Monday, July 19, 2010

Bathampton village celebration

This was a brilliant little event on Saturday, held in the playing field of the primary school in the almost impossibly quaint & picturesque village of Bathampton. It was to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Kennett & Avon canal, which runs through the village, enabling Mick to moor his narrowboat right next to the gig, lucky sod!
Everything was there - beer tent, food stalls, stage area, but on a lovely small scale - a reminder of what festivals started out like before people realised there was serious money to be made...
We were last on, and as it had to finish bang on time to comply with the license, we only got about 20 minutes, but it went down a storm & we were all dead chuffed.
Thanks to everyone involved, not forgetting the sound guys, who did possibly the quickest set-up in history!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

South Cotswold Beer Festival

Reminiscent of a cheery village fete, this one - held on the field of Chipping Sodbury Rugby Club, it comprised a stage at one end, a huge marquee full of beer barrels at the other, and 1200 punters baking in the sun in the middle, having picnics.
Security consisted of a string of warning tape looped around the site, plus a couple of squiffy Rotarians, so what would have happened in the event of a full-scale invasion by marauding hordes of Chipping Sodbury lager-boys is anyone's guess.
Strange crowd for a beer festival too, there were lots of oddly shaped chaps with no beards... women! That's what they were! And those little people were children! A very good natured crowd, but when we went on after the obligatory covers duo, it soon became apparent that the occasional "polite ripple" was all the feedback we were likely to get. Stage invasions were limited to an unusually persistent bee and a number of footballs kicked by small boys.
"It's like this every year," confirmed the sound guys afterwards; "they only wake up during the last ten minutes of the last band in the evening, then they can't believe it's all finished..."
Nevertheless we enjoyed it immensely, due in no small part to the excellent sound - well done That Man for reaching the Holy Grail of sound engineering: making the fiddle sound like a fiddle, only louder, rather than the dreaded VileDin...
After our set came the Tug'o'War, where a team from the Rugby Club who clearly took it very seriously were soundly thrashed by a team calling themselves the 'Powder Puffs'. Twice. Which doesn't bode well for them next season...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Keynsham Festival

Went to this a couple of years back, so was really pleased to be playing it on Sunday... one of the few free festivals left in the South West, with 4 stages and over 10,000 people turning up. A friendly event that seemed to run like clockwork, with people helping us shift the gear, and a very efficient soundcrew (we actually went on early, how often does that happen at a festival?!)
Should mention the band on before us too, Strange Folk - they had a really full sound for a 3-piece, and the singer sounded like a young Sandy Denny, a terrific voice... the Top Stage was nicely full for our late afternoon slot, and we thoroughly enjoyed our little selves, as did the crowd, even getting us back for an encore, bless 'em. Wish I'd remembered to take a drink on with me though, I was completely hoarse by the end of our set.
The rain, which held off for our set, started to come down in earnest soon after, but didn't dampen our spirits too much, with a succession of people coming up to us and saying nice things... a good day.