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The main stage meadow of The Green Man Festival in preparation for the crowds to arrive.

Article & compilation by Robin Merritt; Photography by: Iolo Penri, Izumi Kumazawa, Kez on Tour, Andy Wright & Rowan Stanfield.


The Green Man Festival 2007

by Robin Merritt

for Aug. 2007

The British Indie Folk & Rock festival
held in Brecon Beacons National park, Glanusk, Wales August 17-19 .

Joanna Newsom stomps Robert Plant's arse on his home turf.

***NOTE*** Still under construction please return later, should be finished by the end of the week!


ArtFRONT Presentations
Covers The Green Man Festival

in Brecon, Wales Aug. 17th-19th 2007.

I'll start off with a lineup of all the acts I personally caught including my TOP PICKS OF PERORMANCES with a few favorite acts from other attendees as well.   Later in this article there's a list of links to online music sites for every act that played the 2007 Green Man Festival, so You can connect and listen to any or all of them.

For that matter there's links here 'til you're blue in the face. 

You can Link to every photographer featured and all their online pix of the festival.  There's even links to the music of some of our favorite artists that didn't appear in this years Green Man lineup who are mentioned in some casual comparison as they came to mind during the write up. 

In short I've compiled a wealth of fun information and musical listening sites from the gleanings of this year's Green Man festival along with some valid opinions on who to look out for as the next big thing. (Another great list of performers well worth listening to is included in "next years wish list" compiled by attendees on the festival's forum.) There are even a couple of strategically placed suggestions for extremely talented artists that ArtFRONT recommends for inclusion in next years Green Man Festival. Who could it be now?


Among my goals while in the UK were to observe as much up and coming talent in the British indie folk music scene as possible. All the while I'm assuming I'll notice parallels between the resurgence of traditional British music and the Americana movement which is surging in popularity in the USA.

It turns out the Atlantic ocean offers very little separation where the music of the two continents is concerned. There were a large percentage of American artists at this festival but very few Americans in attendance. American music remains popular in Europe even though the politics and tactics of the US government are not. This is something to be proud of, that art and music can rise above so many obstacles and serve as the real ambassador of our cultural social heritage and of our real "soul."

Now if only the exchange rate were more favorable, well actually it IS for Britons who want to visit the USA.

Enough of that stuff all I'm really here for is the music. And maybe a crop circle or two.


View of crowd from main stage stage at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

Joanna Newsom, Robert Plant and Steve Malkmus headlined the three day festival at Glanusk Estate, in Brecon Beacons national park just outside of Crickhowell, Wales. Over ninety unusual bands and soloists from all over the western hemisphere performed, including lots up & coming British indie folk style musicians.


Robert Plant on stage at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

The Festival in General:

Lots of aspects of The Green Man Festival are not covered here but I try to touch on what was most pressing on my short trip, which was the music. So here goes..

Overall Sound Quality was excellent! a very welcome attribute of the festival, especially after hearing so many huge events elsewhere. that just could never dial in on a coherent sound mix.  More on this later in the article.

Wonderful food! That's right! at a festival!  Whoever decided on which vendors would get o serve this crowd must have been intending to eat very well throughout the event.  A recurrent theme of organic, free range, locally produced fare was evident that tee vendors took their craft seriously and were able to sell lots and los of vittles  as well as beer and large amounts of  5.2% alc."cloudy cider."

Rather than sex, drugs and rock n roll a good percentage of attendees seem to have already had their day at those races and showed up with young families in tow. There were LOTS of kids in the elementary school range and younger. There were special kids areas and activities going on most of the time and Impressive baby buggies with heavy duty mud bog tires. 8 year olds with their super power giving Wellies on enjoyed stomping around splashing mud over anyone who came near. Colorful Mexican Wrestler masks were a favorite item among kids and young adults alike. Portable bubble machines and candle powered flying paper lanterns that soared aloft like glowing hot air balloons added magic to night time performances.

Environmental Holistic awareness, most predominantly the emphasis on vendors with locally produced food, free range meats etc. Since Wales seems to be predominantly farming of the animal husbandry kind, but who am I to write about this stuff? I was there for four days at a music festival. Please check out the links

 at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

The Americana mission
A major mind set I brought with me needs to be expounded on...
I have been in a unique position here in Southeast Tennessee, to watch the development of some of the most important new talents in the Americana vein right here in the region where it arose. You can read about some of these artists through the links I've provided below. In contrast to the new Americana surge I was also there in Atlanta Stadium in 1973 at age 15 when Led Zeppelin released dozens of white doves to fly up into the coliseum in front of giant mirrors during their encore of "Communication Breakdown."

