English musicians have long lagged behind their neighbours to the north
The Green Man festival’s Brecon Beacons setting regularly startles with its beauty. The Black Mountains – more like lush green hills – and open sky which tower over its stages don’t dwarf the performers, instead making them feel part of something bigger. A diverse bill leaning towards folk and Americana often rises to the landscape’s challenge.
Daft Punk may be the most successful act since Kiss to make an impact while disguising their identities, but they are not alone. A psychedelic outfit claiming to hail from the backwoods of Sweden have been causing a stir while hiding behind ritualistic masks, and telling an unlikely backstory.
The Killers, The Script and David Guetta also among headliners
There's a strange, archaic feel to the songs of head Messenger, MC Taylor, with their Biblical references and invocations to “cleave ye to the rock”.
"You look far too young for a Fairport Convention gig," bassist Dave Pegg informs us before admitting "We need an interval now as some of us require the restroom."
Devendra Banhart's last few albums left little impression, and despite moving to Warners' artists colony Nonesuch, his latest seems unlikely to arrest that trajectory.
Emeli Sandé, happily, doesn't look like an identikit winner, but she does sound an awful lot like Adele
The sacking of BBC folk radio DJ Mike Harding is a sad end for one of broadcasting's most tireless characters
Given the omissions necessary to a truly definitive account of the Sixties UK folk-rock boom – no Michael Chapman, Roy Harper, Davey Graham or Anne Briggs, let alone Donovan and Cat Stevens – Electric Eden offers a vivid enough account of this magical period of British music history.
As the gig of a lifetime looms for the Winchester singer, he tells Steve Anderson why he's seizing the moment while silencing the critics from his past