There was a welcome guest from the past to enliven the afternoon programme at Saturday’s (August 3) Pewsey Music Festival. “Legs” Larry Smith came on stage to add his voice and rhythm to some of Los Barkus’ set.
“Legs”? For those not so old, he was the drummer with the sixties sensation Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band – a comedy satirical band which brought many smiles to the decade.
On the main stage, Los Barkus performed their mix of Tex-Mex and blues for the growing crowd at Cooper’s Field – growing as the rain faded, the clouds scattered and the sun came out. And “Legs” provided some blasts from the past – even a touch of that urban spaceman.
Between sets, the audience turned their chairs round to hear soloists at the open mike tent. Among them, with some thoughtful songs was Will Brown who hails from Michigan. After thirty or so years in Britain, he still has that soft mid-Western accent and a laid-back air.
The programme – due to end with a set by Floydian Doors (the only Pink Floyd and Doors tribute band) – included Nick Harper, DB Band, Curfew, The Bohemian Embassy and XOVA.
The bizarrely named The Bohemian Embassy is an eccentric and slightly weird five-piece who have made their name in the West Country and are now being booked in London.
Cerys Matthews gives them “Completely Cult Status” – so they must be OK. Certainly the duels between violin and lead guitar are powerful and edgy.
XOVA (pronounced ‘cross-over’) are a multicultural septet from Birmingham. They fuse their reggae base with all manner of current styles.
Last month they played a resoundingly popular set at the Isle of Wight Festival. And last year they played at the Olympic Park as part of the Spectator Experience.
They certainly know how to get a crowd going – and sometimes the words of lead singer Dwayne Lawrence carry a clear political or social message.
As at previous Festivals, there was plenty at Cooper’s Field to eat and drink: an on-site bar by the Cooper’s Arms, Thomson’s Deli and Wine Bar cooking up hot and spicy burgers, Tale of Spice curries and Wood Fired Pizzas.
There was plenty too for the children. Mad Pete entertained with his balloon figures and jokes – the children were being entertained in the marquee safely away from parents, so the jokes were real kids’ jokes.
You can tell a good outdoor, summer event by the quality of the face painting that’s on offer.
This was very high class indeed – leaving young Gabriella wondering about all that stuff about leopards not changing their spots.
And of course the music was in a class of its own. Not too formal but engrossing for the crowds.
Click on photos to enlarge.