Knee Deep Festival, based in a field just outside of Saltash, is an idyllic festival with a real sense of community and welcoming atmosphere. With a circle of crate-chairs for hang outs, a whole tent dedicated to arts and crafts (shoes off please), yoga sessions and a colourful and exciting line up, the festival decided to have its final year be a big one.
My first experience of Knee Deep was in 2012, I had noticed the line up featured the New York born folk singer/songwriter, Willy Mason, was in attendance.Beingafanfor years, and never imagining the opportunity to ever come so close to my door as this, immediately snapped up a ticket. That year was an incredible experience, with other acts including Tall Ships and Jon Phonics, and KD 2014 didn’t disappoint.
My Friday kicked off fairly early, with a rainy coach ride from Plymouth Train Station, to a field by a farm, full of tents. After setting up the tent in the drizzle and making festival friends, the sun began to shine and that’s when Knee Deep truly hypnotises you.
With the loud riffs delivered by Eagulls to the tribal beats of Flamingods, there was something that everyone could dance to, and the party continued in the Jam tent later on in the evening. With a stand up piano, sofas and hammocks outside should you need a power nap, there were only friendly faces in the crowd. Plymouth based musical collective, Lightworks kept their grooves going late into the night, but by that point, I must admit I had found myself distracted by the teepee with the fairy lights.
After a quick coffee, a spray of dry shampoo and a vigorous tooth brushing to get rid of any wine stains, and my saturday had begun. It’s definitely an idea to take some extra money to make the most of Knee Deep’s dining options. With everything from vegetarian savoury crepes, to pulled pork wraps, there’s something to satisfy even the fussiest eater. That however, is not me. Even after dipping into some pot noodles, I couldn’t say no to vegetable curry and some cheesy chips at midnight.
Parlour took the first slot on Stage 1, getting the day started on a high with psychedelic vibes and post punk flavours, their infectious rhythms had me excited and inspired. It was a day filled with arts and crafts, hanging out with the neighbours and nursing the hangover in the hammocks, with an evening that followed full of insane talent and new sounds.
Islet, a psychedelic pop four piece, who also red-light as sonic adventurers, connected with the audience with their explosive performance, inviting all that watched them to enter into their world for a brief moment. Kate Tempest followed with a boisterous set, rapping out vivid stories and finishing her encore with a captivating spoken word piece. Dancing into the next day, Koreless topped off the evening with a mixture of cataclysmic dub and ambient electronica, kickstarting the heart beat of the party in time for last party in the Jam tent.
In a hazy blur of flashing lights, tripping over tent guide ropes and overheard giggles in the dark, I eventually found my tent and the welcoming embrace of my sleeping bag.
Easily my favourite festival of the summer, and I’m gutted that this is the end, but I’m sure the fun will continue. Thanks Knee Deep. Peace!