GREAT FAMILY FRIENDLY FESTIVAL – COTTON CLOUDS

Cotton clouds is a lovely family friendly festival situated in the Saddleworth cricket club grounds, Greenfield. We only attended on the Saturday although this year was extended to Friday night too with acts only on the main stage including Badly Drawn Boy,The Pigeon Detectives and The Lightening Seeds. Saturday started in the afternoon and there were 2 smaller stages in addition to the main stage but the stage times were staggered so no one missed out on them. The site also had 2 bars, afew places to get food ( vegans well catered for) and activities for the kids too ( making sand lanterns looked fun). The line up included afew local bands such as The K’s, Fuzzy Sun, Deja Vega and DJ Mike Sweeneys band The Salford Jets playing in the tents. Unsigned band Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles and Scarlet really suited the main stage, both drawing massive crowds but it wasn’t until Toploader came onstage that the crowd really gathered. Singer Joseph has an incredible voice and stage presence and the rest of the band were on top form. Relatively new song Roll with the punches was very catchy and old songs like Just Hold On and Achilles Heel still sounded fresh but it was the old favourite Dancing in the moonlight that had everyone singing along.

Next up was the band I’d been looking forward to seeing(again) so I kept my front row place and prepared my voice to sing along to every song. Starsailor are an awesome band and James Walsh’s haunting voice still sends chills down the spine.

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All the old hits were played, Alcoholic, Poor Misguided Fool, Four To The Floor, Silence Is Easy, Lullaby, Tie Up Your Hands and Good Souls. The newer songs Listen To Your Heart and Tell Me It’s Not Over were outstanding but it was their rendition of Stone Roses classic hit Waterfall that brought everyone together in a singing frenzy. I wasn’t sure what the large gap was for before the headline act until I saw a huge procession of amazing characters parading through the field.

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Amazing costumes, stilt walking, fire breathing, glow in the dark dancing creatures travelled through the crowd and it was a pretty awesome display. Headlining were the legends Sister Sledge and I can’t honestly believe how well they still look and sound.

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Not really my kind of music but I really enjoyed them as they played all the hits and were extremely entertaining….a great act to end a wonderful day. So to sum it up Cotton Clouds is a well organised and fun family festival in a beautiful place with top notch bands and I am looking forward to going again next year.

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Review by Joanne Marsland

Photos by Philip Goddard

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