Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two festivals in a row...

Well that was a busy couple of weeks! Off to the Village Pump festival first, on its new site overlooked by the Westbury white horse, in Westbury country park - a great site, by the side of the old concrete works, which doesn't sound too scenic, but it somehow works...
Perfect weather as we rolled onto site on Saturday afternoon, and it kept up all weekend. Our set was due to start at midnight on Stage 2, so we had to be very well behaved and stay off the booze for most of the day. Some of us almost succeeded, too.
A very quiet, rather 'polite' vibe to the festival on Saturday, I thought, with most of the acts on both stages tending well towards the folkier end of the spectrum. Honourable mention must go to local band Penny Red, though, who performed on Stage 2 in the afternoon - great musicians, and the lead singer had a really unique voice, I reckon they'll go far. Show of Hands were great on the mainstage later, too.
Late that night, arriving backstage with the van full of gear, Chris was accosted by a security guard who had been told by a over-zealous steward that a "suspicious looking character" was heading backstage... Chris eventually managed to convince the bloke he was legit, while the rest of us helpfully fell about laughing.
Turned out there was a scheduling mix-up, and the band we thought were following us were in fact going on first... we weren't too keen on this, as we reckoned people would drift off back to the campsite while we were setting up, but in the event we needn't have worried - despite not taking to the stage until gone 1 a.m, we still had a packed hall of happily drunk & leaping-about people to play with, and they didn't want to let us go when we had to stop at 2.
Probably our best gig this year, and hopefully some decent photos will surface eventually - there were certainly enough large, expensive looking cameras going off during our set, I can only surmise that their owners haven't recovered yet!

The following Friday, and another late night beckons at the Farm Festival, near Bruton in Somerset.
We played here last year, and it couldn't be more different to the Village Pump in terms of music and clientele - much younger crowd, and music composed mainly of  'sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by a succession of repetitive beats'. Some of it might be dubstep. I wouldn't know. I don't care, frankly. Straight to the bar for a few pints of Black Rat cider, methinks...
We were initially due to play an hour-long set at 11 p.m. in the Battleground tent, but due to the fluid nature of festival scheduling (the band due on before us hadn't found their way there from Brighton yet), we ended up starting about an hour earlier than intended - never mind, the tent was packed, and by the end of the first song, they were all up & dancing - this was going to be a good 'un!
A few bars into our second song however, the fluid nature of festivals decided to give us some real trouble... all the sound and lights for the whole tent died, and there ensued much frantic scrabbling about with torches by the heroic soundcrew and lampies before electricity was restored to the PA after about 10 minutes.
We normally reckon that most gigs are improved by the addition of cider, but it turned out some twat had managed to pour some into the power distribution point, shorting the whole lot out... we managed to play one song in total darkness before the lights came back, but of course most of the crowd had wandered off by then, and it took most of the rest of our set to get them back - it was a great gig by the end of it, but could have been a whole lot better...

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