The ArtFRONT mission at Green Man is to document the blossoming British indie folk movement that in some ways parallels the Americana folk movement, which is quickly receiving lavish attention from the more educated music lovers in the USA and abroad. Unlike the commercially co-opted country music industry, it has many genuine roots in musical traditions of the British Isles as well as mixing in of African elements and influences from the experience of living off the land and traditions handed down from the Appalachian and Cumberland mountains, the Louisiana bayou country and countless other regions. Americana is becoming a preferred musical style for many mature music lovers who appreciate soulful, genuine style and excellent musicianship. (as opposed to a manufactured pre-fab commercial style.) The age group that grew up listening to the rock 'n roll of Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin are turning toward this fresh new rebirth of traditional styles carried out by top notch musicians. In fact the Americana movement and style encompasses such a broad range of music that there really is no containing the various elements from Zydeco, Soul, Jazz Blues, Country and of course British folk & rock. And of course any labeling will always be open for debate.


Top picks for performances
at Green Man

Joanna Newsom, Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation, 9Bach, My Brightest Diamond, Rachel Unthank and the Winter set, Gruff Rhyss , Misty's Big Adventure, Arboretum, Vetiver & Richmond Fontaine

With highly recommended acts from other folks attending:


Joanna Newsom stomps Robert Plant's arse on his home turf.


Joanna Newsom Completely controls a crowd of 7,000 and converts the doubtful at this year's Green Man Festival.


The most surprising event at This Year's Green Man came in the form of an American performer who is getting a small amount of coverage here in the USA. and is at this time known only by the most cognizant and up to date music lovers. Who would have thought that a Celtic harp playing girl from California with a voice that sometimes seems like it can crack glass would be able to completely mesmerize a crowd of perhaps 7,000 late night festival revelers at an outdoor performance to the point of hearing a pin drop with all attention (at least anywhere near me) locked on Joanna Newsom? One thing I like to do at concerts or plays that I perceive are going exceptionally well is at a moment of brilliance from the performers, take a look around at the audience, taking in the looks on their faces. Their expressions at those moments are priceless and a real time affirmation of what I already perceive as a very successful performance. Needless to say that whenever the attention of a large group of cidered-up party people is suddenly captured en masse something special is happening onstage.

There was a very evenly divided debate going on among the festival goers I talked to and online with people who had heard only her recordings opting to go for the rock band Tuung who was playing on another stage at the same time. Many people including myself at that time were not totally convinced they were going to be able to enjoy Miss Newsom. But equally vocal were the people who had seen her perform already and were ready to take a stand in proclaiming her as one of the main reasons to come to the Green Man Festival this year. Some pierced punk rockers who were going to see Tuung told me that If I hadn't already seen Joanna to go see her instead.

Joanna walked onstage seeming completely confident from the moment she appeared, a radiant smiling personality that soon had the entire audience purring in her lap with an effortless display of natural talent giving her an overwhelming stage presence. This is a quality for all artists and performers to be jealous of. It has been my experience that the truly gifted artists are also the most gracious and easy to work with, not having that crippling lack of confidence that can so often sabotage a performance or even a whole career. This lady looks like she's going to be able to do anything she pleases from here on out. It doesn't even matter if people think they like her or not because she'll clear a path wherever she touches down and gather around a loyal fan base around her who simply KNOW.

Early on I was having conflicts listening to Joanna Newsom, couldn't quite accept her voice, didn't know whether to run away or come back out of curiosity when a young performer here in town named Stratton Tingle told me he'd gone to se her in Nashville and that she was awesome, he then said that he'd even learned to play one of her songs on guitar and proceeded to play it. Then I asked if he could sing like her too and he actually could and did it! This kid is and his band is "Antebellum" Hopefully they'll keep it together long enough to make a name for themselves. With that said I must say that I still haven't gotten a copy of her recordings and only have heard what is available streaming online plus the small amount of radio play she's gotten here.

And You may count a very lo-fi bootleg I made of "Book of Right On" on my little digital voice recorder, not at all designed for music but still capturing the astounding harp finger work and iconic status of this song among her fans. This recording was made almost by accident, on the spur of the moment as an experiment, but the excellent sound quality at the festival coupled with the hush that befell the audience as they were mesmerized by this performance makes it well worth listening. Two songs by Joanna Newsom including “The Book of Right On” are featured on the ArtFRONT Podcast page, which You can hear by clicking on this nifty little tab..

Just go ahead and click it!

In addition I've become a frequent listener of a song titled "Sprout and the Bean" found on a pirate myspace page , which You can listen to as long as it lasts on there. I guess it's about time I got some copies of her CD's. When I asked when Joanna Newsom became such a high profile act in the eyes of the British music aficionados I was suggested that the two previous Green Man performances cemented her reputation and caught the eye of media who helped spread the news. With all this talk of natural talent and stage presence Joanna Newsom onstage at Green Man 2007.I'm not meaning to imply that all her abilities have not been earned by hard work. Joanna Newsom is an accomplished musician in a very intellectual discipline. It is also obvious to many who have been listening that her vocals have steadily improved or matured since "The Milk Eyed Mender" first caught peoples attention. In November she will be on a short North American tour backed up by a full orchestra and the one appearance close enough for me to drive to will be in Atlanta on Nov. 17th at Woodruff Arts Center Symphony Hall.

