Beige Banquet – bangin’ tunes from this 5-piece guitar band. Varied approaches to each number, sometime bass-led; others driven by lead guitar and vocal in the style of Yard Act; in others the electro percussion/keyboard played the prominent role.

 The Last Dinner Party – if the EOTR organisers were looking specifically for a band to draw a big audience for the opening of the main stage, this would most certainly go down as a success. Great stage presence. Their song Dua was introduced by vocalist Aurora “about me being ashamed of not knowing my mother-tongue better”.  Sung in Albanian, Emily playing a St Vincent guitar, Aurora on keytar ! A highly accessible band    Abba with the occasional F-Bomb thrown in.  “For us this is like playing the Pyramid Stage”. Watch this space. Who knows what heights this band might reach

 Wilco – love ‘em or not, certainly an accomplished band.  Finding the early songs rather pedestrian I dipped out to see HMLTD.  With Wilco still playing the main stage as I emerged, I caught their last 4 songs, all top-notch rockin tunes.

 HMLTD – bonkers crazy bare-chested beats drawing a particularly youthful and vibrant audience. Mesmerising , Metronomic & Pulsating


 Friendship – Highly enjoyable Americana to get the afternoon going on the Garden Stage

 Charlotte Cornfield – On electric guitar, accompanied by Sam & Steve on bass and drums who had both flown in from Toronto especially for this gig. Very at home on stage with confident between-song banter.  Gave a first ever live outing to her song ‘Nowhere’ off recent album ‘Could Have Done Anything’ the first of a couple of numbers where she sat at the piano.  For me these tunes delivered the best songs of the set

 Say She She – Bringing Notting Hill carnival to the festival with a strong sprinkling of disco. The crowd was dancing from the off and continued with greater vigour for their single ‘Astral Plane’ and set closer, a cover of ‘I Believe In Miracles’

 Horse Yard – it’s math-rock hour! Super-intense with drums, guitar, sax and bass all (it seemed)  in different time signatures. You simply can’t avoid this noise getting into yer bones. No vocals and few words between songs apart from ‘I’ve seen four peacocks today”. Staying true to the precision of the math-rock genre, their introduction for the final number was :  “okey dokey…. We’re gonna play for seven more minutes

 King Tuff – Straightforward rockin indie from this threesome. …… with the odd Sex Pistols vocal thrown in 

 Okay Kaya – Solo vocal with Alan providing guitar accompaniment.  Another wonderful gathering of youthful faces; I overheard one such punter describe it ‘immaculate vibes’. , Best line was delivered in ‘Asexual Wellbeing’ : “Sex with me is mediocre but I’m probably feeling what you are”.   Ran out of time at the end of her slot…. Announced she was going to play “In Regards To Your Tweet” but on being told she only had 3 minutes she opted for  the better known ‘Mother Nature’s Bitch “ a more upbeat song to close.

 Bodega – One of many good things about EOTR is that bands further up the bill get a full hour set, giving them licence to give full expression – and boy did Bodega express themselves !  This was New York’s finest at full tilt, reminding us that ‘New York was founded by a corporation’.   ‘Statuette On The Console” was a firm crowd favourite after which, right on cue, foreboding clouds gathered while they sang about the apocalypse.  Climaxed their set with a fantastic extended version of ‘How Did This Happen’

 Ulrika Spacek – superb overload of jangly guitars nestling comfortably with slightly muffled vocal. We watched this set alongside Lilly from Penelope Isles, touting a large isle Of Man flag.  Best new find of the festival 

 Cass McCombs – Got a bit ‘King Crimson self-indulgent’  in parts, but superb when in his stride with his US-tinged song-smithery. ‘Sleeping Volcanoes’ was a highlight featuring the heartfelt and repeated plea “Help Me Armageddon”

 Unknown Mortal Orchestra – a worthy headliner, tonight saw Ruban Nielsen and his band present their set featuring excellent 2023 release V.  Kicking off by reminding us ‘”It’s violent after dark in the garden” the band moved deftly through the numerous melodic highlights from the album (Weekend Run, Layla) interspersed with older hits and an excellent organ solo in ‘Opposite Of Afternoon’, and the laid back funk style of ‘Necessary Evil’



Personal Trainer –. Having seen PT play a 30-minute set at Krankenhaus Festival the previous weekend, it was delightful to see these Dutch maestros filling 45 minutes with their spiky pop tunes, without a moments lull. Crashing chords heralded the opening of this excellently paced set blending rockin songs with softer melodies all with the backdrop of the visual spectacle that is the band going crazy dancing. Welcome closing refreshment came in the form of milk (straight from the carton).

