Author Archives: bunternet

Rock and Bike Fest. South Normanton. 12-14 July 2018

Relatively short drive, about an hour. Got set up quickly and chatted with our camping neighbour Alan. A fellow Middlesbrough FC supporter, he too had come last year and reckoned it was well worth another shot.

Thursday. First up are Verbal Warning. No strangers to RABF, they are straight into the Ramones, Sham 69 and Motorhead. They have their own songs too, both older (‘State Control of Rock’) and newer (‘Smart Phone’). They are always well-received.                        Steve Naylor Band. We get the Metallicanthem early on and, of course, some AC/DC. It wasn’t long before the predictable double of ‘Wishing Well’ and ‘Can’t Get Enough’. Basically the same as any weekend pub covers outfit would be doing. Back drop said ‘Classic Rock Tribute’, I suppose ‘bog-standard pub covers’ didn’t seem so impressive.                         Van Halen UK. My knowledge of Van Halen is restricted to one song, like most people I suggest. Although I do have an unopened semi-bootleg cd from Poundland .  Not sure if singer was supposed to be Dave, Sammy or an amalgam, but plenty of people did ‘Jump’.                           Diary of a Madman. Her Ladyship is a long time Black Sabbath fan. Even she could have put on a long wig, dark glasses and sworn a lot like this ‘Ozzy’ did. ‘Crazy Train’ and ‘Bark at the Moon’  probably had all the correct words but sounded nothing like the original vocals. ‘Iron Man’ got a singalong and ‘Iron Man’ and ‘War Pigs’ had Her Ladyship up and grooving (forgetting she had gone a*se over tits a bit earlier).                      Floyd in the Flesh. Surprising opener…not ‘Shine on you Crazy Diamond’! A chunk from DSOTM kicked off, followed by a couple from ‘The Division Bell’. The newer songs didn’t sound too bad, but ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ was the start of a down hill slide. I don’t recollect Roger Waters announcing the rest of the group as they did a solo?!  ‘On the Turning Away’ made me think that they should be renamed from Floyd in the Flesh (FITF) to F**k All Like Floyd (FALF).  Someone needs to search ‘How to tune drums’ on Youtube, it was bloody awful tonight.  Not our best ever opening festival experience. but my mind kept saying ‘Don’t moan, it was only £35 for the whole weekend!)

Friday.      Evyltyde . Metal quartet with a young girl braying ten bells of sh*t out of her kit. Female vocalist with much hair-swinging plus blokes on bass/vocals and lead.  Mainly own stuff, so deserving of an ear. Fest-friendly covers from Judas Priest and ‘Thin Lizzy’ (Bob Seger to be pedantic!).                    Joan oV Arc. Blonde smiley drummer plus frontline trio looking very hard. Again, own stuff but snappier than the previous lot.  Bass/vocals was Kat off Eastenders.  Some fest-friendly covers thrown in again, ‘Addicted to Love’, ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ and ‘Freebird’.                              Gallus Cooper. Initial observation was similar to the Ozzy copy group. Do you just put some black pudding round your eyes, learn all the words and that’s it? In fact, they spent a fair bit on costumes and props, but sounded nothing like Alice Cooper. All the hits, plus some lesser known songs.  Plenty in.                            Zodiac Mindwarp  . I can remember one of their 80s songs, and I reckon that might be one more than quite a few in there. And it came first…’High Priest of Love’.  Thereafter, no idea of the songs but at least they seemed original, as opposed to a copy or pub covers group.  But bloody Thin Lizzy as an encore!                        Evil Scarecrow  .     Sadly, a clash here as Lindisfarne were next door. But we had seen Rod and chums recently so were up for Evil Scarecrow.  How to describe them? Phew, where do I start?! If you thought the concept of A Box Of Frogs was daft, as Bachman Turner Overdrive said… ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’.  Best idea is to search ‘Crabulon’ on Youtube. Think ‘Metallica meets Norman Wisdom’ , it would be a starting point . Great stuff.                             Circus of Horrors Ringmaster talking over backing music, plus bizarre circus acts. We were overtired and retired.

