My Isle of Wight Festival 2017 Highlights

I didn’t keep track properly this year, but here’s a quick round up of some of my takeaway bands from this year’s Isle of Wight Festival…

Thursday night highlight was… the UK General Election. Sky News had a small TV screen showing early coverage (even though it was the “HD” feed, the screen resolution meant we couldn’t read the numbers…). The screen moved to a location near the all-night cafe around midnight, but once Sky had their fill of free content (“interviews with festival-goers”), they f**ked off. The nice folk in the all night cafe came to the rescue, though, agreeing to pop a BBC Radio 4 live feed on for us in place of the music they’d been playing to attract customers in, and even donating a couple of free pizzas to feed the election party that suddenly appeared on them… Their connection was a bit flaky though, but someone with a phone that worked stepped in until their data ran out… at which point we huddled round a Guardian live feed until 4 in the morning or so for a nice dawn chorus walk back to the tent…

So that’s one festival highlight… but what about the bands…?

Top pop rock band: Germein Sisters (homepage, Twitter: @GermeinSisters) – like an Australian First Aid Kit, I got to see them a couple of times, on Friday and Saturday.

Once again, I spent a lot of time popping in and out of the Jack Rocks / this feeling tent. The Sundowners (@TheSundownersUK)
also piled on the harmonies, and I’m guessing their psych vibe would be brilliant in a small venue with a full set:

I’ve no idea how you pronounce Gutxi Bibang (homepage, Twitter: @gutxi_bibang) but they make a great three-piece – low on banter but tight on the show…:

In contrast, Sheffield 5 piece Sheafs (Twitter: @SHEAFSBand) worked the audience hard:

or was that the Doors channeling Paves (Twitter: @pavesband)?!

I first saw Hands Off Gretel (homepage, Twitter: @HandsOffGretel) at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival (playlist), which ended up with seeing them play more than a few times over the last year. This year, the rest of the family popped their head into the tent to see what is it about them that keeps me “gallivanting around the country”. The fact that “we’re not hippies”, maybe?!

Clashfinder identified a clash for me putting the The Wholls (homepage, Twitter: @TheWholls) up against HoG for their first set, but I managed to catch the last bit of their second set and now need to track them down somewhere else so I can get to see a full set:

As to why I didn’t see the first bit of the set? I’d been watching some gritty Isle of Wight blues in the form of Confed Fred (Twitter: @confedfred).

I’m sure I recognised the band name The Strypes (homepage, Twitter: @The_Strypes), but can’t place where from. Maybe I need to start a gig diary again…

Skimming my Clashfinder schedule, I notice there aren’t many bands in this list from Thursday or Friday. Hmmm… was there really nothing notable, other than the Germein Sisters there?!

Ah – maybe – Isle of Wight rock band 30ten were fun in the Platform One tent, though again, I only caught the end of them while waiting for Curse of Lono (homepage, Twitter: @curseoflonoband)

For the proper folk rock experience though, Rusty Shackle (homepage, Twitter: @rustyshackleuk) really delivered the goods:

Which was also a nice complement to the bit of jig I have whenever I get the chance to see Dub Pistols (homepage, Twitter: @dubpistols), who were doing their thing once again on the Cirque De La Quirk stage…:

…after realising for the first time quite how good an all round, real deal rock band the Pretenders (homepage, Twitter: @thepretendershq) are:

(which isn’t to say Run DMC weren’t fun for the first part of the set I saw… But you know: clashes…!)

And Clashfinder lies – because Island reggae band The Ohmz (homepage, Twitter: @theohmz) had their face off on Friday night, not Saturday:

Which also reminds me – the Quay Arts’ Kashmir Cafe (@kashmir_iw) stage also hosted the ‘closest to the Ozrics’ moment for me in the form of Wille and the Bandits (homepage, Twitter: @wille_bandits), when they weren’t cracking out the blues:

The Kashmir Cafe also hosted a great way of rounding off the festival in the form of one of my repeated festival highlights, Tankus the Henge (homepage, Twitter: @tankusthehenge):

Right… better get that playlist and Twitter list together then…

Best T-shirt slogan: I’m so meta, even this acronym.

Most common political sentiment from the stage: Theresa May is a c**t.

PS As to whom didn’t play but I’d have like to have seen, Island band The Orders (Twitter: @the_ordersuk, and Fuzzwalker (homepage, Twitter: [@fuzzwalkerband])(, both of whom churn out guitar driven earworms like there’s no tomorrow, and both of whom would have been a blast in the Jack Rocks / This Feeling or the Kashmir tent.