Right onto the Fest itself. For £5 you can't go wrong. The fact that we were treated to loads of good music was a bonus. I won't give you a blow by blow account 'cos you'd probably get bored (I can hear the cheers of relief now) but the highlights included (in no particular order, well, alright then, in the order of appearance):
David Garside - sublime acoustic set, hints of the High Llamas on his 'full' tracks (listen to My Space ...or His Space in fact) and a soft vocal touch that recalls a more confident Nick Drake.
Little Sister (pictured) - another delightful discovery, heartwarming folk/bluegrass four piece (three today 'cos their harp player was AWOL in bonnie Edinburgh) who pulled off a brilliant version of old Elvis' Little Sister track. I just have to see the four piece show soon...
Ben Calvert - Forgotten how brilliant this guy is. Saw him last year at the Moseley Folk Festival and the memories came rushing back. Touches of the very best of Belle & Sebastian but with more grit and a slightly darker underbelly. If he doesn't get the fame he deserves expect people to be bigging him up in 20 odd years time a la Nick Drake and Vashti Bunyen. Yes, I think he's that good. Full marks for being the only group to honour Tony Wilson too.
Allies - hints of the Arctic Monkeys at first (no bad thing) before quickly revealing their own, far more interesting identity via some impressive fiddle and squeezebox playing. Ones to watch like a hawk...they're touring with Reverand and the Makers soon, my guess is that they could steal the show and come back headliners.
The Celturian - man that dude has fingers of fury. It's kind of like watching Riverdance...but with fingers...I've seen class guitar performances in my time but, well, that was something else. Just astounding.
Just Us (can't find a link for them) - Classic reggae to lift the heart and soul. Ace version of Night Nurse too. There's not enough reggae in Birmingham venues. Why not? There must be loads of great bands like this out there...it is possible to like the Dresden Dolls and Steel Pulse you know. Challenge to promoters: let's mix it up a bit more eh...or is that just me being a bit too idealistic?
360 - By this point in the event most of Mr and Mrs...sorry Ms...Moseley had naffed off home (hey, I was actually born there...I'm allowed to take the piss) so they missed 360. The organiser threatened those of us who were left to stay for the last band, and I'm glad she did. Shades of The Beat and Madness played brilliantly with the kind of 'get the crowd going' energy that got everyone (me included...there must be some worms with really bad headaches today) skanking to the best of our ability.
So, there we go. All that for a fiver...and you were allowed to bring your own food and booze in too. Result. I decided not to go to Day Two (that's today) 'cos the forecasters predicted a massive rainstorm and, after Glasto, I just couldn't face getting pissed on for 9 hours. Predictably the sun has shone like a big yellow bastard all day long. Michael Fish, Michael Schmish.