Equipped with my copy of "Lonely Planet Guide to Life outside Manchester" I ventured to what seems like the only
outdoor festival in the North West this year, in the welcoming town of Wigan, a place that doesn't take itself too
seriously unless you are talking rugby.
As the grey clouds recede, Atomic Hound Dog have played & gone,
and it is the turn of The People to entertain the crowd with their
enthusiastic blend of pop rock. The relief at the sight of a dream
becoming reality is palpable on the face of Andy Unsworth, one of the
contributors to the event, one that has taken close on 20 months work
to realise a single day.
Whilst neighbouring areas, Bolton, Preston, Manchester et al have
managed to put on such events with increasing frequency, Wigan has
suffered, most notably last year when the event was cancelled the day
before with all the bands lined up and ready. The assistance and
backing of councillor Pete Smith proved to be decisive is getting the
green light for the whole affair.
The seemingly ska/funk influenced Mindhive play an upbeat set to an increasing audience and Bushack made their
(rumoured to be) last ever appearance, with their brand of high octane neo punk. Last number "Fragile" is anything
Not content with appearing with Atomic Hound earlier, 17 year old Nancy Cunliffe
delivers a confident, solo set
If you have never been a part of the Moco experience, and it really is both visual and
Ever attempting to defy categorisation, Loafer, with tongue firmly rammed in cheek,
tell the MC that they should be announced as "Brit Pop". The look of disbelief on his
face is a joy to behold. "Post Progressive Punk" doesn't illuminate the situation
either, but in homage to the shining sun Julian announces that they will play their
"Happy Set", one that includes newie "Indie Cindi" plus regular staples, "Billy Slag"
and "Where did all the good times go?"
The cans of Stella (99p) combine with the glorious sunshine to produce a receptive
audience for the Oceansize sound, featuring "Sizeofanocean" and "Saturday
Morming Breafsat Show"
With previous events involving being suspended upside down by the audience, being
liberally doused with tomato ketchup, smashing part of the interior of the Hard Rock Café, Moco always seek to
entertain. Today with the crowd a fair distance from the crowd, and no mic lead long enough, it seems that today
things will be fairly restrained despite the band taking the stage with faces painted in the style of lions--
Until the very last song.
Then the Moco character takes over vocalist Steve Jones and he leaps from the stage, mis-times his leap, bounces off
the barriers whilst simultaneously knocking them down, sprints 100 yards to the edge of the crowd, caries out a
sliding tackle that Roy Keane would be proud of, gets up darts back to the stage in time for the opening line of the
song. And that is where the fun begins. Boots are discarded; runs around the park are carried out at regular
intervals between verses and general pandemonium ensures as the band play away, immune to the chaos