Bob Dylan, Ray Davies, Stornoway, Devandra Banhart, Jon Allen - Preview: Hop Farm Festival
Harry Milburn 01/07/2010
There won't be any VIP areas at this year's Hop Farm, but it's hard to think of a musician more deserving of that 'Very Important Person' status than Bob Dylan. The 68 year old will be the major draw for festival-goers here; regardless of the bearish voiced, growling form he now comes in; but it's an impressive line-up further down the bill too.
In what looks like a remarkable procession of talent, the 'Godfather Of Britpop' and former-Kink Ray Davies will also feature on the main stage on the Saturday (July 3rd), whilst Friday (July 2nd) will see Van 'the man' Morrison, and old New Wavers Blondie try to steal some of Mr. Zimmerman's limelight. And if that all sounds a little golden-oldie heavy, our young triumvirate of British folksters Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and Johnny Flynn should bring down the average age of both the audience and the musicians present considerably. We can probably expect a duet or two here as well, given that they all seem to be such great pals.
Seasick Steve, meanwhile, will presumably be arriving by any means but boat; whilst the ever-reliable Pete Doherty will just presumably be arriving. It all adds up to a very exciting looking weekend; and a reasonably priced one- at £110 (without camping)- at that. But whilst Bob Dylan's all well and good, what if you're looking for something a bit more left-tent filled-field? Who to see? Here's a few suggestions from further down the billing:
Stornoway: Yes, it's a burgh in the Outer Hebrides, but they're also a musical quartet. Like Foals and Radiohead, they're Oxford-based; but unlike them, they make wistful folk. They're debut 'Beachcomber's Windowsill' garnered mainly positive reviews. Defiantly worth a watch on the Friday.
Villagers: Irish singer/songwriter Conor J O'Brien who has impressed with his debut 'Becoming A Jackal'. Has been compared to the likes of Elliot Smith and Rufus Wainwright, and is a GIITV favourite.
Devandra Banhart: Unfortunately he'll be clashing with Dylan, but his strange alternative folk offers folks an alternative. If Bob's not your cup of coffee, then Devandra's your man.
Jon Allen: You won't be able to move for all the singer/songwriters here. Here's another- Jon Allen. He sounds a bit like Rod Stewart. Which Maggie may or Maggie may not appeal to you.
Sweet Billy Pilgrim: You might remember these art-poppers as the somewhat surprise Mercury music prize winners of 2009. Worth a viewing as a result.
And, just incase your appetite hasn't been whetted sufficiently yet, here's a Spotify play list to get you in the mood. All together now: 'How does it feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel?'
GIITTV's Hop Farm Festival spotify playlist