Mary Epworth and The Jubilee Band at Hop Farm 2012

June 29, 2012

Mary Epworth has a bearded banjo player in a chequered shirt. It’s the perfect way to open the main stage of a festival at a farm. Sadly, this was one of the few perfect things about this set.

Her recent single Black Doe is a folk-metal beast with a crushing chorus and a beguiling sheen of sweetness. Unfortunately, for one reason or another the sound was totally off in the boisterous gales and what should’ve been a stomp turned into a clattering stumble. The quieter moments were perfectly nice, but the chest thumping moments that make her music special were so messy that I couldn’t even pretend to like them.

Mary heroically lead her troops in a strong wind, but the polite applause from the seated crowd confirmed that this was an opportunity missed. They were the first band on the main stage on a very blustery day, so getting the sound right was always going to be a chore. A shame, because they deserve so much more. But sometimes thems the breaks.

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