by Joanna Orland
The Apple Cart festival is a relatively new festival brought to you by the people who bring you Field Day. Held in the same location as Field Day, The Apple Cart brings a fun, family-friendly festival to the hipsters and families of East London.
Focusing more on Comedy, Literature, Cabaret, Magic, The Village Fete mentality and Music that is a bit left of mainstream, this festival is a really chilled and entertaining day out. With some festivals you feel pressure to run from stage to stage to see your favourite acts, and while this festie did have its fair share of Must-Sees, it was set at a very relaxed pace.
The first act we properly watched was one of our faves – Patrick Wolf. I saw him recently at Get Loaded in the Park where he was the highlight of the festival. Once again, he brought out the sunshine on a rather rainy day and had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand – notably, the girl who was dancing next to us like a mad woman. When Patrick made his way into the audience for one number, she pounced him like a predator on its prey. The audience loved this guy and while his banter wasn’t overtly engaging, his vocals, songs and musicianship certainly were. The man also knows how to pull a pose. In spite of letting himself go a bit since he first came onto the music scene all those years ago, the man still struts his stuff! LEGEND.
After Mr. Wolf, we made our way to the comedy tent in preparation for the headliners Abandoman, a breakthrough improvisational hip hop act who are most excellent. But before Abandoman took to the stage, we were treated to vulgar, lairy, Aussie comedian Steve Hughes. We were dubious at first with his foul language and vagrant look, but his comedy was intelligent, political and, well, very funny!
After Hughes was forcibly removed from the stage due to him enjoying his set a little bit too much, Abandoman finally took the stage. The usual duo was joined by a full band for this Apple Cart set – Wow, did it ever bring their performance to life! Frontman Rob Broderick has such charisma, fuelled by his Irish charm and quick-witted way with words. Their opening number “What’s In Your Pocket” is used as a HIGHLY entertaining warm up exercise to get the audience up for participating in their show, which they are heavily dependent on. The audience members pull odd things from their pockets and handbags and Rob freestyle raps about the various items in a very impressive fashion. I seriously have no idea how he does it, but Dayam he is good.
It was then time to see Tim Minchin, another musical comedian who was playing the main stage. I’ve seen Tim once before at the Roundhouse where his musical ingenuity and playful songs had me in stitches. As a festival main-stager, the impact wasn’t as strong as it lacked a lot of the banter and intimacy I found appealing at his own personal gig. But still, with songs such as Cont(ext) and Only A Ginger Can Call A Ginger Ginger, you can’t help but realize how funny this man is and how well he tickles the ivories.
Overall, The Apple Cart was a fantastic day out with oddities happening all around us, and entertaining acts of all varieties inspiring us to laugh and enjoy. Hopefully they keep this an annual tradition! Long live The Apple Cart!
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH ABANDOMAN in our Interviews Section – and watch them Freestyle about Loose Lips!
PHOTO GALLERY: Featuring Abandoman, Mayor McCA, Steve Hughes, Badly
Groomed Drawn Boy, David Almond, Magic Numbers, us, Patrick Wolf, and Tim Minchin.