British festivals might be pretty used to a bit of Serious Weather by now, but Sunday at Bestival takes it to the next level. Shutting the entire main arena down for 90 minutes during a bout of gale-force winds and evacuating the crowd back to their tents, it’s a bleak and muddy wasteland that everyone returns to come late afternoon.
Taking to the Invaders of the Future stage, the entirely un-ideal conditions would be enough to justify a potential wash out for Blaenavon’s early evening set, but have no fear - the trio are far too in demand these days for that kind of disaster. It’s a packed tent that greets Ben, Frank and Harris tonight and, though Bestival is largely built on grime and hip-hop this year, they rally the indie contingent up with ease.
Sticking two fingers up to the festival’s colour theme by ditching their often primary coloured wares for more sombre garb, tracks from this year’s debut ‘That’s Your Lot’ shine bright regardless. From the angsty flicker of ‘My Bark Is Your Bite’ to the more tongue-in-cheek jangles of ‘Let’s Pray’, singer Ben Gregory twists and flicks his way around the stage throughout; by the time they reach the crashing crescendos of ‘I Will Be The World’, he’s throwing himself around like those damn winds have made a sudden and explosive return.
Drawing a loyal fanbase at a mud-drenched festival that’s arguably not precisely “their crowd”, tonight is proof that, even with the odds stacked against them, Blaenavon are only going from strength to strength.