Monday, July 23, 2007

All Hands to the Pump!

As most of the country gradually foundered beneath the waves, West Country folkies showed they were made of sterner stuff than those fey indie-festival types, and with beards bristling and tankards aloft (and that's just the women) squelched throught the sodden fields to the 34th Trowbridge Village Pump.
Here you can see a Steward watching a small girl sink slowly into the morass... ignoring her pitiful cries, he wandered off in the direction of the bar. As did I. I'm almost sure she got out, though...
Highlights for me on the Friday night were The Cedar, a terrific band doing some really haunting original stuff, and The Rhythm-ites, who now seem to be fronted by the rather grumpy bloke who sings (or rather mutters in a terse monotone) for RDF. Jolly good, though.

Our spot was at 5.30 on the Saturday, and it went off rather splendidly, all things considered, despite a few sartorial challenges; I had to forsake my usual silver Cuban heels for a pair of stout wellies, and Chris couldn't get the pilot-light on his flame-throwing codpiece to stay lit (maybe next time). Ruth wore a pink cowboy hat. No-one knows why.
Barring a couple of minor technical disasters of the 'walking across the stage & pulling the guitar-lead out' variety, probably our best gig of the year so far - no small thanks to the large (and very vocal!) Trowbridge contingent - cheers, peeps!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bournemouth Live Festival

It's a long way to Bournemouth, it turns out - and lots of other people seem to be going there too (to see us, perhaps? Apparently not, as it turned out). We're supposed to be on stage at 6.30, but it's quarter past and we're still driving in circles around the town centre, looking in vain for some sort of sign of a festival going on - have we even got the right day? Chris is becoming increasingly irate, and has turned a worrying shade of purple.
Luckily, Shirl has got there already & located the stage, and brings us in for a landing via mobile phone - and just in time; we pile out of the van and throw the gear onstage while Shirl heroically goes to get us all a beer. Lovely stage, too - nice PA, swarms of cheerful sound guys, loads of lights... no audience, of course, but you can't have everything - where would you put it?
Ready to go in double-quick time, all we need now is that beer - alas, the beer tent is fenced in behind a silly little picket fence, which no-one is allowed to take any drinks out of, thanks to some arcane Council regulation - we can see Shirl sitting there with 5 pints, waving frantically...
There's no time left - we have to plunge straight into our set with no lubrication, which is never a good idea...
At one point, around 200 foreign students materialise stage right - an audience at last! But despite (or possibly because of) our earnest entreaties, they march straight through and exit stage left. This leaves us with several sullen Yoot in hoodies, a brace of bemused elderly ladies and a retired Colonel with a video camera - doubtless collecting evidence for some future prosecution.
We soldier on regardless, and all credit to the soundcrew, it sounds fantastic onstage - it's also extremely hot thanks to all those lights, especially with no beer... the last 3 songs are performed with indecent haste and a mad scramble for the beer tent ensues, where we collapse into a sweaty heap and watch the next band, who do their best to enliven an even smaller crowd with some Snow Patrol covers. A drunk Welsh couple dance.