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After completely losing a tent to the stormy Endorse It of 2008 I made sure me shelter was smaller and lower than the last beast I rocked up with but I needn’t have worried for the weather was just fine. Endorse it in Dorset (try saying that when you’re twatted off your face on Scrumpy) is a bit of a secret to anyone outside the South West but one which really deserves leaking. Organised by the ever growing Cowpunk contingent that is Pronghorn (I don’t mean they’re getting fatter or taller, just more abundant in number), the festival never fails to turn the slightest toe tapping into a full blown hoe down! The majority of the punters are hardened drinkers meaning the whole weekend is one non stop party; a party spent pissing about on a cider bus, dancing to punk funk and anything else ending in unk until the sun comes up and testing your vocal chords with renditions of The Buzzcocks, The Clash and The Undertones at the hilariuos punkeoke. And while this festival’s unchallenged strength is the after hours party, the music is top notch too. As always, the festival organisers Pronghorn (Glastonbury regulars too) headline one of the nights with singer Lamma blasting out the unmistakable Hayseed Dixie/Wurzels type cowpunk (I’ve tried comin up with a better word for it but it just ain’t happening). But there ain’t no rest for the wicked and you’ll often see members of Pronghorn lending their enviable skills to other bands playing over the weekend – including drummer Toni Viagra providing the beats for the awesome Cash Converted (yep, it’s a Cash tribute act…the best to be precise). There certainly is no shortage of comedy music to have a riot to, other highlights included Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dog, Quinns Quinney and Curst Sons. The Wig On Casino played host to an Oxjam event on the Sunday, Scrumpy Sunday, with the impressive Bournemouth-based Animal Talent Show blasting out their Screaming Trees/Weezer esque rock and the incredible One Man Destruction Show (aka Adam Harmer) single-handedly taking the completely flabberghasted crowd through a set of rockabilly on drums, guitar, harmonica and vocals – that’s right, one man playing all four instruments at exactly the same time. Genius. Other late night fun came in the form of Toupe, who enjoyed a couple of drunken stage divers (it wasn’t me, aherm) and possibly the main draw of the festival, The Damned who really rocked the Desmond Dekker stage to the early hours of Sunday morning. And then there was Sunday, Ladies Day – wherever you turned the field was full of macho blokes covered in hair, wearing dresses, heels and parading their painted nails for all and sundry to see. Not the nicest thing to witness on a hangover but pretty compelling all the same.

Words and photos: Laura Williams