Dorset’s End Of The Road Festival had three exceedingly good things this year:
1) Somerset Cider Bus
3) Yo La Tengo
I am not ashamed to confess that the culinary treats of hot spiced cider and pie, mash & mushy peas pipped the combined musical efforts of Georgia, Ira and James. BUT before you get all sanctimonious on my behind you need to know that in my world, FOOD is the food of love and I like mine rare and/or covered in chocolate. So get over it.
Just to enlighten the unenlightened, let me give you the lowdown on this little humdinger of a festival. End Of The Road Festival is set in the sweetly charming surroundings of Larimer Gardens, North Dorset. It’s home to a frankly terrifying number of peafowl who trot around proudly, heedless to the presence of some five thousand trespassing homo sapiens. There’s an enchanted forest and a not-so-secret garden. You can get a massage between bands. There’s an organic ice cream stall. The toilets are clean and (almost) sweet-smelling. You can watch bearded men in twee folk bands singing happy twee folk songs about beards. This isn’t a festival. This is a middle-class middle-England village fête.
The perfect antidote to such saccharine niceness is a big fat slice of Hoboken noise with extra feedback. Under the cover of darkness, Yo La Tengo unsettled the countryside sufficiently and stirred up a dangerously cold crowd hell-bent on not dying from hypothermia. Yo La Tengo don’t need to do a lot talking when they’re this good. From what I could surmise through the mental fog of too many hot ciders, the set was I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass-heavy and Ira’s endless onstage bounding could give latter-day frontmen half his age a run for their money. Que a hour and a half of frenetic communal dancing and the best set of the entire weekend.
Photos very inexpertly taken by me.