Next up we enjoyed another summery set from The Magic Numbers featuring those blissful 60’s tinged harmonies that made the band’s name. Enjoyed a rare backstage view of the whole show courtesy of our Artists passes too (see the non-music bit for details).
Sharleen Spiteri anyone? I must admit I wasn’t really sure myself, Texas did some good tracks but I couldn’t remember that many of them after the first hit ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’ (which I actually bought back in…good lord…1989). She won me over pretty quickly though thanks to a cracking vocal. Great lords a mercy the girl can sing, she’s got a belting voice but with a real soulfulness. One by one I began to remember the hits too, her current band seemed to do them better. Plenty of brass and oomph. I could kind of see her doing a Dusty and releasing something classic pretty soon. Colour me surprised.
The final highlight of the day for me was seeing The Damned. From punk originals through to goth tinged covers they’ve always been an entertaining band and their set covered all bases, Captain Sensible even managed to slip a cheeky ‘Happy Talk’ into the set. Lead singer Dave Vanian still looks cool, now featuring a rather dapper ‘tache he could pass for a gothic Errol Flynn, and the crowd loved every minute of it. One or two even made a desperate attempt to get on to the stage at the end only to be taken down by the security guards. Who say punk’s dead eh? After catching some of Scouting For Girls we ended up dancing outside the Disco Shed having consumed our own weight in Pimms. Game over.
Day Two couldn’t quite compete with Day One but
Irish jazz folk legend Mary Couglan delivered an eclectic, rabble rousing set, liberally scattered (Father Ted style) with lot’s of ‘feck it’s’. She did a pretty haunting version of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ that only someone who’s lived a bit could really pull off. I don’t know a great deal about her back catalogue but I’ve marked her down for investigation. Continuing the Celtic flava Peatbog Faeries (pictured) combined electronica, bagpipes, fiddles, whistles and (probably) a kitchen sink too. On paper it sound like a bit of a hippy dippy mess but live it’s immensely enjoyable and I could swear I could feel the stirrings of my Scottish ancestry deep within. Finally, The Sugababes, although only one of the original band now remains – it probably doesn’t matter as you could replace any of them without doing much damage to ‘the brand’. I’m not being sniffy here but polished pop like this leaves little to chance. You can’t knock planet Sugababe, it’s clever stuff, accessible enough to appeal to a pretty wide demographic. Some of the tunes aren’t bad either – Overload, the Gary Numan sampling Freak Like Me, Round Round and Hole In The Head – all perfect pop. With Suga (and more than a little vodka) coursing through our veins we were on our way back to our tent when we got talking to a couple of mental health nurses just next to us. After talking bollocks in that festival way and polishing off a box of red followed by some hot chocolate and whiskey we finally made our damp £7.50 Tesco tent for . Ouch. I have to say that I enjoyed Cornbury far more than I expected to. Whilst you don’t get the kind of diversity of Glasto or the cool of The Big Chill what you do get in spades is a really well organised event, a beautiful location and plenty of safe hands, musically speaking. It’s the perfect family fest, replete with tea and cake tents, a fun fair and a delicious hog roast in aid of the local school. What’s not to love about that eh? Now, I'm off to bed...oh bugger...no I'm not I'm off to see The Temper Trap at The Rainbow instead. Ah well, who needs sleep...or a liver.PS: My thanks go to Math and Dodgy for putting us on their guestlist and the lovely folk at The Cornbury Festival for having us.