Chagstock – the UK festival with the most stunning view

Karen Chapman
Karen Chapman

With the huge number of new smaller local festivals being launched, it’s tough for festival organisers these days, but Chagstock attracts a faithful following.

Kelly Oliver opened the main stage with some excellent and interesting self-penned songs. Saturday headliner Imelda May went down a storm, along with her excellent band. Imelda owned the stage – along with guitarist Donny Little – and gave her all with those powerful vocals, taking some time out mid-set to do some soulful quieter numbers, pared back to just one guitarist.

The Correspondents were absolutely fantastic with their high energy electro-swing and more. Frontman Mr Bruce is like the Duracell bunny on speed with his flamboyant and dynamic presence. Show of Hands were brilliant and their cover of The Boys of Summer (by Eagles vocalist and drummer Don Henley and Mike Campbell) was enjoyed by many of the audience.

Luvia opened the marquee stage with her delicate vocals. Martin Harley was as ever outstanding and as one audience member shared, “His guitar playing was just beautiful.” The Hot Sprockets were superb – one festival-goer said, “I thought they were a really good rock band but with a little bit extra that made them stand out. I loved the mandolin too.”

Unfortunately The Grahams’ drummer couldn’t make it, having got stuck in customs. This Nashville duo, who are also husband and wife, have been making music together for many years, creating a honed performance. “They have that country style but they had something slightly different in their melodies.”

Chris Durney ably took the helm in the Live Lounge from Chagstock stalwart Peter Shields, who was unable to be there. Chris put on a superb selection of acts, many of which would have been completely at home on the main stage. It’s hard to pick out a handful of names but Celt were great and young trio Ethyfield were awesome – it surely won’t be long before they hit the big time. Five Finger Discount, Wax Cylinder and Edd Keene all put in some worthy sets and the Robin Brown Band were also superb.

Another solid offering from Si Ford and his hard-working team.

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