Saturday.                               Earlier start, with Paris Alexander getting a short slot on vocals and guitar                           Warren Ireland. Young man, guitar and loops. Mainly own stuff, opened with ‘Folsom Prison’. His ‘Brick’ was far more interesting than FALF’s earlier version.                              Kelliannie . Woman plus guitar, with some familiar numbers and some not so.  Nancy Sinatra was one of the former.                                 Darwin’s Rejects.  Played songs by Headsticks , Levellers and Ferocious Dog.  No, not a Glam Rock outfit!                                 Pirates Rock. Her Ladyship predicted maybe another of these tedious Captain Pugwash groups. They weren’t. Started out with Thin Lizzy followed by…Thin Lizzy.  The latter featured what was to be the worst guitar solo of the weekend. They seemed to be a basic pub group who had added a loaded of mates and girfriends to end up with 13 on stage. And, for no apparent reason, get dressed as pirates and say ‘AAAR’ occasionally. (Her Ladyship did comment that the singer did actually look as though he had eaten Johnny Depp though.)  I can definitely say after watching 50 years of live music, they are in the top ten of the worst I have ever seen. (Her Ladyship too). But Castleford’s Nitrous Oxide remain supreme. Fortunately, she had gone for a pee so missed ‘Comfortably Numb’ but was back in time for ‘Smoke on the Water’.  I won’t go into details but the tirade of abuse that emanated from her throat would have made Chubby Brown blush.  Speechlessly sh*te.                                            And next, Surreal Panther. I won’t waste as many words, will give them a 4C grading. Crude, Crass, Coarse and Crap.                                    Neck had to call off, which necessitated some hectic phone calls and reshuffling. So we got a set of blokes filling in superbly at short notice. OK, it was ‘All Right Now’ etc but well done lads!  ‘Vulva’.                                        Women in Rock. A couple of women shouting at the audience and occasionally themselves.  Doesn’t exactly look promising when Her Ladyship and others preferred a Sweet tribute act. Predictable tunes from the likes of Eurythmics, Joplin, Benatar, Quatro, Jett, Tyler. Not sure how many recognised Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ though. Thankfully they didn’t do ‘White Rabbit’!  Still plenty singing along though.                                  Fleetwood Bac. A ‘Rumours’ era tribute act.  ‘Christine’ is spot on as Christine vocally and ‘Stevie’ is pretty good too. ‘Lindsey’ takes a bit of time to get to grips with Lindsey. They started out really well but got a bit ‘clubby’. Very much a ‘hits’ set with a couple of Stevie’s solo songs.  Loads in, singing their hearts out. To be fair, if you like this Mac line-up and don’t mind tribute acts and don’t want to pay about £75 to see the real deal (-ish) then go and pay £20 to see this lot. Or you can just stay at home and put on one of their many Greatest Hits discs.     And it was all over, well it was for us old-timers!

1.Value. Top value. We paid £35 each for our tickets, including free camping and free programme. There were Cambridge Rock Fest flyers about. I worked out that CRF would be about £135 a ticket.

2. Bar. Decent prices . £3.40 for bitter.  Good service. Still loads of people bringing in their own beer, bottles included.

3. Security. Like last year here, there was the same kid pinching pint pots , at a quid a go (complicit were his adults too, the bloke with the huge disabled contraption). Despicable low lifes, they comfortably paid for their entries at the expense of their victims. TW*TS!  You all saw the kid in the Suarez Liverpool shirt. So had security when I told them. So what had they done about it? Similar to Northern Kin Fest, a worrying side effect of a ‘refundable pound a pot policy’

4. T-shirts. Fest shirts good value at a tenner. Acka Dacka won the most seen shirt, with Stones close behind. Ramones, Motorhead and Floyd a bit furthur behind. My Lindisfarne/Gene Clark shirt was definitely in Lepers’ Corner!

5. Traders. Plenty of stalls to look round.

6. Music. Like a lot of fests aimed at bike riders, tribute acts and pub covers groups are the norm. But it keeps the gate price down! They usually have maybe 3 ‘known’ names here, this year it was Lindisfarne, Sham 69 and Big Country. I would think each of them would maybe charge £20 a ticket so furthur emphasises the value for money here.

7. Toilets. All Portaloos but kept clean. Her Ladyship only encountered a pile of bangers and mash once. on Sunday morning.

Hope it continues to be a success.

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Northern Kin Festival. Stanhope. 22-23. June. 2018

Not too far for us, but tent took longer to erect ( Her Ladyship had to get needle and cotton out). Done, and off into the village where we found the Grey Bull. £2.80 a pint, £1.50 for a ham and pease pudding sandwich. That will do very nicely.

