When a pop veteran like Van Dyke Parks (think a 1960s Ben Folds Five) declares his love for a festival that is only a few hours old, the odds are good for a warm and fuzzy few days wallowing in indie-rock.
Indeed, it is notable how many acts across the festival’s four stages mention the good, friendly vibes infusing the Dorset countryside air; Patti Smith (pictured above), during a rollicking, hit-strewn set, is even moved to give a spontaneous ode to the wonder of the surrounding trees. The setting is very scenic – and Smith remains reassuringly off the dial.
Patti Smith is moved to give a spontaneous ode to the wonder of the surrounding trees
Now in its seventh year, End of The Road has certainly put its stamp on the UK’s festival scene, but still retains that niche, boutique feel sought out by the modern, thirty-something festival-goer. Decent tucker helps (plenty of organic on offer, of course), as does an impeccably chosen line-up that never strays too far from a 6Music playlist.
There’s a lot of beards around, not least amongst headliners that include Grizzly Bear (the harmonies gets somewhat lost amongst the grizzle), and the Mark Lanegan Band, who create a hypnotic bluesy noise on the Garden Stage.
Some cracking sets were seen post-midnight in the Tipi Tent, ‘secret’ gigs that half the festival seemed to know about. Horse Thief stood out, with their high-energy angular rock, and the entertaining, soul-searching folk-punk of NYC’s Jeffrey Lewis won a whole new set of fans.