I love a good small local festival. You tend to meet up with some good friends; you kinda get a feeling of supporting your local community and local music scene; it's not too far to travel to get there and, wonderfully, you get to sleep in your own bed at the end of the day... (no camping in a mud soaked field!) Alsager Festival has grown over the last 11 years to become a contender for my favourite local festival. We arrived at some point on Saturday afternoon and soon wished we'd come down earlier. The place was buzzing. Big groups of very organised Alsagians (is that what they're called?) had congregated. Gazebos were up, cooler boxes with a variety of drinks, camping chairs, picnic blankets, all in all, the most organised bunch of festival goers I've ever seen. Sans picnic blanket or camping chair, we wandered around and sat for a while on the grass on our leather jackets feeling most under-prepared. The sun was shining and people were buzzing around. The main stage had a variety of bands on with just what can be described as really good rock n roll. Mainly covers bands, so we headed to the Marquee stage, where the more heavier stuff was going on. We arrived im time to catch local band, Flux, who have been going since the early 1990's and a band I've seen several times over the years. Slightly older ;-) but they still sound awesome, with a good dirty guitar sound, solid drums and bass and a good mix of vocals between lead singer, Glyn and the drummer.The next day we were back for more. This time the festival site had moved from Milton Park and was on in several of the town's pubs and bars. We headed to the Lodge, mainly because I wanted to check out The Dying Lights, who were on at 1:15 and then my sister's band The Blue Yellows, playing at 3:30. The atmosphere was more of a Sunday vibe, as you can imagine, and I must admit, hitting a pint of Stout not too long after brunch was hard going, but the beer was second to none and soon went down well. The Dying Lights got the action going with some good sounding solid rock tunes. Nice bits of feedback and a good vocal section, with all members of the band hitting the mic at some point during the set. A lively bunch, there were smiles all around as they made their way through the set list, finishing off with a cover, which was the punkiest song of the set and really got the crowd buzzing.
The usual Sunday afternoon acoustic singer types followed and we were ready to rock again by the time the Blue Yellows hit the stage. They gave us a nice selection of new and old tunes (in fact they premiered a brand new song that they've just finished off) and gave us another chance to listen to the tracks that are now featured on The Kitchen Sessions LP. The sun was still shining as the crowd swayed to the Sunday afternoon beats. They finished off with the old favourite "No Tobacco, No Jesus", their 'hit' single from the early days of the band.
Alsager festival is an absolute must for all local Cheshire music fans! It's a great weekend out and Saturday, in particular, feels like a real family event. So if you haven't been yet, keep an eye out for details on the 2020 festival on their social media pages and if you find yourself in Milton Park next July, don't forget your camping chairs and cooler box!