Barn on the Farm is an independent and intimate folk-orientated music festival, held in several barns on Over Farm, Gloucestershire. Created in 2010 as a small venture, driven by a passion for decent, new music; now in it's sixth year, it's gained a reputation as a place you will see the next big thing whilst meeting people with the same passion for music. With names like Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Nina Nesbitt and Bastille taking to the stage in previous years, there's only one place this fantastic festival is heading and that's to even bigger audiences and awards. Joshua Sanger and the rest of his Barn on the Farm family are brilliant, friendly and should be thanked and congratulated on creating such a welcoming festival, full of brilliant live music and moments.
This year we managed to get tickets for the intimate Friday, which added to the whole Barn on the Farm experience. Highlights included Jade Bird, Aaron Rowe, Plested, Barns Courtney, a stripped back set from Amber Run and the secret headliners, Bear's Den. (The other acts unfortunately we missed in between food and drink breaks, but from what we heard - they were great too!)
Saturday went off to a good start as we got to see Joseph, one of my favourite folk bands, I knew they were going to be a trio that would be great live, but I didn't realise quite how great they were actually going to be. My two friends and I were left standing speechless and goosebumps, their tight harmonies, phenomenal songwriting, stage presence and personalities created a half hour set that I won't ever forget.
We walked about a bit and really took in our surroundings, waking up a little more and grabbing some food from The Den for breakfast (which was very tasty). We sat at the Outdoor Stage for a few of Will Joseph Cook's song, he definitely woke everyone up with his brilliant pop tunes and got people dancing. However, I was keen to see Mahalia in the Wooden Barn, so headed there and got to see her perform the one song I knew, 'Back Up Plan', a cleverly written song with spoken word verses and a catchy chorus. Her set seemed to go down really well with others too and understandably so, she's an act to be watched!
We headed down to the Main Stage to chill to Samm Henshaw's soulful pop, it was great to see (and hear) new music from him, in addition to the songs I fell in love with the last time I saw him at Barn on the Farm last year. Isaac Gracie and Ady Suleiman performed at the same time, so made sure to see half of each set, both did a fantastic job attracting audiences, Isaac's stunning electric guitar led songs and emotive and raw lyrics brought to life with his wonderful vocals, and Ady's upbeat and incredibly catchy reggae, pop songs.
JP Cooper was on the Main Stage this year and as I'd seen him (and enjoyed his music) last year, I thought I'd go see him again. As always, he did a fantastic job and performed a mixed set of older songs that people knew and newer songs, more recently released. Unfortunately I didn't get to see his whole set, but what I did see, I thoroughly enjoyed. We left early to go get a good spot in the Wooden Barn for Ryan Keen's set, and it was worth it! It was my second time seeing Ryan live and I'm pretty sure he did the same set (which definitely wasn't a bad thing), however he also got Gavin James up on stage with him and they covered 'Royals', originally by Lorde, really really well; their voices complimented each other well along with Ryan's unique playing style and Leroy on percussion.
Another clash between acts that we wanted to see, Billie Marten and Clean Cut Kid. We enjoyed the first few songs of Billie's but as we'd seen her the previous year, and were becoming pleasantly sleepy, we decided to go check out Clean Cut Kid's set. Their upbeat indie pop got everyone dancing and singing along, and as the first time listening to them live, I added them to my list of bands to listen to when I got home. I particularly enjoyed 'Vitamin C' and their new single 'We Used To Be In Love'...
The Farm Band, Hudson Taylor, Gabrielle Aplin, Hannah Grace and Joe Keogh (from Amber Run), came together to perform a collection of their own songs. Their chemistry as a group shone through their performance and it was clear they were really enjoying it up on stage. A fair selection of songs from each acts releases, an incredible a cappella arrangement of 'I Found' and a cover of 'With A Little Help From My Friends', which of course ended with the whole Barn on the Farm family singing along and feeling an almighty togetherness.
A clash of acts sets hit again, this time between Dan Croll and Gavin James, and again we decided to make the most of both sets, starting with Gavin James and his incredibly soulful acoustic songs (including a fantastic cover of Wonderful World' that went into his original 'Say Hello', which was another goosebumps moment from the weekend). On the way to the Main Stage, we saw a few songs of Dan Croll's set, full of fantastic alternative pop tracks built upon great riffs, beats and Dan's vocals.
After trying to see Jose Vanders and Ant West as their previous projects live for a fair few years, I was incredibly excited to see Oh Wonder headline the Saturday of Barn on the Farm, and was not disappointed. They did a phenomenal set, comprised of tracks from their album, including a stunning stripped back version of their track 'Midnight Moon' and a brilliant cover of Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love'. They had everyone dancing and singing along and created an incredible atmosphere that will stay with me for quite some time. I'm so pleased I finally got to see them live, and for it to be at Barn on the Farm just added to the moment.
Part 2 (Sunday's write up) is here: http://musicintimeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/review-barn-on-farm-2016-pt-2-030716.html