There is no better feeling than finishing work on the Friday, getting in the car and driving down to what is, in Beat-Herder’s own words, “an orgy of beats and barminess.” For some, this is the highlight of the calendar year and for others, a newly discovered hedonistic circus on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border for which they will return to like pilgrims with glow sticks for the next 20 years. These are the 7 things that made us smile the most from last weekend’s “orgy.”
The Church (Friday night)
The Church on the Friday is an epiphany that normal life does not have to be normal and that the greatest night since the last Beat-Herder has finally landed. This year it has been pimped up by a couple of devoted trumpet and trombone players (see photo) who cheekily added a euphoric brass band dimension to what is essentially an electronic communion of Lancashire mad heads. Hosted by the likes of the Nun DMC DJ Collective with the Biblical Bongo Bitches and Sister Joely back to back with Reverend Razzle, dancing on pughs and paying our respects to the sermon has never been so much fun.
Rudimental (main stage, Friday night)
How on planet Earth the organisers managed to persuade one of the country’s top pop artists to perform in a field half a mile down the road from the Gisburn cattle auction is legendary. Well, they turned up and they turned up with a bang. 5000 people completely lost it to the 3 big ones: Waiting All Night, These Days and Feel The Love. It was 12 months since Orbital completely tore this field apart but boy, was it worth it. Thank you for coming Rudimental – you were pleasantly insane.
Beat-Herder and District Working Men’s Social Club
Saturday afternoon presented us with Beat-Herder’s Got Talent in the BH&DWMSC with a 30 minute set on the main stage at stake. There was no Simon Cowell but the “committee” this year was Captain Hotknives and a bloke and woman from Coronation Street. The acts were quality: a girl singing by banging herself in the chest doing a bit of a Tarzan impression; Legless Lauren doing comedy about prosthetic legs; and the winners, 14 and 15 year olds Amy Staz and Lauren who played a mind blowing rendition of The Cranberries’ Zombie. Way better than the ITV original with those two Geordie lads.
The Ring (Saturday afternoon)
The Ring on the Saturday afternoon was like being on Bora Bora beach in Ibiza minus the sand and airport taxes – skies full of sunshine, girls in bikini tops and DJs with quality tunes. All you needed was some factor 30, a San Miguel and Beat-Herder became Balearic.
Groove Armada (main stage, Saturday night)
Another major coupe by the Beat-Herder chiefs – these guys headline Space in Ibiza and here they are on a Saturday night on a rural patch near Clitheroe. Obviously, the ladies were shaking their asses to I See You Baby whilst the boys were stomping around to Superstylin’. The ability to watch a massive headline set next to a bar selling Bowland Brewery beer is almost worth the 362 day wait until next time.
The Showhawk Duo (Saturday night in The Factory)
These guys are massive on YouTube and totally set the place alight. It was one of those events that, had you not have seen it, you would never have known what a gem had slipped through the net. Two lads, armed only with an acoustic guitar each, playing instrumental versions of mid 90s dance anthems. It was classic after classic after classic and the smiles on the hundreds of ecstatic faces just kept on getting larger and larger and larger – the bigger the smile, the older they were! The Showhawk Duo are a memoir to anyone who partied in Panama Joe’s (legendary Burnley nightclub) in 1997 – it was a total time warp. DJ Quiksilver’s Bellissima, Alice Deejay’s Better Off Alone, Energy 52’s Cafe Del Mar, and Tiesto’s Adagio For Strings – they were all brought together by the mesmerising technical finger pluckin’ genius of The Showhawk Duo. Get them on the main stage next year for everyone to enjoy.
Paul Smith (The Factory, Sunday afternoon)
It happens every year – you wake up late on Sunday morning, can’t be bothered with anything full on and stumble across the comedy stage. Thank the lord we did exactly that this year. Paul Smith had the whole of The Factory in stitches, buckets of tears rolling down everyone’s faces. His whole set was based on an imaginary foursome – him and three birds! Gag that brought the roof down? “So, three girls – where do you start? That’s nine holes – that’s half a golf course!” Check this man out – you’ll thank me later. Haven’t laughed this much in ages.
So that’s it for another year. Thank you Beat-Herder – you really are the best.
Photos: Giles Smith and Andrew Whitton
Published on 29 July 2019 by Duncan Whittaker