Toploader, Dodgy, Oasiss 01.08.2021
Poole Harbour Festival, Baiter Park, Poole
A handy Sunday afternoon option down in the park. We just popped along the road for the last day of this three day festival of music with added distractions. Booked a ticket just days before, having assessed the risk of get a soaking as probable but likely short lived.
The Poole Harbour Festival has run for several years and this looked better than ever in terms of set up, attendance – a couple of thousand maybe – bars, food stalls and children’s attractions – I still don’t know what ‘Rent a Dinosaur’ is but it sounded innovative. For starters the no wait cans bar has sorted a lot of prevous years’ queueing out. Main stage was much bigger than most previous years and not in a tent… which looking at the sky later I thought we might regret.. we didn’t…as predicted our soaking happened but was short lived.
Fair sized queue to get in and at 11.15am I could honestly feel the urgency of wanting to get inside in time to Oasiss, the tribute band due to start at 11.30am…. they’re good. Seen them here before and at Parkstone Labour and Trades Club – local band.
We got in in time for kick-off. Sun out. Lovely. I confess to taking camping chairs – foot ailments and age taking it’s toll eh.
Oasis music live in the sunshine on a Sunday morning: can’t be bad. I know some get a bit sniffy about Oasis. I loved ’em. Saw them several times – Rose Bowl, Wembley, Reading – and always enjoyed it, as well as the seperate Liam, Beady Eye and Noel performances in the decades that followed. Liam at Glastonbury 2019 – faaantastic…. so on a Sunday morning down in the park this is a treat.
On the menu for lunch…Toploader. I saw them during Lockdown at a socially distanced gig in Bournemouth’s Madding Crowd – some Toploader blog notes at this link. This time they have a crowd 25 times the size but less focused I guess.
Joe Washbourn is centre stage and pleased to be amongst us. I wonder how long the relief to be playing normally will last: will it be allowed to last? I am seeing this as a current window to leap through and am under no illusions that the Covid thing is over.
As this is outdoors and local I had my better camera with me for this and, having featured Toploader recently in a blog, this piece is more a photo story.
Of course they played ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ which is clearly the moment the penny drops for many… ‘oh I do know them’ and the lunchtime dancing mums were off. It is a very heart warming moment to see a big crowd in the local park singing along and jigging about on a Sunday lunchtime.
A no encore festival set approach to keep the timings going but really enjoyable. Joe Washbourn mentioned that the pre-gig sandwiches were denied them due to ‘the bridge being up’ allowing the band to share in some regular local traffic frustration – the snacks must have been coming from Hamworthy – “do you lot only eat when the bridge is down”.
Washbourn has a spell on acoustic guitar away from the keyboards which are at the core of the sound…and indeed the vision.
And so to Dodgy. I’ve never bought a ticket to see them and never bought any albums or singles by them but they have appeared at several festivals I’ve been at. With several hit singles they seem much more familar and a significant sound, which is perfect for the Summer festival…even with a shower in their set.
Victorious Festival 2019 was a more recent performance I can pinpoint but I’d struggle to nail down which V, Reading or Phoenix Festival I watched them at.
Although formed in Hounslow (1990) – something of a rarity as an origin label – main man Nigel Clark’s midlands origins (Worcestershire) are apparent from his engaging intra-song chat.
‘Free Peace Sweet’ is Dodgy’s big album, their third (1996), reaching number 7 in the UK album chart and it’s in there you find the hits: ‘If You’re Thinking of Me’; ‘Staying out for the Summer‘ and ‘Good Enough’.… which were brought out to enjoy at Poole’s Baiter Park.
One of the opening songs was another from that hit 1996 album: ‘In a Room’ and Nigel Clark pointed to the Lockdown relevance to the lyrics:
In a room there’s no other faces
I sit alone here let through the night
In a room, we’re slowly wasting
I don’t belong here, it don’t seem rightIn a Room – Dodgy 1996
Clark, like all of us, is pleased to be out. Mid-set and with a warm reception he commented “you look as though you’ve been doing this for years”. Many of us have… decades in fact.
A happy feel to ‘Staying out for the Summer’ despite the clouds and let’s hope we all are. If we can make Victorious Festival without some further Covid shackles that will be a start.
A relaxed afternoon with three bands so overtly pleased to be there and entertaining us again. I’d say the best Poole Festival set up to date so here’s hoping for next year. Good to see some known original names in the line up this year – today anyway – to go with the local acts and trubute bands.
We’d had the best of the day and seeing the dark clouds above and a bag of empty cider cans under my camping chair, headed home before the Queen tribute act, the last band of the festival.