Lounge on The Farm 2014: The Roundup

Lounge on The Farm 2014: The Roundup

Nine years ago, a new music festival was born in Canterbury – Lounge On The Farm, which has taken place each year since on Merton Farm on the outskirts of Canterbury. Usually a three-day festival, it was slimmed down to a one-day event. This year, headliners included Fun Lovin’ Criminals, ‘Joy Division’ co-founder Peter Hook and The Light, The Subways and many more.

Was it all worth the money…?

I paid the tidy sum of £61.75 for my day only ticket and with no cash machines on site, it left me pondering how much money to take with me. It was set to be an expensive day out from the offset!

After getting lost in the middle of a field thanks to the care-free driving of my friend Lorna, and then negotiating a seven-point turn in a single country lane (nice driving Lorna), I finally arrived and got into the main arena at 3pm…

And on that note, here’s the highs and lows of Lounge On The Farm 2014…

Billy, Charlotte and Josh, aka The Subways, on Main Stage. Photo: Dan Acott

The Subways took to the Main Stage just after 3.30pm to deliver a spell-binding and rocking set, featuring new single My Heart Is Pumping to a Brand New Beat and, one of my personal favourites, Celebrity. Charlotte delivers her performances on stage with such energy and enthusiasm its hard to keep your eyes off her, and Billy is perhaps the most fun-loving musician going.

Their set was energetic, and filled with musical passion – but what makes The Subways unique is their friendliness and adoreness to fans, and how nice they were to me too!

I managed to grab them backstage straight after the gig for an exclusive interview, and we talked about fitness, writing songs down the pub and their upcoming schedule:

Listen to ‘The Subways @ Lounge On The Farm 2014’ on Audioboo

London-based band Dub Pistols followed the Subways, with founder Barry Ashworth spending the whole day at the festival afterwards watching other bands, a real music man who took his time to appreciate others’ efforts. The band played a selection of their back catalogue and rocked the party hard, ahead of their upcoming UK tour

Dub Pistols rocking on stage. Photo: Dub Pistols / Barry Ashworth

 

Stage side for DJ Yoda and his ensemble!

DJ Yoda and The Trans-Siberian Marching Band drew one of the biggest crowds of the whole event. DJ Yoda, stage name of Duncan Beiny, samples popular culture iconic pieces to create a hip-hop-infused set. This time he brought along a marching band to help out! Opening up the set with the 20th Century Fox theme, and closing it with the Looney Tunes theme was genius…and as weird as it sounds, it really did work.

I spoke to DJ Yoda backstage who was rushing off to another gig and sadly didn’t get the chance for an interview (perhaps another time), but the future looks bright for the turntablist!

Peter Hook, co-founder of Joy Division/New Order, on stage under new name Peter Hook and The Lights.

Peter Hook and The Light were a star booking and one of the headliners at this years’ festival, playing tracks from the back catalogue of Joy Division and New Order, of which Peter Hook is one of the founding members. “Blue Monday” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” made an appearance on the setlist, and were real crowdpleasers. In fact, Peter is a simply a born and bred crowd pleaser. The combination light show and musical performance left everyone dancing and jumping around….and Peter’s energy flowed through the whole atmosphere - at one stage he almost accidentally knocked me out with his guitar! Amazing performance.

Listen to Peter Hook and The Light’s amazing rendition of Joy Division‘s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” live at Lounge On The Farm (warning, contains one use of strong language):

listen to ‘Peter Hook and The Lights - “Love Will Tear us Apart” - Live @ LOTF 2014’ on Audioboo

Full setlist, as tweeted by Peter Hook. Photo: Peter Hook

 

This years star headliners and Lounge’s main closing act were Fun Lovin’ Criminals, New York City-based band making waves in soul, funk and jazz. They’re not new to the music scene, having been around since the late 90s, but are making their way around the festival circuit this summer.

Fun Lovin’ Criminals.

A great gig by a big band who commanded £15,000 for their set according to my source - and it was completely justified! Everyone was loving it!

 

Stage Manager George Bartlett kept a smooth running of the second stage at Lounge on The Farm, which featured acts such as Canterbury-based Coco and The Butterfields, upcoming band Coves, The Ramona Flowers, and legendary Jungle DJ Congo Natty.

I managed to catch Coves performing and I was a fan right from the start - vocalist Beck Woods delivered a truly emotional performance and I loved it.

Coves performing on the Farmhouse Stage

CoCo and The Butterfields drew a massive crowd as usual, and it was hard to move in the tent…if not impossible. And, later on in the night saw the tent turn into one massive rave with DJs Sean Porn and Comfy Rob (aka Comfy Porn) do a 2 hour rave with packed out the tent with house music and mash-ups.

 

Having not previously attended Lounge on The Farm, I cannot comment on the differences between this and last years. With all external providers being brought in to cater to the masses (and separate catering for backstage), it had its issues. One reveller I talked to expressed her concern about the lack of vegetarian options, being limited to just chips! The burger I had from one of the vans was bland and rock hard, sadly. And at £5 it was not good value-for-money.

On the drinks front, the bars were charging the usual festival prices you could expect - £4 pints, £4.50 ciders, £3 wine and a variety of cheap soft drinks. It would have been more appealing to see more local brews than the commercial brands, and that for me would have set it out well and truly.

 

If you happened to be an artist at this years’ Lounge, you might possibly have been able to do a bit of glamping as I promptly found out when being invited into the tent reserved for The Subways. Fairy lights, mirrors and warm rugs greeted the V.I.Ps. Oh, and a LOT of booze. Lots. Posh, init! Jamie Finn and the hospitality team certainly made sure the artists were well watered - kudos to them.

Glamping backstage. Photo: Billy Lunn

 

As a Lounge on The Farm virgin, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was apprehensive of the fact that a three-day festival with some of the biggest names in up-and-coming music always headlining was being downsized to a single day…and it certainly caused a few issues. Those aside, the music proved delightful, and the crowds generally very adoring of who was playing. With the location moving next year, I hope that it returns to its original form. More attention on the catering would improve the experience, as well as perhaps a bit more focus on who should be playing at what time.

Suffice to say, I’ve been converted to a fan…and I hope to be Lounging around for years to come.

- Dave Cocozza

(With thanks to Natalie Turco-Williams for the header designs)

Did you go to this years’ Lounge on The Farm? Let us know your thoughts of the festival below…

 

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