Review: Sunflowerfest 2017 – Day Two

So, we all had sore backs and wet socks and glitter in every nook and cranny from the night before but everyone queued for coffee (or beer) ready to get day two of Sunflowerfest underway.  Day one was incredibly diverse and action filled so our hopes were soaring high. 

With so much going on it’s so easy to forget about all the activities going on around the farm.  Day two was a perfect day to go exploring and see what there was on offer.  There was East Broadway’s rendition of Little Shop of Terrors in the forest, community tribal drummers, poetry readings in the Heverlee tent, Crafty Belfast Hairdressing and so much more.  But, back to what we do best and that is to discuss the music!

Sunflowerfest 2017

The Main Stage was on fire with every single act that took to it being astounding.  The first main headliners of the day were Derry band Lavengro.  Their take of pop rock with an amalgamation of funk thrown in was just what we needed to waken up.  Their crowd interaction and flair on stage got everyone revved up and had us dancing around as though it were still the night before.  Their indie vibes and unique sound fitted in perfectly to the main stage billing as they were ones that you would not forget in a hurry.

Next to grace the coveted stage was Irish/German band Monkeeman.  These guys have been going since 1999 and their 60s mod style has become their staple.  Emerging onto the stage in their casual clothes and sunglasses they looked as though this was ‘just another day at the office’.  When they started playing, however, we were blown away with their tracks such as “Great Escape” and “Pressure”.  The guys boast musical influences such as The Who and The Jam; this was incredibly evident in their performance as they seemed like they could have slipped into a festival in the 60s and blended right in.  The thing that made the performance all the more special was when they stated they had come over from Germany for this performance.  I for one am incredibly glad that they did.

Monkeeman – Main Stage

Changing the tone of the entire Main Stage yet again, we welcomed English band The Winachi Tribe.  Founded only 2 years ago, The Winachi Tribe have established a cult following with video collaborations with talent such as Keith Allen and Tommy Flanagan.  Their mixture of electronic funk alongside hip hop simply shouldn’t work but somehow it does, and it’s fantastic.  Their set had the crowd enthralled and dancing in the mud with beers flying around.  It was a fabulous vibe as dusk was just about to set in and everyone was gearing up for the night ahead.  Having something that you can dance to but is still incredibly chilled out seems to be a talent for The Winachi Tribe.

The Winachi Tribe – Main Stage

Just when you think you know what Sunflowerfest is all about… You finally know where all the loos are, where to get your beer and the quickest route for a crafty portion of chips.  Then, The Twisted Sisters make an appearance and everything becomes alien again.  The amazing duo took to the Campfire stage on Saturday evening and the best word to sum it up is wow.  In their brightly coloured tutus, plaited hair, glitter and hip flasks they brought a huge element of fun to the days acts.  With lyrics such as “I don’t want to die in big knickers” and “I could live on chips and Guinness and the odd cup of tea”, the sister’s mixture of folk and humour was received astonishingly well by the crowd.  Everyone at the campfire was singing and dancing – their aim on social media was to “crank the craic up to 90” and they did this faultlessly.

The Twisted Sisters – Campfire

Act of the day

Let’s be honest with ourselves here, how could Rubberbandits not be the act of the day?  There was so much hype around their performance that you could hear people talking about it throughout the day.  The Irish duo successfully combine hip hop and humour to make them one of the most memorable acts you’ll ever see.  Oh yeah, and they wear plastic bags on their head.

The duo strolled on stage in their usual attire of tracksuit bottoms, tops optional and the crowd went instantly wild.  Their banter started instantly as they antagonised the crowd and got the energy rising out of everyone.  They gave the crowd exactly what they wanted with songs such as “I Wanna Fight Your Father” and “Horse Outside”.

The Rubberbandits – Main Stage

Their entire set was like an incredible narrative from start to finish.  A massive highlight was the appearance of the infamous puppet of Gabriel Byrne.  The anticipation was rife with everyone as we knew what was coming. They decided to sing the entire song “Fellas” with the puppet, mimicking the music video for the track.  It was true talent to not only have everyone singing and dancing but also laughing until it hurt.

The Rubberbandits – Main Stage

Rubberbandits were my personal highlight of day two and were worth coming to Sunflowerfest to see that performance alone.  Plastic bags, flipping off the crowd, puppets and crude humour – what more do you want in a main headliner?

Click on the photo below to view more images by Chris McGuigan:

Sunflowerfest 2017 - The Bands