The New Day Festival, held August 25-27, was a first for Mott the Dog. In previous years we have been to the other Kent music fest, Ramblin’ Man at Mote Park. For V.I.P. tickets at Ramblin’ Man we are talking over four hundred pounds for three days, whereas the New Day Festival just squeezed over the hundred pound mark.
There was no V.I.P. section at The New Day Festival – we were all treated as V.I.P’s. Upon our arrival all fears of it being a poor man’s version of Ramblin’ Man were put behind us as there were plenty of stewards to show you where to go and the ticket office was remarkably efficient. This festival is set up on two sloping fields with stages at the bottom, beer tents at the top and everything else in-between. The site is surrounded by gorgeous, lush green Kent countryside and is so picturesque. If nothing else you could just sit in the field and enjoy the scenery.
But there was more of course, starting promptly at 2.00 pm on Friday at the Shindig! Stage where we had a band called Rockin’ The Joint and that’s exactly what they did. Immediately after this we went right to the very front of the Spitfire Stage to watch the wondrous Strawbs (acoustic) play a wonderful set to really set the tone for the weekend. Then going from stage to stage we were treated to short sharp sets from Paradise 9, Pearl Handled Revolver and the up and coming Tommy Justice.
On the Spitfire Stage we were treated to a virtuoso performance of rock’n’roll guitar from Del Bromham and his Blues Devils, who eventually included most of Pearl Handled Revolver. Del made plenty of mention of Thailand during his set which was a real masterclass. Pity there was not time for a stray song or two.
Dr Feelgood were next up and fared well whilst sticking to their more popular standards, but veered a little off course when attempting stretched out jams on rhythm and blues numbers. Just do what the crowd wants boys would be my suggestion. As King King had to pull out at the last minute due to illness we were then treated to the talents of Kas Hawkins and her band, without doubt the voice of the festival and a great surprise to many people who had no idea who she was. Nonetheless, she was given a rousing welcome and warm reception.
The two headline spots were still to be played, as firstly the Martin Barre Band took to the stage to play some note perfect rocked out versions of Jethro Tull songs, Beatles covers, and band compositions. The band were so tight it was a joy to watch and the whole Shindig field was packed for this treat of a musician and his cohorts pulling out all the stops in a faultless set. Vocalist Dan Crisp is a real find and easily covers the songs made famous by the singer in Barre’s previous band (he even looks like a younger clean shaven Ian Anderson.) An unqualified success!
Last on the Spitfire Stage were Big Country who are sadly not everybody’s cup of tea and obviously not too many people’s choice here as even with the use of the big stage and a full light show, they floundered on the day and most headed towards the camp site or their lift home well before the end. But all in all it was a great opening day.
Part 2 of the festival review next week!
Note: Written by Mott the Dog who can often be found in his kennel with a glazed look on his face dreaming of a New Day Festival in Jameson’s in Soi AR, North Pattaya.