After 9 years, in temperatures at least 8 degrees higher than forecast, and some 7 years since The Super Furry Animals headlined in the Cowshed, only 6 minutes from the centre of Canterbury, over 5 performance areas (if you include the Campsite Bar and Little Lounge) in the district of CT4, with 3 bars spread across 2 fields, LOTF 2014 made for 1 glorious day of sun soaked entertainment.
The weather Gods blessed the last Lounge to grace Merton Farm in the most favourable way possible. With torrential rain and thunderstorms the night before and literally every forecast giving a high chance of rain, it was looking less than likely that a day full of uninterrupted sun was possible but, in the end, that's what the last Loungers to cross the cattle grids were treated to.
Having packed a (soon to be redundant) bag for every eventuality we arrived early to ease ourselves in. After a bacon butty courtesy of The Devil's Pantry and some very tasty Italian treats, we had a wander. The girls got their faces painted by the lovely ladies from Canterbury College, we all had an impromptu drum lesson in the Little Lounge and then who should arrive but Ben & Holly! (If you don't have kids under 5 this may not have been your festival highlight, they're not exactly akin to Ben & Tracy.)
Continue reading: Lounge On The Farm - 2014 Live Review
Lounge On The Farm is 9 years old this August. From its modest start through its formative years and its eventual incarnation, it has given great and varied pleasure to the appreciative folk of Kent and beyond. Merton Farm has always endeavoured to deliver an eclectic mix of music in a family friendly environment where the atmosphere is chilled, the comedy side-splitting, the variety imaginative and the food truly scrumptious and this year is no different in that respect.
With The New York Dolls, Martha Reeves, Toots & The Maytals, The Streets, Emeli Sande, The Vaccines, Katy B, The Charlatans, The XX, Example, MK, Annie Mac, First Aid Kit, Super Furry Animals, Rudimental, Dexy's, Adamski, Sean Williams, Phil Jupitus, Stephen K Amos, The Tweenies, Lekiddo Lord Of The Lobsters and many many many more, Lounge has brought together an award winning line up that has never failed to entertain. Last years headliners Seasick Steve, Jesse Ware and Soul II Soul once again proved to be inspired choices.
With a proven pedigree and a clear vision to support new and breaking acts, Lounge has always brought something a little different to the festival scene. This year will unfortunately be the last at Merton Farm and the farewell will be a more compact and condensed affair before it moves on to pastures new. The one day event in the tranquillity of the Kent countryside will sign off in style with a line up which will undoubtedly have something to please everyone.
Continue reading: Lounge On The Farm - Merton Farm, Kent 2nd August 2014 Preview
Just as it is right and proper that you support your local football team, regardless of their performance, so it is I think that you should support your local festival. (Lounge On The Farm, set in the idyllic Kent countryside just outside Canterbury, is mine). Not everyone can go to Glastonbury and not everyone should support Manchester United; it's not all about the most money, the highest gate or the biggest names. If in doubt, there is always pride, hope, aspiration and an undying loyalty that should lead you to see the positives.
Lounge On The Farm had been going from strength to strength in recent years with numbers swelling, performance areas and performers growing in number and, in general terms, their pedigree rising year on year. Last year may have not seemed like that upon early inspection but it turned out to be a triumph of instinctive and intuitive booking: Emeli Sande (What a year she had in the end), Nile Rogers with Chic (After their Daft Punk collaboration LOTF would have had no chance this year and he didn't even headline), Dexys, The Charlatans (Both enjoying a critical resurgence) and The Wombats etc.
This year the line-up didn't look that strong, or seemed to have strength in depth, and in part that was true. It was a little like seeing your team climb from the fourth tier of the football league, show real championship playoff potential and then have their hopes scuppered by premiership teams coming in for your best players leaving you with no time, or money, left for a new signing. 2 years ago the Vaccines played at about 4pm, as did Spektor. Graham Coxon was somewhere in a far off field and Katy B wooed the crowd in the early evening before The Streets, Ellie Goulding and finally, but magnificently, Echo & The Bunnymen brought the weekend to a close. (Oh yeah and Example and Annie Mac came too....there were real decisions to be made)
Continue reading: Lounge On The Farm - Merton Farm, Kent 26th-28th July 2013 Live Review
Albums of Note... David Bowie’s return to the shelves of our local record shops (well, the few that still exist) has been met with a grateful and adulatory fanfare, across the board and it’s been no different here at Contactmusic. Having run out of contemporary influences upon which to draw, Bowie took the old adage that pop will eat itself and made an album to fit. On The Next Day, Bowie largely references himself and his own body of work, recalling his Berlin days, as well as providing an extension of the tracks he released in the nineties.“Assessing how The Next Day sits alongside anything else he's done is irrelevant; an artist who has gone through as many character changes, taken on as many styles and moved through as many eras as he has defies such lazy list making. What can be said is that it is, at this point in time, at this point in his life and career, probably as good a record that David Bowie could've possibly come up with.”
