Now in its seventh year, Staxtonbury is a three-day musical extravaganza taking place at Staxton Manor Farm. The family festival, with music ranging from quiet acoustic to heavy rock and roll, intends to cater for everyone. We went down during the day on Saturday to get a sample of what’s on offer.
The honky-tonk group The Travelin’ Band kicked the day off on the main stage, covering a range of hits in a rock-country style akin to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their Deep South tones very quickly diminished the grey clouds and brought the sun, which luckily lasted the rest of the day.
Meanwhile on the marquee stage, punk-indie three piece Stray Scenepowered through a rock and roll set of originals. The lead singer, draped in the Union Jack, had a voice like Bob Dylan’s.
Opening the acoustic stage was Scarborough’s folk and swing trio The Rattlin’ Sheiks, playing a rousing set on guitar, violin and double bass.
Back at the main stage, early highlight Becky Arundel showcased a set of originals including both funky and delicate styles. Becky was captivating with her powerful voice matched perfectly by her band. She closed on a triumphant duet with backing singer Andrea, covering James Bay’s Hold Back the River.
Following close on her heels was Huddersfield and Halifax-based Red Star, playing swaggering indie rock akin to Hard Fi or Jet. As well as a dynamic performance from front man Will Bloy, they were contenders for lyric of the day: “Threw myself into frenzy, must have been last Wednesday.”
Then The Chris Berry Band started an afternoon of cover acts that included: The Beetles, The Kinks and the Rat Pack. With a tropical feel, they proved to be a perfect feel good party starter.
The Travelling Band
Back in the acoustic tent, York’s very own Harley Daniels played a set of acoustic covers of chart toppers including Daft Punk, Ed Sheeran and Avicii. Backed by his band of Joey Leyland on percussion and Antony Gibson on bass, they connected with the audience and closed emotively with original Weight of the World and U2’s Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
On the Marquee stage, Lauren Major and Aftermath offered a sultry style with some rock covers, whilst the brilliantly-named Big J and The Piccolo Chickens lit up the main stage equipped with trumpet, trombone and some funky covers.
Escaping the sun, it was back to the acoustic tent to close the afternoon. Firstly, Scarborough’s Terri-Ann Prendergastsang a beautiful set of covers and originals with some tracks from her forthcoming EP, which will be released to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. When a power failure threatened to end her performance early, Terri-Ann turned her performance into an intimate set among the audience, with help from Harley Daniel’s band.
Following was Filey’s Alan Lewis who played a charming acoustic set. With a pleasant, melodic voice, Alan performed his mellow takes on Sia’s Chandelier and Ellie Goulding’s Starry-Eyed but his set highlight was certainly originalStanding Tall.
Last but not least was Selby duo Two Reasons Why, made up of Joe Baker on guitar and Lucy Williams on vocals. Another mixed set of covers and originals, it was Lucy’s voice that really stood out, particularly during their cover ofRolling in the Deep, giving Adele a run for her money. Originals Foxes Den and 5 Seconds to Fall in Love were definite favourites.
With another day and half to go, Staxtonbury really does provide a lot of bang for your buck.
Staxtonbury Music Festival took place at Staxton Manor Farm on Friday 3 to Sunday 5 July 2015