As the first day of the festival approached I had watched the weather forecast all weekend as the forecast was telling us there were severe weather warnings on the way and torrential rain, thunderstorms and hail was forecast. But as Friday evening set in the rain came down and thunder and lightening filled the air across Newquay. But luckily this early arrival of the storm meant that Saturday was surprisingly dry and bright and I headed to the festival.
We arrived at the beach in time for another favourite local band Land of the Giants who were amazing, as the sun shined it was impossible not to enjoy the live music. However as many of my regular readers will know I always write honest reviews and my only criticism was that the choice of drinks was a bit limited! When I say limited there was a wide selection of 2 beers, 2 ciders, and a small selection of spirits and wine however as you all probably know I'm a cider drinker, I LOVE CIDER, however the choices of sickly sweet strawberry cider or super strong festival strength cider there was not an option for regular apple cider drinkers which did leave me slightly upset of the thought of being at a festival in the sunshine in an amazing location but without an amazing drink in my hand.
Next on the line up was the Running Numbers a band that I had not heard of before but now I will definitely call myself a fan and if I hear of them playing another gig locally I will certainly be in attendance. They are a wonderful drum and bass band with vocals from a gorgeous female voice, With the sun shining, the waves crashing behind the festival and the mesmerizing vocals and lyrics coming from Running Numbers it was impossible not to get lost in their music and thoroughly enjoy their set. An amazing band, amazing sound, amazing energy and will recommend their music to any drum and bass fan.
After the amazing energy from the Running Numbers the festival continued with a band called the Renegade Brass Band. I've got to hold my hands up and applause the organisers of the Electric Beach festival as so far all of the bands were to my exact taste. Although mainly dubbed as an electric music festival and previous years being heavily electronically focused this year was filled with a lot more live music and a lot more instruments mixed with digital sounds and the Renegade Brass Band were no exception to the day.
To headline the Saturday night was legendary DJ Grand Master Flash who was certain to get the festival jumping. Playing an amazing set of new and old tunes it was hard not to jump and dance on the beach and end the first day of the festival on a high.
With the sun still making an appearance and only a few brisk showers stopping play Sunday continued to spell out a brilliant summer festival. We arrived at the beach in time to catch the wonderfully talented Albert Jones and yet again was an incredible gig. The only slight down side to his set was when the heavens opened and the festival goers rushed for shelter in the marque. Taking it in the bands stride they joked that if the audience didn't like the music they didn't have to all run away! within minutes the rain had stopped and the sun was blistering through the clouds and the set ended on an incredible high.
I've been to a lot of music festivals in Cornwall and seen The Peoples String Foundation several times before and was not disappointed by their set at The Electric Beach Festival. I know this review comments on the sunshine at the festival over and over again but with energetic live music and the sun shining it was impossible not to enjoy. Their last song had every body on their feet dancing and really are a band worth checking out.
On the line up next was singer Lloyd Yates, I hadn't heard his music before but decided to check him out on Spotify before the festival and to be honest I wasn't sure. His voice seemed a bit like Marmite easy to love and hate so was sceptical about his set. But the minute he entered the stage I was blown away, his honesty about why he wrote the songs and what the songs were about nearly had me in tears. The songs were heartfelt and emotional, incredibly moving and powerful and I'm now certainly a massive fan. Adding Lloyd Yates as a firm favourite to my music collection and would definitely love to hear him play live again. If you think it can't get any better than this, add the one and only Ben Skinner to the mix for a quick song together and you've got an incredible experience for both the ears and eyes!
Following Lloyd Yates was another DJ set this time by Dj Maseo from De La Soul, Electric Beach festivals first head liner in 2012. Now I know this was predominantly an electric music festival and this means that DJ's will feature heavily but after so much great music with live instruments the DJ set was just not hitting the spot. It was good but it just wasn't the live music that we had experienced earlier on in the evening.
The penultimate act on Sunday was Dizraeli and the Small Gods and when they first started their set I wasn't sure with a mix of live music and MC-ing it wasn't music to my taste. However yet again the interaction by the band with the audience and some slightly different music with yet again a lot of passion made for a really enjoyable gig with particularly poignant lyrics.
Sunday nights headline act was the amazing Zion Train who I have seen several times not only at previous Electric Beach festivals but also Plymouth Volksfest and they were the main reason for my attendance at the whole festival. They certainly did not disappoint and gave every body on the beach a full work out with super high energy dancing and jumping. For a Sunday night gig they really did not put you in the mood for going home and back to work the next day but were definitely worth feeling a little tired the next day for.
All in all this years electric beach festival was wonderful, really great bands, superb weather, great friends the only thing missing was a lack of apple cider but all in all really was a perfect weekend and I can't wait for the next Cornish festival.