Loungin’ on the Farm

So this weekend I popped over to Merton Farm in Canterbury, Kent to cover Lounge on the farm festival for BBC Kent.

The festival is a well kept secret, not marketed widely and an event that largely relies on word of mouth…but after the weekend there I believe that word will spread like wildfire. The festival, now it in it’s third year has clearly defined principles of promoting Kent produce and establishing Kent on the music map. The organisers are also opening a venue in Canterbury called, funnily enough, The Farm to try and pull in
 acts that normally skip Kent and just play London instead.
This was also my first event where I was doing photography so whilst I wait for a new battery (it wasn’t my SLR but my Dads.) I have my fingers crossed about how the pics will turn out…as I ran out of power I had to shoot the last band, The Coral on my 5.0 megapixel digicam!
So basically in comparison to the shambles of Z008 I had an AMAZING time. I got to interview at least 20 different acts, some established, some up and coming. I even managed to catch up with Johnny Foriegner who I’ve wanted to meet for ages and they gave me a beer. It was good times. I think after I met the Coral (they came out when I was 12 and I’m now 19) It kinda sunk in and I had to run away to let it all sink in!!!
On the saturday evening I was due to interview the New York Dolls but things were running a bit late. Tom from BBC Kent Introducing went before me so I managed to blag an interview with Blaine from the Mystery Jets and we had a nice informal chat and as I’d just bought a Ukele he and Will signed it for me…

When I was talking to Blaine I asked how they got Laura Marling involved in the recording of ‘Young Love’ as I’m a huge fan of hers, I also wanted to know how they perform the song live without her. It turns out that either Will sings the song on his own or they get a girl from the audience to do it….
and that is how I blagged my way onto the main stage infront of up to 1,000 people singing ‘Young Love’!!! I got to watch the gig from the side of the stage and push Will on concealed in a gigantic amp case (rock and roll eh?!)
I admit that I was nervous before I went on, would people boo me or, as I hadn’t come from the audience, believe that I was ‘with the band.’
The band had to have two songs cut because of the curfew time the cow shed (yes it was a big barn!) had been given so I was on sooner than I expected. I literally walked on intro-free, stood and waited to sing whilst trying to look as it I fit in and then sang!
I now understand why acts always mention their monitors etc because at first, I couldn’t hear myself at all..infact I couldn’t for most of it but I just tried to keep going as if nothing was wrong. The biggest issue was the height of the microphone being too tall for me, but, not wanting to move it I did the whole thing on tip toes!!!
Other highlights of the weekend included seeing one of my favourite new acoustic acts, Kal Lavelle (and her thanking her family ‘and Frankie’ at the end of her set,) shooting Johnny Foriegner (pictures!), meeting my new photographer friend Lizzie (superstar!) interviewing Los Campesinos and then later them talking to me like I was just a normal person, not an annoying press person, the med-veg kofta pitta thing I ate, Dani Groombridge, a 14-year old superstar in the making who played the ‘School of Rock’ tent and came running up to me mintues before her battle of the bands final asking me how to rescue her voice (So I ran and made her salt water and felt proud of my good deed.) 
I’m going to keep writing about this subject for ages I bet but i’ll pop photos up soon and provide links to other stories about it.
Frank. x

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