The Festival of Sport has been billed as the “Glastonbury” of mass participation sport, and with two days of mixed sports and music it was sure to be an epic event. Set in the small Cornish village of Marazion that’s best known for being the home of St Michael’s Mount, the big question was whether people would travel from around the UK to attend and the answer seemed to be yes.
The first night’s music started at 6:30pm after the first athlete seminar had ended and saw Dry The River headline with support from Brother & Bones, Patrick James Pearson Band, Moonlet & The Love Monks and Kezia.
Up first was Kezia and my run of missing her play live looked set to continue as she started playing before the gates were open. Security would not let anyone in so only a few of her friends sat on the grass watching her. After listening to most of her set from outside the gates we were allowed into the stage area just in time to catch the last song and a half. Kezia was once again in fine form and it”s a shame most people missed the chance to see her.
Next were Moonlet & The Love Monks, and having seen these guys before, I knew what to expect and they didn’t disappoint. Their songs are very catchy. Their front man has a great voice and worked the small crowd well. This is a band to keep an eye out for. I predict big things for them in the future.
Patrick James Pearson Band was next. I had heard good things about them but had never had the pleasure of seeing them live. For the first few songs of the set the band were slightly down on their sound as their guitarist struggled in vain to sort out a problem with his guitar and amp. This left the singer to ask if anyone had a guitar and amp that they could borrow. After several songs the guitarist was about to give up, throwing his guitar on a bag at the side of the stage, when the day was saved by Brother & Bones guitarist James Willard. With the guitarist now playing with the rest of the band, it was clear to see why I had heard much about them. They have a great sound and the crowd seemed to like what they were hearing. But, I personally think a frontman should make full use of the stage and not be stuck behind the keyboards… then again that’s just my opinion.
Up next were one of my favourite local bands, Brother & Bones, who once again showed how good they are only now to a much larger crowd as they outplayed all the previous acts on the bill. These guys are going places and it’s only a matter of time before someone notices them and gives them their big break. Their epic song “Here Comes the Storm” is the perfect example of what they can do and it would be right at home amongst any top rock song in any chart. The song also gives you an idea of how versatile this band is and perhaps it should have been them that had the headline spot. I am sure this will be something they will do many times in the future.
The night’s headliners were Dry The River who are tipped to be the next big thing so I had been eagerly anticipating their set. Not knowing anything about them I had no idea what to expect. After hearing the first few songs I still wasn’t sure, but the crowd were loving every minute of it so perhaps I was missing something. I listened for the rest of the set but still can’t see what all the fuss is about. However, they had the crowd eating out of their hands so perhaps their billing is spot on and they may be the next big thing. All I can say is watch out for them.
The end of their set signaled the end of day one and most of the crowd headed straight for the door to ready themselves for the following days sporting events.
On the first day of sport it was clear to see that the event was going to be a success. The beach was packed with people trying the mixture of sporting events like touch rugby and beach volleyball. The cycling events had huge numbers of participants and other sporting events included open water swimming, a selection of beach runs, and the zumba classes.
With the sporting activities finished for the day it was back to the music. Tonight’s lineup had Reef as the headliners with support from Ruarri Joseph, Steve Smyth and The Struts.
Up first were The Struts and just as the night before, the crowd numbers were very small for the start of the night’s entertainment. This was a shame as The Struts put on a fantastic show and you would have thought they were playing to a full house with the energy they put into each song. Frontman Luke Spiller got the crowd to join in and if you can imagine a mix of Mick Jagger, Pelle Almqvist and Freddie Mercury, you’ll have an idea of his stage presence. These guys played at Bunters bar in Truro the night before and I wish I had seen them. I will now be keeping an eye open for the next time they play down this neck of the woods.
Next up was Australian Steve Smyth who now calls London his home. It was just him and his drummer. I didn’t expect very much but how wrong was I. His stage antics, looks, and style mixed with his somewhat blues meets folk sound kept me glued to his performance. The good news for anyone else who also enjoyed his set is that when speaking to Steve after his set, he plans to come back to Cornwall soon. If you missed him this time make sure you see him on his next visit as he will blow you away.
Ruarri Joseph was the next to take to the stage, and he and his band were a hard act to follow but just like Brother & Bones the night before, he has quite a following and the crowd were treated to a very good set from the acoustic folk star. Well known around Cornwall, Ruarri has a large local following. If you listen to his music you can hear why. With his busy touring schedule you are sure to see him play a gig near you so if you fancy a relaxing evening with good music I suggest you check him out.
Now for the main event, Reef hit the stage after a short delay and the now sizeable crowd came to life. Festival favourites Reef are one of the UK’s top live bands and you always know what you are going to get. Yet again they were on top form as they played a selection of their classic songs mixed with a few rarities. With the crowd bouncing up and down to the likes of “Place Your Hands” and “Give Me Your Love,” even the heavy rain near the end of the set didn’t dampen the mood. Reef proved to be the perfect fit and, as this was their last gig of the year, they signed off in style. All who attended this gig were left wanting more but knew it could be some time before they get it. Like the night before, the majority of the crowd made a hasty exit as many were involved in the following day’s sporting events.
The music part of the Festival Of Sport was now a memory but the festival signed off on the Sunday with more beach sports, a selection of different triathlons, and more open water swims. Let’s hope that this event will now become a regular date in the calendar as Cornwall proved to be the perfect setting for such a superb event.
THE BANDS FACEBOOK PAGES
Dry The River
Patrick James Pearson Band
Brother & Bones
Moonlet & The Love Monks
Festival Of Sport Facebook Page