GREEN MAN FESTIVAL 2016 | LIVE REVIEW
Glanusk Park Estate, Brecon Beacons, Thurs 18-Sun 21 Aug
Established 13 years ago, Green Man has gained the reputation for being one of the best middle-sized festivals in the UK. The vibe of the festival is so chilled and relaxed: the perfect mixture of glitterfied 18-year-olds dancing alongside parents with their children, and old hippies lounging back in the long grass.
One of the best things to do at this festival is to venture out and explore the vintage clothing stalls, workshops, talks and the amazing variety of food vendors, which are scattered through the festival grounds. Another great side event over the weekend is the movie screenings at the Cinedrome tent. The screening of Metropolis, which was accompanied by a live piano score by Dmytro Morykit, was an enthralling experience to behold and was the perfect mood-setter for a long night of music and DJ sets.
Now for the main reason you go to a festival… the music! Green Man, I feel, has became revered by music lovers for its diverse lineup each year: from folk, psychedelia, world music and electronica to indiepop. Kicking off the festival, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard [left] played one of the tightest sets of the weekend, infusing psychedelia with trance electronics in a manner that had the crowed swaying and headbanging along until the end. The other standout band from the Far Out Tent were The Moonlandingz, whose bursting chaotic energy filled the tent with a sweaty electricity. Lead singer Johnny Rocket’s stage presence is very reminiscent of the topless gurning of Iggy Pop, and his vocals entrance your senses.
The biggest surprise of the weekend, for me, was James Blake. I’ve never dipped my toes in the musical pool of Blake, so I was pleasantly surprised by his sheer musicality and melodic power. Warpaint, too, were an absolute revelation. The way they managed to lift the crowd as the rain set in and get them dancing was no mean feat. Other highlights that should be mentioned were Tony Njoku, Laura Marling, Cigarettes After Sex, H Hawkline and Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon [below], which was the absolute definition of fun.
Belle & Sebastian closed the Mountain Stage with a nostalgic set, jumping through the years to bust out most of their hits. As Stuart Murdoch invited a small group of fans onto the stage, a wave of people washed over the barriers, leaving the security guards in shock. The band disappeared into the melee, people dancing and putting their hands into the air without a care in the world.
To end the festival, the annual burning of the Green Man engulfs a beastly shrine in crackling flames. Fireworks light up the drunken masses and kids who forced their parents to let them stay up past their bedtime. Green Man is one of the best festivals in the UK and should be experienced for itself.
words JAYDON MARTIN photos JENNA FOXTON / DANNY NORTH