"The fact of being an underdog changes people in ways that we often fail to appreciate. It opens doors and creates opportunities and enlightens and permits things that might otherwise have seemed unthinkable."
David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell, 2013
Shiiine On 3 was a glorious display of David vs Goliath. Every act seemingly should never had made it but did. A fervent reminder that belief can be all, especially when its in the art of our working class.
Headlining Friday night were the indestructible Levellers. Could a group of Marxist folk-cum-punk rockers ever be considered mainstream anymore? Nevertheless, the fire of 'Liberty', rueful melody of 'Fifteen Years' and the togetherness of 'The Road' are a stark reminder that pop music can be full of love, socialism and make a difference.
The examples of the underdog just kept on coming over the weekend. Clint Boon, an organ player from Oldham, now an icon of the industry Dj-ed to adoring fans. The criminally unknown Theatre Royal continued their good run in 2017 in the Inn on the Green pub. Recent single 'Locked Together On The Lines' drew the crowd, but the power of 'French Riviera' will place them in hearts forever.
Amidst the big choruses lay two beautiful. Firstly, celebrating their 30th anniversary, The Orchids played arguably the most angelic indie set known to man. 'Something for the Longing' will ring in the heads of anyone who watched until they next see this remarkable band. The jingle jangle of 'Bemused, Confused and Bedraggle' brought on a freeness that would have had Arthur Lee beaming from his multicoloured cloud and 'Peaches' was, is and always will be a classic.
The second came from a man, without who, this festival simply could not exist, Steve Lamacq. He was this generations John Peel, shining light on anyone who dared record a demo. His set covered his 30 years but more importantly, it gave little indie nights their dignty back. It became about the people in the room singing the 'Size of a Cow' chorus as one, feeling every bit of angst of 'Mis-Shapes' and, as Lammo stopped to tell all, it was about what John Peel fought so hard to give us, 'Teenage Kicks'.
A conclusion is usually appropriate at this time but, Shiiine On 3 can only be summed up by The Orchids' 'A Kind of Eden'. See you all next year!