Apple Cart Festival - Victoria Park, London
London's Apple Cart Festival picked a dreich and dismal day to celebrate its second anniversary, with the family orientated bash suffering from extremely wet weather. I braved the elements to show up around midday and was surprised - and slightly relieved - to find that there was no main stage outdoors, with all the bands on the bill playing in tents instead. Although I was extremely tempted to spend the duration of my day staying dry ensconced in the tent hosting the main Apple Cart stage I did venture out a few times, watching a trio of comedians over at the Comedy tent and also viewing a couple of acts over at the Spinning Wheel stage.
I may have felt a little bit cold and wet throughout my time at the Festival but there was plenty decent music on offer to raise my spirits, with Beth Jeans Houghton And The Hooves of Destiny and Lianne La Havas both making an impression but it was two more established acts who really made the day.
Much loved troubadour Billy Bragg had the packed tent singing along to the likes of 'Greetings To The New Brunette' and 'Sexuality' and pulled at all our heartstrings with a terrific 'Levi Stubbs Tears'. At the beginning of 'Waiting For The Great Leap Forward' played towards the end of Billy's set a sea of balloons, each a metre across, were unleashed to the capacity crowd, with the singer stating that the red balloons symbolise the Labour Party, yellow Liberal Democrats, green the Green Party and the burst balloons the Conservatives! There were countless children in the tent sheltering from the rain and the entrance of the humongous orbs made them extremely excitable, with several chasing after the balloons as soon as they were in their vicinity, with chaos still ensuing throughout Billy's final song and most well known number - 'New England'.
My main reason for attending Apple Cart was to view my first show of the year from punk legend and 80s icon Adam Ant, having watched several shows from the singer since the end of 2010. This was the first time I'd taken in a shorter festival set and it was pretty much all killer and no filler from the off, with 'Dog Eat Dog' opening proceedings, swiftly followed by 'Kings Of The Wild Frontier'. All the hits were on display, with Adam including 70s singles 'Cartrouble' and 'Zerox' for fans of his earlier material (like myself), with the set finishing with a cover of Marc Bolan's 'Get It On' and fan favourite 'Physical'.
Adam seemed to go down extremely well with the Cart crowd but the 'Prince Charming' singalong section went down like a lead balloon (again) and really needs to be dropped from the performance. I had a great time watching the show though, especially as photographers were allowed to shoot the whole of the singer's set from the pit, with the bonus of having been blessed with very good lighting for photography throughout the majority of the day.
Noah And The Whale were headlining the main stage after Adam but I wasn't fussed about watching their performance and noticed the audience had thinned a lot since the end of Mr Ant's set, so I only stayed to photograph a couple of songs, heading off into the pouring rain but having enjoyed myself a lot more than I thought I would when I arrived around nine hours earlier facing similar wet weather!