REVIEW: That's a wrap from Goldfrapp and Deer Shed
THE headline act of Goldfrapp, understandably, gained most of the acclaim but there is always so much more to the increasingly brilliant Deer Shed Festival.
It was Goldfrapp who dazzled - quite literally, too, given their stunning lighting set-up - the Main Stage on Saturday night.
The electronic synth pop duo, arguably the biggest act to ever perform in the North Yorkshire event’s nine year history at Baldersby Park, played classics such as ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘Strict Machine’ along with more recent material.
There was a first for them as well as Alison Goldfrapp, looking as shimmering and ethereal as ever, revealed this was actually their maiden outing as a festival headliner.
Beforehand, Public Broadcasting Service - still rookies when debuting here in 2013 - enhanced their reputation with a glorious, fun-filled return, bringing their unique sound to the Main Stage with real aplomb.
The band organised for a huge dance flash mob to appear during their hit song ‘Go’ and the whole crowd - kids and adults - ended up joining in, too.
Always so upbeat, and with their educational video backdrops, their high-tempo electronic music is ideal for the festival occasion, ‘Progress’ and ‘Spitfire’ seeing the audience whipped up yet again.
In between those two celebrated acts, at the top of the hill at the In The Dock Stage, Gaz Coombes was another highlight of this family festival.
All the kids sat on shoulders listening in weren’t even born at the height of his Supergrass days but, as his hour-long set here proved, highlighting his current album 'World’s Strongest Man', his solo work is epic in its own right.
There was just the odd nod to his previous incarnation - 'Moving' was lapped up - but that mattered not and expect to hear plenty more from his latest work this summer.
Coombes was just one of 55 music acts that took to four stages from Friday to Sunday Drenge and Field Music (with the Open Here Orchestra) being the other headlining acts.
Obviously it’s impossible to take it all in but some other highlights personally included acts at the relaxed setting of the minimal Pallet Stage.
As Alice Barlow, whose honeyed tones and genteel guitar sounds adorned it on Saturday afternoon, stated: “I’ve never played a set with rowing boats behind me!”
It was actually kayaks on the lake, illustrative of Deer Shed’s vastly varied content, but you get the drift.
Similarly, the York-based folk duo of guitar-playing Bella Gaffney and mandolin-shredding Polly Bolton (with the addition of Sarah Smart on cello for this) was the perfect match for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
And, if you didn’t want to be taking it easy, don’t forget festival mainstays Hyde Park Brass popping up here, there and everywhere, on the move, rambling through the site getting the party started with tunes new and old, and normally getting a crowd joyfully following them.
But Deer Shed, of course, is much more than just music with comedy, craft, workshops, literature and sport all helping to entertain the sell-out 10,000 crowd.
That said, even some of the comedy had a musical element; Abandoman’s Friday set was brilliant, his ‘improvised hip-hop comedy’ proving just that.
Asking kids in the audience to pull things out of their pockets, and offer them up on stage, Rob Broderick proceeded to then instantly deliver a song about whatever emerged.
Baring in mind there was things as diverse as credit cards, socks, fluff and even a pineapple, it was stunning to hear what he came up with at lightening quick speed, a real talent just like the bizarre and and utterly madcap comedy of Paul Currie and his ‘panda hands’ on stage before.
Deer Shed Festival tenth anniversary celebration – Deer Shed 10 – will take place from July 26-28. Early bird tickets will be available from 10am on September 6 via www.deershedfestival.com/tickets.