Having singularly failed to set the beer festival crowd in Outwood alight, the prospect of having to do it twice in one day meant that we arrived at Lawn’s Farm in Morthen with a degree trepidation.
This was obviously a very different set up to Woodman Fest, though. The site was within the farm grounds, dominated by a huge beer tent, and with a custom built stage at the bottom of a small hill. This gave the crowd natural stadium seating, which was ideal for the event.
The organisers were very welcoming and grateful that we were playing (beer and pulled pork sandwich also gratefully received!). We arrived to catch the end of the previous band’s set. These guys, who were half our age, were playing covers and were as tight as hell. As the sun went down the pissed up crowd clearly loved them, and so we had a tough act to follow.
Having dumped the kit in a straw filled ditch to the back of the stage I found a home for the car round the back of a cow shed. Set up took a while, as the full kit was required, but I was delighted that a full set of drum mics were provided. In all honesty the levels were the best we’d come across for some time, and the sound guys really did a professional job.
First part of the set went relatively well, but we were asked to break to allow another artiste do half an hour on his acoustic. This turned out to be a short set of sub-Richard Digence observational comedy songs, which went down a little better than our stuff.
During the break we had to talk down Ben, who was keen on leaving early due to a couple down the front heckling during the first set. The crowd didn’t seem to want us to come back on, and in fact insisted that we back the acoustic guy on a cover of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. Me and Jon have played this one many times over the years, so this wasn’t a big ask, and it went down very well.
Second set went down better than the first, although there was a short pause while Jon spoke to a punter who requested we play “something that farmer’s might know”. Trotted out ‘Simple Man’ and ‘Wishing Well’, which seemed to satisfy.
After the performance the organisers said they’d enjoyed our bit, and that they’d happily have us back next year. Not convinced that their punters would agree.
Lesson learnt : beer festivals want to hear covers, not original material.
Next stop : Oxjam!