Erm. How exactly is it August already? Either way we are unequivocally knee-deep in festival season – sometimes physically knee-deep in the mud due to the rather erratic elements (an observation about the weather, how British) but, in this rather overcrowded market, the unsung heroes of the festie season are definitely the home-grown affairs. The manageable crowds, the non-inflated ticket prices, seeing bands on intimate stages: none can be appreciated better then at this year’s LeeFest. Started in 2006 by one Lee Denny, he decided (in a move that wouldn’t seem out of place in an 80’s teen comedy caper) to host a festival in his back garden whilst his parents were away on holiday. Cut to 6 years later and the festival has grown exponentially, moving away from the trimmings of the back garden to Highams Hill Farm just outside of London.

The two day event starts this Friday and its re-cock-ulously good line-up includes British Sea Power, The Young Knives, Fenech Soler, Dinosaur Pile Up, The Whip, Little Comets, Dutch Uncles, King Charles and the amazing Stagecoach – plus many, many others. However, despite bringing in the big guns for this year’s festival, LeeFest is also dedicated to new and up-and-coming talent (the very first festival included a performance by Ellie Goulding producer extraordinaire Starsmith). Among the fresh display of talent is the rather brilliant unsigned Professor Penguin. I know what you’re thinking – ‘Oh great, another band with penguin in the title’ – but don’t think that (okay, well do think that, because you’d be right) but Professor' stick their heads above the precipice of penguin-related acts with a gentle infusion of lovely folk and pop-like elements. In a similar vein to Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. (who also dons the main stage during the festival), just listen to the excellent ‘Pilot’ (free download of which below): Lush trumpets instantly fanfare its arrival, which then descend into lovingly-produced Tuung-esque guitars and soft vocal; it’s a testament to LeeFest’s ability to source the best of its local talent.

Tucked away in a quiet little corner, far removed from the corporate-heavy bigger festivals, this charitable event is truly something special and even if the bands fall flat on their faces (Very unlikely. I’m yet to see The Young Knives put a foot wrong. Have you listened to their new album yet? No of course you haven’t, you snotty scenester – go and check it out. They’ve still got it.) you’re still surely to be won round by the large doses of charm this festival has to offer. Having attended for the first time last year I can testify to that.

Weekend tickets are £55 (inc camping) and are available from the website ( now.

Professor Penguin Free Download: