Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rode Festival

Aaaand another festival! ...I love playing festivals, it's a big part of what made me want to be in a band in the first place, way back in the mists of time when I was about 15 and had just come home from Reading Rock in 1981... some of the best experiences of my life have happened at festivals (N.B. Never shorten the word to 'festy'. That way lies madness.). Also some of the worst of course, but let's gloss over that.
Rode festival is a village-based event that raises money for local charities (we're talking the local Scout group, PTA, things like that), and we were chuffed to be asked to open it. OK, a later slot would have been better, but what the hell - we had a good onstage sound & a huge field to play in front of, and we did.
For such a small, locally run event, this was fantastically well organised - proper routes to the stage, loads of time to soundcheck, free food & drink for chrissakes! If only every gig was like this - and did I mention the tractor rides & pig racing?
Another nice surprise was the fact that we weren't the only band on the bill doing original material: sure, the headline act was a Who tribute band (I wonder if the bloke playing guitar has to endure countless heckles along the lines of: "So Pete, where's the book, then..?"), but there were a fair few doing their own stuff, among whom an outfit called Pinstripe particularly caught my ear. I'd have liked to have stayed & listened to more, but the unceasing and unreasonable demands of my entourage (aged 4 and 8) ruled that out...
Fair play to the bods in charge for striking a balance with the lineup though - I've been getting a bit pissed off recently with the tendency of event organisers to load the bill with covers & tribute bands, which can make the whole concept of a 'Festival' seem farcical (in my eyes, at least). I've got nothing against covers bands per se - there's some terrific musicians out on the circuit keeping people interested in seeing live music - but in my humble opinion, if you go to a festival you ought to be able to see some bands doing their own songs. Otherwise, you might as well stay at home and plug in yer iPod...
Alright, rant over - here's a pic of the gig - cheers, wife of mine..!

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