Endorse It in Dorset is a punk/alternative festival, bringing the best of old and new new-wave to a crowd of all ages on a farm in, as its name suggests, Dorset.

Founded by Flounder from Pronghorn ,the festival features a main stage area (the Desmond Dekker Stage), the slightly smaller Wildcat Stage, the Wig-on Casino and the Bus Bar stage. All four are under canvas. There is also the Purple Purge area which has indie bands aimed at older kids; Strummerville which is an outdoor area with a fire pit featuring mainly acoustic performance, and La Boite de Musique Stage, which is also outdoors and sometimes a little hard to hear with everything else going on.

The highlights of the first night were Citizen Fish and Pronghorn who performed cowpunk at its best. Well, that’s what they said it was!

On the Saturday we took in Random Hand, who are a ska punk with a trombone playing singer, and Cash Converted, a rather amusing Johnny Cash covers band, made up of members of the organising entourage.

The Members, featuring Rat Scabies on drums, played the Desmond Dekker stage. They did two that I recognised from their first album, and then a newer track that’s very reggae influenced. It was nice to see punks with their teenaged children who are also punks, enjoying the same music as their parents. What happened to teenage rebellion? I wouldn’t have been seen dead dressed like my parents when I was their age, but I guess it’s cool to have punk parents.

The Rezillos were up next – most of their set appeared to be covers so we listened from the bean bags in the food tent nearby and had a hot drink.

After a visit to Strummerville to see what’s going on and to keep warm by the fire pit, we went to see New Model Army. They played a brilliant set, Sadly they only had an hour to play in despite headlining, but they filled it with all their best stuff that they knew the crowd would go wild to and a good time was had by all. Except perhaps the poor guy who went in the mosh pit and had his specs (accidentally) broken – I hope he brought a spare pair!

It was not the end of the night though. RDF were in the Wildcat tent, but any thought of wild abandoned dancing was soon put to an end as Chris Bowsher was in a truly miserable mood. I guess having one of your best mates die is not going to prompt an outpouring of joy. He did come out with one of the most memorable quotes of the festival though with “These riots, they’re not proper riots like the ones we had,” and that was all he had to say on the matter in typical, laconic style. We returned to our tents to keep the young people around us awake all night.

Sunday was bright and sunny, not that it rained during the weekend, but it had a bit overcast so far. This was a good day with proper festival weather. We didn’t have a very early start to the day. We checked out the Purple Purge tent. There was quite a good band on, but we had no idea who they are as there were no listings.

As it was so nice, we ended up sitting outside the Wildcat stage listening to the Interceptors playing classic ska before going down to the main stage to, you’ve guessed it, sit outside in the sun listening to Dubheart play roots reggae.

The Inbredz played rap style music about being from the country. It was amusing, but after the first couple the joke wore thin, so it was back into the sun for Dubmatix. Sadly the tent was empty for them at first, with everyone sitting out in the sun where they couldn’t see the number of people enjoying their music, but eventually the tent filled up with people dancing. They played again later and I hope they got more people along.

The Bus Station Loonies were a celebration of all things cider punk. I don’t like cider, or rather cider doesn’t like me! I liked the Bus Station Loonies though. They wre quite fun and, no, not all the songs were about cider really. That would have been a bit boring.

Alabama 3, who were playing an acoustic set, was packed. They should have been higher up the bill as they played a great set and get everyone dancing. They appeared to have a lot of sympathy for Amy Winehouse, She was not really alternative and doesn’t appeal to that many punks, but I guess they have the drug/rehab thing in common and they can appreciate a good voice when they hear one!

Zodiac Mindwarp were disappointing, and didn’t attract as big a crowd as Alabama 3. After an uncalled for gay joke we left to have a wander around and check out Strummerville again before Citizen Fish played again in the Bus Bar.

That was the end of Endorse It for us. We had a great time and chilled out with friends. The weather didn’t turn on us. There was a good choice of food, the beer wasn’t half bad and it really is excellent value for money as festivals go.


The photographs that accompany this article were taken for Pennyblackmusic by Neil Bailey.

















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