As good as a nice cup of tea, and a sit down.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


We have returned from our ramblings in Skipton. See our photographic evidence:

There were highs, lows and men in Y Fronts...

So yes, Moor Fest. As we have mentioned, it can be a little unpredictable. In fact it seems ever since TLC has been in attendance it has been grappling with an identity crisis. Is it a family festival or one for dance loving space-cakes? Does it concentrate solely on local bands or try to offer a wider selection from further afield?

Well, 2010 seems no closer to any sort of realisation. There are no official figures for this, the party line usually being: 'It completely sold out.' But it seemed even smaller than last year’s crowd, with the camp site occupying only a stamp-sized area. The relocation from the larger site in Ilkley may have had some influence on this.

Being packed with crusty folk the stalls were suitably hippy in flavour. There was some lovely grub to be had as well as some weird and unpronounceable herbal teas. But the downscaled site meant that all points of interest could be covered in roughly 30 seconds, and through the day at least, there was a lot of sitting around with not much to do. On one hand it's nice to be able to see all the bands you're there for, but the shortage of quality, exciting acts across the entire bill meant that it was a fitful and uneven couple of days.

Friday's weather was miserable but it certainly didn't dampen the spirits of the little flower children playing in the sand pit, or the people walking round in fancy dress. Tall Ships were the first offering that TLC saw on the Earl Hickey Tribute stage (we've no idea why it's called that) and they were amiably pretty, though not likely to set anyone's world on fire any time soon.

The evening's controversy (and entertainment) unsurprisingly came from champion idiots Kong, who shortly after their performance were banned from playing the festival ever again. What did they do? Well, in order: accidentally assaulted a pregnant woman, called the crowd 'a set of fucking boring hippies' and incited a stage invasion which saw the security shoved off the stage. Whilst they may not have endeared themselves to any promoters here, most of the crowd seemed to find it hilarious. All in a day's work for them, but the memorable highlight of the weekend.

Saturday's fun kicked off in the evening with brilliant Jon Jones and The Beatnik Movement, whose sleazy guitars and howling pigeon-chested frontman have been a fixture on the Leeds scene for many a year. For us, their garage rock n roll was a cold flannel on the headache we got from the offensively loud Dubstep tent. Dubstep fans: apologies, but a serious question to you: how do you appreciate it when you are drug-free?

With this in mind, there are rumours that next year, Moor Fest will shirk it's inclusion of bands in favour of a completely dance/live DJ line-up. It may lose a handful of people still in attendance for the live music, but a good indication of the crowd's preference showed in the half full band tents. Not least at Male Bonding on Saturday, whose fun set was witnessed by approximately 1 man and his dog. It's a shame that a decent band newly signed to Sub-Pop couldn't interest more revellers, but that fact is telling of the inconsistencies at play here. With a singular idea behind it and a discerning booker, Moor Fest could appeal well to one particular audience. But at the moment, it's stretched between too many concepts. Let's hope that next year, someone can come along and stop it from flailing in the mud.

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