Cotton Clouds Festival, Saddleworth, August 16/17 2019


Unfortunately the weather put a bit of a dampener on Friday nights festivities but the rain eventually eased off soon after I finally entered the gates. It did take a lot longer than anticipated to get our photo pass sorted though so I only saw 2 bands before heading home.

Nevertheless, 90’s indie band Ash played a fantastic set packed full of hits like Oh Yeah, Girl From Mars, Shining Light and Burn Baby Burn on the main stage before the headliners Peter Hook And The Light. For me it was a slow burner but as soon as they started playing New Order tracks like Regret, Blue Monday and True Faith the crowd were really into it and Joy Divisions Love Will Tear Us Apart created an epic atmosphere and had the whole crowd singing along.

Saturday was a much brighter, sunny day and the place was bustling with families having fun when we arrived. Patawawa were on the main stage, full of energy and great electronic disco tunes for the youngsters. Unfortunately the next act on the main stage, Oh My God It’s The Church, were totally inappropriate for a child friendly festival in my opinion. From the start they used very blue language and referred to sex, drink and drugs too, and although they acknowledged there were 5 year olds on the front row it didn’t seem to curb their language.

We saw many families with young children leave the grounds as this act was on, which was a shame for them as the group was very entertaining for adults and went down a storm.
There were all the usual food stalls, pizza, hot dogs, burgers, toasties etc and bars to keep everyone fed and watered but I feel the single use tumblers were not promoted strongly enough and even though it is recycled there was far too much plastic in use.

To keep the children entertained there was arts and crafts, singing and dancing and a carnival parade of drummers and giants which made their way through the crowd before the last act.
As well as the main stage there were 2 tents which were always jam packed. Acts in the tents included Mark Radcliffes Une, Tim Burgess of The Charlatans and Hyde Park Brass.

The House And Garage Orchestra were next on the main stage, bringing some old dance classics back to life with an array of singers. There really is something for everyone at Cotton Clouds but the next act was the one for me.

The Reverend And The Makers never disappoint and it’s non stop bangers right from the off, the crowd bouncing to tracks Out Of The Shadows, Bassline, He Said He Loved Me, Heavyweight Champion Of The World, Open Your Window, Miss Brown and finishing with the party anthem Silence Is Talking. The final act of the festival was the late Bob Marleys band The Wailers and singer Josh David was outstanding amongst the original members. Despite being dark and cold you couldn’t help feeling transported to the carribean with songs I Shot The Sheriff, Three Little Birds and all the other songs you would expect to be played.

On the whole I didn’t enjoy it as much as last year but I saw a lot of people who were having fun. I guess when there is such an eclectic line up its not going to hit the spot 100% of the time.



Philip Goddard

Back to top