Glaston-Bury, Bury, UK
29th August 2016
Glaston-Bury is now in it’s ninth year, from day one it’s objective was to promote local music whilst raising funds for Bury Hospice. This annual event has grown steadily since it’s inception, which started at a single venue in it’s inaugural year, and it now takes over the whole town centre with every venue, and two outdoor stages, playing host to every conceivable type of music and it now promotes bands from the across the North West of the UK. This brings us to the reason for my attendance, I’ve been meaning to catch Lancashire trio Faster Than Bulls for some time now, by chance they are playing the Glaston-Bury music festival, sadly I can’t be there for the whole day but I ensure that I arrive there early for the Faster Than Bulls set.
After I’ve collected my pass I discover there are a few technical issues at Wyldes, one of the venues participating in Glaston-Bury, which means Faster Than Bulls will be playing later in the afternoon than expected, so I get the chance to explore and see who else is playing. As I’m wandering the streets of Bury I note that a troop of Stormtoopers is wandering the streets, and into the venues, the police are having their pictures taken with some elderly punks, the sun is shining and Glaston-Bury appears to be a friendly event where there is something for pretty much everyone, but obviously I’m here seeking out the punkier elements that are populating the line up and it’s not long before something catches my attention.
As I walk past the Two Tubs, a venue where I saw punk bands a long time ago, I hear what sounds like a promising noise so I head on in. Lancashire hardcore band Corned Beef are playing, despite the early slot they have attracted a respectable crowd that is made up of those of us who are here for the noisier elements of Glaston-Bury. They incorporate reggae and ska into their intense sound and they make an appropriately noisy start to the day, their set veers between some heavy dub bass, ska fuelled skanking and full blooded hardcore. The sun is out in Bury and temperature in the small venue is rising, Corned Beef‘s drummer is visibly wilting as their set draws to a close and they announce that their final number is a cover, what it’s a cover of I have no idea as it’s played at breakneck speed and it brings their frenetic set to a close.
I wander back to Wyldes in the sunshine to see how the technical issues are progressing and pleasingly they have been addressed and I arrive as the The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment take the stage. They are a cross generational band that to my ears incorporate elements of bands from they heyday of the UK punk scene such as X-Ray Spex and The Slits, but also later American bands such as Tilt. The incorporate heavy dub bass lines into their sound alongside the punk elements and they seem to be born out of the original ethos of the punk movement. The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment are unique amongst the punk bands I’ve seen this year, they are original, intriguing and as their name indicates highly experimental.
Faster Than Bulls are the reason I was originally tempted over to Bury for this one day genre spanning event. Their sound invokes shades of Therapy? and they play a brief but impressive set not only to those in the venue, but as every door and window is open to provide some relief from the summer heat, to a fair section of Bury town centre including families enjoying an ice cream, half a dozen Stormtroopers and the Police, who incidentally appear to be getting on famously with each other. In the year we lost David Bowie it’s surprising that this is the first band I’ve heard play one of his songs, they play The Man Who Sold The World and whilst they stay faithful to the original they play an interpretation that incorporates their own darker style into the song. Faster than Bulls end their set with their powerful zombie trilogy, the first time it’s been played live in it’s entirety, and during a the second act, the impressive Soul Survivor, a Stormtooper makes his way to the front of the stage and has a brief but enthusiastic pogo, not something you’re likely to see at their future concerts.
Sadly prior engagements now take me away from Glaston-Bury, the three bands I’ve seen have all been impressive and the relaxed atmosphere that seems to permeate the town makes me wish I could stay longer. As I make my way through the streets of Bury it seems that every bar and venue in the town has live music emanating from it, every genre seems to be represented, alcohol is flowing, aided by the scorching temperatures that are unusual for an English bank holiday, and on the basis of my afternoon I would say that whatever your taste in music then there will be something for you. There’s a fair bet I’ll be returning next year, and as this event has raised over £100000 for a worthy cause it’s really hard to find fault with Glaston-Bury.
Corned Beef‘s Bandcamp can be found here
The Johnnie Squizzercrow Experiment‘s web presence can be found here
Faster Than Bulls Facebook page can be found here
The Glaston-Bury website can be found here
You can visit, and donate, to Bury Hopsice, here