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From the lush green hills of mid Wales to the brown waters of the Thames, Green Man Festival embraces it all. As a precursor to their brilliant four-day festival in the Brecon Beacons in August, the organisers reintroduced their June boat party on The Thames.

They pulled together a stellar line-up of bands and welcomed the masses on board a gigantic vessel for a five-hour sojourn from London Bridge, past The O2 and to the eastern reaches of the world-famous river, before turning her around and chugging under Tower Bridge for a tea-time drop off.

The first act up was the aptly named Tom Williams and The Boat. Their angsty guitar-based indie rock, had definite sniffs of Grinderman about it, with  frontman Tom spitting fiery lyrics as the band thrashed about behind him. The whole set was lifted by the exceptional fiddle playing of the mesmerising Geri Holton.

Green Man Festival favourites, Three Trapped Tigers were up next, with their soundscapey electro vibes. But while they pulled in quite a crowd, and put on a compelling show, you couldn’t help but feel they were a poor man’s Errors. Field Music were the main draw for many of the Green Man Boat Party crew, but sadly, I was one of a couple hundred people who completely missed this set, due largely to the happenings out on deck.

As the boat slowed to wait for the magestic Tower Bridge to rise up, the resident buskers, armed with washboards, demijohns and more stamped and stormed their way through a sea-shanty heavy singalong, to the delight of the passengers out front. Where Green Man Festival (the one in the Welsh deer park) excels in creating these ‘moments’, it was hardly surprising this boat party mirrored that. Roll on August 16!!!

Words and photo: Laura Williams