To describe last year’s Secret Garden Party in a few words just wouldn’t be possible. So you’ll have to forgive us for using a few more.
This is an event where bizarreness seems to flow as naturally as milk, where dance cats merge with indie kids and freakbeat aliens to make a feast of true bacchanalian proportions.
It was conceived in 2004, with presumably nothing more in mind than to shake things up. It is run by a man who calls himself the Head Gardener.
This year’s preliminary offerings see SGP broadening out into an absolute nugget of musical brilliance to go with its generally outlandish fare. This can be taken for granted. Whilst the line-up comprisese a variegated feast of global underground pop and a choice selection of more established acts.
Of the latter, this year’s SGP boasts the beatific 29-headed pop monster I’m From Barcelona, new rave-shaggers New Young Pony Club, wild party-punkers The Noisettes, Leeds breakbeat maniacs The Utah Saints, Welsh songwriting wizard Euros Childs, the dusty folk-tinged rockers Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell and the ace theatre poppers Of Montreal.
The outlandish poetry and melodies of Swedish retinue Herman Dune are absolutely made for the place, but it’s in the realms of the unknown where the line-up really shines like a beacon.
Last year musicOMH made numerous discoveries that proved a highlight of the musical year; gems such us the endlessly-brilliant baroque-folksters Flipron and crazy inventor Thomas Truax.
Both of these intrepid crusaders return this year for a little bit more, to be joined by the likes of the world’s first all girl post-modern recorder quartet The Zoltan Kodaly School For Girls, electro funksters Metrenomy, Aberystwyth cartoon poppers Radio Luxembourg, Sheffield country-melodicists Monkey Swallows the Universe, stylish New Yorkers Mia Riddle and her band and the magic and beautiful keyboard sculptors Au Revoir Simone
The music is of such a standard to actually take attention right away from the other facets which comprise the festival’s trademarks.
Remembering the magic open fires that provided rest and warmth while passing from stage to stage in the open space, the small caravan awning on the hill that bounced with myriad flaming limbs to a comic devil’s beat, flying alcoholics surfing on wheelchairs, giant roaming eyeballs and stilt walkers that go about their work with comically nonchalant air really does amount to a euphoric anticipation.
We really can’t say enough about this festival. Take it from us – you won’t be disappointed.