The Apple Cart festival came to Hackney, following on from promoter’s ‘Eat Your Own Ears’ ‘Underage Festival’ and ‘Field Day’ last weekend. And what a mixed up, jumped up, pulled around and start up festival it was!
In Victoria Park’s bosom there nestled tents, bandstands and stages awash with teatowels, haybales and gingham for the one day family fest full of comedy, cabaret and music.
Arriving just as the rain started, luckily, just in time to shelter in the folk tent to watch Peggy Sue. Would have been nice to wash their sultry style of harmonising down with a nice, cool, English cider (being Apple themed n’ all) but the entire place was in drought, deciding to serve only piss weak perry. The girls were lovely though, playing new and old songs with a heap of instrument swapping and some cute smiles picking crooning melodies.
The rain battered the tent, but we braved the outdoors to go and find our bearings in time for the Magic Numbers set on the main Apple Cart stage. With an ever-so-polite audience evenly spaced, it felt friendly and that’s what you want when watching the Magic Numbers! More sing-a-longs than you remembered so looks like it didn’t all go wrong! (sorry!).
On to James Yorkston in the Cabaret tent (an odd choice you might think!?). I was really excited about seeing him play again. He has created many a beautiful album and really should be better known. The tent was rammed, but the ethereal noise was immense so the acoustic four-piece were fighting to be heard over the top of distant base thumps. All acts played short sets of about half an hour slots, tops. Enough time for James to run through a few songs (showing incredible talent at finger picking) and to read aloud some of his book “It’s Incredible to be Here”. He had said before that the set might be “erm, random” with the new band and it was a bit! Lovely harp, clarinet and violin creating beautiful complimentary, just wish I could have heard them properly!
Patrick Wolf, for me, was the biggest let down I had bigged up, but I have read a lot of positive reviews so maybe I am not the best person to listen to! He was very… red?
Taking some time out to explore the rest of the offerings it was clear that the acts that made it, not the atmosphere. Or art (neon painted milk bottles for a fiver!?). Some Hipster inspired Mac n’ Cheese was quite nice to scoff down. Though not out of a dumpster. The best part of the “extras” was seeing a policeman get repeatedly spanked while carrying on walking. I only got one girls reaction to that though, see orange car below…
Strangest act had to be Chili Gonzales – a piano player that could have been a muppet in a previous life spouting intricate comedy lyrics and furiously hammering on the keys, full of charisma and possibly martinis. One incredible moment was when the sun came out to gospel prayer from the audience… no, really!
Tim Minchin was the absolute STAR of the festival. This was the first time he had played a main stage slot at a festival and, by jingo, it worked! I don’t think I even need to say any more, but it was so much funnier than on the tele. Rocked it rude style. Nobody makes cancer more fun.
You’ve never seen hoola hooping unless you’ve seen Marawa! I think she eventually hoola’d about fourty seven hoops. Stunning! Loved the leopard print too!
And then a quick dash to catch the end of Soul2Soul. Lottsa fun. Lottsa soul and some diiiivaaaas with violins. And that was the end for me! Just time to get fish and chips on the way home from The Fish House. Yummy end to a tasty day.
As London festivals go, this was a really nice one. Exceptionally middle of the road middle classes, but nice. Y’know… nice. Just please remember to have cider next year!?