MANX SOUND EXCHANGE: The home-grown Mannifesters

banjo brilliance: Andy North led the Fecktones through a superb set on Sunday

banjo brilliance: Andy North led the Fecktones through a superb set on Sunday

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AS we all battle our respective post-Mannifest blues, let us take the chance to reflect on the great performances and moments local bands and acts put on over the festival.

The mud may have made navigating the festival arena more of a test, but it had no bearing on what was on offer to the ears.

The Mannifest Inn stage was brilliantly put together, with the purpose-built stage, lighting and sound system making the best use of the space available in the TT beer tent, and though the ‘contained’ nature of it (compared to the other open-sided tents) meant that by Sunday the stage had a potent farmyard-scented smell, it was still a great arena to get big crowds watching the largely-local musicians.

Many people’s band of the weekend came in the shape of the emotive melody majesty of The Wretched Pearls on Saturday. Not strictly a local band, but brought over by and featuring our own Helen Morrison of The Heights’ trumpet, keys and vocals fame.

The stage’s biggest crowd award goes to the ever-impressive Buncha Skankers, though the best hat award – and believe me Mannifest threw up more outrageous headwear than ladies’ day at Aintree – went to the Peace Chiefs’ Teresa Mcnulty, as the Chiefs’ first proper gig had the good-time feel and swing of a band to keep an eye out for in the future.

Reunions are often the cause of a great atmosphere, and Jacoba’s comeback on Friday night was no exception, as the big riffs and harmonies rang true to an energetic crowd like the band had never been away.

The Ballaghs had also been on hiatus for 2012, and the folky-punkers put on a great show. Look out for them playing at The Crescent at the end of this month.

Personal Manx band highlight was the tongue-in-cheek brilliance of the The Fecktones, driven by the additional guest percussion from Hannah Laye in a memorable Sunday gig.

Away from Mannifest Inn, the Manx dance music community came together to pull off an absolute blinder with the Manntronica dance tent which was buzzing every night, while the Retina tent set a great example of balance with food, seating, visuals and great bands and DJs.

Well done Mannifest, you beauty.

• Lee Brooks’ ramblings on the rumblings of the island’s music scene. Contact lee.brooks(at)newsiom.co.im or 695674 with Manx music news, reviews and photos.

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