It was a privilege for Rock Shotz Live Music ImagingLiveMusicImaging to be official photographer for this year’s D.H Lawrence Music Festival, a great little one-day, multi-venue community music event in the small Nottinghamshire mining town of Eastwood, home of the renowned author, D H Lawrence.
The initial concept for the D H Lawrence Festival came from local music promoter, Chris Roots Barlow who first saw the realisation of his idea in 2016. Ben Mark Smith came on board a little while later to lend a hand with the logistics.
When asked to tell us about his favourite part of the festival, Ben told us that he particularly enjoys the opportunity to bring amazing musicians, most of whom have never visited the town before, to Eastwood and have them perform their predominately original music live, (as most of the Festival’s venues usually use backing tracks or cover acts for their in-house entertainment.)
One of Rock Shotz’s personal highlights was the combination of rock venues between The Old Wine Vaults pub and (bizzarely,) Eastwood Conservative Club, which hosted some incredible acts covering everything from Rock to Steam Punk! Special mention to Replica Jesus, YOUTH ILLUSION, The Small Town Boys, The Wildflowers, Clonk, The 1855 and The Collective Band who played blinding sets! Sorry we can’t mention you all, but the standard of all the bands/artists we heard was truly outstanding!
It was difficult to spread across all 14 (!) venues, but some of our acoustic highlights were a beautiful rendition of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Dancing In The Dark’ (sung in Italian) by Mat Meakin at The Wellington Inn; meeting Jack’s got a plan at The Sun Inn, (at last!) and hearing ‘True Blue’ sung live by Jack Chapman at Oliver’s Pub & Kitchen .
We asked Ben Smith to give us his festival highlights. He told us:
‘ I was obviously stuck at Dog & Parrot: Real Ale House all day’ (where he was venue host.)
– Jonny Olley & Jasper Malone’s sets were amazing!
– Having a giant inflatable cock waved at me throughout most of my set was interesting!
– My cousins coming from Cheltenham to play with their band, PANIC SWITCH, at the Vaults stage was awesome!
– Just seeing so many of my fellow music mates come into the Dog & Parrot, having an incredible day & being pretty shocked at how good it was. It really was pretty cool!’
Plans are already underway for next year’s D H Lawrence Festival, which Ben hopes will be even bigger and better! This year was a game changer, but organisers are looking for bigger names, more sponsors, promoters willing to take on venue hosting. It is also hoped that the local community will become more involved with photography groups, poetry groups, etc.
Any artists interested appearing at next year’s festival, 12/09/2020, can contact Ben and Chris through the Facebook or Instagram pages.
IG: D.H.Lawrence Music Festival