Friday. Big marquee was the setting for the stage. But weekend didn’t start as planned, as the van holding the wristbands had been half-inched the night before!   Interesting layout on stage, with a small segment assigned to ‘in between’ acts. Couldn’t see the first ones originally, but heard them doing ‘L and N’, ‘Gloria’ and ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’                    Driven Serious  Heavy, folkyish five piece. They wanted us to dance, not sure what to . (Nobody did dance). ‘Another Brick in the Wall’  wasn’t terrific.  Old Crow Medicone Show’s chestnut ‘Wagon Wheel’ got some bums wiggling though. The well-informed bloke next to us told someone that he played it on the guitar too, it was by Bob Dylan and the Black Crowes! You are never too old to learn! (Or talk bollox!).  They got a good reception.   Another filler outfit gave us ‘I feel the Earth move’ and ‘Knock on Wood’.  Perfectly ok, better idea than some of the dee jays most festivals inflict upon us.                                     Russ Tippins   From outside, we both thought it was a female singing. A three piece pub blues-rock combo, we soon got Howling Wolf’s ‘Killing Floor’ , given the treatment a la Zeppelin (who changed a couple of words and claimed it an original).  Not all that different from many of their ilk.      Meanwhile, Her Ladyship had discovered Double Maxim on hand-pull. That old song sprang to mind …’There could be trouble ahead…’.                       Nine Below Zero  We have been fans for decades , but were ‘disappointed’ with the expanded line-up. So looking at the scale of the event, we were hopeful of Dennis just bringing the foursome. Sadly , no such luck.  Starting out with ‘Tore Down’, ‘Homework’ and ‘Can’t help myself’, we just switched off. They are still heavily reliant on the ‘Live at the Marquee’ lp from their youth. I was lucky enough to get one of the first 100 of a limited edition vinyl lp, which had a bead of perspiration from the Marqee ceiling as a bonus gift.  OK, yes, that is a small fib!  But that was what that lp was all about, four young lads and the audience  in a sweaty club. Not this Jools Holland-Lite conglomeration.  I can remember our first born’s first words , after ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’, being ‘Don’t point your finger at the guitar man’!  (Yes, another fib but not too far away).    About half a dozen bought cds afterwards.                       So , next up is Wilko Johnson.  Hopeful that it would be ‘Wilks and Norm and Dylan Howe’, to paraphrase Ian Dury, it was a few songs in before the first Feelgood song ‘Going Back Home’. Followed by his own ‘Dr Dupree’, we still get an extended instrumental workout at halftime. And a Dylan drum solo towards the end. The Dr Feelgood favourite ‘Back in the Night’ sounded lethargic, but ‘ She does it Right’ and the encore ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ had plenty dancing. Couldn’t believe we hadn’t had ‘Roxette’ but he had a new cd to plug, so there were a few unfamiliar songs. But too many long instrumental sections. He could have easily fitted in ‘Roxette’ , ‘Sneakin’ Suspicion’ or ‘Paradise’.   Disappointed, but in a minority I suspect.

Saturday         Paul Rose Trio  ‘Every day I have the blues’, another ‘Killing Floor’, ‘Black magic Woman’. Pretty standard pub rock blues covers. A sensible start to the day though.                                   Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra  Not a typical pub covers outfit, an unusual five piece group. Very ‘swing’ orientated, which does Henry Hall’s Brother (Ffoulke Hall) for me but seems popular nowadays.                                The Young ‘Uns  Popular North Eastern folk trio, mainly unaccompanied songs. Being a Smog Monster, I picked up the words ‘Roseberry Topping’ and ‘A19’, as did the rest of the Smoggies in the marquee. Her Ladyship said it had been a very moving song. She was moved by quite a few of their songs, especially the ones about xenophobia and homophobia. She wan’t so bothered about singing along to sea shanties though , having grown up in Scarborough she is ‘shantied out’. But she thought they were great, brilliant mix of poignancy and humour.  The young lady whom she was ‘chalk-talking’ to afterwards was a big fan (by now, the Double Maxim  had gone to her larynx).                       Trad arr.  Seven piece group, with a Sandy Denny-era Fairport sound.  At times it was like Kate Rusby singing in harmony with herself, ‘say no more’. They sounded very good, and I have to offer both them and the previous lads apologies for being outside and not giving the attention I should have done.                                                   And also to The Unthanks . Dual female fronted, they have been on the North East folk circuit for a long time and have a staunch following .                                               Martin Barre.     Straight into Tull’s ‘Steel Monkey’, the first of many by his erstwhile employment. The vocalist is certainly not unlike Mr A. The Beatles ‘Eleanor Rigby’ usually features, and ‘Sweet Dream’ gets a reworking too. ‘Hunting Girl ‘ sticks more to the original while ‘My Sunday Feeling’, ‘Fat Man’ and ‘A new day  yesterday’ undergo some cosmetic surgery. No’ Aqualung’ though , and I wasn’t happy with his taking the piss out of the word ‘prog’ while being quite happy to accept the cheque for playing it (or was the comment too subtle for me ?).                             Red Hot Chilli Pipers     Plenty went in for the start, but quite a few didn’t stop long. To me, they seemed like a ‘club’ group who hit upon a gimmick to have three blokes with bagpipes. A one-trick pony, and not a great trick really.                        By now, the running order was getting very tardy .                              Ferocious Dog   seemed to take ages to soundcheck, and they  eventually started 45 minutes later than scheduled. I am not a fan and won’t risk repeating myself as I saw them at the Aoustic Festival of Britain (check out my thoughts in that recent review) . Their set was shortened,  but still the next lads were nearly an hour late…                 Lindisfarne   Still with Rod Clements out front, he returned a couple of years or so ago. I won the opening song bet ‘No time to lose’.  They give the crowd what they want, namely ‘Lady Eleanor’, ‘All fall down’, ‘Road to Kingdom Come’, ‘Run for Home’,  ‘Fog on the Tyne’…with ‘Clear White Light’ to finish. But , surprisingly, no ‘Meet me on the Corner’? (Or was I at the bar?).    And it was all over.