I've already initiated communication with her agents through my little promotion & production company to see what It will take to get her to come to Chattanooga for a performance. The local people I've mentioned this idea to have told me that they think that she will bring in an even larger crowd than local favorite Andrew Bird, which seems unfathomable to me but I'm certainly willing to give it a try. Another more detailed perspective from someone a bit more familiar with this artist and with loads of Green Man Photos is found at

Joanna Newsom's complete discography and current tour schedule is found at


9 Bach

9 Bach onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

I was told it means "9 Boy" in Welsh..???


9 Bach onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.


This gorgeous group has been elusive as to finding information and streaming audio online So I'll put up more photos.

9 Bach onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

All in the Welsh Language (Cymru)


Gruff Rhys

Gruff Rhys onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

Vocals like a pop Richard Thompson, with conceptual performance intent. Using plenty of stage props Gruff Rhys (pronounced Griff Rees..) put on an uplifting and enjoyable show. Heavy on the Welsh language usage and heavy on the melodic hooks, this is one band that I was unfamiliar with that had the songwriting down so that they continued to play in my head even after all the sensory extravagance of the festival. The Welsh accent becomes apparent from the moment Gruff (who also) mans the helm of "Super Furry Animals" <LINK> opens his mouth. FINISH FROM NOTES

Gruff Rhys onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

Gruff Rhys onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

Gruff Rhys onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

Gruff Rhys onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.


The excellent sound mix made it all worthwhile

One of the best aspects about the music was the very conscientious sound mix applied to nearly every performance I witnessed. With a powerful bank of main pa's and a simple direct placement both main stage and Folkey Dokey Tent were generally superb in the sound quality and excelled beyond many other festivals and indoor setups that I've witnessed. The Green Man Cafe was the only area that could have stood more power since I did find myself having to work myself right up to the stage front in order to really concentrate on the music. This was a real treat especially when wandering around toward the end of the festival, looking for a meal and taking longer to walk because of the crowd and the mud they churned up with their Wellies

I'll try to find out more info about the sound crew and post it here when I do.

How did food make it into the top picks for a music festival?

It was just that good! Moorish Feast at the 2007 Green Man Festival.My personal favorite was the Moorish Feast Boureks I tried both the falafel and fish filled filo pastries the size of a large burger with the sauce shown here, salad and dolmas. Other great treats was the Oriental Organic pile of chowmein I got on Thursday night before the show Moorish Feast at the 2007 Green Man Festival.started along with my Special Brew, The Mexican Veggie Burger was also heartwarming and yes even the locally produced apple pork sausage that I would never order anywhere in America at a festival but all these Brits were treating the sausages like they were serious & safe fare and yes I guess that shoots down my chance of ever having another vegetarian G.F. And of course Pieminister ultimately creative gourmet and fair trade treatment of traditional stuffed meat pies, mine was "Chicken of Aragon" of the and the Cloudy Cider that seemed to be number one on most everybody's list.....

holy cow, Pieminister actually has a myspace page!
also check out this Green Man write up. that focuses almost totally on food.

Pieminister pies and cider at the 2007 Green Man Festival.



Robert Plant
and The Strange Sensation

Robert Plant onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

For Robert Plant the upcoming collaboration with multiple Grammy wining Americana Artist Allison Krause seems to be a very smart career move. In anticipation to this I was looking forward to a heavy ladling of the Zeppelin Brit folk slanted tunes at the Green Man. Some of the more memorable and creative tunes that I grew up with seem to come from some mythical foundation of very British influence that surface on Led Zeppelin III with songs like Bron-Y-Aur Stomp being perhaps as much "roots" oriented in a European way as the American heavy blues that dominated the earlier Led Zeppelin LP's.

Of course it was a big deal just waiting in the crowd for the living legend to come on stage. The last and only other time I saw Plant perform was in Atlanta Stadium in 72 or73 , I was 15 years old and at the encore (communication breakdown) the band released what seemed like hundreds of white doves that flew straight up in front of gigantic mirrors behind the stage. With that imagery still burned into my psyche I wasn't quite satisfied with the "Ok we'll give em rock n roll" performance which, though backed up by excellent musicians started off a bit too slicked down to get the juices flowing. But about halfway through the set it seemed like they realized they needed to downshift into the lurching tempo that the original tunes were played in if they were going to get the audience to pipe down from Yelling "Jimmy! Jimmy Page!" (who wasn't there,) over and over and start to get into the boogie grind.

Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

Plant seemed in good shape, very much at home onstage and genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself. Not one bit of demure humility or questions of self confidence coming from this old pro, a shoe gazer he is not. As for the current street level rumors that a Led Zep reunion may be in the offing, (just in! a Nov.26th performance in London for the Ahmet Ertegun tribute was just announced!) The only indication uttered by Mr. Plant that night was that this band, The Strange Sensation had been with him for 35 years and this was their "last tour.." Pure conjecture I know, but the very real team up with Allison Krause, the new CD titled "Raising Sand" and any plans that develop for a tour showcasing this material may very well re-jump start Plant's career and rescue him from a condition that my Chattanooga Tennessee compatriots will recognize as being "Ripe for Riverbend." Either way he is sure to generate crowds wherever he goes, but with the Allison Krause team up it'll be a very interesting crossover of the genteel folk-yuppie bunch with the rowdy old rock n rollers. I for one will be keeping a close eye on this whole show as it develops.

