So I thought I’d do a quick round up of this years ‘End of the Road’ festival from my somewhat sunburnt, sleep deprived and drunken point of view. So in no particular order: Jose Gonzalez kicked off the Thursday with his band Junip which was followed by a great set from Herman Dune, Rue Royal brought their boy/girl duo sound to an appreciative early afternoon crowd and I wish I’d caught more of Allo Darlin’ because the bit I saw made me want to see more. Daniel Martin Moore played to a criminally small crowd but none the less was excellent, Dan Mangan told us he normally tours with a band but instead brought a mini brass/string section which was different but better and James Yorkston was a bit too mellow in the sunshine almost sending me to sleep. Micah P Hinson was good, as was Emmy The Great and Laura Marling is growing from strength to strength as a live performer. Kurt Vile was disappointing, despite being backed by the violators and Willy Mason didn’t seem as on form as usual. It took lykke Li to show Zola Jesus how it should be done and Jolie Holland played solo which didn’t come across to well in the setting but when she joined Micah P for a Daniel Johnston cover they had the crowd in awe. Gruff Rhys was good but personally I would have loved it to have been the Furries, Beirut were over trumpety but The Walkmen rocked a good one. Tinariwen brought the Mali sound to a lazy Sunday afternoon, Joanna Newson annoyed me even from my tent but thankfully John Grant gave the performance I had been hoping he would. Overall though the weekend belonged to two people from quite opposite ends of the spectrum, firstly Bog Log III with his filthy blues lauded over the crowd like a true rock god, dressed in a purple one suit and his trademark motorcycle helmet, he injected a much needed dose of levity and his late night secret show was just as good (maybe even better with beers in us). But it was Josh T Pearson who stole the show for me, it was the only time it rained during a set but it didn’t matter, if anything it added to his one man one guitar epic set. Incredibly charming, witty and intelligent his between songs banter didn’t distract from the power of the music and as the night drew in I wondered whether to take of my sunglasses and let the rain hide my tears instead.
Josh T Pearson & a rather sunburnt me.