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It’s never a good sign when you see people being towed IN to a festival car park and as the rain continued to fall (not that proper rain, but the annoying shit which blows in all directions and soaks you through and through), the more attractive option could’ve been to turn around and go home again; but even a cursory glance at the line-up was enough to keep any music fan in the sopping wet Gloucestershire field.

Interestingly, Thursday night was only open to VIPs (which basically amounted to organisers and their mates, bands and their mates and media types) but there was enough people there to make it a party. Playing an early evening slot in The Cave (an undercover haven of sorts), was Tall Ships. The group, who met at college in Cornwall, have been catching our eye of late – with support slots with Dry the River and a banging gig at Simple Things Festival in Bristol and once more, they did not fail to please. With catchy, singalong choruses and Radiohead-tinged tunes, they help forge a real community vibe in the tent and pave the way perfectly for Tellison, who picked up the catchty, slightly punky pop rock baton and played a short but sweet set of earworm songs (which some members of the campsite were singing til the early hours).

But Thursday night belonged to one band and one band only, and that was Three Trapped Tigers who proved the talk of the festival with their storming set of electo fused indie. After a pretty take it or leave it set at the Green Man boat party last month, I wasn’t expecting much – but it goes to show just how different sets from same band can be. The London trio had the crowd from the start as they powered through a frenzied set of Aphex Twin/Goldie type belters, as the wellies stomped deeper into the mud it the sounds just kept coming, leaving everyone gagging for more. While there was no more live music, the late-night bars provided a few more drunken hours for the revellers crammed into the relative dryness of the large tent – the walk to the portable toilets proved a bit of a mission though!

Friday morning came and the rain stopped, leaving a window of a few hours for people to dry their coats and get warm in their tents and to be fair to mother nature, she treated us well until later on that night when the heavens opened once more, leaving tents flooded and many people heading for the exit. But before that, we had the most eclectic mix of acts – from the pure, crystalline Parisien/Bristolian folk of This Is The Kit and the bow playing guitar and Laura Marling style excellence of Lanterns on the Lake to the soaring, spine-tingling indie-folk anthems from Dry The River and the jaw-dropping mathcore vocals from Rolo Tomassi frontwoman Eva Spence to the socio-political all-out rock from Devon group Crazy Arm. To coin an uber irritating and lazy cliche, there was something for everyone.

Goodnight Lenin played a solid afternoon set of deep and compelling indie. Then, My First Tooth showcased some of their new material to a packed out Leaf Lounge, showing a totally different side to their get up – more rousing vocal harmonies and lengthy outros, perfect for a festival crowd. Run Walk played their last ever gig, which was pretty emotional. The Futureheads did not disappoint with two sets – one of their a capella brilliance and another standard set. Headlining the main stage on Friday was Pulled Apart By Horses, you know what you’re getting with this lot – a ruddy good time, with guitar driven, girthy rock songs. Just what the doctor ordered. The day ended with an obligatory set from local skifle outfit Thrill Collins.

Saturday (by which time I was long gone, heading down the M4 to see The Boss at Hard Rock Calling), featured the likes of Guillemots, Hundred Reasons, Summer Camp, Lucy Rose and Johnny Foreigner and more; and while Saturday was wet wet wet, it didn’t stop thousands of people enjoying themselves. Methinks the organisers will be doing a sun dance before next year’s festival though!

Words: Laura Williams