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Glasgowbury, Eagle's Rock, Draperstown, Derry
We arrived just in time for Ham Sandwich – soft vibes, floating vocals, bass-player with the best rhythmic leg scratch in Ireland. It might have been the midges.
Eamonn McCann, 26 Aug 2008
Four stages, 44 bands, a day in the life of the Sperrins, half the crowd from the encircling lowlands of Draperstown, Magherafelt, Castledawson, Claudy, the rest cultural adventurers from far, far away. Something of a parish celebration, something of Woodstock, home-grown, no artificial additives, an eclectic picnic for the pure at heart.
The only bands in the North not here are out of reach on the day. A tribal gathering, too. Not just the Landed Gentry playing to their peers. All on best behaviour, giving it loads.
Grainne Duffy, now like Bonnie, hint of Janis, mighty Monaghan bluesy guitarist, with songs to sweetly skewer your heart. Spirits of Philo and Rory Gallagher contending for the soul of Pat McManus. Skruff, amazingly, fresher then ever. Cat Malojian heroically holding together against slabs of sound scudding into the acoustics from And So I Watch Your From Afar on the adjacent main stage. Oppenheimer, pop gems, panto slapstick, smiles plastered across every face. The nonchalant strength and Nashville uplift of Antrim’s Ben Glover. Triggerman’s biker-rock full-frontal assault – scariness still has its place. Fighting With Wire in fraught energy exchange with dangerously madding crowd. Headliners Ash pulling it off as midnight glimmers purple on the cresting hills.
Missed Keith Harkin, The Q, Furlo, Ard Ri, Junior Johnston, Mantic (mortal sin, that) and more.
Pints at £2.50, bacon baps so-so, best apple and cinnamon crepes in the three parishes, not a soupçon of sourness in sound or in sight.
Glasgowbury. Tunes to make you breathe more easily.