Living in Colchester really does have its advantages. One of those is the Free Festival that has been held in August for the past three years; it's an event that is getting bigger every year and is now one of the highlights of the year. A mix of live music, comedy, arts and family entertainment held in historic Castle Park- it really is a must-see.
This year, I volunteered to be part of the official festival photography team, it was the best opportunity to broaden my photographic portfolio as well as get exclusive access to the bands at the front of stage. There were a number of stages this year showcasing local bands, including an acoustic stage set in the (empty) castle moat, but the best experience was definitely on the main stage. I photographed a number of bands, including Surfquake with a brilliant mix of new and cult classics; and Dingus Khan, who you must have heard of, especially if you listen to Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music, both bands were excellent and the closing act was the one of the best up-and-coming bands in the area, Animal Noise.
The trio, consisting of Josh, Jack and Michael produce some amazing tracks with cracking vocals, crunching guitars and pounding drums ringing out the ears. We have been to see them on several occasions, most recently at Tin Pan Alley, one of Colchester's best live music venues; they are amassing a big and loyal following, many of whom turn up to sets wearing the same face paint as the band. This band is seriously good, the album Run Loose is one you should own and go see them live, these boys are an awesome act and the crowd really gets into their set.
Thanks to all at the Colchester Free Festival for running such a good event and it was a joy to be involved, even if only in a small way. Look out for more blog posts from me on this and also the official site gallery coming soon.