled out that they did not enjoy the experience, all I heard was this is great, I am so chilled, the kids are really enjoying this, great free activities for kids and adults, FAB Music… the list goes on! So 10 out of 10 for achieving what you set out to do!

The Day started off with Friends Electric, not easy to be first on stage particularly at midday to such a relaxed family orientated crowd, but although the audience were not jumping around to the beautiful electro sound of ‘Golden Blood’, it was certainly sweet music on a sunny afternoon, would be even hotter in an intimate venue. Well performed, and equally well received.

Florrie, singer, song writer and probably better known in the industry as a drummer (worked with Girls Aloud, Kylie, Pet Shop Boys), is certainly getting around this year – in the nicest possible way! There is definitely a vibe as her latest album ‘Experiments’ was released a month ago has hit the UK charts at No.41 and is also placed in the American iTunes chart, Spain and France. A very accomplished performance – but yet again as it was early on in the afternoon a ‘quiet’ response from the chilled crowd, I can see that if we her saw her in a different venue, time of day etc, there would have been a completely different vibe! Not to mention the fact that BBC Sports are using her music for some of their coverage – so go check her out, she will be headlining next!

Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, at this stage I was really thinking… I’ve got to do a bit of chillin – drawn back to the stage by this amusing gent… and as the photos may suggest a gent with a bag full of ‘Chap-Hop’ (his Hip-Hop) a rhyme that will keep you immensely sublime. Sorry chaps it had to be done so for a highly amusing time, check out this thoroughly modern way, of “gentlemanly caterwalling“, takes but a little of your time to google his ultra unique rhyme!

Crazy P, are certainly not newbies to the music industry but this latest formation have been very busy touring of late and it certainly showed on stage. A very energetic show from Danielle Moore the lead singer, with music that certainly pulls from a wider genre than just being influenced by the electronic age.

A good set from Fenech Soler, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from a band that is really doing the rounds including ‘Glastonbury’. You did think this would be a bit of a culture shock from the packed out East Dance tent at Glastonbury and I am sure from checking them out beforehand the chilled crowd had an influence. That said, their ‘electropop’ sound of ‘Lies’, ‘stop and stare’ and ‘battlefields’ was excellent they certainly have it all – looks and sound, more of a shame they did not manage to get the extremely chilled audience to move off the picnic blankets – not their fault! I certainly felt I could have easily listened to more and will certainly will be listening out for them in the future.

New Young Pony Club with the charismatic lead Ty (Tahita) Bulmer were more than expected. Their performance was well received and the more people get to see them they will surely attract much bigger audiences. Their electro-indie style, with Ty receiving strong vocal support from the keyboard player consistently strong with ‘Chaos’ showcasing them at their best. I am sure there is much more to come from this outfit in the future, particularly when you consider later this year they are supporting Katy Perry on her California Dreams Tour in continental Europe.

Finally on Saturday evening came the headline act, The Human League, I was an avid fan of the Human League back their day and dare I say it spent many a hot steamy night in a ‘Disco’ dancing away to one or other of their many hits including ‘Don’t you want me’ (baby), ‘Together in Electric Dreams’(Phil Oakley’s previous formation) and ‘Fascination’! With this in mind I was very keen to hear them again but did consider that far too many years had passed by for them to retain the magic and the verve of the music, but within minutes they proved me wrong, the strength and presence on stage – tick, the strength in their voices – tick, the memories flooding back – tick, even the ‘younger generation’ were all singing and dancing. Phil Oakey the lead singer walked on to stage completely hidden by black leather jacket, hoody and dark glasses – the man of mystery still has it, with Susan Anne Sulley and Joanne Cathedral giving strong support vocals they kept true to their routes!

The whole venue was buzzing in anticipation for the bands disco dance music, this was the band they were waiting for, the one they booked the tickets for. They were not disappointed, you got the hits they are famed for and some tracks from their latest album Credo which was released back in March.

You could almost forgive the younger generation from thinking they were just about ‘don’t you want me (baby)’ which always gets churned out at an eighties disco, now they know that they are so much more than that,, at this point in the Festival you felt that along with all the other entertainment – music, film, fun and frolicking from kiddies to us slightly older generation it was money well spent! But, for the happy campers – aided by the glorious weather, we still had Sunday to look forward to.