The Video interview with Robert Plant, Allison Krause & T Bone Burnett is posted on our current (Sept. 07) homepage
Here's the link to the You tube page once that expires.


Oh and BTW there is some very interesting reading on Robert Plant's official web site chronicling time spent in New Orleans and the Delta region apparently soaking up some delta voodoo along with the etoufee.

I managed to locate 38 seconds of very Zeppelinesque "Whole Lotta Love" At Green Man

and here's a decent clip of "Babe I'm gonna Leave You" with a good nighttime shot of the biggest single audience at The Green Man event.

You'll also find other videos of varying quality of this show posted on Youtube.

Rachel Unthank And The Winterset

Rachel Unthank onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.

I laid on the grass and listened to this gorgeous orchestral group. Traditional English 4 piece all female vocals & harmonies. Accordion, violin keys. Amplification coupled with electric bass, keys and whispering vocal harmonies was dramatic and theatrical. With their understated lead vocalist they were one of the most relaxing and enjoyable performances I experienced. At the time they played the field in front of main stage was still green and dry enough that I lay on the grass with nothing under me for this performance. This band and 9Bach came the closest to approximating the British version of Modern Traditional folk that I mentioned earlier. (????)

A couple of the songs on their Myspace page complete with string arrangements help to bring back that moment when I finally I felt I'd arrived in Britain laying on it's green earth immersed in the missing element I'd gone there for. The whole experience reminded me somewhat of seeing Sarah Siskind <LINK>and Julie (Adams???) project "Old Black Kettle" at the Americana Folk Festival<LINK> near Nashville TN.

Click here to go to the Rachel Unthank and the Winterset web site.

But unfortunately I missed the next group to come on stage Indigo Moss because it started getting cold in advance of the rains and my lack of sleep dropped me of in the car. Indigo Moss Looked really interesting though and there's a short write up. later on here with links and photos by Izumi Kumazawa from Tokyo's "" Another Group in this Genera that I missed was "Thistle town" which also has a short write up. later on.

My Brightest Diamond

My Brightest Diamond onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival

My Brightest Diamond One of the most dynamic acts I witnessed throughout the whole festival was this Brooklyn NY 3 piece fronted by guitarist/vocalist Shara Worden(SP?) Hard to categorize musically, multi styles with dramatic stage presence ranging anywhere from PJ Harvey inflected scrappiness to smooth as silk Roy Orbison covers but not before traversing some heavy, near goth moments and down tempo, jazz influenced crooning. Definitely one of the more interesting young appeal bands I've seen since "8mm." Kind of gothy down tempo with shades of Jeff Buckley then breaking out into full rock n roll freak out. You can bet I'll be trying to get some shows booked in my area for this band once they come back stateside. Definitely someone to keep an eye out for and to go see soon as You have a chance. ADD PHOTO PLUS VIDEO of one of the quieter moments of My Brightest Diamond's performance.

Misty's Big Adventure

Birmingham, UK

A cartoon soundtrack band. Or maybe You'd call it conceptual art. There are 8 musicians, Lots of horns with piano and vocals, kind of like a "Juan Prophet Organization" for kids, or a much mellower and less angst ridden Talking Heads with a big band behind them. Seriously they seem to be extremely kid friendly but still pursuing serious musical arrangements and orchestration. Could be Sesame street's orchestra. Breaks me into the realization of a possible "positive music movement" sort of the antithesis of metal etc. . A very tight, upbeat musical experience.


Although I was unfamiliar with this band before The Green Man Festival it seems like The Shins or at least their Booking Agent knows who they are since they will be opening up a series of shows for them this fall. The recorded stuff has a bit of old time grateful Dead mopieness to it but they were a bit more energized in person. I give them a thumbs up for very nice songwriting and a "genuine article" feel approaching my <LINK>everybodyfields benchmark by about 25%, which is a petty high jump.

Richmond Fontaine

Even better than Vetiver! (that's liable to get me in trouble with somebody.....) Lots of European dates on their official web site before they come back to the USA where they seem to originate.

Reminds me a bit of our own No River City who are making rumblings of disbandment, a shame that would be.


From Baltimore. A good melodic heavy psychedelic rock 4 piece. Slow & Bluesy sometimes, Brit ballad influenced sound other times. Good Songs and lyrics. Some of the recorded stuff online seems a bit "Anthem of The Sun" era Grateful Dead-ish. This could simply portend a good attitude toward cutting loose as a psychedelic jam band live. Spell their name with a "u" to avoid confusion with similarly named hip-hopsters. I'd book em for a show at JJ's or as an opener at R&B's but they seem to be in Europe until November. Check em out live if You've a chance. They even scored a spot playing on
my own Myspace page

*Honorable Mention..!

