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Fair Play Review

Posted by dirty from Cardiff - Published on 02/09/2008 at 16:47
0 comments » - Tagged as Festivals, Topical

WORDS: Yasmin Begum PICS: Anisa Sheikh (Youth Editorial Group)

Dub In The Pub represented the first evening of the three-day Fair Play Festival that took place in the Lanesdown Pub. Half of the proceeds from the festival went to charity and there were War On Want posters in between the art canvases. There were DJs playing the best in dub, reggae and ska, with quite a few people skanking on the dancefloor to such classics as the original Police And Thieves and Althea and Donna's Uptown Top Ranking. Friday night was quiet, but that was understandable as most of the main events were over the weekend.

Saturday was titled Eclectica and saw the festival kick off; the whole day was in its element. There was a great atmosphere throughout the pub and its gardens. The beer garden was offically opened where there was a spray-painted party trailer which had Gogol Bordello playing throughout the day, a film tent showcasing contemporary Welsh films and stalls selling organic food, jewellery and drinks. The opening of the beer garden finally allowed eveybody to see the art that was in the proces of being painted. Some local artists as well as others had spray-painted various walls in and around the pub with high-quality graffiti. Some of the artists were still at work which allowed festivalgoers to see work in the making which was, in all fairness, really interesting. In the skittle alley Pria-Borg Marks' beautiful photographs were on show and Andy O'Rouke had created a spray-paint self-portrait in the trailer park. There was a breathtaking picture of Heath Ledger as The Joker from The Dark Knight that eerily watched over the beer garden next to some other artwork by Nerve & Rarebit.

The day was heaving by the time theSprout got there late afternoon, right in time to see Cardiff-based musicians Bomb Culture. I had heard bad things about them after their perofmance at Q Bar with the Dub Pistols but they gave an impressive performance and drew the crowds in from outside to around the stage area. Bomb Culture took to the stage with their unpredictable energetic dual-vocal electronic, drum and bass and rock mix whilst providing excellent visuals as a back drop to their performance. Kind of reminiscent of Sicknote and The Rhythm Method. They were a refreshing change from some of the other bands that I had seen and both the lead singers interacted well with the crowd. They had stage presence and enjoyed every moment.

Burlesque outfit What The Butler Saw - who describe themselves as "cabaret, peepshow, music and grandeur" - sadly failed to show up, so it was over to the the skittle alley where they were DJs playing a wide range of music from drum and bass to reggae and dub. Habana Flex were next on stage with Latin jazz style music, however they did not capture the audience's attention as well as Bomb Culture.

As the evening went on, a series of musicians and bands such as The Freshness Monsters and Verterbrae Band built up the anticipation for the main-stage headliners, Dirty Revolution. Elsewhere, staff sadly had to close the trailer park and then the beer garden due to the lincensing laws that the council had slapped on the Lanesdown (they're currently appealing this decision and will go to court on 14 Oct). However, at 11 o'clock headliners Dirty Revolution took to the stage. Their unique style of reggae/ska/punk got everybody in the crowd dancing despite the stifling heat. After playing songs such as 50 Pence and I Love Reggae, lead singer Reb Sutton called up members of punk band The Fix Up and Ian from The Melephobes to play a cover of the Clash's Safe European Home, much to the pleasure of the heaving mass of bodies in front of them.

Sunday - Treasure And Tat - was more of a family day. There were kids' workshops on art, stand-up comedians, a bring and buy sale, a snail race, art being sold and relaxing bands such as The Me Me Me's and and Weapons Of Mass Percussion. As day wound down into night, six-piece country/folk outfit Whistling Biscuits finished proceedings with their original melodic sound, and I wondered if this weekend could have been any better, but it probably couldn't.

The Fair Play Festival was a great sucess and certainly put the Lansdowne Pub on the map in Cardiff, let's hope there's another event like this sometime soon.

The festival was organised by www.peacefulprogress.co.uk, who theSprout would like to congratulate on a great event. 

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