Some of the mystery of Rhye’s cloaked existence has been unveiled and the band’s two components have been revealed as Toronto born producer Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal of Quadron. They draw comparisons to The XX, partly thanks for Milosh’s falsetto, which led many to believe that it was a woman on vocals. Possibly part of the reason they choose to entitle the album Woman...? “'Woman' is a chilled, tranquil listen but not a boring album by any means. The duo creates songs that fill with distant, mysterious moods. But, it still feels like an intimate album piled high with textured layers.”
Lounge On The Farm celebrated its seventh birthday in some style over the weekend. The site was re-configured again this year as a few more new attractions were brought in and one old one was repatriated with its original inhabitants. No guitars, keyboards, drums or bass' were heard in the Cowshed this weekend, just the odd cow bell as the bovine massive steaked(!) their indigenous claim to what was once the main stage. Santus Circus provided a huge big top for use as the dance tent (Hoe Down), a Roller Disco sprung up neatly next to the newly positioned Main Stage, The Sheep Dip was transformed for Lounge Originals and the whole arena area was made more user friendly and less of a sprawling hike.
Worthy Farm, home to the Glastonbury festival, may be taking time out to recover this year but Merton Farm, just outside Canterbury in the heart of the Garden of England is gearing up for another sun soaked celebration of music, comedy, and of course, locally sourced food and drink. Some big changes were made last year, most significantly, and successfully, the main stage popped up in the outdoor arena rather than the in The Cowshed, as Lounge On The Farm upped its game and attracted many more farmers through the gate and over the cattle grid.
From little acorns ............... great and mighty festivals grow. Since opening its gates six years ago to the inaugural event Lounge On The Farm has grown bigger and better each year. The initially modest numbers of virgin 'Farmers' eagerly over the cattle grids numbered only about one thousand. Fast forward six years and Merton Farm is now host to a ten thousand strong sold out crowd of marvellous diversity. During the previous five years LOTF has had a reputation for putting together a roll call of talent that both capture the imagination, excite the crowds and stimulate interest. They champion new and up and coming acts (Example '07), make sure you are never short on surprises (New York Dolls '08), re-discover old favourites (Martha Reeves '10) and showcase them to a new audience and blend it all in such a chilled out way that makes you appreciate the music............and the food all the more. 2011 was no let down either, it had all these elements and a few more besides.
In the blazing 35 degree heat burning down on the South East country side Lounge On The Farm 2010 put on its biggest, and arguably best, spectacle to date to help celebrate birthday number 5. Previously the proud recipient of 'Best Music Festival For Foodies' and 'Best Festival For Families' this years party at Merton Farm had something to live up to. Nestling nicely just outside the historically resplendent city of Canterbury, in the Garden Of England, Merton Farm is ideally placed. Access is relatively easy, the camp sites are nicely divided, there is ample parking and the site is both big enough to accommodate everyone easily without the fear of claustrophobia, and small enough to be able to enjoy all the delights without a mammoth trek. There is a tremendous amount to do and see at Merton Farm, and that's when you're not being distracted by the myriad of local produce on offer, by way of tastily cooked treats. Anything from Al's Hog Roast and Merton Farms very own Aberdeen Angus Burgers through to the tasty seaside fayre of Octopussy or the Japanese treats to be found at MUU Street Food. The Kids are well catered for too with workshops, storytelling and even Strange Hill, the Farms very own youth club complete with table tennis table and Subbuteo. This year also saw fabulously well attended comic performances from both Howard Marks and Phil Jupitus. The latter performing in the Meadows Playhouse appreciative of the crowd at one of his first summer festivals, but not so of his other first of the year, a sunburn.."It's a good job I didn't wear sunglasses or else I'd have looked like a red and white Panda!"
Continue reading: Lounge On The Farm - Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent Live Review