Frontier Festival 2013 – Reviewed!

Taken from the Berwick Advertiser October 17th 2013

Berwick’s walls reverberated to the sound of some top notch music over the weekend as the Frontier Festival returned for a second year.

After a mightily successful debut in 2012, promoters Travelled Music were in no doubt that they wanted to stage it again.

The Barrels is Berwick’s hive for a diverse mix of music so it was fitting that the opening night of this year’s festivities set itself at the Bridge Street venue, even if this was a last minute alteration.

Le Woodsmen, The Warehouse Announcement and Easter Street got things off to a cracking start and things then cranked up a notch when the Frontier action transferred to The Maltings on Friday night.

Ian S.Thompson had the audience in the palm of his hand with his tempo switching set, including an ode to Berwick meaning revellers were suitably charged up for the return of the runaway hit of last year’s festival.

And Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra certainly lived up to their billing. I was in the audience to see a cool but charasmatic frontman, Rob led his talented troupe with swagger and although in outfits that wouldn’t look out of place at the ‘Downtown Abbey’ equivalent of a howdown, they raced through a repertoire that had hands clapping and fingers clicking a plenty.

Just like the Tea Pad Orchestra did last year, final act of the night Anderson, McGinty, Webber, Ward & Fisher couldn’t have made a better first impression on Berwick.

The band’s name might not be snappy but their set certainly was and what was most striking was the lack of need for a clear cut frontman, with each band member fully justifying their slots in the spotlight.

Friday ended on a real high giving Saturday’s lineup a tough act to follow but there were no signs of nerves.

The King Bees and an impressive as ever Electric Penelope led an eclectic mix of acts to get the night started in the Gynamsium Gallery before the much sought after Lanterns on the Lake headed up proceedings in The Maltings Henry Travers Studio.

The final day of this year’s event was a more chilled out affair with a melting pot of musicians descending on Kazmiranda Cafe, among them Ian Petrie and Steve Daggett.

Travelled Music’s Hamish Bell and Alan Thompson should be both smiling from ear to ear this week after once again giving the town an event to remember.

Hamish commented: “There has been such good will towards the festival from people that it is somewhat overwhelming, and the bands have loved being here too, all commenting on a superb atmosphere, lovely crowds, well attended gigs and a great town. Plans for next year are already underway and we can’t wait to get started!

Echoing Hamish’s sentiments, Alan added: “We’re really proud of the fact the festival showcases such terrific talent from the local area. The musicians on display show the depth of the town’s talent and we always welcome local artists involvement in the shows and hope to encourage new performers to take up playing and performing music.”