Patti Smith and Her Band at Hop Farm 2012

July 1, 2012

Dressed in jeans and a black jacket, Patti looks as if she could’ve strolled straight out of the crowd. Starting chilled out, she’s happy to let the band take the fore for a while and enjoy the music with the rest of us. New track April Fool drifts gloriously across the field to nudge the sun towards the horizon.

But gradually she changes. The iconic frontwoman emerges, striding boldly across the front of the stage to Free Money. Fists are pumped; she arches into the mic to sing. She brings out Patrick Wolf to play violin, not everyone gets who he is but they sing Happy Birthday to him anyway.

As the tempo picks up she bawls, snarls and summons Mother Earth. She gets everyone to shake the ghosts out from their bodies too, you do this by holding Jazz Hands high in the air apparently. I can go with that. With little care she repeatedly knocks her mic-stand over in passionate exuberance and some poor stage hand puts it back up for her at least four times.

By the time Because The Night and Gloria close the show Patti is spitting, swearing and totally unmissable.

At every good festival you will see one artist that you had heard of but didn’t care too much for, yet they will end up being one of the stand-out acts of the weekend. I think that Patti fits that description for a lot of the people here.

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