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Film, Album, Single and Event Reviews

Live Review: Green Man Festival - Sunday: Ben Howard, Local Natives, Early Ghost

  • By Art. Author Avatar
  • 19 Aug 2013
  • Event Date 18 Aug 2013
Green Man Festival - Sunday: Ben Howard, Local Natives, Early Ghost

Green Man is a festival built on a foundation of folk music, innovation, independence and holistic weirdness; Sunday felt very close to its heart. Though tents had begun to collapse and cars had been loaded in fear of an early Monday start, teenage ‘day-ticketers’ had flooded Glanusk Park, and I was quite ready for some of the best that Green Man Festival 2013 had to offer.

For something close to our heart, it was superb to see SupaJam favourites, Early Ghost, opening the Green Man Rising stage on Sunday. Look no further than their twee flair for harmony to see why we, and the growing crowd’, are so enamoured with them. Live soundtracks in the cinema, the Green Man Rising stage, impromptu shows in Einstein’s Garden; support for emerging artists is something which is clearly very important to the Green Man organisers.

Kudos to the man soloing over Seal.

Rough Trade’s in-store shows became something of a staple for 2013’s most enticing artists. Sunday saw Local Natives’ 20 minute acoustic stint causing the canvas walls to burst, and Marika Hackman illustrate just why she’s so highly regarded in the industry.



Despite the twiddling fiddles of the main stage not *quite* being my cup of tea, a short stroll over to the Far Out Stage had me quenched. Jeremy Earl’s dulcet falsetto lit Woods’ signal. Dancing merrily between alternative and folk, the group embrace the diverse audience superbly. Each enthusiastic fretboard commanded an almost hypnotic authority, culminating in their seminal track, ‘Sunlit’. As the numbers grew and the drinks flew, Unknown Mortal Orchestra helped to shape a grandiose and memorable vignette on Green Man’s Second Stage.

The day is then stolen by the alt-folk songsmithery of Orange County’s Local Natives. Exuberant vocal harmonies, flurries of rhythmic embellishment and emotive, commanding spurts of energy; Local Natives are fast becoming one of the most fulfilling live acts. It was a night which signalled the end of a very “long summer” of touring for the group, and they seemed to enjoy playing a festival they described as “the most beautiful one we’ve ever played”. A brooding version of Talking Heads’ song, ‘Warning Sign’, juxtaposed by the heartbreaking homage to a late-parent, ‘Columbia’ surmises their brilliance perfectly.

Green Man stalwart and festival closer, Ben Howard played a set which enthralled the majority. He showcased hits like the sing-a-long ‘Keep Your Head Up’ and ‘Old Pine’ to a symphony of mobile phone cameras and dashboard-tapping cheers. Aesthetically, his voice and soft timbre are entertaining, but scratch the surface and the lack of depth begins to show. Howard pulls down Green Man Festival 2013’s curtain with a smile.

With the ash and smog of the Green Man’s fire burning strong, and the clock tolling 4am, I think it’s about time I got to bed, and back to the real world. 

Green Man Festival 2013 Sunday Review

Photography by Peter Butler


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