September 7, 2015
Whoever doubted that summer was drawing to an end, must have surely been proved wrong this Sunday! A spectacular day of uninterrupted sunshine, set the stage for a perfect end to the Smoked and Uncut season of mini festivals, at THE PIG in the Forest.
Hats, bare feet and shades were the common attire of the afternoon with jumpers left strewn across hay bales. Frivolous fun is what resonated through the air, with a diet of chilled-out melodic music and fine local foods. From the face-painting stall to the Chase Distillers, and not forgetting the elegant Nyetimber bus, the festival kept everyone entertained from families, to the elderly and right down to the very young.
Opening the day was the truly talented Frankie Foreman with her gentle, easy-listening husky tones. She set that lazy, chilled Sunday afternoon feel to the day. Having started singing at a young age in Paris she displayed a fearless freedom to express herself.
Next up was the alluring sound from a young Falmouth singer Polly Money. Her airy, hollow soft acoustic sounds made you sit up and take notice. Polly hit the headlines last year when she was asked by Muse to support them at a huge stadium gig in Paris.
To up the tempo we then had the 4-piece band Chartreus. These guys had variety to their Indie/soul beats. Their melancholy sounds reverberated a depth of emotions, leaving you in a dreamy sort of state.
The Screaming Peaches were up next, and broke out in their usual up beat pop hymns, illustrated with the involuntary feet tapping and head nodding vibrating through the crowd. These guys and gals have super voices resonating through their uplifting disco-like songs. They built up the vibe to a funky pop melody, a kind of blended disco. No doubt they have loads of fun living together and this came through on the day.
The star attraction was of course the headline act, Andy Burrows. His initial soothing tones lured you into the Sunday evening. We loved his cover version ‘Looking for America’ by Razorlight. He treated us to ‘See a girl’, which was a BBC radio 2 record of the week. We also loved his toast to the ‘big dog’ Ken Bruce and also Tom Ravenscroft and his dedication of ‘If I had a heart’. Andy and Stuart Wilkinson, and his fabulous harmonica (almost a world champion) delivered the lively ‘Before I fall to pieces’ causing an enthusiastic outbreak of dancing which resulted in all the kids clambering up on stage.
We can’t wait for his new album, which is out next week. With the last of the summer heat on your cheeks and final drink in hand, this was the perfect act to end a terrific festival.
Like with all our other festivals we had a delicious range of lunch and early evening bites available. Flatbreads with Chorizo from ‘A Pinch of Salts’ were on the menu, from the master butcher Alan Bartlett. Our wood-burning oven was also delivering roasted beetroot and rosary goats cheese burgers and Sopley farm corn on the cob. For the more carnivorous of you there was New Forest Swallowfields wild boar in a bread bun by Jamie Burgess, and from Lower Ashfield farm was the delicious smoked pulled brisket in a bun. For the seafood lovers there was chalk stream trout farmed in chalk streams running through the river test. This trout is delivered to our kitchen door within 48 hours of being caught, so it was very fresh.
We really loved this year’s addition of the Koumis and Kettle clothing stall. The two Greek sisters running the stall gave guests the run down on the history of the name and merchandise. Koumis and Kettle being both their parents’ surnames. Each item of their clothing is unique and collected on their foreign travels around the world.
Our face-painting stall was forever busy and we had to laugh when overhearing a conversation suggesting to an adult that they wait until all children had been painted. We did think this certainly summed up the ambience of the day - frivolous fun celebrating music in the gorgeous sunshine, a perfect Sunday indeed!
If you missed out on tickets or couldn’t make any of the festivals this year, be sure to follow Smoked and Uncut over on Twitter or Facebook as we will be back next year (bigger and better)! We also have small intimate unplugged sessions through September, October and November at our five hotels. More details can be found at www.smokedanduncut.com.