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The Vicar’s Picnic 2017 Reviewed

The delightful The Vicar’s Picnic has a very wide ranging appeal

The Vicar’s Picnic 2017 was a delight, and the 3,000+ audience comprised the widest range of ages, with everyone clearly having a fantastic time, either watching the bands, sampling the food and drink, checking out the comedy or poetry or simply relaxing on the grass having a chat with family and friends.

Photos © Sara-Lou Bowrey
Photos © Sara-Lou Bowrey

With a festival fan base made up largely of people in their late forties and early fifties a set of Mod classics delivered by From the Jam definitely hit the spot on the first night of this year’s instalment of The Vicar’s Picnic.

From the Jam - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey
From the Jam - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey

And the festival was also onto a winner when, as the sun began to set, Tom Hingley and the Kar-Pets belted out a brilliant collection of timeless tunes from Tom’s Inspiral Carpets days.

Tom Hingley - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey
Tom Hingley - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey

Over at the big top, Glass Peaks were on hand to bring some quality indie action to proceedings, following hot on the heels of Rudy Warman and the Heavyweather – who had electrified the tent with their original roots/blues/funk/psyche fusion.

There was more blistering psychedelic blues up on the main stage courtesy of Walrus, who are something of a supergroup of the genre and a bit of a coup for the festival.

Walrus - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey
Walrus - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey

Funke and the Two Tone Baby took indoor duties and didn’t pull any punches for a man facing a 500 mile drive and two more festivals over the next 24 hours, but his loop-pedal mastery was as on point as ever and the crowd loved every second. It won’t be long before he takes his rightful place on the main stages at many of the events he has graced over the last few years.

Funke and the Two Tone Baby - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey
Funke and the Two Tone Baby - Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey

And earlier in the day the sun shone down happily on the main stage as The Devil’s Cut Combo elevated the festival mood with a service of boogie-woogie original gems as Days are Done chilled the mood with their set of soulful country-styled Americana.

Overall, this little festival has a good ratio of quality acts and and variety to ticket price, with a friendly family atmosphere, decent beers at sensible prices, and is easily accessible from London or the surrounding areas.

It's not an event that’s geared up to wow the teenagers, but for more mature audiences or those with young kids it’s spot on.

Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey
Photo © Sara-Lou Bowrey

The Vicar's Picnic is one of those organic festivals that’s grown up from a back-garden party and taken on a life of its own. It’s developed a loyal annual fanbase and doesn't overstretch itself. 

The quality of the music for 2017 couldn't be faulted – look out for 2018 tickets coming on sale and grab yours early.

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John Bownas
14th July 2017
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The Vicar’s Picnic 2017 Reviewed
The Vicar's Picnic

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