Down at the Hop Farm in Kent at the weekend. Fantastic line-up. Van Morrison in great form. Some say they caught him smiling for a split second. Some say it was indigestion. Dylan playing numbers you could recognize even before the chorus. Dr John harmoniously growling along. Seasick Steve getting the sound of a raucous six piece out of three strings. The younger crowd singing along both to Mumford and Sons and to Ray Davies. And then a series of fantastic acoustic acts: Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, and possible future-tree subject, Pete Doherty, charming us all. Add The Magic Numbers, Stornoway, Richard Thompson, Peter Green, Blondie, Devendra Banhart and many more, and you might have to agree with Marcus Mumford that it was the lineup of the summer.
Enjoyable as it was, it would have been even better had it not been for the incessant funk rhythms booming out from the chicken rotisserie concession, just spitting distance (I know, I tried) from the main arena. Is it time for a rock against rotisserie campaign? I mean, I would have liked to have heard the quieter numbers from Laura Marling but it was never going to happen. And don’t get me started on the screams coming from the fairground rides.
Am I alone? Or do others feel that someone should have a quiet word with Vince Power and his mates to remind them what we have come to hear?