Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury
The real gold is further down the bill, from the angelic vocals of Circuit des Yeux to the distortion of Wu-Lu and the Vegas showman meets tropical funk of Perfume Genius
All festivals have a USP: Reading, for instance, is an assault course marking the end of childhood; Boomtown is a purpose-built warehouse party in the English countryside for those too scared to visit an actual warehouse. Dorset’s End of the Road vibrates between its initial incarnation as a comfy Americana jamboree and, more recently, the UK’s most exciting and diverse medium-sized festival.
Ignore the inclusion of the mystifyingly popular “they’re selling cowboy hats in Urban Outfitters, man” prog stars Khruangbin as first-night headliners: the real gold is further down the bill. Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr sings like an angel, albeit an angel as described in the Book of Ezekiel – a four-faced, four-winged harbinger of destruction with a baritone that could beach a pod of whales and a falsetto that could calve icebergs. At the set climax she unleashes the dream weapon: a cover of Double Dare by Bauhaus.
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