Deeply Vale Festival DVD

Documentary come bumper scrapbook of memories featuring interviews with Grant Showbiz, Steve Hillage, Nik Turner, Graham Massey and many more.

An engrossing patchwork of a DVD that honours the memory and ethos of the Deeply Vale Festivals. I must admit I approached this release with some caution, imagining that, with little footage of the festivals available, not many more photographs and some possibly questionable audio recordings, this attempt to document the Festivals would fall flat – hey, after all we were living and being at (surviving?) those Festivals, not trying to document them. So I put on the promo copy Chris Hewitt kindly sent me with my finger hovering over the fast-forward button… three hours and 40 minutes of solid viewing later, I have to say ‘well done’ to the makers.

To document a Free Festival, what a task! Hardly anyone back then in that kind of setting even recorded much of the music or took many photographs, let alone filmed the proceedings, but somehow, over the course of 11 years’ hard work Chris Hewitt has gathered as much as is probably humanly possible about those key Northern Festivals. Yes, some photographs and rare film clips appear more than a few times throughout the DVD, and yes there are some dodgy recordings, but none of it seems to matter in the slightest because with new interviews liberally intermingled with the painstakingly gathered images and music, the result gives a real honest flavour of Deeply Vale, which I think is a bit of a miracle.

So if you want to tune into what it was like back then in a field at a Free Festival and onstage with Here & Now or Nik Turner or Graham Massey in his first band (with Graham Clark), this is as good as it's going to get besides sitting down with a pint (or a pipe) and the actual people who were there. Quirky as ..., but recommended.

Comes with a detailed 16-page booklet.

Johnny Greene, Planet Gong
August 2007