Rhian Daly's Secret Garden Party Diary Part 2: Somewhere near Huntingdon, 26-29 July 2007

Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire
Beginning the second day to another DJ set from the Head Gardener is just the gentle start needed after last night's proceedings. Lying on the grass in front of the main stage during Frank Turner's performance successfully pulls spectators into a fully awake state. Playing tunes mostly from his debut solo record, Sleep Is For The Week, like Vital Signs, Father's Day and Back In The Day, some tracks from the Campfire Punk Rock EP creep into the set as well as a track we're assured will be on Turner's second LP, a promising hint of what is to come.

Over in the Centre Camp, Poetry Slam is well under way. A light-hearted competition, showcasing some of the nation's most talented and funniest poets, it's an enjoyable break from dashing between stages and dancing as if your life depends on it. Through a number of rounds, poets are eliminated until at last there are only three left. The eventual winner is Birmingham's poet laureate, Dreadlock Alien, with the aptly named Byron Vincent coming a close second. Following this literary delight is Peter and the Wolf, an indie/folk band that continue the chilled out vibe of the day.

A short walk over to the Living Room and I'm watching the end of Pale Marble Movie's set of acoustic pop. Coming up after them is Newton Faulkner, an unlikely chart star, if ever there was one. Unfortunately, the power goes in the middle of his set. Rather than stop and sit and wait for it to be restored, he makes his way through the crowd to a table in the middle of the tent and continues to play his unique brand of folk music, albeit slightly quieter than would be preferred. Eventually, power returns and Faulkner makes his way back to the stage to finish his set, complete with Massive Attack cover and his own rendition of the Spongebob Square Pants theme.
Up next is an act billed as a 'musical genius and international sex symbol', which really does warrant sticking around for, you'd think. Ambling on stage a short while later is the bespectacled Earl Okin, rather older than might have been expected, but undoubtedly talented and entertaining. Half an hour of what can only be described as pure smut follows, with particularly amusing audience participation included for good measure.

Back on the Great Stage, a group of nervous 14 year olds are gathered, setting up guitars and keyboards ready for a performance that'll have won over a whole crowd of new fans by the end. Kitty, Daisy and Lewis are no ordinary teenagers. For a start, they play in a rockabilly band, and their band name has been on the lips of every influential character in the music business for the past 6 months, if not longer. Bringing their unique sound to SGP, along with bucket loads of attitude, their performance is truly astounding. Swapping instruments every song, it's hard not to feel slightly inadequate seeing them nonchalantly pick up a banjo or harmonica and then playing them like a true professional. Back to the Open Music Camp to become an expert ukulele player, I think...

You can't really moan about the lack of synthesizers in alternative music right now with the 'new rave' phenomenon bringing them back into fashion. Another band including such an instrument is Glasgow's Drive By Argument who fortunately put theirs to good effect, sounding like early Cooper Temple Clause mixed with elements of Enter Shikari. Performing to a small but steadily growing crowd, and with three of the members of the band in fancy dress obtained from a nearby stall, they show just why they're set to be one of the bands to watch next year.

After a brilliant acoustic performance by local(ish) heroes, Rotating Leslie, in the Living Room tent, including a brilliant cover of Bugsy Malone, it's back to the Great Stage to dance to the sexy electro of New Young Pony Club. Lead singer Tahita Bulmer cavorts around stage like there's no tomorrow whilst the rest of her band provides an almost flawless run through of the standout tracks from debut album Fantastic Playroom.

Flash lights attached to t-shirts can only mean one thing - Metronomy. Continuing the electro pop theme but with a much more unique approach to the stage show, they dazzle the audience with their beats and bleeps, particularly on standout track Trick or Teatz, as well as their original and super dorky dance moves. There's only one way to follow this and that's to go celebrate the New Day's Eve around the fire circle before heading off to bed.

Writer: Rhian Daly