Another great weekend at one of the friendliest festivals going, in one of the most beautiful settings – there can’t be many UK festivals actually in a National Park (unless you know better…?) and the Galtres Parklands Festival most certainly is.  The view from the main stage area is just amazing – miles of heather moorland, with a fine stately home just down the hill, which you can visit. As ever, a policy of some main headliners and lots of local/north-east acts, in a variety of genres, all good quality, many of whom would be massive if they lived in London.

Mind you Sunday night was nearly a disaster, as I lost my phone…only to find a kind bar volunteer had found it, and got my home number by calling friends. She is going to post it to me. Thanks Jess!! This place is full of lovely people.

Friday started late after time was needed to gather and activate the cashless cards before any beer could be brought! First band seen was Lumberjack  Heartbreak Trucking Co from the US, like the Waltons on drugs it says here. I think they were a parody of God fearing creationists…their last song was called  I F*cking Love You Jesus…

Followed by an evening made for mad dancing…the mighty Bellowhead…then the Levellers, at their absolute Level best….and finally Blackbeards Tea Party, an ace ceilidh band turned folk rock behemoth. And in between a powerful new rock band from Dublin, the Hot Sprockets, with all the moves and energy of Oasis or early Stones. 

Talking of which…few bands play better live than the Jim Jones Revue, a classic dirty sweaty rock n roll garage explosion to start Saturday.

Paris XY are excellent, dark moody electronica from from Leeds, Alice and James, he plays like New Order, she sings like Lana Del Ray with the facial expressions of Linda Blair. An album should be finished once they have finished touring Germany, with Icelandic stars GusGus no less.

Tricky as unconventional as you might expect. Seemed like a good guy, the most amazing face – but what would his set be like? Well, it started with great intensity, in near darkness, some great tracks like Nothing Matters off the ace new album, a superb Black Steel, all very friendly – but then maybe becoming too friendly, ending up with a chaotic stage invasion and the set petering out into the cold night sky.

Equally hyper but a tad more professional, Beans on Toast was our midnight snack, did lots of songs about drugs, climbed the tent poles and threw his rider (mainly Navy Rum and crisps I think) to the crowd during the great ‘I Cant Get a Gig at Glastonbury.



Sunday began as we woke up to sunshine and Human League soundchecking Love Action. Perfect!

The Oxman Stage had became the metal stage today, courtesy of Soundscape magazine, with highlights including RSJ and the wonderfully theatrical A Jokers Rage, plus a great new band called Bull, who only let themselves down a bit at the end by forgetting the words to a song all the audience know, Ziggy Stardust.

Soon the Littlemores were up on the main stage, as good as ever, new urban tales like White Limo Love Song, about stag nights in York, 2 Up 2 Down about…living in a semi, and older classics  such as Deborah and Blue Eyes Black. 

Beggars Bridge are a Hull folk group telling tales of the Last of the Wolds Rangers (itinerant Yorkshire shepherds who roamed the moors until quite recently; the last, Geordie Dog, died in 1987) and  terrible shipwrecks (fisherman Harry Eddom, only survivor of a disaster off Iceland in 1968). The debut album Riding East sounds great. 

Public Service Broadcasting were interesting, some very catchy numbers like Spitfire and Everest, with new stuff being suitably bizarre songs about ice skating in Dutch, part of a project for a Dutch ice rink.

Human League brought their own massive PA system, and the ground shook as those familiar simple electronic tunes and beats crashed out. Dare is a near perfect synthpop album, stats suggest everyone in the world must have a copy, and they played most of it, with stunning visuals. 

There was a poignant Lebanon, then they did Being Boiled and Empire State Human from the early days of Mute Records. In a pleasant surprise, Phil Oakey chats a lot, has a definite sense of humour…and a brother in Northallerton apparently!

Holy Moly and the Crackers were last band on (when I lost my phone in the melee), another local find, with songs about a Bluebell Wood nearby, and other seemingly from nearer New Orleans, such as Cocaine 


Kevin Hand@Kevinhand3