Live review: What a belting BedFest!

Dragonfly Tattoo.
Dragonfly Tattoo.

By Graham Chalmers

I had the great pleasure of MC-ing the main stage at BedFest in Knaresborough on Saturday as a sort of amateur stand-in for DJ Trev which meant I actually missed some of the great local acts I wanted to see.

But - what a day!

The biggest turnout I’ve ever seen at Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre at Bond End for this terrific all-day music event which acts as a musical party for the Bed Race each year.

Hundreds turned out, not just music fans but entire families enjoying the glorious sunshine (until it rained late on) and the music on three stages.

The favourite things I saw were DJ Rory Hoy (amazing big beats, what a fantastic DJ!), Hell Fire Jack (high energy, no prisoners, garage band rawk + roll), Dragonfly Tattoo (deliciously dark with cello and keyboards and smouldering Vicky Whelan), Strangers in Paradise (instrumentally impressive 70s rock meets rap and soul with guest rappers Tre and Soul Deep) and The Blues Dawns (like 60s blues-rock legend Cream reborn).

All the acts I saw were good, from an acoustic mini-reunion of The Four 45s, to the wayward, free-flowing alt-rock of Oscilantern, the tightly intense Eskimos who had travelled by bus from Manchester to play to acoustic singer-songwriter Aaron Bertenshaw.

At one point I came on stage to hail a live act prematurely at the microphone before they’d actually finished their set but Tre kindly covered for my blunder by hugging me and ‘bigging me up’ to the crowd as if it was deliberate.

BedFest is that sort of friendly event.

Well done to Rufus Beckett for organising such a great day.