Bearded Theory 2017 – Sunday

Goldblade are always fun to watch at Bearded Theory – their hyper-energetic frontman John Robb never stays on stage for long and predictably it’s not long before he jumps down and comes to the barrier to get up close with the fans as he sings.  He’s one of the best frontmen around – an all round performer, not just a singer.  Their punk sound always goes down well here and this Sunday morning was no exception.  A great set.

The Beard competition is always a fun part of Sunday at Bearded Theory as large numbers of people dress up in the hope of winning free tickets to the following year’s event.  The theme this year was Mobsters and Lobsters and as always there were some great costumes. This year one contestant picked out as a finalist was disqualified as despite his great costume with a giant lobster claw he had forgotten to include a beard.

The Selecter were one of the bands I’d been looking forward to ever since they were announced.  I saw them support the Levellers and was reminded just how many of their songs I knew but had forgotten.  Fronted by Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson, they played a set including hits such as “on my radio”, “Three minute hero” and “Missing words”.  They draw a huge crowd and everyone looked to be having fun enjoying this great music in the lovely warm weather.  A great performance.

Glasvegas were next on the main stage and were one of the few bands I thought was disappointing.  They just felt dull and unexciting, and they didn’t seem to be getting the crowd as excited as much as the earlier bands on the bill that day.

Vintage trouble are a band I’ve seen several times before.  I love their music and they really know how to put on a show to entertain the fans  Frontman Ty Taylor is incredibly energetic and spends his time running around the stage, leaping in the air, climbing onto the speakers, and heading out into the crowd, all while still singing without missing a note. He paid tribute to Sugar Hill Gang, talking about getting their record when he was young, and it was nice to see that the respect is mutual with Sugar Hill Gang watching the Vintage Trouble set from the end of the pit. Vintage Trouble are a band I’d recommend everyone to see – their blend of rock, blues and soul sounds great and they always put on a great show.

Finally it was time for Madness. They’re a perfect choice to close the festival – everyone knows the songs and they have a party feel to the music.throw in a load of beach balls that got thrown out into the crowd, and come confetti cannons and that just adds to the party atmosphere. Suggs sounded as though he’d enjoyed a few drinks before the show but that didn’t stop them putting in a performance that I thoroughly enjoyed and judging by the size of the crowd, plenty of other people felt the same way even if some didn’t enjoy it.  Ty Taylor from vintage trouble certainly enjoyed their set – he was seen climbing onto a platform over the sound desk and jumping into the crowd before crowd surfing to the front – when a band has such a good time that they do things like that it says a lot about how good the festival is. A great end to a great weekend.

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.