Skip to main content

Eppyfest 2016 live review - Stroud

Live Review

Venue: Lansdown Hall, Stroud

Judy Dyble and William D Drake join a cast of innovative musical makers at this year's event.

Rivalling Glastonbury as the epicentre of magickal hippie Englishness, Stroud is the perfect location for EppyFest. Held in a community hall next to a spiritualist church, the atmosphere is a mix of village fete and obsessive fan convention. Welcome to sleepy Middle England, with all its occult oddness bubbling away just below the surface.

Festivities begin with guitar-strumming balladeer Tom Slatter. He leavens his surrealistic Sci-fi lyrics with self-deprecating humour, which is charming but overly whimsical in places. A more seasoned and impressive singer-songwriter is Marvin B Naylor, whose 12-string musings combine Bert Jansch-level melodicism with Roy Harper-style tonal shifts, free-form song structures and sudden swerves into tremulous falsetto.

An early EppyFest highlight are the electro-acoustic improvisation duo Darkroom, consisting of Michael Bearpark and Andrew Ostler, swollen to a trio on this occasion by their Turkish guest player Elif YalvaƧ. Mixing laptops with modular synthesisers, guitars and woodwind instruments, their set features a series of explorations into Eno-esque ambitronics, ebbing and surging before the sonic storm clouds finally dissipate to allow soft rays of Floydian guitar to shine through. Potent stuff.


More from this edition

Get Involved

Trending Reviews