This weekend, the peacocks that roam around Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, received their annual rude awakening from End of the Road, a forward-thinking festival that showcased world-class sets from the likes of Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, Idles, Ezra Furman, Sunflower Bean – and loads, loads more. It was, without a doubt, one of the festival highlights of the summer, a super-chill shindig that paid tribute to cultural icons such as John Cale while also introducing punk newcomers such as Amyl and the Sniffers.
Behold! 15 extraordinary snaps from the extravaganza, including two punks who appear to have experienced some kind of low-level mishap.
Annie Clark headlined on the Friday night, her dazzling show a tongue-in-check affair that saw her adopt robotic dance moves and perform alongside musicians clad in creepy, faceless muppet masks. It was like something from Jim Henson’s nightmares, though the set – drawn largely from 2017’s ‘Masseduction’ – ensure the audience was all smiles.
2Amyl and The Sniffers
Australian upstarts Amyl & the Sniffers performed an early set in the Big Top on the Friday and stuck around to tear the Tipi Tent apart during their late Sunday night secret show. Two sniffs for the price of one!
Nashville singer-songwriter Soccer Mommy delivered a hushed over of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’, bringing the Tipi Tent to a standstill.
And her pal Lindsey Jordan, aka Snail Mail, performed on the same stage on Sunday Night. For the most part, she was assisted by her backing band, but concluded the languid indie rock set alone on the stage – either way, it was a stunner.
Although, unfortunately, bassist Josh Finerty took a tumble, a result of his pop-punk-style dancing.
Positive punk Idles played an incendiary set in the Big Top, with frontman Joe Talbot telling the packed tent: “Long live the open-minded. God bless you lot for investing your money and time in new bands and new ideas.”
In this photo, it looks like Joe might have subbed his toe during the show. What an accident prone bunch these EOTR punks are!
Continuing the subversive flavour to this year’s End of the Road, Copenhagen’s Iceage put on a frenetic and uncompromising performance, with trumpet and violin adding further depth to their dense post-punk.
The New York gang took to the Big Top, singer Julia Cumming imploring the audience to help out with the chorus to ‘Only A Moment’.
“C’mon – can’t you sing in England?” she teased. “LOUDER!” By the end, it seemed like everyone in the venue was screaming along at the top of their lungs.
12Fat White Family
The Brixton filthbags brought their inimitable funk-punk to the Main Stage, their anthems about oral sex and leather fetism drawing an imporbably large audience. You have not lived until you’ve seen a middle-class child called Jonty dancing around to ‘Touch the Leather’.
The Chicago hero was all smiles before his main stage show – and even interviewed his own hero, John Cale from the Velvet Underground, who also performed on the Woods Stage.
Furman was all heart during his wonderful set, dedicating ‘No Place’ to the “world refugee crisis going on right now”. Ezra Furman, with your voice like a ’50s rocker gargling sandpaper, how we love thee.
And, fittingly enough, the weekend belong to headliners Vampire Weekend, who treated their main stage audience to a jubilant greatest hits set that even included a Peter Gabriel cover. Ridiculously fun and totally inclusive, the show epitomised End of the Road 2018.