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Grinablog: Day 2


“Write to your councillors and tell them that this festival is going to be here for the next 50 years”

DJ Chris Tofu


“Write to your councillors and tell them that this festival is going to be here for the next 50 years”

DJ Chris Tofu

Grinagog Day 2 has passed, and yes, I’m feeling a little delicate again, but I challenge anyone to wake up feeling sprightly after a day which included, Kiko Bunn, Macka B, Tropical Tea Party, Sam Wulf, The Correspondents, Dizraeli and Downlow, Drystones, Henge, The Kaizens, and the New York Brass Band… twice!

This was the big day, with the big man, Big Narstie and the festival site was buzzing. Chris Tofu was everywhere, sporting Grinagog cap, leather trousers, and bright gold shoes, and visibly bouncing in the sunshine. We started the day again at One World (still the best festival site in our opinion!) and quickly realised that we’d be needing the factor 50 as we slowly crisped on the sundeck. Tropical Tea Party were back again in the DJ pergola with their signature blend of fruity flavours, having tp’ed the surrounding area with colourful bunting and palm fronds. It was a look that pretty much epitomises the feel of the whole festival; vibrant enough, tropical enough and colourful enough, that you might forget you were in Torquay.

Moving on to Torre Abbey, we spent most of the day enjoying the sunshine, flitting on the edge of the Supersonics tent to watch Torquay indie band The Kaizens who rocked one of the biggest crowds we’ve seen in the tent so far. The Crypt took on a far more mellow countenance hosting acoustic acts throughout the day. Here we caught Samuel Wulf, who mixed funk and acoustic guitar with a loop pedal to offer some soulful melodies.

Then we took up residence in the Spanish Barn for a large helping of Reggae! First up, Kiko Bun – the man who brings the fun, and something about sun which we didn’t quite catch – delivered a DJ set that despite seemingly being fraught with technical issues, was hit after hit; we bumped into Kiko later on enjoying Dizraeli and Downlow in the RICC and he certainly seemed to be enjoying himself. Kiko was closely followed by Macka B, famed vegan reggae artist perhaps best known for his viral “Medical Monday” video, “Cucumba”. We’d been looking forward to this one and Mr B delivered some exceptional Jamaican vibes with his sterling band. “Health is wealth, ital is vital!”

We tried to avoid the RICC for the main part; the sun was too nice to be in the dark of the Forum and if we had one criticism of the festival it would be that this venue still lacks a bit of atmosphere, although it has been significantly improved since last year! However, the draw of The Correspondents was too much, so we ventured into the dark for what was definitely the highest energy performance of the weekend. This British electro-swing duo made up of frontman Mr Bruce, who threw his lanky self around the stage in an otherworldly two-piece suit with UV detailing, and DJ Chucks, who mixes drum and base as though he’s working out on an elliptical cross trainer, were intense. These guys do electro swing but dirty, with retro soul and blues mixing with the most modern electronica and jungle beats. It’s all quite improper, in a good way.

This was of course just a handful of highlights from an epic day, but for me the crown goes to the last performance of the evening from the band so nice we saw them twice, the New York Brass Band. The Chapel is a thoroughly unexpected venue in itself, but add in The Egg, a projection masterpiece across the back wall and high domed ceiling and it becomes something else. Drop in some great bands and this space is really something else. We arrived a bit early to see the end of the Drystones set who were mesmerising their audience – all taking a well-earned rest in the chapel pews – with furious fiddle playing and acoustic guitar. To quote the flyer we found on the floor, this duo is indecently talented, and they play a mixture of folk influenced music from every corner of the world. Having come from the angry rhymes of Dizraeli and Downlow, the calm of this space was quite overwhelming, and their more relaxed numbers very nearly lulled me into a peaceful repose.

But then came the brass. The New York Brass Band are a York based New Orleans style brass ensemble performing modern hits in brass formations and boy do they perform! At their command the audience was upstanding, and The Chapel’s pews emptied out to fill the centre aisle with foot stomping, fist-pumping energy as they played an hour of hits to see in the night. The highlight for me was undoubtedly their cover of The Human League’s, Don’t You Want Me, which if it had it my way would have been their closing number. Either way, it was the perfect end to an absolute party!

We’re heading back in again today, for what might be a quieter finish to the festival. But then again, we may as well go out with a bang!



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