A good start to a festival
The Experimental Pop Band have the Friday lunchtime slot at the New Tent. There’s no big build up of excitement, chanting and the like before the band appear, as would be fitting on the larger stages; people are merely keeping out of the unexpected sun and lounging in their hangovers. The band mingle with the roadies, setting up their own equipment: a sure sign that you are in the New Tent.
As the EPB begin, the crowd is mostly passive, as the crowd tends to be for the earlier performances at the smaller stages. There is, however, a row of people pressed against the barrier whooping and shouting, flying a flag emblazoned with ‘We Love EPB’.
Musically, the band is defined by effeminate bassist, Chris Galvin’s, solid groove style. The interaction between the basslines and the sounds emitted from the keys and samplers creates the majority of the sound while Davey Woodward (guitar and vocals) adds a dark vocal style akin to that of the late Ian Curtis of Joy Division; his deep voice flowing in a melancholy wave across the discotheque groove. This clash of feelings creates an almost menacing air to their songs, particularly noticeable in the line ‘Bang Bang – You’re Dead’.
The guitar is possibly the least essential instrument in today’s set, with Davey Woodward taking a few songs armed with a tambourine rather than his Jazzmaster. He doesn’t waste valuable performance time in talking to the crowd, except to say that ‘the referee was a cunt’ - this did seem to be the feeling of the day.
The Experimental Pop Band are an interesting lot, with a captivating sound, and put on a varied performance in the time they were allowed. Definitely a group to take interest in if you enjoyed the 1980s.