CVC –The Rock Club UK is made up of folks with pretty diverse musical tastes so it is  simply wondrous when a band comes along that garners almost universal support and excitement.  CVC’s ‘Get Real’ album has captured the imagination of so many of us and it was simply wonderful to share this set with so many festival buddies.  Suitably fuelled from Sally’s Gin Bar we enjoyed a singalong/dance-along that will last long in the memory

Oracle Sisters – a band I was looking forward to after listening on the pre-fest play-list. Didn’t let me down.  Were never gonna blow our socks off but delivered great indie tunes with slightly falsetto vocal.  Finished their set with ‘RBH’ with the repeated rhythmic  ‘right beside her’ refrain.

caroline – with the midday gin intake starting to take it’s toll, this was a set we should have enjoyed more, but the lure of an afternoon nap to recharge the batteries was overwhelming

Wet Leg – regular EOTR attendees are well accustomed to the ‘secret sets’ late at night in the Tipi Tent (now renamed Folly Stage). This year saw the organisers place a ‘Surprise Set’ on the main  stage, mid-evening Saturday. Despite the circulation of countless rumours during the day, people were pretty much aware it was going to be Wet Leg. Along with others who wanted to believe other front-runners in the rumour stakes (Boy Genius, Lump) I was a little disappointed;  but having missed several opportunities to see them previously I went along to take the set in and was pleasantly surprised as to how much I enjoyed it.  With Joshua  (from nearby Salisbury) on keys they did an excellent rendition of the many strong songs on their eponymous debut album

Crack Cloud – From British Columbia,  11 of ‘em ! Full on rave rock with the occasional wailing solo. Short on verbals between songs; as they debated what to play for their last number one band member simply said to one another “we’ve only got 8 minutes left motherfucker ! “

H Hawkline – Welsh balladry par excellence.  Today with 6 strong band, crammed onto the tiny Talking Heads stage. Simply sublime. A heart-stopping festival highlight

High Viz – from Liverpool, post punk with screechy guitars; a cross between Murder Capital and Sleaford Mods.  Excellent front man, cutting an ebullient figure, but showing a warm level of humility.”  For us, to play to this many people is wicked ! I’ve got a job….. I work in a school.  Normally when we play there’s 40 or so people in the audience, half of them kids from the school I’m at……. They don’t know I’m in a  band – it’s fucked !”

Courettes – with a ‘Hawaii 5-O’ drum intro we knew were in for an interesting set from the off.  The Courettes are a duo… drummer (with the look of Keith Moon) from Denmark ; singer/guitar from Brazil and delivering smiley and scary faces in equal measure, with waily vocal throughout


Floodlights – 5-piece from down under. The front-man has the look of a youthful Peter Gabriel. Announced that they’d been here for a month and today was the first sunshine they’d seen “This is a really special moment for us”.  Great tunes with the harmonica breaks lifting the sonic vibe to a new level.  Plenty of trumpet too.

Divorce – Played their excellent recent single ‘Birds’ early in the set. At the band’s request the audience tweeted rather clapped at the end of the song. Superb harmonies in this and many other songs through the set, lead singer Tiger Cohen-Towell apologising for the flies that buzzed around overhead “we’ve been living in the van for the last 7 days”, before announcing “This is the end of our festivals season – this has absolutely been the best’

Sweet Baboo – a first for me, watching a festival set from the comfort of a camping chair in the Garden Stage auditorium. An excellent set from the wonderful Stephen Black; featuring songs from recent album ‘The Wreckage’ and occasional ones from ‘The Beatbox Ballads'. Most numbers introduced with an amusing ditty, perhaps the most memorable preceding the song ‘Goodbye’, about walking a neighbour’s dog during Covid and the heartbreak of having to say goodbye each time.  Finished  the song with ‘Motorhome’ (I stood up for that one)

Geese – a very hot Big Top for this much-talked-about band.  On the way in I bumped  into two Rock Clubbers whose boat was not floated by the first two songs so I decided to listen from outside.  Sounded raucous but mellowed as the set progressed enabling me to doze in the shade of the Big Top.  (For balance I should add other festival buddies thoroughly enjoyed the set) 

Alogte Oho & His Sounds Of Joy – African beats from Ghana, with some reggae thrown in. Filled the garden with joy.  Raised the level 20 minutes into the set with an introduction “This one’s a bit different – we hope you like it”.  The difference was more keyboard …. More joyous !

Picture Parlour “We’re so excited – we’ve wanted to play this festival for so long!” A mix-up of bluesy and rockin tunes all with forceful, expressive vocal, a cross between Amy Winehouse and Alex Turner.  I’m not keen on comparing contemporary bands to icons from the past but this put me in mind of a female-led Bad Company. Their set featured their single ‘Norwegian Wood’ (not a cover).  Best lyric : “ ….. and now I’m walking round New York with just enough love in my hand”

Allah Las – the expected wonderful sound of jangly guitars and harmonies, but this band seem to have matured over the years, today delivering a Velvet Underground vibe. Excellent set

Ezra Furman – A fitting denouement to the festival.  A wonderful set laced with overwhelming sadness, as this was Ezra’s final (ever ??) show.  The band has been together nearly 12 years and with the only thing certain being a hiatus, Ezra announced this might be their last show ever ‘we just don’t know….. there are no plans”. Introduced one song (I can’t remember which) as a ‘failed love affair in 3 chords’.  That seemed to sum up the mood – great set; one of those ‘glad I was there’ moments.