The final day of Boardmasters brought not just relief from the rain but an eclectic medley of musical talents to tickle the taste buds of every musical connoisseur.
Up on the menu today were household names including George Ezra, Craig David and Friendly Fires.
But it was the up-and-coming and quietly established acts that were the pièce de résistance wrapping up the 2018 iteration of the festival.
A picture speaks a thousand words – so we’ve tried to condense the novella of Sunday’s pickings into just a sample of some of the highlights…
Mildred Maude are a brilliantly talented local experimental noise group from St Just. Although they would have been more at home on the stages of Arctangent or another noise rock festival, they put on a great show for those early enough to catch them.
There was something a bit magical about Saskia Maxwell. Can you believe this 21-year-old singer-songwriter has performed over 600 shows and festivals in the UK alone? A brief yet meaningful encounter with acoustic songwriter Saskia Maxwell left VIP attendees longing for more.
Now the party’s started! Yonaka put on just as vibrant a performance as they did when GIGsoup last caught them at [Primavera]. They want to be careful – from the crowd’s reaction at Boardmasters, they’re getting quite the following. During ‘Bubblegum’, we lost our eardrums and didn’t find them again until Monday morning.
We have no idea what’s going on with this band, but we want more. As Australian indie pop duo Confidence Man told NME in March, ‘there’s not enough dork in dance music these days’. They’re capturing the hearts of fans across the globe with the same buzzy dorkiness seen in similar acts like Superorgasnism, complete with astonishingly choreography / ‘stupid dance moves’ (their words, not ours). Apparently, lead singer Janet Planet also has ‘no idea what the **** we’re doing’ – well, that makes two of us, but all the gladder for it.
Meet Sam Fender, 22-year-old singer-songwriter who has played alongside Daughter, Hozier, and Benjamin Francis Leftwich to name a few. He’s commonly associated with Ben Howard (whose manager saw him play in Newcastle and signed him up) – but we think he’s got his own umbrella of sound that is worth exploring outside of that association.
Benin City DJ set
The band was born shroulded in mystery, but you wouldn’t believe it when seeing them live – they’re as interactive and happy-go-lucky as it comes, with a distinctive mixed style crossing the realms of hip hop, jazz, soul and electronica. They believe in what they true a true ‘old-fashioned band ethos – no one track is the work of just one individual’. Forced to hide in the shelter for the first part of the set, they shouted out to just wait while they conjour up Africa into the festival. And conjour they did, bringing vibrancy and colour into a grey Cornish day.
Fat Freddy’s Drop
A band that’s sold out venues across the UK and further afield for years. This seven piece New Zealand band bring reggae, soul, jazz and blues together stole the show early on in the day.
What an impossible clash between Fat Freddy’s Drop and this desert blues band hailing from Timbuktu, Mali (yes, really). There’s an incredible history behind this band, who came together after being forced to leave their homes during ongoing civil conflict. But since then they’ve formed an unstoppable band that is making waves across Europe.
Deliciously organic pop trio Paradisia are made up of Sophie-Rose (vocals), Anna (harp) and Kristy (vocals, keyboard). This is surely a girl gang on the rise.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
The not-so-secret headliner of the entire show. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man has rightfully rocketed to the top of the charts with his unbelievable baritone voice. Seeing it live is truly believing. He was lucky enough to accompany a beautiful sunset across the festival, washing away all memories of rain.
And the headliners…
What choices we had to finish off the day – so festival goers just had to watch a bit of all of them. Chart-topping crooner George Ezra and Craig David battled it out for attention across the field. But if you watched only them, you missed out on some truly special action taking part in pockets across the field.
Friendly Fires, for one. They brought the beach party to the beach. Bongo playing and fun-loving dance moves, with just a touch of cowbell.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., led by 32-year-old music veteran Sam Duckworth who has collaborated with Shy FX and Kate Nash among others. Playing out of a stage that resembles a truck, he led some crowd pleasing action.
Gwenno was our secret favourite headliner. Gwenno Mererid Saunders grew up in a household where her father (noted Cornish poet and speaker Tim Saunders) spoke in Cornish and her mother spoke in Welsh. In 2014 she released her first solo album in Welsh, and in 2018 released Le Kov, entirely in Cornish, all mixed up with a unique synth sound hailing electropop influences. Utterly unmissable.