Last time markontour had the pleasure of catching John Bramwell at the Union Chapel he’d lost his front teeth and was singing with a lisp. A year later and our hero has his dentures back, although the set-list still seems to have been scrawled on the back of an envelope in the pub a few minutes before coming on stage and there are numerous pauses while he delves deep to remember which of three guitars is needed for which song. Apparently. It is hard to tell where the show stops and the real-life semi-functioning alcoholic musical savant begins. Nevermind, it’s a wonderfully entertaining night for us lucky audience members and Bramwell himself seems like the happiest person in the congregation.
This quirky, boutique festival is teetering on the brink of becoming too successful for its own good, but still has lots of charm and the wonderful Port Meirion setting keeping it extraordinary. And the food at Clough’s restaurant was almost worth the price of the ticket itself – not something you can say about most music festivals.
Arriving at Brighton’s Concorde 2 from the Kemptown side, we were greeted by I Am Kloot* and friends warming up backstage, door open to the beach and singing their hearts out to Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. If that was a surprise, the ensuing gig was predictably brilliant. This is a band without a weak spot, aside from two thirds of the trio’s need to pop off mid-set for a fag.