Blissful weekend of music in Dorset

First published in Oliver Gray

The Back To Nature vibe of End Of The Road clearly extended this year to the booking policy. Artists included Plants And Animals, Deer Tick, Mountain Goats, Woodpigeon, Wolf Parade, Freelance Whales, Three Trapped Tigers, Modest Mouse – and that’s just the tip of the Menagerie.

Perfectly constructed and blessed by the weather, this was a feast of extraordinary music, tailored to a committed and discerning clientele. For many, the highlight was the headlining slot by the sleek rock machine that Wilco have become, but even they had a challenge to follow the understated brilliance of Low Anthem, triumphing again on the same stage as last year. And then there were the enigmas: Black Mountain, coming on like Jefferson Airplane crossed with Uriah Heep, the twisted blues of C.W. Stoneking and a rapturous reception for Edwyn Collins, blasting out the hits with the tightest of bands.

Most exciting of all were the moments you’d remember for ever: career-changing performances from Phosphorescent, Dylan Leblanc and a crazed Elliott Brood, plus a breathtaking breakthrough for a slightly overwhelmed Caitlin Rose. EOTR is the festival that gets everything just right.

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