Our second OTC festival and last year’s review shows we enjoyed it. Weather forecast looked windy so we chose to take our middle size tent, which turned out to be a spectacularly poor decision! The stage is inside the County Club , with camping on the adjoining field. So…
Friday. First on is Tom Spacer. One man show , a bit like Don Partridge does Rave. BB Lonedog. Another one man band, but without his predecessor’s effects. In a strange coincidence, we were discussing how Her Ladyship had ordered a ‘Feed Your Head’ t-shirt and had arranged to pick it up here. Sadly the t-shirt man hadn’t turned up…and BB launched into ‘White Rabbit’, the very same song which inspired the t-shirt. ‘Locomotive Breath’ went down well too. Wizards of Delight. Back to a regulation 5-piece rockers line-up. They brought to mind Def Leppard when they started up and occasionally got funky in a Black Crowes vein. Her Ladyship detected a hint of the theme tune from Ulysses, which our kids used to watch. Very good, we both liked them. PRFB. All instrumental foray into the cosmos. Dr Hasbeen. The good doctor and his chums informed us early on about those little green men. Archetypal space rock with a dash of punk. Neck. Irish music played by Irish men. At least one up on the plethora of Plastic Paddies which the Pogues and the Levellers have spawned. I know I have been in possession of my aural faculties for coming up to old age pension class, but I never understood a bloody word of what the singer said all night. Their fast and furious version of ‘Fields of Athonry’ is a staple of their set and they have a good following. Rhythmic Raymond was in serious groove mode. I am not a big fan of this stuff and I did actually understand one word the man said. ‘Punk’. We got the Clash’s ‘White Main in Hammersmith Palais’ and it annoys me how the Clash acquired this punk gods status. Joe Strummer was the son of a Foreign Office diplomat who had already been playing and recording semi-pro at least with the 101’ers. Paul Simonon was the son of an amateur artist and a librarian and was a wannabe artist. Mick Jones had already been treading the boards in various groups. Topper Headon who replaced original drummer Terry Chimes was a jazz fan and had been in a prog rock outfit that supported Supertramp. Quite a bit removed from the working class, poverty-stricken, 3-chord DIY outfits that ‘punk’ was all about. And , like Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, 10cc and Steely Dan they latched onto reggae as being ‘cool’. OK, rant over. And to cap it all, Her Ladyship was batting vainly against catching the Last Train to ZZZsville. I was struggling too, so we had to give Psi Gong a miss and were soon in bed. Sorry lads, was looking forward to it.
Saturday. My decision re tent type had proved to be as good as my decision to put a tenner on Middlesbrough to win the Premiership. It rained like hell during the night and our tent (mainly Her Ladyship’s half) was like a swimming pool. Emergency repairs and off to catch John the Baptist and the Second Coming. Invisible bass player, very earthy vocal style. Very quirky but good musically and interesting visually. A good start. Silver Trees. A very, very long opening instrumental based on E and D chords. Female singer on guitar, it was more than a touch soporific. The Velvet Underground set the mould 50 years ago, and did it much better. Buff. 3-piece power trio line-up, but with spacey effects. Imagine Motorhead with the guitar pedal stuck on ‘cosmic’ setting. (Although I have to say that there were times when Lemmy had got his goolies in a set of mole-grips, but it didn’t detract from the set.) They came from ‘up North’ and were an enjoyable row, albeit occasionally over my ageing head! Good blokes, thanks for posing for a photo for Her Ladyship! Do Not Panic. A Hawkwind tribute act from God’s own county , specifically York. We have seen them before in Castleford, when we thought they were good. So we were interested in what Rhythmic Ray thought , as he loathes copy acts and is a huge Hawkwind fan! They actually passed the test, I saw Ray taking photos and having a bit of a twirl. The bassist having a Motorhead-era Lemmy appearance is definitely anachronistic, but they finished strongly with ‘Urban Guerilla’ and ‘Silver Machine’. They encored (and soundchecked) with ‘Needle Gun’ which Hawkwind rarely play. Probably the biggest crowd of the weekend. Babal. Very heavy on the visual aspect, with a female singer and female side-kick and Ming the Merciless on guitar. He had a style reminiscent of Earl Slick in his Bowie period. Very entertaining, they put a lot of thought , time and work into the show. Third Quadrant. 80s prog outfit who reconvened a few years ago. Bassist had that very 80s (and,sorry, awful!) sound. Somewhat more grizzled now, of course, I assume they are not intent on conquering the world but are doing it for pleasure. Hopefully not on the basis of our hearing the guitar or drums, which were both non-existent early on. Bloke behind us with a Bearded Theory t-shirt had nodded off, we decided to go and sit outside. Heard the duo that is the Magick Brothers start up. Violin plus keyboards/vocalist who also did some didgeridooing. Singer told us that they only played one gig last year. The Fierce and the Dead. Early announcement from this 4-piece that it was to be all instrumentals. They already have 2 cds and 2 eps. For me, desperately crying out for a singer and lyrics. Zub Zub. Another lot with collective laryngitis it seems , after about 30 seconds I asked Her Ladyship to wake me up in about an hour, or 59 minutes past Rave o’clock. Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash. Apologies to any particular person if I have got the name not quite right. It seems to have changed a couple of times and I didn’t quite catch the announcer’s speech, so I took the name off my copies of New Live Dates Vol 1 and Volume 2. They opened their ‘festival’ set with the title tune from their recent award-winning lp (which means the name of the group is not Wishbone Ash). Then pretty much back into the 70s. ‘The King will come’, ‘Warrior’, ‘Throw down the Sword’, ‘FUBB’, ‘Mystify Me’ (from the latest lp, very much in classic Wishbone Ash style), ‘You see Red’, ‘Blind Eye’, ‘Living Proof’, ‘Doctor’ and ‘Jailbait’. Martin’s vocals held up pretty well ,and he gets good support from Danny and Tim.
A cracking end to a very good weekend. Ticket price good. The beer was reasonably priced, and the staff were really friendly. Very little noise on the campsite at night. The portaloos were fine. Security? Didn’t really need any. All very calm and serene. There seems to be a change of venue for next year according to the poster. Any reason why? This is a great little site.
Her Ladyship forgot her camera. Photos were taken, but using her phone.