There was lots to see, hear and do at Wiki this year. Ocean Colour Scene, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Charlatans, Buzzcocks, Saw Doctors and many more. I spent most of my time in the Acoustic Village with occasional visits to Scooter and Summerisle stages and Axis tent for some dub and reggae. OCS were fine and did a great cover of "Day Tripper" to close.
One of the bands I was looking forward to was Tiny Tin Lady as I saw them here 2 years ago and loved their Indie/Folk/Alt style which was totally different to anything I'd heard before, they looked like a band with a big future then.
But things have changed. Wonder fiddler Kat Gilmore has gone and although they've replaced her with 3 other musos, it doesn't make up for her loss. New drummer Aimee Smith is brilliant though, a real find. The only trouble is that it makes them sound more indie and less interesting, despite her excellent playing, because all those cool, soaring, swooping fiddle/guitar dynamics are gone and they've been replaced by a quite conventional, dull, generic indie sound, that's all a bit KT Tunstall.
The other 2 new arrivals don't do much to help. Sally Street's keyboards are ok, they fill out the sound but her clarinet is pointless and does nothing for the sound, unless you like trad jazz. And I don't. There's brass too played by Jonny (Barber? - sorry I didn't quite catch his name) but it doesn't suit the songs except "7 weeks of strip poker" which sounded great. Both these two need to learn to perform as opposed to just play - when they're not playing, they just stand there.
They played most of the "Ridiculous Bohemia" album (which I own) and it was ok, pretty good, not too shabby and all those kind of phrases we use when we mean so-so. Beth's voice is still great but it's not a rock or indie voice so it was lost in the dull sludge of sound - that's not a comment directed at the sound mix - that was fine.
All in all, disappointing but I'm sure they'll get their groove back. The songs are good and the voices are better so they're too good to write off.
Security was a pain. The smoking Gestapo were kicking people outside for smoking - not just weed but even cigs. Also it was inconsistent - some tents you could smoke in, others threw you out.
Why was the new Acoustic location so near the mainstage? The sound overspill was terrible, nothing but bass, bass, bass. C'mon Wiki, sort it - everyone I spoke too thought it was crap. How hard can it be to get that right? The Village itself was great as always, full of interesting talent and cool people.
What the hell happened at the Buzzcocks gig? Why weren't they on the mainstage? There were massive queues to see them and the so-called security totally failed to control the influx so many didn't get in at all. Too busy looking for smokers to intimidate I suppose.