Uber Rock Slugfe5t Live Review

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Slugfest, the most entertaining, most debauched, and most essential free music festival, returned for its fifth glorious year in a different location. With its spiritual home The Mount, a victim of identikit corporations and their all too willing sheep-like followers who stab their own in the back like pissed-up Judases, now a boarded-up graveyard of drunken memories, the event moved to The Railway Inn for its full (-on) weekend of musical hedonism.

But while the shift in venue would, some twenty-something bands later, prove to be a seamless and effective one, one difference between the event of a year ago and the one of 2012 shone like a beacon: the man whose two-fingered salute to us all from the event poster situated behind the bands on the opening (Friday) night may well be gone but, like The Mount, must never be forgotten. When the Slugfest family lost Robert 'Goobey' Greenow earlier this year at the horrifyingly young age of forty they lost more than just a regular attendee; this man, as well as playing the event, was also one of its (and its spin-offs) most loyal supporters. Slugfest lost a piece of its fabric the day he left, many of its followers (myself included) a friend. It's important that everyone connected, everyone who knew him, thinks about him every once in a while, and smiles, then he will never really have left us....

To the music...

Goat Leaf's appearance at Slugfest 4 was disappointing for just one reason: nowhere near enough people were still conscious to witness it last year. Switching shifts to the opening night works wonders as wide-eyed and wanton music fans marvel at the soundscapes pulsing out of the speakers - and kudos to all involved in making every band sound great - as frontman Jonny Maycock, possibly the best dressed gentleman in the room, throws out shapes and sounds that traverse decades. The real Johnny H, guitarist John Hodgson, may well be a member of Warrior Soul but Goat Leaf is anything but a side-project; this is a sonic assault that grooves out of the band and into your life, warming your soul and retrofying your mind as if you were flicking through the pages of a vintage, sun-bleached magazine. With a second album in the can waiting to further your musical education, things are, deservedly, moving forward for Goat Leaf. I need recommend this band no further: they will gradually be absorbed into your consciousness and you won't even know it.....but you'll love it.

It's never too late to make a Slugfe5t donation. Just click the following link for the event's JustGiving page. http://www.justgiving.com/slugfe5t-hov

[Photos by Ian Cates: check out www.iancates.co.uk for the chance to view or buy photos of all bands and many of the beautiful people who attended Slugfe5t]


Gaz E with Dom Daley & Johnny H
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