Oh well, at least the music kept going and our spirits were not entirely demoralised. And they had ordered more matting so at least some extra space wasn't a quagmire...
After breakfast butties in town, we dodged the showers and I ended up buying a new coat. Hurrah!
Lisa in her new Goth coat
After that we took a stride up the hill and into the festival just in time to catch the arrival of Gaggle: hard not to love a 20+ female choir strutting out harmonic versions of punk classics.
After, and in view of the rain, we headed to the Rising tent to catch Black Carrot. Described in the Summer Sundae brochure as
Surely Market Harboroughís most ëout thereí band, Black Carrot are a vibrant quintet who perform dirty new-wave krautrock jazz madness that oozes rock with a psychotic edge. Ploughing their own furrow for the last ten yearís their music is a fierce and abstract brew, with nods towards Beefheart, Soft Machine and Pere Ubu but shot through with flavours of New York jazz skronk. Theyíve received high praise from their heroes (Faust) and right across the leftfield music press (BBC Radio 3ís sorely missed Mixing It, Wire, Artrocker). A third album is imminent. They are a must for Fall fans at the festival too.(We realised afterwards we had actually had some tracks courtesy of the lovely George - who else!? - which was probably why a couple of tracks sounded familiar!)
We then mooched about, taking on food, and listening to the rehearsals for the Summer Sundae Choir. Very good fun, but they were a lot braver than us! Time for some more alcohol!
We then wandered to the main stage but quickly dashed into the nearby Musician tent as a torrent of rain fell from the sky: this meant we caught the last four songs of John Butler, who despite excited cries from the compere of the tent ("Scrap Mumford and Sons, John Butler should headline!") wasn't all THAT great. Ex-Diesel Park West he may be, but...
Others were less impressed with The Moulettes taking to the main outdoor stage, but personally I thought it was lovely to see them getting such an opportunity. having delighted in their charms at The Big Session, I thought they deserved their moment (just a shame it wasn't quite as sunny as they warranted).
The Moulettes living it up on the big stage!
Still, no time to waste as I really wanted to ensure I grabbed a place for The Leisure Society who were playing the Musician Tent (it was PACKED).
I fell in love with The Leisure Society via - guess what? - 6Music. Harmonies, strings, melancholy. Just what this girl loves.
It is hard not to be thoroughly invigorated by the uplifting charm of The Leisure Society. For example, they may say they're never going to do their cover of Gary Numan's 'Cars' again, but bands say such things all the time and when a cover is this good, it's worth keeping. And to prove they ain't just fey, their rock out finale of The Sleeper really got us cheering.
After that we headed inside for some chilled out Laura Veirs. Phew.
LV was in fine form, supported by guitars, mandolins and violins. After a swift wander for air, we then settled into upstairs seats for Tunng who quite frankly were VERY strutty.
After seeing a rather nervous Tunng on the main stage at our first Summer Sundae, it was wonderful to see how they have grown (wonder if they still found time for fish and chips?). There was plenty of wiggy dancing and quirky noise.
We'd enjoyed Stornoway at the Big Session, but in some ways they were even nicer to see on the main outdoor stage - even though Summer Sundae wasn't quite the right audience to do 'We are the Battery Human".
After that, and more food, we headed to the Rising Stage for Fool's Gold. At time ultra pretentious LA white boys doing funk/world music, they nevertheless made good enough use of their racial diversity to bring it off eventually. If they guitarist can tone his posing down, then they'd be even more enjoyable live.
Over the rest of the day we caught some of The Go! Team (in passing), but along with a significant number of others, it was all systems heading to the Indoor Stage for The Fall. Would the mighty Mark E Smith turn up? Would he play? How long for?
We needn't have worried.
Sweeping the Nation said it best:
Tinchy Stryder was headlining outside, but the action was never going to be there. Having never seen the Fall live but read a lot about it we were pleased that, fighting and walking off early apart, everything we expected to happen happened - Mark E Smith twiddling with the amps, wandering with vague purpose around the stage, singing with his back to the audience, getting out his scraps of A4 for lyric advice, having a go at Eleni's keyboard during Blindness before slinging one of the four mikes he tried out (sound engineering the Fall must be a high pressured job in itself) into the front row. Oh, and also that the current Fall are a shit-hot proposition, garage Krautrock with menace, tight as you like and blessed with great sound helping them thunder through. Of course the hardcore filled the first few rows and the sixteen year old girls decided on unilateral early exits, and of course there were no Fall originals from before the last ten years (Frankie & the Heartstrings had played a snatch of How I Wrote Elastic Man between songs after Frankie told how one of them had bumped into Mark E), but you wouldn't have it any other way.
After that, we couldn't face the shrieks of the Stryder crew, so we stumbled on back to the hotel for a sarnie and a cuppa.