Now in its third year, Osfest in Oswestry has grown from a small festival aimed at providing a new and exciting event for the local constituency, to a very respectable-sized event attracting music lovers from all over the country. 

The Lottery winners were the main highlight of the festival for us, their stage presence and chemistry got the whole crowd involved.

This year the festival was sponsored in the main by Levi Roots, with a special emphasis on his new range of soft drinks. His presence there was unmistakable and the crowds were treated to free drinks from his new range and ponchos to match. On the Saturday Levi himself took to the stage to perform a 30 minute set with his band, unfortunately due to an apparent incident on the M1 he, along with several other performers that day, was delayed and went on slightly later than billed. His set was professionally performed and it certainly provided an interesting juxtaposition with the drab weather! 

Afterwards Levi could be found in the VIP bar giving a cooking demonstration of the flavours that made him that £35million! It was originally intended that this was to be done on-stage but due to scheduling conflicts created by the traffic coming in, it was decided that it should be moved into the VIP bar. While on the surface of things, there was an air of oddity about this part of the festival, the ever-charismatic Levi treated the small crowd to a very entertaining cookery show and some lucky winners even walked away with free bottles of his original recipe. 

The weather threatened to turn proceedings into a very wet affair indeed on the Saturday but somehow the foreboding grey clouds managed to hold out until lights for all of the acts all the way into the evening. 

Osfest has developed a fairly unique schedule over its two days, with the Saturday being aimed more at the younger audiences and the Sunday offering up something for the older audiences or those more predisposed towards rock. 

Headlining the Saturday was Dappy, who signed off with some very over-the-top smoke machines, I can only imagine that the engineer had excess smoke that he had to dump at short notice as the smoke completely whited out the stage to the point that Dappy couldn’t even be seen. It has to be said, while the smoke display started off looking very impressive, it quickly became a subject of amusement for the onlookers as puzzled faces surrounded me in all directions. Quite strange indeed. 

Other main headline acts included; Stooshe, who nailed their signature harmonies and certainly gave us lads something to gawp at; Delilah, who in all honesty was a bit of a disappointment, as I was very much looking forward to hearing such massive singles as ‘Go’, but with a more down-beat feel to her music, she was somewhat lost in the mix of more up-tempo acts; and Loick Essien who sang all the crowd-pleasers one would expect. 

Without a doubt, the act that blew us away the most on the Saturday were Manchester-based four-piece The Lottery Winners.

The Lottery Winners won Live and Unsigned billed as the UK’s biggest competition for original acts, in 2010 and it is clear to see why. The chemistry between the four members on-stage was unparalleled by any other act that day, the crowd was clearly enjoying their quirky and original tracks and great jokes!

They performed a seven song set including their latest single which is currently being recorded for release in the near future. The only shame was that they were on the second stage as they literally blew-away everyone watching (message to Osfest organisers – book these guys again and make sure it’s on the main-stage – they’d go down a treat!) 

Sunday, in short, was wet, windy and horrible! Festival goers woke up cold and will not have warmed up all day. That is unless you went in the VIP tent and sat in front of the heaters, which we did until we were kindly asked to move as we were blocking all the heat from reaching the rest of the tent. You couldn’t blame us for trying; it was one of those days. 

Main stage was opened by Lucy Spraggan, a young singer-songwriter promoted from stage two last year. Unfortunately for her not many had braved the outside of their tent by the time she started at 11.30am. By the end of the set a small following had gathered though, particularly enjoying her quirky song about ITV chat show host Jeremy Kyle. It was a bright moment on a dreary morning. 

It became clear the weather was not going to improve and that clearly had an impact on the amount of people around main stage throughout the afternoon. Many would arrive in time for Razorlight though later on. 

Highlights in between that were surprise package The Dirty Cheats who impressed on stage two, before Missing Andy smashed it on main stage, particularly with their big song The Way We’re Made (Made in England), just perfect for the Jubilee weekend. 

While performances from the likes of One Night Only and The Big Pink were most notable for their ‘big hits’, full set heroics went to the boisterous but brilliant Goldie Looking Chain, returning for their hat-trick ball third appearance. The Welsh boys appeared to part the clouds temporarily with their famous tracks Guns Don’t Kill People Rappers Do & Your Mother’s Got a Penis. GLC have become part of the fixtures and fittings for this growing festival and long may that continue. 

Hard-fi were the penultimate act on main stage and while I was going through a de-thawing process at the time, many I spoke to said they were one of the big highlights of the day, putting in an entertaining and endearing performance and providing the perfect warm-up for Razorlight. 

Johnny Borrell and co. put in an epic eighty minute set, playing all the tracks you’d expect them to play. It was an impressive set and reminded me just how many huge tunes they have behind them. They have a busy festival season ahead of them and will do well to put in the same energy every time this summer. Also, everyone I spoke to who saw them backstage said they were ‘pleasant’ and ‘easy to deal with’, so don’t believe everything you read in the press! 

As Razorlight came of stage after 11.30pm, the rain stopped for the first time in 24 hours. It remained dry overnight and we woke up to glorious sunshine. Just in time for us to drive home. Don’t you just love festival season!

Review by Ben Price and Kia Hallaji.