I brought a few of Clan Quill up to the lovely English county of Norfolk for a few days break recently (not particularly looking for any music) but whilst in the Beach Café at Winterton-On-Sea, we spoke to the staff who recommended Headstock – a three-day music and beer festival taking place in the neighbouring village of Horsey (Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th August 2016). We had missed the first day’s performances, which (we were assured by the café staff) were excellent; but were able to see a little of the next two day’s performers – notwithstanding a couple of problems (on which more anon!)
The Nelson Head is a quaint old pub that looks like it hasn’t changed for decades – in fact, that is part of its charm. The Nelson theme is strong of course (as the great Admiral hailed from nearby); with nautical paraphernalia adorning the walls inside. My party had a good lunch there before crossing the lane into the field opposite which was the venue for Headstock. An articulated trailer was being used as a stage; and there were marquees put up serving beer, cider and hot drinks. As we arrived on that Saturday afternoon with rain threatening, the first band were sound checking….
The Muddy Broad Blues Band are a local five-piece outfit that have apparently been together for five years or so now. They played a two-part set of fine classic Blues numbers by various greats of the genre: ‘Baby what you want me to do?’; ‘Watch yourself’; ‘Before you accuse me’; ‘Key to the highway’; ‘It hurts me too’; and one of my all time favourites, ‘Hoochie coochie man’. I had a nice little chat with some of the members of the band and their manager after the first set.
But with the rain beginning to come down, and with the baby getting cold, we decided to decamp for the day, vowing to return on the morrow. As we left, the Muddys were starting their second set which sounded as good as the first. A shame we had to go, but needs must.
Arriving at the venue on the Sunday, with rain threatening again, my dog was immediately attacked by a monstrously large English Mastiff, allowed to run loose by a woman who explained afterwards that the brute was ‘normally a poppet’! ‘Poppet’ or not, it took myself, my son-in-law, and a brave fellow punter to pull the beast off poor old Jasper! He was unharmed however, although a little shaken; and the ‘Poppet’ was incarcerated in the woman’s car. Not a good start! (My thanks to to the unknown bloke who helped out). But as I’ve said before: that’s Rock’n’Roll… you never know what’s going to happen next!
The Georgia Shackleton Trio had just begun their set as all this kerfuffle was going on; so I didn’t get my head around their music for a short while. The three describe themselves as playing ‘…a blend of Folk, Americana and self-penned material’. The way I understand it, Georgia and her boys had stepped in to replace the scheduled band Sacred Nations who had cancelled at the last minute.
The trio played a fine selection of both their own and traditional songs – mainly those from their album The Dog Who Would Not Be Washed; such as ‘Coal Tattoo’; ‘The Devil And The Farmers Wife’; ‘Lonesome George’; Molly Vaughn’; War Pigeon’; Little Rabbit’; and the album’s title track. I’ll be saying more about these songs when I review the album – which Georgia kindly gave me whilst we had a chat after the set – very shortly. (Look out for this on my website soon). It was a good set, something different, and I enjoyed it.
The Macarnos are a three-piece acoustic outfit. They were set up in the beer tent; which I didn’t think was a good idea because it started raining and everyone was trying to squeeze in to see them, and there just wasn’t enough room. They were good though. They describe themselves as playing ‘…upbeat covers and original music’. We heard them play some fine contemporary covers, but couldn’t stick around any longer due to the weather turning grim again.
Its a shame I couldn’t spend more time at this nice little festival as I quite enjoyed it (aside from dog fights and rain that is!) The music, beer and grub that we sampled were all good; and the pub staff were welcoming and friendly. There was a great variety of musical genres from other bands/artists on the bill over the three days that I unfortunately didn’t get to see. I think all were fairly local bands. They included Jude Garrod; Chasing Tigers; Carly Ryder; Mammal Not Fish; Felix Simpson; Sam Coe & TLS; The Misfit Collective; Vic Allen; and Addison’s Uncle… the majority I’d not heard of before, but I’d have liked to have seen and learnt something about them. I believe Headstock is an annual event, so if you find yourself in the vicinity of East Norfolk it could be worth getting along there next year. I certainly will if I’m in that neck of the woods myself. But please only take your dog if he’s under control! My thanks to all concerned. PTMQ.
I attended a similar little festival – Hadfest – in Hertfordshire recently (see my article# 113)