Lunar Festival is nestled away in the Tanworth-in-Arden countryside at the idyllic Umberslade Farm. Its location not only allows the kids to spend some quality time amid the innocent lambs and calves in the petting farm, but pays homage to the talents of Nick Drake, some of the weekend’s acts even dedicating various covers to the man. The festival site was filled with many relaxing areas, including the sanctity of The Bimble Inn: a bar, a stage and one of the most gorgeously decorated sections of the festival. That’s not forgetting the vibrant land that hid behind The Crow Bar where bubble machines, psychedelic lights and magnificent displays of art and neon signs meant you could forget the negativity of the outside world and instead submerge yourself in to the beauty of this faraway land.
Sunday lived up to its name – in fact, it even exceeded expectations as the sun was not just out, but using all of it power to either tan or burn anyone daring enough to reveal an inch of skin. Festival goers were not deterred however as the Lunar Gods were already prepared, whipping out their best laid-back folk-filled sets at The Bimble Inn and some of the more glorious, energy filled acts on the main stage that were sunny enough that there wasn’t any need those cloudless skies. It was The Mother Earth Experiment who welcomed the sun first, their funky rock vibes sending out a soundwave that got any late sleepers up and into the main arena. If their stage presence wasn’t contagious enough then their dancing entourage in front of the stage were enough to make anyone want to immerse themselves fully in their ‘sounds from a dying planet’.
But for those too worn out to get up and dance, Andy Wickett & World Service were the people to see. They made a tasty infusion in which they collected obvious influences from every inch of the musical sphere – making their passion for music come through in vibrant colours as they took to the stage. Khruangbin matched Andy Wickett in musical prowess, their psychedelic funk pricking ears with its originality and obscurity in terms of popular mainstream music. They were a band to ignite many daydreams within the crowd as their rolling and evolving sound took its groovy shape.
Another captivating Sunday favourite came from Stick in the Wheel who’s vocals were gorgeously raw and abrasive whilst their melodies were just as powerful. Perhaps the best section of their folk-fuelled passion was their beats – they constructed the most unforgettable, unavoidable and unmissable thumps that went straight to the heart. Meanwhile, one of the best matched artists for the sweltering heat had taken over the main stage with their traditional attire. The Mariachis flaunted their spicy covers of famous tracks including ‘Don’t You Want Me’ and ‘I Love Rock And Roll’, forcing the busy audience up onto their feet.
The Bimble Inn had never been as full as when Martin Carthy performed. It was no surprise though as he engaged and charmed both the young and old audience members. He moved them to laughter, joy and even sadness – his musical skill never failing to hit the right spot. It was Matt Berry and the Maypoles who caught Mytacism Music’s heart this weekend though. Berry and his band knew how to put on a varied set full of well know tracks (including ‘Take My Hand’ and ‘Theme From Snuff Box’) and some less well known ones that drew in a large, fascinated crowd.