Hidden away in the small village of Mundford in Norfolk, the Home Festival reaches its second year. It has the worthy aim of raising money for the St Martins Charity for the homeless and even with the small village carnival feel it is clear that a big effort has been put into the choice of music, with 17 bands and soloists on the two stages.
Chasing Creation are an Indie/Rock trio from Norfolk, with an American sound and complex instrumentation, confidently playing their original songs. The Sea Creatures play up tempo catchy alternative country rock, with acoustic and electric guitars and usually a violin too, absent today but featured prominently on their recordings. The song ‘Love Royale’ was a strong finish to their set. The electronic soundscapes created by duo Treasure Season floated dreamily through the fine sun of the afternoon as a contrast to the guitar based bands. The guitar certainly has a strong role in Norwich four piece Secret From Richard, it rings out and soars through the anthemic alt-rock songs, backed by adventurous basslines and the most energetic drumming of the day so far. A cover of the Black Keys song ‘Lonely Boy’ fitted in easily with the rest of their varied sounds, fronted well by singer Jason Sturman.
Any band that cites Tom Waits, Nick Cave and The Doors as influences surely must be worth a listen and The Thinking Men did not disappoint. The line-up looks nearly conventional, two guitars, drums, keyboard and an electric upright bass, but the sound produced is something very different and special. When speaking to the crowd singer Johnny Raspin is modest and mild-mannered but when the vocals start and he unleashes his inner Tom Waits growl the songs are given a flavour all of their own. All of the band are talented musicians and the elaborate songs change tempo unpredictably, tangoing and serenading in all directions, with lyrical subject matter ranging from the Elephant Man to the Witchfinder General and the definitely surreal…. It was a brilliant show-stealing performance, well suited to the festival audience.