Sunday, 16 July 2017


Set in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside, Linton Festival celebrated it's 17th year this year and, surprisingly this year was also the first time that Chris, Kevin & I had been, it was even more of a surprise for Kev as he didn't know that Chris and I were going! This had to be the best kept secret within our own 'band of friends' ever!

Chris and I arrived early on the Friday afternoon and set up camp close, but not too close, to the loos and the campsite entrance so that we could await and surprise Kevin when he appeared on his Tiger (Triumph Tiger motorcycle for the uninitiated), the look on his face when he did arrive and spotted us was worth a thousand words, not sure but some of those may have been expletives!

Camp Fellowship nears completion
The festival is set in the grounds of the Alma Inn in Linton, Herefordshire, OK so is it a festival in a pub beer garden? Yes, but, the grounds are enormous with fields for camping and caravan / motor homes behind (or rather below) the festival site.

With hot showers, clean(ish) toilets, beer and cider at pub prices, good food also at very reasonable prices and, what seemed like the total 'buy in' and involvement from the whole village (They did excellent breakfasts in the village hall by the way) this was unlike so many other festivals we have been too, unlike as in far, far better!

Musically the festival was a joy, not one duff act and no last minute line up changes, no nasty surprises, just a weekend of excellence all round.

Friday night kicked off with Willy and the Bandits:-

Willy and the bandits
Followed by Band of Friends:-

Band of Friends
And finally, the Billy Walton Band:- 

The Billy Walton Band
After a remarkably good night's sleep we were up and about and off to the village for breakfast, stopping on the way back to look round the picturesque churchyard and the famous Linton Elm before a couple of hours chilling out on the campsite while Kev went off to explore the local area on his big MC.

Saturday kicked off musically with Half Deaf Clatch:-

Half Dead Clatch (Andrew McLatchie)

Followed by the Rainbreakers then the Mama Martin band:-


ancerMama Martin Band
These were followed by Henrik Freischlader and Slim Chance:-


Slim Chance, how come?
And the evening was topped off by an absolutely stunning set from Bernie Marsden and his band:-

Bernie Marsden in fine fettle
Quite a late finish on the Saturday night led on to yet another good night's sleep (One of the advantages of being at a festival with what you could call a more mature crowd in residence!) and all too soon it was Sunday.

Looking down from the actual beer garden
Once more adequately fueled by a superb breakfast in the village hall and spending great time over coffee's with friends outside in the gardens, in fact there were several people we knew from Cambridge Rock Festival and Skegness Rock and Blues there, it was time once more to grab a beer and take to the hay bales and make ready for the day's music.

Sunday opened with the very excellent Slowburner:-

 Slowburer were followed by, what was for me and I suspect many others, the 'discovery' of the festival, the Pierce Brothers, identical twins from Australia who's performance was electrifying, energy packed and just so damn good it hurt!

The Pierce Brothers

From busking to world domination - The Pierce Brothers - Fantatsic
Now, what better for a sunny Sunday afternoon than an absolutely stunning acoustic set from Bernie Marsden, complete with entertaining rock and roll tales, it was perfect for the day.

Bernie M acoustically
It had been a while since we'd seen Grainne Duffy (She got married since the last time we saw her) but wow, what a set she and her band played that afternoon.

Grainne Duffy & band
Festival headliners Haysed Dixie did not disappoint, a musically skillful set that was at times so funny I was crying with laughter, it had been years since I last saw them live and what a brilliant set to end the festival with.

Grass rock at it's best - Hayseed Dixie

Brothers and sisters let us pray!

So, all in all, our first Linton Festival was outstandingly good and we may well go back again in years to come.

Lastly for this bit anyway, this is how to leave a festival campsite, with only the flattened grass to tell you'd ever been there!

 So, in true expected style, as this was very much a Fellowship of the Stick adventure it has been captured for posterity in the usual style!

Linton Festival 2017

As the Tiger roared into the camp-site
Kevin could not believe his eyes
For there set up and waiting
Was a big Fellowship surprise

The secret had been well kept
Telling it was so hard to resist
But also there at Linton festival
There was a Grant and a Chris!

Camp Fellowship was completed
So soon it was time for the fun
The beer was cheap, the food was great
The first band had begun

And a nice surprise for us all
For among the festival crowd
Were friends from Cambridge and Skeggy
And the Welsh were awfully loud!

Set in such beautiful surroundings
Rolling hills and woods and fields
We were excited and expectant
For what the weekend would yield

A great night was had on the Friday
The music was quite excellent, sublime
We retired to out tents to sleep through the night
After such an all-round good time

Free bottled water and hot showers
Toilets that were kept mainly clean
Friendly staff, volunteers and security
Very few idiots if you know what I mean

It all helped build an atmosphere of unity
The way such things should be done
It was well organised with excellent facilities
Which made it a whole lot of fun

Breakfast in the village hall on Saturday
Was welcome at a very good price
A chance to meet new friends and to socialise
Which in itself was also quite nice

A quick wander around the village
And the church with the old Linton Elm
Then back to the camp to chill for a while
While the Tiger roared out with Kevin of course at the helm

Another great afternoon and evening of music
Topped off by Bernie Marsden and his band
There’d been dancing and drinking and laughing
Well such things always go hand in hand

Sunday was another lovely fine day
We breakfasted again in the old village hall
Then took coffee outside in the garden
With Val and Dave, yes we were having a ball!

The music on Sunday was exceptional
We had Slow-burner then the Pierce Brothers from Aus’
They were the  discovery of the festival for me
And that is because

They were so damn good and different
Then an immense set from Bernie acoustically
But we also had, complete with band,
The lovely Grainne

What a damn fine afternoon
The atmosphere was just electric and alive
It was a shame Kevin had to leave before the end
But some of us still have to work to survive!

So Chris and I were there until the end
And what a damn fine ending it was
Hayseed Dixie had us in fits
And that is of course because

They were so bloody good
Fantastic musicianship and great humour
A fitting end to a great festival
And that just about
Says it all!

Cheers m’dears

Grant Meaby

July 2017

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