...........Beep Seals

Although I technically missed their show I heard Beep Seals playing from the main stage while I was busy mopping the morning rainwater out of my leaky, old and now retired tent, so they must have been really loud. They sounded fabulous from where I was behind the stage and I have been on a quest to locate the songs that I heard that morning through their streaming audio. The next time I get a chance to see them I'll make sure I'm in front of the stage instead of a hundred yards behind it. A lush pop orchestra of heavy bass and sweet harmonies. I think...maybe it was all in my head. Listen to


Bands I missed that other people really liked......


Battles from NYC onstage at Green Man 2007

Performing in the same time slot as Robert Plant, I heard more people say they were there to see Battles than just about any other performer besides Joanna Newsom

Quite noisy full of electronics Would be worth seeing in a small venue just out of curiosity as to whether they can break free from the noise grip and do something aesthetic. I assume a bunch of electronic noise arty types will like them just out of generic principles.


Thistle Town

Thistletown onstage at Green Man 2007

Billed as psychedelic folk rock, this group sounds a lot like what I was looking for, in my Americana parallels comparison. A genuine 4 to 5 piece Brit roots inspired folk ensemble with gorgeous melodies and memorable songs. Sadly, I missed them but I am very impressed with the highly listenable tunes on their myspace page.

One of the best production Thistle Town onstage at the 2007 Green Man Festival.quality videos I've found of The Green Man features Thistle Town on a raga style jam with lots of shots of the Muddy incarnation of the site and the crowds negotiating it. HERE

I am going to submit Thistle Town tunes along with Rachel Unthank and the Winterset to WUTC 88.1 FM's new world music & New age program for airplay in the Southeast Tennessee/ North Georgia area plus they're streaming live on the web. Check out this very well rounded station's live webcast at this <LINK>

Christopher Rees,

Mojo Magazine placed one of his songs at their no.2 best songs spot in their Oct. 2007 issue. Another product of the Welsh talent surge, Heulwen was promoting him unflaggingly and the dude himself was a delightful person to meet. Looking forward to listening to more of his recordings...Based on what I've seen I'd book him for shows when he gets over to this side of the world.


John Smith

John Smith onstage at Green Man 2007

My new drinking buddies whom I met at the gate on thursday night before the official start, the first people I met at the Green Man fine bunch of English guys with good attitudes, who actually knew a bunch of those esoteric british drinking songs seemed to like this guy so I thought I'd toss him in.

Seasick Steve

Seasick Steve onstage at Green Man 2007
Sounds kind of American



Izumi Kumazawa who came all the way from Tokyo for and contributed some photos here Recommends:

Stephen Duffy & Lilac Time

Stephen Duffy and Lilac Time on stage at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

Euros Child


Aliens onstage at Green Man 2007


Gruff Rhys

who got a full write up. next door..


while perusing the online music of performers I missed out on seeing I was also impressed with ;

Dead Meadow

From L.A. Is a band I missed at the festival but upon listening to their stuff decided I like the Heavy Hendrixy-Sabbathy psychedelic sludge sounding songs an their Myspace page...


I was getting psyched watching

Indigo Moss

set up. pretty girls with Banjo, big hollow body electric guitars bass & drums. That usually turns out to be a good combination...,

Indigo Moss onstage at The 2007 Green Man Festival

Unfortunately it started getting cold fast and lying on the grass for the last possible time at this festival through Rachel Unthank & Winterset somehow pummeled my lack of sleep and unfamiliarity with the cold. My trip out to the car for warmer attire dropped me off to sleep in the back seat, one of the things these festivals demand of You. Later listening to the Indigo Moss myspace streams they remind me of an underground American ensemble from Chicago called "The Blacks" <LINK>who have developed some notoriety in the circles in which they travel. You can listen to Indigo Moss as well as most all of the other acts I missed by clicking on their link on the lineup listing at the end of this article.

Copyright 2007 by Robin Merritt, Publisher,
ArtFRONT Artist's Presentation Services







The Complete Lineup (with links)
Food, Drink & fun in the mud
and Astounding Cultural Phenomena!

here are the rest of the performances I was able to catch...


Gilbert onstage at Green Man 2007

Like Morecheeba, less funk more electronic/psychedelic, light dance music. Female vocal, 2 violins,bass, keys, melodica,vocal harmonies,NO guitar!, like "Poe" maybe a little slightly New Pornographer-ish harmonies (occasionally.) In Folkey Dokey Tent. This Band could cause a lot of attention to be focused in a setting not so saturated with anticipation of the upcoming performances.

Pete and The Pirates

Straight Pop, punk with a"New Orderish" foundational sound. Could play at JJ's Bohemia in Chattanooga but need stage presence lessons from Eric Scealf. Stupid pop lyrics, (she dances like there's a fever in her brain?) Otherwise good tight Brit (Hamburg?) Rock Pop performance.

Bill Callahan

Ho hum, I suppose You have to beBill Callahan onstage at Green Man 2007 a familiar listener, I had a conversation with one fellow after asking the oft repeated question of "who did You really come here to see" and was told about Bill Callahan's legendary surly radio interviews where he berated the interviewer and etc. My own experience is that the most talented also seem to be the most gracious and the cranky & recalcitrant attitude is reserved for those who have serious issues of self doubt which are usually for a good reason. I looked forward to hearing <LiNK>"Smog" himself for the first time and hung around for the whole set but the only thing I can remember is how pathetic his guitar plinking sounded compared to all the other, lesser known acts that day. I'm not saying that Bill Callahan is not some kind of brooding genius but I guess to appreciate him he has to hold You in his armchair til You feel his disease first. Not many compliments among the audience afterward either.

