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Bearded Theory 2016 - Saturday | FESTIVALPHOTO

Bearded Theory 2016 - Saturday



As another glorious sunny day started, Will Tun and the wasters were first up on the main stage.They're one of those bands that don't fit neatly into a genre - you'll hear traces of folk, punk, ska and Eastern European music, all jumbled together into one chaotic, additive and fun sound - an excellent start to the day.

Moulettes came next. I've seen them perform before and always enjoy their sets, and today was no different. With a brand new album (Preternatural), they play several songs from it including "Underwater painter" and "Coral" both of which sounded great. I'll certainly be buying the album after this great set.

Skerryvore come from a remote part of Scotland (I think the bagpipes gave away their SCottish roots, even before their accents when they spoke to the crowd). The bagpipes help lend a SCottish feel to their folk-rock. A great performance.

Cockney rejects were next with a front-man who clearly loves boxing as he dances around the stage as though he's in a boxing ring, and throws punches too. They probably weren't in the best of moods after being ejected from their dressing room to make way for John Lydon's ego, but they still focussed on their set and put in a great performance.

Wilko Johnson was next making a long overdue appearance. His previous appearance was cancelled due to his cancer battle, but having beaten cancer he was here to bring a bit of class to the stage. Dressed smartly, he and his bassist along with drummer put in a great performance. His bassist in particular is full of energy and is a joy to watch.

Billy Bragg brought a more laid back but political performance as he sang and played acoustic guitar, and talked to the crowd. You've got to admire his passion, and it's clear that he hasn't mellowed with age but still has the same passionate political views he had in his youth. A very nice touch was to have the performance translated into British Sign Language - something that only Billy Bragg, Squeeze and Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican had.

Reggae legends Black Uhuru brought some nice laid back reggae for the crowd to enjoy. The hot weather may not have been quite up to Jamaican temperatures but it probably wasn't far off and the great reggae was perfect for just sitting down with a drink and relaxing in the hot sun and enjoying the evening.

Finally it was time for tonight's headline act - Public Image Ltd. Featuring punk legend John Lydon, this is a band I was really looking forward to seeing. Oh dear, what a disappointment. It appears Mr Lydon has become a complete diva in his old age, and wasn't prepared to share a dressing room with his band mates (probably not enough room for his ego), so he had another band thrown out of their dressing room so he could have one of his own.
Then before the show his manager had the backstage area cleared of everyone - including the stage crew, and the previous band was reportedly ordered to remain in their dressing room till Mr Lydon had waddled over to the stage in case he encountered another human being. It's amazing his ego managed to fit on stage really. I've never known a band or individual act in such a diva-like manner at a festival that they demand the crew that runs everything on stage and sets things up etc be removed from the area, so for it to be a "punk" that acts like that was doubly disappointing.
Once he made it on stage things just got worse - what should have been a fantastic set was bitterly disappointing as his voice was so bad that I barely recognised one of my favourite songs, and he clearly can't be bothered to remember the words to his own songs anymore so has them printed out in front of him so he can just read them. He's clearly gained a little weight in recent years (ok lets be honest he looks more like Mr Creosote than the John Lydon people remember and bears little resemblance to his photo in the program), which may explain why he was so reluctant to allow photographers to photograph their set. Frankly there's little sign of the punk John Lydon left now - just a fat old man who appears to be only in it for the money.
After a short time I decided I just couldn't cope with any more of their disappointing performance and took the opportunity to have an early night.


Skribent: Anthony May
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