Sunday, August 15, 2010

Leefest: Cloudy With A Chance Of Volleyball

LeeFest is a non profit music festival that takes place every August in Bromley South London. The festival began in founder Lee Denny's garden when his parents went away on holiday in 2006. Despite the small scale of the first two years, LeeFest has now become a 1500 capacity all day event. I headed to Highams Hill Farm around midday, being without an iPhone meant that I had to take the laptop, connecting to open networks on the way and navigating with Google Maps! I arrived at the site, feeling very much like a tech geek; wearing a mac and glasses and promptly met friends who were waiting. We traded our tickets for wristbands and although I managed to obtain camping, I didn't bring a tent!

A festival this small has many advantages, everything is in close proximity, no significant queues and the atmosphere reminded me of a garden party! Following entry we were greeted by a lady who wanted to decorate our faces with hearts, we obliged because we wanted to look pretty. After browsing what was available, volleyball participation took centre stage. I hoped that Olympic scouts may have been in attendance, five minutes later I was thankful that they weren't. After burying a child in the sand for a poor shot, we decided to move on and catch some music performances.

We mainly occupied the main stage area and the Lava Lounge, performances from Richard Maddy and Keston Cobblers Club started proceedings and were both encouraging. Keston Cobblers Club had been previously recommended, I wasn't familiar with Richard Maddy but his reflections on life were noteworthy. Mean Poppa Lean on the main stage were a colourful bunch, with bundles of energy and attitude. King Charles really impressed, I thought they were the highlight of Leefest, expect greatness from their album based on their current material. I caught up with the band at the festival and showed them how not to dance! We then attempted volleyball, but fifteen strong teams it was always going to become a power contest, did anyone actually keep any scores?! I was rewarded with a Sunflower print on my face, does that class as man-of-the-match?

On the main stage The King Blues were running late, so Does it Offend You Yeah took the spotlight. I positioned myself amongst those attempting to mosh, I'm not an expert but the guy that hit the floor every thirty seconds either needed better shoes or a taxi! He emerged with a minor head injury, which was expected but I don't think he knew much about it anyway. Johnny Foreigner were impressive, they had a decent following who were great fun because they weren't static and there to just watch the performance. I love The King Blues, a protest band accredited for fusing ska and folk rock together with influences from punk rock and hardcore punk. There performance was great, I even managed to catch Jonny Fox when he dived into the crowd at the end! You can tell the security love it when bands consider that route! Fenech-Soler were good, although every time I have seen them this year they have worn the same clothes?! Dancing to Dubstep isn't a notable quality for anyone, Jakwob though has enough in his locker to get the crowds moving. His remix of Ellie Goulding's Under The Sheets is a personal favourite and I was able to unleash some shapes at the front. The Futureheads wrapped up the festival, everyone singing out of tune provided a lasting memory! We briefly attempted to play with fire before being introduced to Richard Maddy and his entourage. As a collective we headed to the campsite where there was a bonfire, I left shortly after some guy started burning his clothes. Thanks for an enjoyable festival Leefest, looking forward to next year already!