Sixties music lovers kick off the festival season at Le Beat Bespoke Weekender

The New Originals’ Le Beat Bespoke Weekender has grown over the last seven years, from a gathering of committed mods to a full-on London festival of vintage music and culture.

The hardest working band in show business, The Jim Jones Revue, kicked off the Easter weekend in rock ‘n’ roll mode on Thursday treating a throng of bequiffed, tattooed, leather-clad greaser types, older music fans and an occasional mod to a few new creations alongside the old favourites. No-one went home disappointed.

On Friday there were hippies and freaks aplenty ready for a nostagia-fest of pop, psych and freakbeat subtitled an 8 Hour Technicolour Dream. The tone of the evening was set by a voodoo witchdoctor playing the floor as percussion with a staff, syncopated to a psychedelic soundtrack. Then it was time for three authentic bands of the ‘60s to present their celebrated albums live. Quintessential psych band July opened minds, freak-wizard The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown with his trademark pyrotechnical headgear demonstrated unflagging energy and showmanship, and the revered Pretty Things in their obscure ‘Electric Banana’ film soundtrack persona delighted ‘heads’ and music and movie afficionados alike.

Saturday afternoon’s vintage fashion and record fair featured a Dirty Water showcase featuring the lively Merseybeat-ish Thee Vicars followed by snarling Spanish three piece The Hollywood Sinners. The legendary Don Fardon with British garage pioneers The Sorrows received a rapturous response for their confidently delivered original freakbeat.

The much- hyped Screamin’ Vendettas launched Saturday night with a mix of rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and garage. The evening culminated in the first ever British appearance from the original Trashmen, oddly introduced by a film celebrating their 55 year pedigree. Known here only for the seductively irritating Surfin’ Bird, they reawoke their fans with a loud, fast, energetic classic surf set. The climax of the weekend, Surfin’ Bird was brought to life by go-go dancers who soon had the crowd following their lead.

Sunday’s Garage Revival theme was introduced by Wild Evel & The Trashbones, who thrilled the crowd with their strutting trash. Then recently reformed ’60s freakbeat/psych band The Poets delivered a spine-tinglingly authentic and assured set, leaving a mesmerised crowd begging for more. Spanish classic soul band The Pepper Pots were something of a stylistic handbrake-turn, but set the mods celebrating the ‘60s in their very own fashion until the wee small hours.

The event is brought to life here using authentic social-networking contributions from festival-goers.

View the story “Le Beat Bespoke 8 (April 2012)” on Storify

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