Words & Images by Kieran Webber
Boardmasters 2018 had a huge variety of acts gracing it’s many stages this year with something to tickle everyone’s musical taste buds.
Across 5 days there was something for everyone, with world class DJ’s dropping the biggest of tunes to a variety of bands storming stages at Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay. This year also saw the addition of acts throughout the town of Newquay with their TR7 Sessions.
However, at CLUNK our main focus was the array of fantastic bands that wer littered across the main festival site at Watergate Bay, particularly the Net Loft and The Land Of Saints Stages. With that in mind here are our top 5 performances of Boardmasters 2018.
Feeder – Land Of Saints Stage
The alt-rock band have been gracing the stages of festivals across the country for many years now, making them bonafide veterans. In fact they have graced the stage of Boardmasters several times across their career. Each time I have seen Feeder live I have always been greatly satisfied by their performance but this set was a real standout for me. It was a real dream setlist playing most if not all their standout tracks from their discography. Tracks such as ‘Come Back Around’, ‘Buck Rogers’, ‘Just A Day’ and closing with the anthemic ‘High’ that was belted out by the full Land Of Saints tent.
It was great to see the band play with such passion, with big grins across their faces it was clear they were having a great time. The audience fully reacted to this showing their appreciation at the end of each track and singing along to every song. I walked away feeling like I was genuinely in a moment, it was very special.
Saint Agnes – The Net Loft
The second time I have been lucky enough to see the rising London rock outfit Saint Agnes in Cornwall, and it was not a disappointment. They unleashed their barrage of riffs, solos and rock ‘n’ roll swagger upon the unexpecting, somewhat docile crowd that was inhabiting The Net Loft. It wasn’t long until the audience started to stand up and take notice, although they still didn’t get the crowd they deserved. Nevertheless, they still put on a wild show that boasted their western, rock infused sound that is of a similar ilk to The Dead Weather.
The Horrors – Land Of Saints Stage
Some people may not relise that The Horrors have actually played Boardmasters in the past, specifically when their sound was a lot different. In the days of when they were a jagged edged, horror-punk outfit they played down at Fistral Beach in a tiny tin hut. Since then the band have blossomed into something truly beautiful and unique. Their Boardmasters set was something of a dream, playing a variety of tracks from their discography. Across their set they were nothing but shadows meandering behind a wall of purple and white lights with the occasional flailing from guitarist Josh.
They opened with the pulsing ‘Hologram’ that set the ethereal tone for the rest of the set, this was followed ‘Machine’ but it wasn’t until ‘Who Can Say’ that the band really came alive. However, the standout track has to be ‘Sea Within A Sea’, a personal favourite that when played live is a sight to behold. This was closely followed by ‘Still Life’ an anthemic, arm raiser that saw the audience belting the chorus back towards the stage. They ended with the very apt ‘Something To Remember Me By’, which was truly electric, the audience certianly won’t be forgetting that performance.
Gengahr – The Land Of Saints Stage
One of my favourite discoveries of Boardmasters and possibly 2018, these young lads create music of an untamable beauty. Gengahr harness a melodic, harmonic bout of indie rock that is delightfully infectious. They were a stand out act across the festival and I have no doubt that they will soon be one of the most sought after live bands in the UK.
FEET – The Net Loft
FEET came as a complete breath of fresh air for me at Boardmasters, at this point I hadn’t seen any bands really going for it and having a visibly fun time. Thankfully FEET changed that. Their surf-rock/garage rock sound blew the cobwebs off The Net Loft Stage. It may have been raining, there may have been some technical problems but these likely lads came and put on a very memorable show.
Special mention goes to Everything Everything and Friendly Fires, whom took us completely by surprise with their anthemic and beautiful sets. Although not massive fans we walked away completely mesmerised by their performances. For anyone that gets the opportunity to see them live be sure you go!