Thoughts?

1.Music. Great value for money. (£40.00). For us, if it had been five years ago when we would have been more excited by Wilko and 9BZ it would have been stupendous.  But plenty were more than happy

2.Bar. I had one attempted ‘shortchanging ‘ episode. £4.00 a pint is not ‘fantastic value’ though (as stated on the website)

3. Food. £2.00 for a big pile of chips IS ‘fantastic value’ though. Especially having paid £4.00 for a handful at two recent festivals.

4. Campsite. Fine, although men’s and women’s toilets both ran out of paper. We were on the ‘quiet’ site …which it was.

5.Scheduling. Saturday’s timetable went hopelessly astray. Whether it was people starting late, finishing late, equipment problems, soundchecking, whatever. Needs sorting, people were getting very ‘restless’.

5. Security. There was one BIG problem. Charging a refundable £1 for a pint pot was a good idea on paper, but on Saturday night there were children blatantly stealing empty ones from the cup holders in chairs. And these were not just feral local kids. One pair of girls were there with a couple of adults. Yes, you two pieces of pondlife…man with pork pie hat  and woman with long blonde hair! You are basically a couple of Fagins and full weight pieces of sh*t. Don’t tell me you didn’t know what they were doing. And another young lad with a Ferocious Dog hoody!  (You could argue that you wouldn’t leave a pound coin on your seat though, would you? ). We told security but they should really have been on the ball without being told . WE could see it!!  . It will be happening at another festival soon, I know for sure. Sort it!

All in  all, a very good little festival. Low-key, good value, we both hope it was successful enough to warrant another year.  The last two issues didn’t spoil a very good event…but they could do if not attended to.

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Acoustic Festival of Britain. Addendum

Interesting link to the Burton Mail via AFOB Facebook site. Reporter (Richard Castle?). Seemingly ‘Folk fans were catered for by…Celtic act The Outcast Band’. Really? The Outcast Band had cried off.  I wonder how many press passes are sold or given to mates? Not that I am implying for a second that this is what happened of course!

If you want to read a report by (unpaid) people who were actually there, please check it out on this site.

Sonic Rock Solstice. Stoke Prior. 15-17.6.2018

It is that time in the space/time continuum when we transport ourselves to the the outer reaches of the cosmos (well, the outer reaches of Bromsgrove) for the Sonic Rock Solstice. Tent up pretty sharply (I have discovered the less I do, the easier it gets erected!). Into the very good nearby Boat and Railway pub for our starters for ten, and at £2.80 a pint it is an easy choice.

Friday. Tom Ashurst. From the venerable Hawklords,  Tom gives us a brief but decent start to the weekend. Just him plus acoustic guitar plus loops. And people pay £100.00 to see Ed Sheeran do basically the same?!  Occasional dodgy lead break, but anyone who gives the early Floyd’s ‘Matilda Mother’ an airing can be forgiven.               Shackled  Four young men who have probably slept with their dads’  Metallica cds under their pillows. T-shirts a-plenty for sale. But original material, so deserve an audience, Guitarist changed his Flying V at one point…for another! (Guitarists may agree that he must be a masochist! They can be buggers to keep in tune!). A couple of festival-friendly covers to finish via Black Sabbath and Motorhead , sorry, no prizes for guessing. They went down well.                         ‘And Now For Something Completely Different’. The food-based frolics of Sister Sandwich. Merciless rewriting of the likes of the Ramones, Clash, Billy Idol, White Stripes…even Britney Spears and Ricky Martin aren’t spared.  When I say they do ‘I love sausage rolls’ by Joan Jett and ‘Meat Meat Meat’ by the Damned you will get the idea. A lot of the lyrics were a bit indiscernible but gloriously bonkers.                          Capt Roswell and the Lost Alien Tribe.  The Hawkwindy stuff that most of the audience have come for. It is not easy to do a twenty minute number using one chord, usually E.  Song titles? Not a bloody clue. Use the words ‘Space’ ‘Cosmic’ ‘Sonic’ ‘Interstellar’ ‘Voyage’ and ‘Traveller’, throw them up in the air and select three at random.   But it is great!                Dr Hasbeen’s NASA Conspiracy Project. Quick second appearance for Martyn Hasbeen (does he only pay himself one lot of travelling expenses?!).   A few more chords this time, ‘Little Green Men’ is never far away. I bought a couple of Dr Hasbeen’s cds , £2.00 each, for the car…sorry, the shuttle craft.                  Senser. Plenty in for the headliners, the back of a t-shirt told me they have been here before. Big musical intro before male and female made dramatic entrance.  They launched into a tuneless tirade that I believe is classed as ‘Rap’ (?). I would suggest there is a letter missing from the start. Awful. Goodnight.

