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Bearded Theory 2016 - Friday | FESTIVALPHOTO

Bearded Theory 2016 - Friday



When you go to a festival you pray for nice weather (mainly dry weather), and this year it clearly worked as Bearded Theory had beautiful hot sunny weather all weekend. Walking around the site today the place was full of happy smiling people enjoying themselves. The bars were busy but I never saw anyone so drunk they got agressive, threw up or passed out - instead people were drinking and having a good time, which just shows how nice bearded theory is compared to some festivals.
There are so many arts and crafts type bits around, and there's a kids area that even includes a school (with lessons looking so fun that the kids barely realise they're learning), and when school isnt in session there are lots of activities for the kids - it's what makes this such a great family friendly festival.

The job of getting things started on the main stage today fell to Red Monroes, a local alt-rock band. It's always hard for the first band to make an impression as the arena is still fairly quiet, but the band put in a good set and seem to go down well with the fans who are up and about this morning.

Zombie met girl awere next up on the main stage. With a rock sound with a hint of punk, they're a good choice to help wake the crowd up this early after a night of partying and get them ready for a day of music. The band played Bearded Theory last three years ago but this was their first time at the new site. It's a good set and goes down well.

Between bands on the main stage, I took a stroll round to the Woodland stage where alternative rock band Strange rivers were playing in front of a good sized crowd. The scorching hot weather may have killed the crowds in the tents, but bands on the main stage and woodland stage definitely benefitted from the weather bringing more people out. I only caught a few minutes of their set but enjoyed what I heard.

Folk-Punk band Roughneck riot were going down very well on the main stage. Playing with a stand-in drummer, they put in an excellent set that definitely justified their presence on the main stage (last time they were here they played the Tornado town tent).

The King Blues are a band that don't really appeal to me, but do seem to be quite popular at Bearded Theory. Mixing rock/punk with hip-hop it's a very different sound to most bands, and I certainly applaud them for that - it's great when bands try something unique. They draw a good crowd and go down well on this lovely hot sunny day.

Over on the beautiful woodland stage, set in a clearing in the woods, Attila the stockbroker reads his poetry to a large audience. His cutting left wing themes go down extremely well. It's great powerful stuff and it's clear why he has such a large crowd.

Reverend & the makers are up next. They're a popular band at Bearded Theory and I've seen them here several times. Their music is a mix of dance and rock, and they really know how to entertain the crowd.

Terrorvision reformed after a few years away earlier this year and played with Thunder on their UK tour including a date at Wembley arena, and it's good to see them here at Bearded Theory. Having had several chart singles, they know how to play catchy songs that get people enjoying themselves, and their hit "Tequila" is an essential inclusion in the setlist, and unsurprisingly it goes down a storm. It'sa great set from this Yorkshire band.

Killing Joke were next. I've seen them several times before but it's always been in the darkened setting of an indoor venue, so the bright sunshine during their set was new, and didn't seem to suit their music. It's now 8 years since the original lineup reformed, and they continue to release great albums. Singer Jaz Coleman has a powerful stage presence, but in the sunshine it doesn't seem to come across as strongly as normal. Despite that it's a great set from them and they go down very well.

Finally it was time for tonight's headliners - Levellers. They always go down well here at Bearded Theory, and it's no surprise - they're a band that never disappoints live. This year marks 25 years of their classic album, "Levelling the land" (which really makes me feel old). It's perfect festival music and they draw a large crowd of people there to have fun. It's not long before "Beautiful day" has people singing along, and everywhere you look people are enjoying the show. Fans further back may get a worse view of the band but they do get to see the jets of flames coming from either side of the stage, whereas fans at the front don't tend to see them as they're focussed on the band directly in front of them. It's a fantastic set and the first full day of the festival ends on a real high.


Writer: Anthony May
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