RAUCOUS Ukrainian-American party band Gogol Bordello proved the undisputed highlight of the first two days of Cropredy Festival.

The self-styled Gypsy-punk band, fronted by the charismatic Eugene Hutz, brought the party spirit to the 20,000-strong festival, which is taking place on a hillside between Cropredy and Williamscot, near Banbury.

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The band, whose music fuses traditional Roma, Eastern European and Klezmer styles with western punk and rock, performed an incendiary Thursday night set, with Hutz stripped to the waste and throwing red wine around the stage.

The festival – formally called Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, but known to fans and locals as simply ‘Cropredy’ or ‘Fairport’ sprang into life on Thursday lunchtime with an acoustic set by hosts Fairport Convention, who set up the event 40 years ago.

The band will close the festival tonight with their traditional extended set, complete with guest slots from former members and friends, including singer-songwriter Joe Brown who recently moved to a house in Cropredy.

Despite gale force winds today the festival has continued, with organisers taking precautions to secure the stage and site infrastructure to keep it safe.

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Thursday’s headliners, The Waterboys, seemed tame in comparison to Hutz’s anarchic band, but had the crowd singing along to such hits as The Whole of the Moon, Fisherman’s Blues and the Scottish folk song Raggle Taggle Gypsy.

Last night’s bill featured acclaimed guitarist and former Fairport Convention star Richard Thompson, Devon folk artist and heartthrob Seth Lakeman, and Hampshire singer-songwriter Frank Turner, whose backing band The Sleeping Souls features Oxford artists Tarrant Anderson and Ben Lloyd of the bands Dustball and Dive Dive.

Tickets are still available for today. Go to fairportconvention.com.