Lounge on the Farm in Kent has big acts for the headliners, and local Kent bands entertain the crowds during the afternoon.

I can only assume that every­one was suf­fer­ing from mas­sive hang­overs and too much par­ty­ing to Jessie Ware, as on arriv­ing at Lounge on the Farm at noon Sun­day, it all seemed sus­pi­cious­ly qui­et. This pre­sent­ed us with the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to saunter round the Mer­ton Farm site before the day cranked into action.

The site which has report­ed­ly been through some changes, can be divid­ed into three dis­tinct areas: the first is dom­i­nat­ed by the main stage, with bars and food, and a dance tent which looks as if its been ban­ished into a far cor­ner like a naughty child. Lead­ing off down a tree-shad­ed avenue, you arrive at the Mead­ows area with stages dot­ted here and there, a mul­ti­tude of local food stalls, bars and a Vic­to­ri­an fair­ground. Slip through a gap in the trees to the Pad­dock area where there’s a jum­ble of activ­i­ty: the Solar Cin­e­ma, a host of craft and art tents, vin­tage clothes and chil­dren’s activities.

Bar Lotf

Our tran­quil stroll did­n’t last long: with­in the hour there was music waft­ing from tents and a mix of teens, fam­i­lies and chil­dren were surfacing.

First on our list was the Farm Folk stage where the Van Susans were play­ing, one of the many tal­ent­ed young folk-influ­enced bands on the after­noon’s line­up. This Kent-based four piece are gath­er­ing much sup­port local­ly, and some superb vio­lin play­ing by Hol­ly McLatchie give this band an edge, check out their album called Paused in the Moment.

Van Susans
Van Susans at LOTF

Mid after­noon, we were enter­tained by Gen­tle­men of Few, who played num­bers from their new EP. The four-piece played fair­ly tra­di­tion­al blue­grass folk, but they felt fresh and radi­at­ed an unpre­ten­tious love for the genre. Admit­ted­ly it was their ver­sion of the Dylan / Old Crow Med­i­cine Show clas­sic Wag­on Wheel that got every­one to their feet, but once roused, the tent was a joy­ful scene of danc­ing and singing, espe­cial­ly to their first sin­gle This is get­ting old.

Lounge on the Farm is keen to make the fes­ti­val into a food­ie par­adise, and there’s very much a local ‘Made in Kent’ vibe to it all. There were, stereo­typ­i­cal­ly, lots of bare-chest­ed blokes lin­ing up at the organ­ic veni­son and wild boar sausage stall, while I (and appar­ent­ly Sea­sick Steve), opt­ed for the deli­cious veg­e­tar­i­an dosas.

Dosa lotf
The sun was beam­ing down all after­noon, mak­ing the bliss­ful­ly-shad­ed Tea and Sym­pa­thy Moroc­can tent a real plea­sure. Their dou­ble-doorstep sized cher­ry almond cake gets a well-deserved men­tion. Lat­er we ven­tured forth to the very socia­ble and jol­ly Farm­house stage, made of hay bales, where Art Fer­gu­son’s Big Blues Band played an all-out blues set.

Lat­er, Boo­gie Won­der­band touched down, fresh from Secret Gar­den Par­ty – their dis­co set was the per­fect intro to the evening when the biggest-named bands were to start.

So, to the main stage for Aswad – they’ve been play­ing and tour­ing since the 70s, admit­ted­ly with one or two line-up changes, and proved to be a pop­u­lar choice for LoTF. They deliv­ered a strong set to a huge crowd, and closed with an inspir­ing ver­sion of Shine. Their horn sec­tion were superb.


Aswad lotf Aswad 3 lotf

It’s easy to get car­ried away at fes­ti­vals one way or anoth­er, and a pro­longed food and drink excur­sion meant I missed half of Dub Pis­tols – grrr. What I did catch sound­ed amaz­ing. At least there was no way I would miss head­line act Soul II Soul who, open­ing with Keep on Movin’ were excit­ing visu­al­ly, as well as a nos­tal­gic treat for the ears. The three back­ing singers were mes­meris­ing, as were the two vio­lin­ists, and Caron Wheel­er’s voice remains a pow­er­ful and emo­tive force.

Caron Wheeler


Lounge on the Farm has had one or two ups and downs but it has found its niche: a unique­ly relaxed, well-priced and slight­ly quirky fes­ti­val for all ages, with a focus on music, local food and ale. There seemed to be just enough por­taloos on site, a range of bars ensured no queues built up, and the site was well planned, with the stages ade­quate­ly spaced to ensure sound did­n’t leak to oth­er areas.

5 thoughts on “Review: Lounge on the Farm festival, Sunday 2013

  1. Pingback: Three to see in 2014: Simone Felice, Augustines, Police Dog Hogan | Gourmet gigs

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