Gethin Pearson

Young Vaguely Tova Rinah-ish Sometimes reminiscent of Dexy's Midnight Runners. Acoustic Guitar & Vocal, violin, keys, snare & hi-hat.

Alela Diane

Victoria Williams

A highly pedigreed American folk singer who has worked with the likes of Neal Young and Robert Plant??? very mellow and recognizable in vocals she also appears on Christopher Rees new CD. I met Victoria briefly and she was quite personable I'll be in touch to see if she would like to stop in to Chattanooga for a performance sometime.

Six Organs of Admittance

Voice of the Seven Woods

Highly visible British indie rock outfit,

The Earlies A really large ensemble, reminiscent of something Sufjian Stevens might put together...More popish, new style synth pop rock. Well worth a listen on myspace There's a nice acid style fluidity with harmonies calculated to not freak You out while in a psychedelic mind set


Tight but un-eventful. Check out infradig if You liked these guys...

Alasdair Roberts

Alasdair Roberts on stage at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

Glasgow Scotland, Drag City Records $$

Compared to the Bill Callahan performance this guy and his full band were real musicians in the melodic folkie vein. Fully British folk flavored songs with some psychedelic stuff toward the end of the performance. Also I saw Joanna Newsom standing backstage looking all googly eyed at this performer during his set so it looks like he's developing a very interesting fan base. As long as were on the subject of Alistairs go, check out another very melodic British folkie version of Art Garfunkel-y intensity "Alastair Artingstall" while you're in the proper mode.

Devendra Banhart

Devendra Banhart on stage at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

Devendra Banhart  United States, Venezuela

There's some stuff here that reminds me of Jim Morrison.  A real interesting background and has generated a good deal of fans, although the one report I have from a live show he did with Joanna Newsom in Nashville was that Devendra was awful and Joanna was awesome.   Another big curiosity draw.

Devendra is basically a writer and player of catchy guitar tunes, sometimes Jim Morrison-ish but more often than not needing some kind of voice training. While luxuriating in the huge crowd's attention Devendra was not seeming overly enthusiastic about actually performing well. This show comes right before releasing a very lazy and melodic new CD which is streaming in it's entirety on Myspace as I type this. Visually interesting, makes for some good rock n roll photojournalism in spite of onstage ADD.

The highlight of this performance was when Devendra asked if anyone in the audience had written a song then pulled this girl Beth Jeans Houghton onstage Kind of Beth Jeans Houghton onstage at Green Man 2007awkwardly (it looked like they would pull her arms out of socket.) But she managed to get up take Devendra's Les Paul and play a very British sounding folk tune while the band took a break. Obviously a setup since I'd seen this cutie wandering around the camp (who could have not noticed her?) but when finally onstage she was wearing a white armband, (at green Man You can tell the artists in the crowd by their white armbands, punters<LINK> get orange ones.

Beth Jeans Houghton's myspace page has some very complex and totally unique stuff on it. I'm looking forward to a full album from her this is obviously one strangely creative individual. Apparently she also has a sense of humor to go with all the make-up and foamflower, sort of reminds me of an early David Bowie crossed with Kate bush with a little Sgt. Pepper tossed in. Keep an eye out for this one...

Shortly after Devendra returned to the stage I made my way out of the crowd and onward to discover one of the best Mexican veggie burgers in all of Wales


Steve Malkmus & the Jicks

Steve Malkmus and The Jicks  from NYC onstage at Green Man 2007

Since this was the final headlining act of the whole weekend and the only thing left after this was the techno DJ in at the Rumpus Room rave tent , the bonfire and the Green Man Cafe it became imperative that I make rounds in order to have as many chats Steve Malkmus and The Jicks  from NYC setlist at Green Man 2007with my new friends as possible and to grab up a last late night local free range sausage before all the cider ran out, a sad event for many, causing a number of frowns to appear but still no one rioted.

Steve Malkmus of Pavement fame had a sizeable crowd. They sounded tight and polished but since I'm not a huge listener of that band the rather standard sounding tunes sort of took a back seat to my wanderings although the mud had slowed me down enough to hear a good bit of their set while on my trek. I'm sure Steve Malkmus and the Jicks must have a loyal cadre of supporters in order to land him this headlining spot so I'm posting their set list for those music lovers who are more attuned to his material than I was.

Food, drink & fun in the mud

Fun and Mud at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

 Pieminister at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

 Rain at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

 Cate Le Bon at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.
Main food court area before the crowds and the mud at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.


Here's the entire lineup of the 2007 Green Man festival with links to each performers online music or web site

Main meadow crowd before the rain at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

This list of Artists' links provided courtesy of
Chris Wright, administrator of
The Unofficial Green Man Message board,

Click on the act's name to go to their web site or myspace page and listen to their stuff.