Saturday. Greenfire. Five piece outfit with female singer. Loud!              Happy Graveyard Orchestra. Unusual line-up and unusual songs. Not as loud! Did I hear a drum and xylophone solo?’ Idiosyncratic’ is probably a good description , nice version of ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ too.                 Sloth Metropolis. Have seen them here before,very theatrical but not for me musically. Rhythmic Raymond admitted he had bought a cd last year but has not played it.                        Orange Clocks. Complicated explanation to start with , regarding (I think) a 1973 record about a monkey that never made it onto German tv. Hence, Orange Clocks have revived it as ‘Tope’s Sphere 2’. And they were about to unleash the full lp on an unsuspecting room.    It seemed like a sort of cosmic version of ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’ and not only was it visually great, but the music was pretty good too.  Completely crackers but really enjoyable. Seemingly they added a bit more at the end too. Best so far.                          Babel. Stoke Prior regulars, they put a lot into the visual elements of the show.                           Pre Med. Seemingly been going since 2004, this is a relatively recent incarnation (I overheard). Boasting a 5-piece standard prog line-up, the female vocalist had a good voice. They rocked more than the Mostly Autumn extended family genre.  Both Ray and Her Ladyship discerned a hint of Lene Lovich on one track. ‘Ace of Spades’ got another outing at the weekend.                                   Fierce and the Dead. Very popular but I just don’t get them. Totally instrumental 4 piece with decent tunes that seem to be crying out for someone like Robert Plant to come hurtling out of the speakers. But it never happens, and to be fair to the members, they say they don’t want a singer. So it is up to them.                                 Lacertilia. Welsh 5-piece, 2 with no hair , 3 with lots. And a few beards.  Ironically, my first impression was what the previous lot may sound like with a singer!  Imagine Black Sabbath on speed (instead of cocaine) and a singer with a better voice.    Her Ladyship was impressed (but her father was Welsh ).                                    Quantum Fantay. Anyone who has come from Belgium deserves at least a decent look. Their footballers do!  Plenty of merchandise. Tangerine Dream-ish keyboards with loud almost funky bass.. And on came a very strange frontline!  Ultimately a totally instrumental musical show but with a unique mime (?), puppet(?), circus(?)…I don’t have an adequate description. Four musicians grooving along, seemingly oblivious to the mayhem in front of them! If they are on Youtube, give them a look…now! ‘Chopsticks and Gongs’ had a very oriental feel. ‘Skytopia’ was about 20 impressive minutes. And then some stilts.   Very good, good capture for the weekend Martyn!                      Evil Blizzard. Much anticipation, before 6 beings from a 70s Hammer Horror film came on stage.    Metal with lashings of ham. Sorry lads, we were just too tired , had to head off .

