A gloriously varied bill
Dub Pistols - Standon Calling 2012 - Sunday

Day two kicks off for Clash with the Dub Pistols, who can’t really go wrong, throwing decent covers of ska classics in with their own chant-along compositions. There’s definitely a dancier feel to the main stage this year, and next up are Crazy P, although they’ve never been the same since they dropped the ‘Penis’ – well, who is? – and are further enfeebled by a mid-song lighting blackout. Given lead singer Danielle’s catsuit, it’s quite plausible that this was an emergency anti-cameltoe measure, family audience and all that.

Over at the Cowshed, Bibelots do their best to pretend it’s the main stage, belting out raucous guitar anthems that are achingly derivative, yes, but that’s hardly stopped anyone getting popular before. Here their rabble-rousing is slightly hamstrung by the distinct lack of rabble, however, the cowshed having developed a large and slightly off-putting puddle during the morning downpour.

The aforementioned Willy Mason show is in the tiny folk tent, and despite the occasional breakbeat interlude it’s a definite highlight of the weekend: fine songs, lustily sung to a small but enraptured audience. Many sing along, and some even dance, which isn’t easy to Willy’s output.

Later on in the same tent, as if inspired by that curious soundclash, a hairy outfit called The Monster Ceilidh Band combine, yes, folk with drum ‘n’ bass. “This is our tribute to Andy C,” says the bloke with the mandolin thing, closing the show. It’s bizarre but oddly brilliant, as several slightly pissed punters jig around while looking slightly puzzled about what it is they’re actually dancing to.

You always get a gloriously varied bill at Standon, and one of the unforeseen delights down in the cowshed are The Time and Space Machine, the latest project from Grid/Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve honcho Richard Norris. They may look near death but his craggy outfit make a mean and funky psychedelic noise: all fab, no flab.

Meanwhile, in the middle of it all, in a booth nestled in the branches of a big old tree, is DJ EZ, still knocking out UK garage classics ten years on. The seminal works of DJ Pied Piper, DJ Luck and MC Neat and even Daniel Bedingfield seep across the site and add flava to everybody else’s sets, whether they like it or not, as a colourful bunch of fancy-dressed drunkards jig about under that tree, hoping the inevitable Standon curfew never comes calling.

With a little bit of luck, we can make it through the night, as Pied Piper put it. Lovin’ it, lovin’ it, lovin’ it.

Words by Si Hawkins

Click here to read a review of Saturday at Standon Calling 2012.

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