Beacons Festival - cow © Kate Goodacre, 2012

Beacons 2012 Festival Clockwatch: Friday, August 17

12.00: Good afternoon Beacons! You're looking nice today, and it's a pleasure to be here after last year didn't quite happen. As with any new festival site, it takes a little while for your correspondent to get her bearings, but this comes remarkably quickly. Set in seemingly endless beautiful Yorkshire countryside, the site is long and narrow - particularly the camping area - and straddles a small stream, but it's still fairly easy to find your way around. As someone who frequently gets lost at festivals, this shouldn't be too much of an issue this weekend. KG

13.40: One of the Motel's party has embraced the fact that today is fancy dress day and is dressed as a maharajah (well, a maharajah who is also wearing jeans and wellies and packing a first-rate waterproof in case of any sudden downpours), and regales us with the entertaining tale of how he bartered for his get-up during a recent trip to India. KG

Beacons Festival - main stage atmosphere © Kate Goodacre, 2012

Beacons Festival - main stage atmosphere © Kate Goodacre, 2012

14.20: Antibang may not be everyone's cup of tea musically, but look past the matching monochrome outfits and curious face-paint and you'll see a tight, bloody entertaining live band. Never judge a book by its cover, etc etc. They possess the same rambunctious party spirit as Los Campesinos! or Johnny Foreigner, topped off with lashings of natural charisma and plenty of noisy percussion. Crowd reactions transform from a slightly baffled 'eh?' at the start of their set to a full on rave-up during the last song. What a great start to festivities. KG

15.20: Whatever's going on in the Vice/Noisey tent now reminds the Motel +2 of 2001 or 2002, and ultimately does not prove captivating. The heavens look like they're about to open, and after another quick recce of the site - including plans to stage some sort of mini-Olympics in the vicinity of the inflatable fairground during the weekend - it's time for a quick pit stop before Veronica Falls. KG.

16.00: The Motel's fancily-dressed companion is asked if somebody may touch his headgear, before another passing punter refers to him as 'The Turbanator'. I see what you did there. KG

16.30: Veronica Falls are good, and indeed worthy of the positive praise they've had from other Motel contributors in the past year or so, but do little to make themselves stand out from the myriad of similar acts. Truth be told, they do appear to be hampered by sound difficulties during the early numbers, but it's a competent rather than thrilling set. KG

Veronica Falls © Kate Goodacre, 2012

Veronica Falls © Kate Goodacre, 2012

17.40: Time for a little of Submotion Orchestra before the arrival of Benjamin, my reviewing partner in crime for the weekend. The band come highly recommended by occasional Motel contributor Arj (also present this weekend), and the dramatic, film noir-esque opening is simply magical. The overall sound is stunning - so many layers binding together to hold your attention and, at times, completely consume you. It's a battle to tear myself away before the end, but duty calls. KG

18.00: Upon arriving via two trains, a taxi and a meandering hike along lonely lanes, the most striking thing about Beacons Festival is its serene rural location. For a lifelong urbanite, such an opportunity to glimpse the world through green tinted spectacles is well worth both the journey and ticket price combined. The party began on Thursday evening, so those with nine to five commitments like myself have plenty of catching up to do. After setting up camp and swigging back a litre of amaretto and cranberry in personal best time, it's time to step straight into the action. BT

Beacons Festival - cow © Kate Goodacre, 2012

Beacons festival - cow © Kate Goodacre, 2012

19.30: Having only heard Jessie Ware from a distance as a result of an unplanned diversion (and thus feeling unable to pass accurate judgement), opinions from those who were there vary wildly. Arj will later tell us that he feels she "didn't live up to my lofty expectations", while Joe (younger brother of Motel founding contributor Shaun) observes that he was suitably impressed. KG

20.00: I arrive precisely as DFA Records' latest protégés Factory Floor depart. Which is unfortunate, because based solely on the strength of its intensely rhythmic final moments, their performance would have been well worth catching in its entirety. BT

Mount Kimbie © Kate Goodacre, 2012

Mount Kimbie © Kate Goodacre, 2012

21.15: Mount Kimbie were one of the surprise highlights of In the City in Manchester two years ago, uniting fans of all genres at a beautifully-restored Band on the Wall with some brooding, bass-heavy numbers. Tonight, the band's set leans towards the more upbeat end of their repertoire, and each musical peak is greeted with an intensely positive reaction, crowd soaring in sync with the beats. And all of this from two unassuming young men in sensible shirts and jumpers. Who'd have thought it? KG

23.00: Having travelled for over two hours across the Pennines, it's almost disappointing to discover that tonight, it's Manchester's most promising new electronic musicians who have seized control of the Greendales stage. Hoya Hoya's Jon K, a stalwart of my hometown's nightclubs, warms up the crowd with Diplo-style globetrotting hip-hop mixes before D/R/U/G/S takes to the stage. Tonight, as always, this one-man band employs intricate live sampling techniques to create a rare depth of sound indebted to classic house and techno records which he himself is too young to remember. BT

words by Kate Goodacre and Benjamin Thomas
all pictures by Kate Goodacre

www.greetingsfrombeacons.com
@beaconsfest