From Neil King at Fatea
As has seemed to become a trend at festivals of late, the headliner isn't always the last act on. Outcast are supposed to be closing the night or at least that's what the programme said. I was going to go back to Reds to take in the African rhythms and twinkling guitar of Kanda Bongo Man, but notice that Outcast have been replaced by Rusty Shakles (sic), a group of lads from Newport in Wales, a total unknown quantity. I decide to stay, turned out to be another good decision.
To date the band have released one EP and have an album due out in the new year. If it can capture anything like the performance of tonight, it's going to go high up my priorities list. Confidence is definitely not something the band lack. There was a real swagger about them as they took to the stage and they were about to justify it.
The flat floor area at the front of the stage was pretty empty when the band came on. Those that were there were pretty much sat down, giving the photographers the run of the pit, well certainly for the first couple of numbers.
Rusty Shackle were well aware what the score was as they announced after the first song "I know you've not heard of us, we've barely heard of us." Their attitude pretty much had the crowd warming to them from the off. This was a band that seem born to play festivals.
In the next hour or so they ran through a whole load of the acoustic spectrum calling on anything from pop folk, through the blues and old timey. They pretty much filled the pit to the point where it was difficult to move and being the last band on, got to comeback for an encore, where they played a cracking version of "John Henry". If the audience weren't aware of who they were before, they were now.
Neil King, Fatea