Green Man Festival – Sunday Day 3 Bands Watched = Zun Zun Egui, Camera Obscura, She Keeps Bees, Josie Long (Comedian), James Yuill, Ian Cognito (Comedian), Wilco Highlight = Dirty Three’s stage banter. Down Point = Ian Cognito parading his winky. I hate to say it but Sunday was definitely the day I was least excited about. Not only was the prospect of leaving Green Man (and to a lesser extent, Wales) bad enough, the standard of bands playing seemed merely average compared to the other days. Yet, as soon as Zun Zun Egui hit the stage, confronted by the lethargic, overcast Sunday morning crowd, any disheartened feelings evaporated. I’m not personally familiar with the ‘Tropical’ genre, but if it’s always represented in such a fun, entertaining way, then I for one am a fan. It is a rare sight to see such a genuinely exciting performance. Reminiscent of Yeasayer, Egui's music is an inspiring fusion of African tribal rhythms, subterranean vocal phrasing and math rock influence. Records Rock Scotland seems to be full of loads of traditions that I can’t stand – haggis, Glasgow grins, bagpipes (etc, etc) but one thing that I will always hold dear to my heart is twee pop. Camera Obscura undoubtedly write good pop songs, full of lush melodies and cutesy Scottish accents. Yet despite their upbeat, euphoric music, the members seemed uninterested- not even their smart clothes and accent could pull them through this time. Luckily, it didn’t matter; Camera Obscura have an impressive catalogue of beautiful, delicate pop songs. As much as they (and i) would like, they’re certainly no Belle and Sebastian, but with fantastic songs like “Lloyd, I’m ready to be heartbroken” who cares. Camera Afterwards, I walked around Green Man festival site with an empty, hopeless feeling that reminded me of boxing day. I decided that I would go and explore in search of new exciting band (I’m so indie…) But then I found She Keeps Bees. I’d vaguely heard of the hype Brooklyn boy/girl duo, but I can safely say that on seeing them live, I would be happy never to hear them again. Besides, since when has blues-rock ever been a good thing? To round it off, they ended their set with a song composed of entirely singing and drums…enthusiastic performance, but ultimately awful. Dull name, dull music, dull band. I walked away a bitter taste in my mouth. But after stumbling across the showcase from Scottish D.I.Y Label The Fence Collective I soon felt better. Pictish Trail saw the two label owners Kenny Anderson, King Creosote and several of their friends play their brand of humble indie-pop together. The band was clearly having fun – their set was littered with masks and jokes which set against strong, intelligent songwriting made for an enjoyable change. Scotland Before that cold, overcast Sunday evening, I would have grimaced at the prospect of having to stand through 45 minutes of violin-led instrumental music, but luckily epic Melbourne-based Dirty Three obliterated any doubtful feelings. Their set was an apocalyptic barrage of noise and intensity. Every aspect of the band was enrapturing- from front man Warren Ellis’ high kicks to their forceful atmospheric post rock. Yet at times I couldn’t help but find myself becoming impatient for songs to end – although whether that is a testament to his capability for making captivating banter, or the tedium of some of their songs I’m not sure. Indeed, Dirty Three certainly delivered one the best visual performances; interest was derived from Ellis’ unusual gypsy-like appearance and perverse sense of humour (his first utterance was that “It’s great to be back in Scotland”). I suppose it is this dynamism that is so important for an otherwise unengaging instrumental band at a festival. For me, Dirty Three exemplify a band you’d enjoy to watch live, but not listen to on a CD. Dirty Three Weary of 3 days of music, and uninspired by the headlines, I decided to check out some comedy. I suppose It is a shame that a comedians success is gauged on how many panel shows they appear on, rather than their comic talent; but luckily Josie Long is a comedian that can combine both. Her performance is endearingly honest and unlike other comedians I have seen, appeared effortless. Indeed, there seemed to be no ‘act’ as such, rather a smooth succession of topics that she explored. Her awkwardness and occasional clumsy delivery did begin to become frustrating after a while, but ultimately her faults were overshadowed by her ‘cuteness’ – after all, how could you ever criticise such an unimposing woman with such endearing mannerisms and a bob-haircut? Far out By the evening, I was still undecided as to whom I would see – and with the choice of Hawkwind and Wilco that is no real testament to Green Man’s Sunday lineup. After standing through several of singer songwriter James Yuill‘s dull clichéd geek-synth songs I waited for festival closers Wilco to come on stage. 5 piece Americana veteran’s Wilco, are certainly no newcomers to headlining festivals, but with such an extensive back catalogue of average music I was skeptical. Despite the average demographics of the core audience (I can’t bring myself to use the phrase ‘dad rock’) and having suffered the first rain of the festival, Wilco delivered a surprisingly enjoyable, at a risk of sounding uncool, fun. Despite them being plagued by the atrocious sound for the first few songs, their powerful sound and proficient musicianship became more prominent. But needless to say, after 17 songs the set became increasingly wearisome. Wilco So, that was it for my Green Man 2009 experience. Like a true romantic I decided to explore the site one last time, stumbling across fireworks, the blue beat boxing man and the setting alight of the Green Man. My last memory of the festival was confrontational headline comedian Ian Cognito. Playing on his sleazy deprived lifestyle for much of his comedy, ‘Ian’ delivered a slick entertaining set. As if his angry, right wing views and crude one-liners weren’t shocking enough, his reaction to a mother concerned about his excesses in front of the (obnoxious) children sitting at the front, was to whip his ‘package’ out and parade it 5 meters in front of them. So there it was, my last memory of the festival…Poor taste and public exposure aside, Green Man was a winner, and probably the best and only reason to visit Wales.