THERE’S nothing like a downpour and a sea of “mud, mud, glorious mud” to get you in the mood for the Larmer Tree Festival. This year exceeded all others. It rained pretty much from start to finish.

Accompanied by his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Jools Holland opened proceedings as usual and with special guest, former Fine Young Cannibals frontman, Roland Gift, he had everyone boogie-woogie-ing in their wellies.

Breaking all taboos on Thursday night was Australian comedian, musician and songwriter Tim Minchin, above right, whose song Woody Allen Jesus was received well. Perhaps not for family viewing though – Minchin took infectious delight in repeating certain swearwords and in the song Prejudice, he sang about a taboo word that is a couple of Gs, an R and an E, an I and an N" – it turns out to be “ginger”, rather than any racial slur (Minchin’s own hair being of the red persuasion).

Hackney girl Paloma Faith, pictured right, as famous for her quirky dress sense and fun sense of humour as her songs, was certainly not shy of having a bit of banter with the audience. She sang a number of songs from her new album as well as her 2009 hit New York.

With its beautiful location, the Larmer Tree is a famously family-orientated, friendly and ethical festival that has pretty much something for everyone – whether it’s Samba drumming in the Big Top, comedy in the ARC tent or just quietly contemplating some wonderful wooden sculpture in the Lost Wood while the air vibrates with the sound of Roots Manuva on the main stage.

Mercifully, festival-goers are a hardy bunch – determined not to let something like the English weather spoil a weekend of excellent entertainment.