appear to have been a couple of batches of Whitchurch Festivals.
The first one I actually made it along to was in 1993 when Galahad
and Pallas headlined shows on the 16 and 17 (respectively) July 1993.
From what I gather there was another Festival the following year then
a break before they began again in 1997.
festival was organised by the landlord of a local pub, The Red House
Inn, and that is where I found out about it. While down on a
three week course a local friend took me to the pub as it was "a good
rock pub" for a drink, and also to find out more about the festival.
My interest was piqued with mention of Pallas but, alas, I was due
in Glasgow the day they played. I did manage to get along to the Friday
night show before the long, overnight, drive North. Despite a very
hot village hall I enjoyed the music - I'd not heard any of the bands
previously (apart from a 4 track Friday Rock Session by Galahad) and
came away with a smile on my face. As you can see from the ticket
the Festival was called "Musicians Convention" that year rather than
"Music Festival" as it has become now.
- 8 August 1999
The second year I made it to the festival was 1999.
I'd moved South by this time so it was only a 30 mile drive now -
and I could make it for the whole weekend. Things had changed
a lot by this time. The date had moved from mid July to the first
weekend in August. Instead of the event being held in the Parish Hall
the local School sports hall, Testbourne Centre, was used for the
evening shows. A smaller hall in a different building provided the
home of acoustic sessions on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons -
though we only managed to get along for the Sunday one, discovering
a local musician, John Young,
in the process.
- 6 August 2000
2000 brought another Festival, in some ways very similar
to the previous year (Saturday night) and in others very different
(Sunday night). Overall I felt less inspired than in 1999 but I think
I also expected more because of my experience that year. There were
certainly a number of bands I was impressed enough to travel to see
again, Landmarq, The Morrigan to name but two. I have a fair amount
of the 2000 festival in electronic note form and hope to get some
of it on line soon.
- 5 August 2001
that I have this years festival fresh in my mine so that is a better
place to start this set of pages. With a Psion and borrowed digital
camera this year I am in a good position the get things on the site
much more easily. The only limiting factor is time (plus enthusiasm
during these summer evenings). So far (14 Aug) I have managed to get
one on the site, the highlight of the Sunday, Jump.
Now, I may be biased (aren't we all to some degree) but I feel they
may have been the highlight of the weekend. Certainly the two bands
before them were fairly tedious and the 'main attraction' was the
first cover band I have experienced on the bill. I can only assume
that they were booked to try to attract a larger Sunday evening audience.
To these eyes that plan seemed to have failed as I am sure there were
less people watching than for the Jump set. (There were actually 50
more tickets sold for Sunday in 2001 than 2000.) If the previous trend
of second-on-the-bill acts being promoted to headliners the following
year continues I think Jump are the best candidate from the 2001 festival.
- 4 August 2002
2002 was the fifth year I made it along to the Whitchurch
Festival and, as usual, I was expectant of seeing and discovering
some great bands. 2001 proved better in this respect that the previous
year so my enthusiasm was whetted. A good proportion of the bands
on offer were unknown to me, pretty much everything other thanh the
Friday evening bill were bands I'd never seen live. I was familiar
with some Primitive Instinct and Sphere3 from last year and Francis
Dunnery from three of his earlier albums.