Sunday.          Crossroads 531. Starting with ‘Bullfrog Blues’. we got a set of blues-rock stuff from the late 60s/early 70s. Songs from Cream, Groundhogs,Gallagher, Free, CCR and Hendrix. Though not all of them the usual ones you expect from a pub covers outfit. Plus ‘Matchbox’ and a Racing Cars song.   They also had an unexpected goth girl stage dancer. She is, actually, a pleasant and highly-educated woman but a comment ‘Doesn’t she look a dick?’ had some validity.  The trio did well, especially being almost strangers to themselves!  A sensible easing in to a Sunday afternoon onboard the craft.                      Vulcan Death Grip  My intuition told me this was not going to be bluegrass!  Two 6-strings plus keyboards and FX.   Couldn’t make out any lyrics, they played 2 numbers, each about 20 minutes long.  If it was both sides of a single, I have this vision of putting them on a pub jukebox in Newcastle and walking out!                                      Witchtripper. Thankfully not on at midday!  Fresh-faced, short-haired drummer sitting behind a couple of tattooed serial killers. Legs akimbo up front of course. Drummer was a real extrovert, in fact. He looked even younger when he put his specs on afterwards! Plenty of stick twiddling and standing up. Reminded me of Simon in the Hot Rods.  They have made a couple of lps to date, I gather. I reckon each will have deafened half of Mansfield. ‘Attitude Adjustment’ finished a confident performance.                           Captain Horizon.   4-piece rock group, quite a few notches down from the previous occupants. Closer to the 80s NWOBHM groups.  Original material but, sadly, not all that memorable.  Members sloped off at the end to leave drumming finale.                           Dirty Flowers. Oh bugger! Saxophone alert! 5-piece, I lasted about as long as it took me to write the words ‘jazz’ and ‘funk’. Went to sit outside.  Ray and I both thought we were hearing some Blockheads played backwards at one stage.    Definitely not for me.                                    Deepshade. 3 piece plus more smoke. They had that doom-laden vocal delivery that made me dash outside to look for an asteroid that had been knocked off course and was heading straight towards the Earth…with no Bruce Willis on hand to tw*t it with a baseball bat.     But those in attendance enjoyed it.                       Sonic Black Holes  Young men from Germany, I was intrigued to see them.  Very 69 Pink Floyd sound to start, but without Rick Wright, without any vocals and much swinging of hair. So hardly like Pink Floyd then!    Very interesting, but not quite enough to threaten world domination. Her Ladyship started to play with her phone at half-time.                         Music of the Andys. I will omit the apostrophe from the poster! Two Andys from Here and Now gave us a bit of noodling before the others came on.                           Here and Now. Many loyal fans here, including Channel 5’s Matthew Wright, plenty of t-shirts too.   I remember seeing them at Blind Cat Festival and realised that I had never heard a thing by them before. Still not got round to it.                             Astralasia. A truly cosmic finale in store, there seemed to be an early snatch from Dark Side of the Moon.  Thought the drummer seeemed to be working overtime, I stood up and discovered his name was Mr Commodore (come on, I am a pensioner!).  A couple of females came on to wiggle and warble , it got to sound like someone had put on their ‘White Light White Heat’ lp and had played ‘Sister Ray’ at 45 rpm by mistake. A quite absorbing take on Alex Harvey’s ‘Faith Healer’, then Mr Commodore broke down! Everything stopped. Frightening that an electrical fault can completely flummox a headliner.  So, after much sweating from sound man Snake, it seemed that some more traditional assistance from a Mr Mapex and a Mr Zildjian solved the problem (with help from their operator of course). A hint of ‘Willie and the Hand Jive’ before what Her Ladyship briefly thought was Dr Feelgood but it was Donna Summer!  And then…off goes the bloody fire alarm. Absolutely bloody farcical end to bloody good weekend.  Kozmic Ken gave out his customary thanks to a couple of dozen in the audience, the rest had given up and gone .

All in all though a good weekend. It always is. Capacity for the venue is 499, the event seems to attract the right sort of numbers and the right sort of people.

1. Music. Not a complete weekend of stellarphononics. Everything from the lunacy of Sister Sandwich at one end to the full-on metal attack of Witchtripper at the other. Plenty of Hasbeeny stuff in between. Thankfully no Plastic Paddies and only the tiniest hint of reggae.

2.Camping/Security. We managed to get 3 full nights sleep, a definite first. One git had a music system blasting out at a level that would have dwarfed the Who…and he wasn’t even in his tent! Security were informed , one of whom said ‘It is a music festival’. Searingly incisive observation.  Two went to investigate, and seemingly did nothing. Thankfully, it seemed that someone summoned the Lone Ranger and Tonto and the noise mysteriously ceased.

3. Bar. Her Ladyship got shortchanged by a fiver once, she was refunded without question. Very naughty to charge 10p for a plastic pot, but without telling you! Staff and prices in general have always been ok here.

4. Food. Much vaunted veggie shed shut at 9.00pm on Friday, ran out of food! OK rest of weekend. Prices far better than other fests we have been to.

5. Field layout. Maybe think about using a spray can to mark out ‘roadways’?

6.Tents. The afore-mentioned goth girl left a couple of tent pegs when dismantling her tent. I know because I heard her say that she had left one! Obvious she didn’t have a car and had never driven over a peg a similarly-thoughtless person had left. Her Ladyship and I are mere Bachelors, not Ph.D’s like she apparently is, but always make sure we don’t leave any pegs.

7. Toilets. I didn’t venture into portaloos. The sound of their being emptied at 6.00 am at the Acoustic Fest may be loud but is reassuring! We never got woken up here. Otherwise ok.

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Acoustic Festival of Britain. Uttoxeter Racecourse. 1-3 June 2018.

