The Hop Farm festival has been steadily growing as a young pup in the festival litter. As one of the newer offerings it seems to look to elder statesmen to facilitate strong attendance and, rather refreshingly, no sponsorship. This year the headline slot fillers are Eagles, Morrissey and a rather impressive England exclusive show from Prince.
This year sees a second wave of American vintage punk acts in the wings, with Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop and the Stooges available to bring the art-noise to Kent. This shouldn’t mean, however, that the festival will be the realm of the reminiscing hippie, though it must be said there are a lot of long serving bands.
Friday: With Eagles headlining (intriguing to speculate what legal decree prevents The’ prefixing the current line-up’s name) it’s set to be a steady MOR sunset for the first night with Bryan Ferry just ahead, probably playing a whole bunch of tracks from his recent Olympia and Dylanesque offerings. Brandon Flowers is similarly present in solo capacity and the main stage has a nice whimsical twist with Death Cab For Cutie getting involved earlier in the afternoon. Of particular interest will be The Human League‘s headlining of the Big Tent stage as their new album is excellent, with Britpoppers Ocean Colour Scene popping their heads in too. The Goldheart Assembly, James Yuill and Treetop Flyers deserve a mention for their fine use of melody, song-craft and for being under 40.
Saturday should see Mozza lap up, or more likely demand, a wave of adoration after the snub of Glastonbury where Radiohead scuppered his plans for an an audience. But the Americans are running the show today as Iggy and the Stooges, Lou Reed and Patti Smith set the tone to perform from a back catalogue that, unlike Friday’s obvious rose-tint painters, will undoubtedly sound as current and vibrant as anything currently doing the rounds, despite the healthy number of bus passes between them.
Sunday is for the kids’ as Tinie Tempah brings UK chart pop ahead of another vertically challenged chap, Prince. Hot Chip DJ to close out the festival on the second stage, while Memphis Industries stalwarts The Go! Team will bring the cross generation dance-mix as a live band and Dutch Uncles will dance with all the grace of hippies bobbing along their mix ofNew Order and Lee Evans.
Hop Farm is looking to hit its goal of restoring the traditional music festival. In a climate of the here and now, this is a great line up to step back for.