Sundays musical extravaganza began with some beautiful very laid back music by a very young, but very experienced classically trained Henry Johnson and was well received by the audience. As a singer/song writer Henry has had the opportunity to work with notable names in the music industry such as Daniel Bedingfield and Gus Robertson (Razorlight) so don’t be fooled by his early slot.

I was really gutted I had to miss Misty Miller accompanied on guitar by her brother Rufus, but by all accounts she was excellent “she was lovely her songs were gentle, soulful and was little bit Eva Cassidy-ish, the ukulele was a lovely soft accompaniment too”, to quote one reveler!

Steve Mason for acoustic Sunday, maybe a little unmatched but he seemed to take delight from the occasion, with sarcastic quips aimed at the ‘laid back’ Loungeabout crowd. With ‘Lost & Found’ it seemed to epitomise his performance. At first not knowing if the spread out lounging audience were interested but then finding they were and giving an experienced polished performance.

The star of the weekend was in many respects Ed Sheeran his confidence on stage and adapting to the Loungeabout vibe stood him apart from his contemporaries. How one so young managed to grasp the mood of the audience and have them eating out of his hand showed him to be a definite star in the making.

Ed’s music seemed effortless, foot-triggered sample loops, allowing him to add layer upon layer of acoustic guitar, harmonies and beat-box rhythms. His songs are of the moment and from his first song, to crowd pleaser ‘A Team’ and to his finale ‘You Need Me’ he seemed to be having the time of his life on stage bringing his enjoyment through to his audience. But this young man who is becoming very much in demand has already been on Jules Holland, and the BBC Introducing tent Glastonbury 2011 with an “incredible solo headline set Friday night, including his Top 5 single The A Team” – the list is endless!

A lovely tribute was given to Freddy Tempest (grandson of the owners of Broughton Hall), a very talented young man who tragically died earlier this year, one of his own creations was played ‘Will you remember me’.

Badly Drawn Boy, dressed in grey and black with his trademark beanie and shaggy beard, started his set with his electric guitar, leading onto a series of acoustic songs, showing just what fantastic songs he has written. He might have forgotten the words occasionally and started songs again but this only seemed to add to their beautiful fragility.

His performance was un-showy adding to the honesty of his music. Things were eventually brought to a close with, ‘Thunder Road’ a song he dedicated to Clarence Clemons, (Saxophone player for Bruce Springsteens band) who recently passed away. Expletives apart (for a family festival), overall the audience left with a warm feeling inside having seen a thoroughly pleasant performance and heard some excellent music.

Other entertainment included the softly spoken Howard Marks interview was entertaining as you would expect from an infamous international drug smuggler from the 60‘s. With the tales of his exploits a little worn for those who have watched his interviews before, the biggest problem was simply that the tent was not big enough and this made it impossible to hear clearly – certainly for those stood outside!

The one event I had been looking forward to on Sunday became my one and only big disappointment as Annie Nightingale cancelled her interview, ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’!
There was much more to see and do but impossible to do it all particularly if you had children and spent some time with them and their activities… had to be done!

Venue as whole – picturesque as it was didn’t let you down, not where we were camping anyway, clean facilities and hot showers, we were a bit limited for space but that was probably the only common factor with other festivals. Other camping facilities were on offer and were well detailed on the website. It does appear that both the organisers of the Magic Loungeabout and the owners of Broughton Hall are keen to have the festival back at this venue, so fingers crossed.

A 10 year olds perspective (with a little input from a 6 year old)
Absolutely amazing a few parts I thoroughly enjoyed such as Ed Sheeran – I had never heard anything like his music, and the way he performed it. Ed made it look so easy but obviously it isn’t easy to perform live onstage on your own putting elements of the music together as you are performing it. He seemed really relaxed even with the girls screaming at him with their faces painted to read ‘I HEART ED’.

The Human League – I had heard some of their songs before from listening to my mums 80’s compilation CD and I wasn’t really too sure what to expect. But they were (not allowed to say Awesome) awesome! My 6 year old brother enjoyed these the best too!

I was very impressed at how Mr B, The Gentleman Rhymer was very fluent – zero mistakes – seemed not to pause for breath!

Much to my mum and dads disgust I did spend a lot of time in the SIMS 3 tent, great fun and the guys running it were good fun too, doing interviews with us and helping on the games! Angel Gardens, loved that too full of fun things to do, with lots of lovely helpers – with lots of patience, my younger brother and his friends really enjoyed making lanterns and wands, also there was hair braiding, fire jugglers drums, all sorts too much to list!