A wet and windy Friday at Saddleworth Cricket club saw the opening of Cotton Clouds 2019, in spite of the wet weather the crowds were not deterred. First up on the main stage and opening the festival was Alabama 3 who with their unique style of dance music did a great job of opening the festival.
After this we headed over to the Tim Peaks Diner Stage to catch Saytr Play. They delivered their set to a packed-out tent and had everyone bouncing. Admittedly this was a band I had not heard of before, but they turned out to a great find and a band I will definitely listen to more in the future.
Next up on the main stage was Ash, who as always delivered a high octane set, and kept the party vibe going in readiness for the tonight’s headliners, Peter Hook and the light.
Before Friday nights headliners took to the stage there was just time to head over to The Spinning Room Stage to catch The Mouse Outfit. This was another Group I had not heard of before their set however their laid-back hip-hop vibe was a revelation, and this was one of the highlight sets from the weekend.
Up next on the main stage and closing Friday night was Peter Hook and The Light. Peter Hook was in great form and instantly built up a rapport with the crowd.
Playing a range of both New Order and Joy Division classics, with the crowd taking the vocal lead for an accapella version of ‘Love will tear us apart’ which brought the slightly soggy evening to an end, but ensured that we were all looking forward to the next day at Cotton Clouds.
After drying out overnight it was straight into day 2, and it could not have been more of a contrast to the Friday. The sun was out, the beer was flowing, and everybody was looking forward to seeing some fantastic live music.
First up on the mainstage was Sam McGgurk. His sound kicked off day two of cotton Clouds in the best possible way. For anyone who is a fan of Jake Bugg I would definitely recommend checking out Sam Mcgurk.
After this it was time for a quick trip over to the Tim Peaks Diner Stage to catch Dirty Laces. Playing to a full tent this Manchester based band, with their own brand of punk had the tent rocking.
Up next on the main stage was Coby Fletcher who performed a fantastic set. As Coby said on stage this was the first time he and the band had performed live together however this was not obvious as the set was tight and they played together without missing a beat.
The C33s followed on the main stage. And their heavy punk sound and the crashing drums had the crowd bouncing and rocking throughout their set. This is music that deserves to be played loud and The C33s in this aspect did not disappoint.
At this point the music took a bit of a turn in the form of Patawawa. This disco outfit brought great energy to the main stage of Cotton Clouds. With their classic disco sound their energy was infectious, and it was clear to see that both they and the crowd were having a great time dancing to the disco tunes.
It was good to see that the Cotton Clouds organisers ensured that there was a real contrast in musical styles on stage, and Patawawa dance set was warmly received by the audience.
Further evidence of the variety of styles on show this weekend was evidenced by the next band on the main stage.
It’s not often that a music festival feels like a church congregation but that’s exactly what Oh My God It’s the Church! did. It may have been one of the strangest congregations I have been a part of, preaching of sexy Jesus, but they did performe some fantastic covers of some classic songs including Coolio’s Gangsters Paradise which really got the congregation dancing.
The Dancing continued when The House and Garage Orchestra took to the main stage, however due to some technical problems they were a little late getting on to the stage, so their set was slightly shorter that it should have been. The House and Garage Orchestra however made up for this delivering a great set playing some classic dance tunes.
Reverend and The Makers were up next on the main stage. They delivered a typically accomplished set performing a range of tunes from across their 6 studio albums getting the crowd bouncing and looking forward to Saturday nights headliners The Wailers.
Following Reverend and The Makers it was time for Saturday nights Headliners The Wailers who took to the stage bang on 9:00pm, and proceeded to perform an hour-long set filled with all time classics including ‘Jamming’ and ‘Three Little Birds’.
The reggae legends were the perfect way to close Cotton Clouds 2019 as their immaculate set left everybody wanting more, and sent everyone away feeling nothing but good vibes.
Despite the weather of Friday night Cotton Clouds 2019 was a fantastic festival enjoyed by all that attended. There was a great variety of musical talent on display and there truly was something that everybody could enjoy. Bring on Cotton Clouds 2020.
Review and shots courtesy of Liam McEvoy