Friday, August 17th


Joanna Newsom
Bill Callahan
Stephen Duffy and The Lilac Time
Euros Childs
Indigo Moss
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
Findlay Brown
Pete & The Pirates


King Creosote
Dead Meadow
Ellis Island Sound
Richard James
Steve Adey
Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love


Martin Stephenson
Gareth Pearson
Alela Diane
Slow Club
John Smith
Gethin Pearson
The Gentle Good
Pamela Wyn Shannon
Sweet Baboo

Saturday, August 18th


Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation
Vashti Bunyan
Richmond Fontaine
The Broken Family Band
PG Six
Lisa Knapp
Monkey Swallows The Universe
The Beep Seals


James Yorkston
Six Organs Of Admittance
North Sea Radio Orchestra
Voice Of The Seven Woods
The General & Duchess Collins
Starless And Bible Black
Moon Music Orchestra


John Power
Diane Cluck
Victoria Williams
Johnny Flynn
Emmy The Great
Nancy Elizabeth
Andrew Hockey
Christopher Rees
The Stranded Horse
Alun Tan Lan

Sunday, August 19th


Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Devendra Banhart
Gruff Rhys
The Earlies
Alasdair Roberts
Malcolm Middleton
Misty's Big Adventure
Connan & The Mockasins
Soft Hearted Scientists
Eugene Francis Jnr & The Juniors


The Aliens
Herman Dune
Seasick Steve
John Renbourn
My Brightest Diamond
The Yellow Moon Band
9 Bach
The Laughing Windows
Arctic Circle


Wizz & Simeon Jones
Jill Barber
Pete Molinari
Cate Le Bon
Directing Hand
David Thomas Broughton
Jane Weaver
Charlotte Greig


Astounding Cultural Phenomena!

Americana music and raves at Green Man 2007

Old traditional American country, blues & bluegrass tunes being played in the disco rave tent (Rumpus Room) at an after hours party and scads of people madly dancing to it! These people are going to go absolutely delirious when they finally get to witness The Avett Brothers live. That should by my prediction happen over the next few months.

Also at one point at a very late night drunken sing along around the bonfire circle at lest 20 or so people were endlessly repeating the chorus of "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine show. "Rock me mama like a wagon wheel, Rock me mama anyway You feel, heeey mama rock me." And actually getting the melody and harmony down pretty decent. Hmm, just noticed lots of current European dates on their tour schedule.

Singing Old Crow Medicine Show songs around the bonfire at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

One organization called Music not Mayhem on their page set me to thinking about a whole lot of possibilities for a new musical genera and wondering why this is happening in Britain while the US is being crushed under the weight of cathartic, violent music. I may NEED to go to "Vegoose" after this whole shindig is over

The Americana Movement and Parallels within British Indie Folk.

At Green Man many artists' stylistic foundations are heavily influenced by the regional folk music of Britain. Of course, over the last 50 years much electronic rock has risen alongside these same influences and reshaped the regionalist approaches and has itself become a dominant influence on the native musical foundations. One ArtFRONT mission at Green Man is to document the blossoming 21st century British indie folk movement that in some ways, parallels the Americana folk movement that is receiving a lot of attention from the more educated music lovers in the USA and abroad. The Americana movement, unlike the commercially co-opted country music industry, has early roots in musical traditions of the British Isles predating the handed-down traditions of living off the land in the Appalachians, the Cumberland mountains, Lousiana's bayou country, and mixtures of African elements as well as western swing, Tex-Mex songwriting and music from countless other regions. I have noticed that Americana is becoming the preferred musical style of the moment for many who appreciate soulful, genuine style and excellent musicianship. (As opposed to industry manufactured, pre-fab commercial styles propagated by mainstream media.) In fact the Americana style encompasses such a broad range of american music that there really is no containing the various elements from Zydeco, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Country and Rock.

Among the newer upstart stars of this genera we are finding young musicians who are not shamed by their regional dialects and are learning a very disciplined approach to their instrumentation and vocal craft while still retaining a natural element of "soul" In direct opposition to those commercial country stars who seek to manufacture their rural accents and market them to mid America. The Americana musicians embrace a naturally evolving flow of harmonies and lyric imagery which bring to mind some of the more sophisticated orchestral and literary works of North America. Groups like Nickel Creek, and Old Crow Medicine Show, are rising after older traditionalists such as Emmylou Harris, coupling the modern melodic rock of Neil Young and of course never escaping the influence of revolutionary 20th Century artists such as The Beatles, and Even David Bowie. Indeed an unfathomably huge well of influences to draw from is the swirling mix from which the new sounds arise.

When a pure talent such as Johnson City Tennessee's <LINK>the everybodyfields arises to dazzle audiences and serves to distill the essence of this movement into an "epitome" of this latter day movement it begins to make me wonder who across the Atlantic are the similar talents rising up from the genuine regional influences that have similarly developed out of regional tradition and modern aesthetics. If there are a few groups developing at this level it would be a true goldmine to discover who they are and what their sound is at this stage of the "movement." So the question could be who is Britain' s current equivalent of the everybodyfields, or Nickel Creek? Who? Who? tell me now! Tell us all.

