I’ve been in a post-Green Man funk all week. Three days of music, ale and food have left me feeling a little bit bereft now it’s all over. But, what a weekend.
Personal highlights for me were Television, Courtney Barnett, Super Furries, Teleman (again), The Wave Pictures. There is so much good stuff at Green Man that line up clashes inevitably arise – The Wave Pictures and Television being one, so we caught just the end of The Wave Pictures on the basis of, really, when am I likely to ever see Television again? Slowdive and The Fall were others that got away. For the sheer joy of being there – Seazoo on the Green Man Rising stage were infectious in their enthusiasm, their audience and their lo-fi pop, Sweet Baboo and The Pictish Trail brought duets and comedy to the Walled Garden, and one that came to life live rather than the recorded version was H Hawkline.
I also tried to make the most of the wider festival this year, going to readings and comedy in the Babbling Tongues tent. Gwenno bilingually interviewing Gruff and Huw from Super Furries and making a highly professional job of it was fantastic, as were their anecdotes about meeting on top of a train to Bala (‘it was a very slow train’) and turning down a million pounds from Coke for an advert. Mojo should have got Gwenno to interview Mark E Smith in their slot with him – their interviewer happily admitted they’d drawn straws in the office for the privilege and he’d got the short one. Mark E Smith certainly lived up to his reputation on that score. Nell Frizzell talking to Grainne Maguire about her ultimate playlist reminded me how seldom we get to hear women just talking to other women about music.
The Green Man ale tent was even better than last year, seemingly with more stock meaning that popular ales weren’t selling out on the first day. It was great to see Pamplemousse from the Waen Brewery and good old JPR Pale Ale from Grey Trees that we normally just buy in bottles, on tap.
Oh yes, it rained. It rained from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning with approximately 4 hours of sunshine in between. It rained so much it almost made me feel guilty for getting to go home at night, get dry and warm, sleep well and go back the next day in clean clothes. First timers at Green Man might not have realised they were surrounded by mountains, so low was the cloud overhanging the site all weekend. Super Furries playing Hello Sunshine precipitated the biggest downpour of the weekend on Saturday night and we sat there: midnight, the rain pouring down, dripping off our noses, watching five grown men in furry suits and I thought ‘yeah, I wouldn’t be anywhere else right now’.