Nathan Westley

11:08 20th July 2010

With numerous music festivals happening each weekend through out summer and with only a limited amount of artists currently available to choose from, sticking out and separating itself from others can be a hard thing for festival organisers to achieve. 

This may give reason to why the organisers of Guilfest have decided to break away from many of the obvious choices and pitch it as a guilt free family friendly weekend where both young and old can find enough familiar names on the line-up to ensue all remain happy.     
With the sun beaming, Friday’s mixed bag of entertainment swung from the local based unknown right up to the giddy heights of recent second stage Glastonbury headliners; somewhere between these two points lies the place instrumentalists 65 Days of Static find themselves locked into. With many people pouring through the gates, there dynamically driven set of bone crunching riffs and electronic wizardry offered a hard hitting punch of a warning to those who traditionally park their asses at the main stage all weekend.    

Yet it was main stage headliners Orbital aided and abetted by several computers and glasses modded with torchlight’s that helped this years Guilfest break free from its staid habit of having the same headliners on a repeat basis. Too many they may have only been familiar for there reworking of the Dr. Who theme tune before their appearance but there danceable synth driven house made sure many left cursing they did not know more before. 

Saturday offered the festival goer a whole heap of different options; while the parents and grandparents could help relive the past by seeing Seventies wonder’s Mungo Jerry, Alvin Stardust, psychedelic shock rocker Arthur Brown or beardy prog rockers Hawkwind; the young could delight themselves with a present that saw fit to don itself in an Adidas tracksuit and fully embrace chav culture.

It was a move that saw Just Jack rapping his way through songs that had previously haunted mainstream radio on main stage, only to be quickly followed up by N-Dubz hi-energy blinged out chav-pop. Though many may deride them for their near eternal in-band squabbles and singer Dappy’s choice of unconventional headwear there performance that puts a high emphasis on entertaining leapfrogs over many of their considered rivals. While Tinie Tempah in a tent a short walk away offered a late night reminder that there are many out there willing to chase after Dizzee’s coat-tails.   

In comparison Sunday saw Guilfest revert back to the safe and predictable by mixing old family favourites with a side order of newer un-offensive options that ranged from The Young Knives geeky school teacher friendly indie-rock to The King Blues fiery acoustic punk. Yet the biggest cheer was kept for revisiting headliners Status Quo; famed for their repetitive usage of three chords and fondness for stone washed denim.

They showed just why Guilfest mixes the old with the new better than anyone else.

Guilfest 2010 - Photos

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Photo: Veronika Moore