Check out my observations of 9Bach, Rachel Unthank & Winterset and Thistle Town as well as Gruff Rhyss (of Super Furry Animals) for a tip of the iceberg brush with current British regional music. *********************************************

Maybe this belongs in cultural phenomena, maybe not, but perhaps the most endearing fashion statement was all the girls wearing....

short skirts with dark colored stockings and knee high Wellies (couldn't locate any really good photos of this combination, though I looked long and hard...) mostly Wellingtons of the drab Green variety, liberally splattered with mud. A number of the more mod fashionistas and younger kids wore bright multicolored Wellingtons. I personally would like a pair of the fire engine red ones since they to evoke the macho urgent firefighter motif.  What else would look smashing with a bright yellow slicker?



 I saw a book titled

"Raw Food Made Easy" (for 1 or 2 people.) I mean how hard can it be? raw food, what do You do besides wash it off (or not) and put it in your mouth?



  I did pick up a lovely little Crop Circles by Michael Glickman at Green Man 2007diagrammatic book on

Crop Circles by Michael Glickman

  but no CD's (even though I reflexively reached for a copy of Joanna Newsom's Y's before recoiling in horror at the price. ) since they ranged in price around 12 GBP ($24 US !!) this is due to our current punishing exchange rate most likely for being the big irate belligerent behemoth  of the world, while chummy British folks sloshed around calling each other "mate" and genuinely seem to like each other.  Best to keep the Americans at home for a while by making everything cost double for THEM.




 by the third day.

 Iolo Penri photographs the mud at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.

The estate  metamorphosed from the lovely green fields that were so easy to pitch a tent and to sleep on as well as actually lie down and relax on on the first day of the festival to something reminiscent of a pig sty after the rains and the crowds with their brutal Wellies combined to stomp around and churn up the ground underneath the grass.  I had a chat with Danny _________  the producer of the festival about restoration of the grounds and suggested immediate re-seeding before the mud had any chance to dry.  This has worked well for us at the North American Rainbow gatherings when the forest trails get churned up , not by English party troopers in Wellngtons but by barefoot vagabond hippies whose feet serve to actually re-mold the trail surface after the mud begins to dry into the most pleasant and truly designed for the foot-paths You can imagine.  It's magic!

 Iolo Penri photographs the mud at the 2007 Green Man Festival, in Brecon, Wales.


"Hey, we're real sorry about the weather" drawled the guitarist from US folk-rockers PG Six during one downpour.

"It's only mud - get over it!" bellowed a punter to general approval. -from Paul Moody's Article in the Guardian' s music blog.




        Green Man 2007, Glanusk Wales UK, Click here to go to the official website.

Photography links & credits

Stage at Green Man 2007 Iolo Penri


on Tour

Andy Wright


Kerry Moorhouse

Due to an act of stressed out dumb packing my zoom lens traveled with me to Wales and back while my camera body was left on the kitchen table at home in Tennessee. But I had my most important item of the trade, my note pad and pencil, which also served as a handy dinner and drink tray at the festival. If You saw someone carrying around a black notepad and scribbling into it at every performance that was probably me. Someone I met there tagged me "the clipboard man." While there I met two very nice photographers who had not forgotten their cameras. Iolo Penri of Wales and Izumi Kumazawa from Tokyo. Both have offered to send me or post online photos of the events for me to use in my articles. Since making it back home and beginning to organize I have also selected several great shots of the festival that other photographers have already posted online. The Green Man festival has struck me as one of the most unique festivals on the global scene. Not that it is the biggest, (Bonnaroo happens less than an hour from where I live.) But I feel the newer artists performing at Green Man have the potential to make a lasting impact on the cultural map, which is the main reason I chose to attend this year.

Knowing full well that I can't please everyone with my opinions, no matter how valid they are, and that this article leaves out a lot of info about the festival and artists who performed, here are links to some other Green Man write ups which may serve to balance out your whole overdose. ~R.

A Review with a more English slant..less puppy eyed over Joanna Newsom & more forgiving of VOTSW.


An interesting white person's perspective of Green Man Festival as pilgrimage. South African writer Ben Oswest's article on the 2006 Green Man.


Rant a blog magazine has an insider's view of how the festival began and evolved including how they ended up with Robert Plant this year.

Another good article by someone with a good deal of familiarity with most of the bands and probably not so stressed out as to have his jars of peanut butter and blackberry jam confiscated by airport security.

I just keep digging up more accounts here's the last one..

I really like MOJO magazine,<LINK> it's probably in large part from their pre-coverage that I came all the way from the hills of east Tennessee to the somewhat similar hills of Wales for the festival...that and Jane Weaver on the bill, who decided to have a baby instead, plus the prospect of Robert Plant wailing from the turret of a ruined castle, which wasn't exactly the case. Mojo's print review is copied here...

The listed complete lineup of Artists links provided courtesy of Chris Wright, the administrator of "The Unofficial Green Man Message board which You can visit at


Copyright © 2007 ArtFRONT Publishing, All rights reserved