Friday.  The proceedings start at noon here. Managed to get tent pitched quickly, just caught the end of Sicknote Steve doing Seasick Steve’s ‘Doghouse’ with a dash of ‘Deliverance’ thrown in.                                    Sons of Clogger . Plastic Paddy-ish with a bit of an edge. Usual formula…12 slow bars intro then bash, bash, bash, bash 100mph .There was a number jigging about at the end to ‘Last of the Highwaymen’. Thankfully no ‘Irish Rover’ or ‘Whiskey in the Jar’.                  Juzzie SmithBig hype from organiser Mike Stephens in the programme. One man Oz band.  Good voice, impressive versatility on a range of instruments. ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was hardly a surprise!  Extremely accomplished but for some unknown reason I was just a bit unmoved.                          Merry Hell . North West folkies with a female lead vocalist. More traditional folk than Captain Pugwash stuff, ‘Bury me Naked’ was a popular waltz, not unlike Victoria Wood lyrically.   ‘Ghost in our House’ was well received , as was the whole set.        Her Ladyship went off with the Whitwell Mafia (Neil and Val)  to check out Stevie  One Mandolin, a regular at many festivals.  She reckoned his idiosyncratic ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ was great and ‘Ernie ‘ was genius!                              Think Floyd. Before they came on, I wrote down that I would bare my bum if they didn’t start with ‘SOYCD’. Needless to say, my dignity was in safe hands.  No point giving set details, there were no real surprises. The female vocalist on ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ was good though. (Neil said it was Cherry Lee Mewis ). But why buy a cd by them?  I have been a Floyd fan since being on a school trip in London when ‘Arnold Layne’ came out and have seen a lot of tribute acts over the years under various derivative names. Still waiting for the arrival of The Dark Wall Piper !  In fact, I have come up with a name for my own Floyd tribute act…Milk Floyd. That’s what they all do , don’t they?  To be fair to this lot, they were probably the best I have seen, and with only half as many on stage as some others. *              A good day weather-wise, which always helps, and the musical fare seemed to go down well.

Saturday. We were heading to the Real Ale tent when a bunch of Morris dancers had a similar idea. Her Ladyship did a 180 degree turn and headed for the  Lounge Tent, it was a bit too cold to sit outside.  We stopped in there for a while , in the esteemed company of Mr J.L. Hooker, Mr R. Johnson and their peers.                     Boy on a Dolphin  Here last year, another outfit that the organiser holds in high regard. Very good musicians, I was thinking that the singer may be a Paul Carrack fan when he said that the guitarist was from Mr C’s group.  Bit of name-dropping (‘recorded this in Bryan Adams’ house’) and a couple of covers courtesy of Bill Withers and The Who. A bit too smooth for me.                    Chris Difford  .Knowing what a cantankerous git he can be, I was almost inclined not to watch him. Glad I ignored the inclination. He was great!  With help from Boo Hewerdine , he treated us to classic Squeeze songs , along with a couple of more recent compositions with Boo .   Some great anecdotes, and a younger Difford would probably have stormed off when some unscheduled trumpeting from outside interrupted proceedings. Today’s CD laughed it off.  Brilliant slot!                                  Steve Harley .His fourth time here but   another artiste who has been known to throw tantrums, problems with his sound threatened to produce another.  I always wonder how the Beatles  seemed to manage!  But he just about contained himself and gave the crowd pretty much what they wanted. ‘Judy Teen’, ‘Mr Soft’ and ‘Sebastian’ were all greeted with a cheer, as was the inevitable ‘Make me Smile’. Maybe there could have been room for another ‘hit’ ?  Always a great show, always a great pro and probably always a great fee! But , NB, there have been others who have commanded similar sums and haven’t been asked back.  And Mr H came on with a crutch and a broken hip!                              Roy Mette. Not the first (or last) to suffer from programme misspellings, he had Mandie from Roadhouse on vocals too.    Occasional cover (‘Behind Blue Eyes) but mainly original songs. Her Ladyship liked ‘What would John Lennon say’.  ‘Catch you later blues’ was good.                 John Illsley. The AFOB programmes have more than their share of spelling mistakes. Mike Stephens admits his spelling is crap, but I would always prefer a well-run event by a crap speller than a weekend shambles by  Jeremy F**kin Paxman.  But describing Dire Straits’s Mr Illsley as ‘the songwriting powerhouse behind many of the songs’ is a master stroke. ‘Many’ of the songs? I can’t find ANY of the songs!!  Apologies to all concerned if I am wrong, of course. But how did he and his chums fare on stage with the Dire Straits catalogue. I have to say they were absolutely f**kin’ SH*TE!  I spent time thinking of an appropriate ‘take’ on Dire Straits…Dire Traits? Dire Sh*tes? Dire Tw*ts?.  In the end , Her Ladyship had the answer. ‘Just put ‘Dire’.’  Exactly. Including an embarrassing attempt to copy Mark K’s vocal style, it was, sadly, naff.    I went off to the Lounge Tent to be as far away as possible without being at the five furlong post on the race course. Even if it meant listening to some swing music over the PA. And to cap it all, the duo that are the terminally tedious Big Fibbers came in!         Good weather, some good performances and some (well certainly one) not so good.

Sunday. Her Ladyship was keen to see Fake Thackray. Not for me, I decided to go down to the Lounge Tent where who are on? An expanded line-up of the afore-mentioned Big Fibbers?!   I decided it would be more interesting to go and look at the price list on the ice cream van for an hour. Yes , £3.00 for a bloody Magnum! I memorised all the flavours.                        Harry and the Howlers. Self-confessed fans of fifties rock and roll, with a spot of blooze maybe. ‘The Wild Wild West’ was a slower self-penned number, with Big Mama Thornton’s ‘Hound Dog’ being more familiar. Mainly original songs, with crowd-pleasing covers such as ‘That’s alright mama’ and ‘Folsom Prison’ thrown in . Some Wanda Jackson to finish, coming back for ‘Jolene’. Pretty decent.                          Brook Williams. A familiar face on the festival circuit, but first time here.  A decent crowd were treated to ‘Statesboro Blues’ and Rosetta Tharpe’s ‘Rock me’. His ode to the Isle of Man TT Races ‘My turn now’ was good.  Surprisingly short set though.                      Ferocious Dog. It has been very much ‘Have Festival Will Travel’ for these lads in recent years, and they have built up a big following (a lot were here).  Big intro music/poetry/smoke (didgeridoo too?) pre-empted some high octane Plastic Paddy stuff. But most of the songs started off at 100 mph rather than the usual slow intro section. The genre does nothing for me still, but there were plenty there having a great time, which is more important. Excellent violinist, Her Ladyship liked them.  Decent lads from Derbyshire.                        Troy Redfern. Mr R replaced Trevor Steger in Babajack last year, and Babajack were down to play. However, singer Becky had to cry off, so Troy (and bassist Adam) took the spot as part of a trio. Part-time cellist joined them for some Son House.   The ever-knowledgeable MC on the Main Stage announced that Babajack were on! Troy and Co are a good turn in their own right, worth investigation.    ‘Mad Man Blues’ to finish, Her Ladyship went skipping into the tent a la Peter Kay.( She promised she would inflict eye-watering punishment to parts of my body which would ensure their future 100% incapacitation if I mentioned it!).                          Urban Folk Quartet. Starting with banjo and violin to the fore, they were a multi-instrumentalist foursome that almost resisted categorisation. A dual violin number brought an idea for a name…Stradbone Ash anybody!?   If they haven’t played Cropredy yet it is a glaring oversight. At one stage they had a banjo with three percussionists…Santana plays bluegrass!  Her Ladyship went down to listen to a song about coalmining, a subject close to her heart.  A penalty point though, for the cheesy audience participation section. Too ‘clubby’, get rid of it!   Very good show though.                          Whiskey Rebellion .  Line-up threatened more Plastic Paddy stuff but it was more…Bakelite Balkan!?  Much more Russian folk music style.                          Elvis Fontenot   . Regular festival fillers ‘All the way from Stoke’. Cajun/zydeco stuff, I remember their being pretty enjoyable last time . Otis Gibb’s ‘Caroline’, Canned Heat’s ‘ Going up the Country’ elicited some jiving.  ‘I knew the bride’ was followed by another from the peerless Rockpile, ‘Fine, fine, fine’.                                                       I left early to get a good seat for Trevor Babajack  Steger .    Another casualty of misspelling in the programme, we have been keen to see him solo after his split from Becky in Babajack .  Not going to go into the details (none of my business anyway) but straight away it was plain to see that Becky may have kept the name but Trevor has got the soul.  (And the name!) . Starting with the only non-original song ‘Brownstone’ he gives us most of his solo lp ‘Sawdust Man’.  A one man blitz of pulsating rhythmic blues par excellence. All these young blues gunslingers (you know who you are) should be made to come and see him (and go home and bawl their f**kin eyes out!).  Get yourself up to God’s own county please Trev.                  Greg Murray and the Seven Wonders. Seven? Bloody thirteen of them on stage! Nearly more than were standing in front of the stage. Headliner status?! Wasn’t impressed last year, but well-received by those who hadn’t gone home.                 Acoustica For some reason decided to start soundchecking when GM and co had finished on Main Stage. Cue much disbelief by the tent’s occupants!  Basic pub outfit doing Tom Petty, America, Steve Harley, REM (x2), we only stopped for half a song.

Verdict?

  1. Music. Mike made a thinly-veiled comment in the programme about how difficult it is today, as the number of festivals has rocketed. Sadly, the line-up doesn’t really compare with those of yesteryear. Just check out the historical posters. But Chris Difford and Trevor Steger were great.
  2. Bar. Only (almost!) overcharged once. £4.00 a pint, sadly par for the course.
  3. Food. Again £4.00 for chips, as above. Her Ladyship thought general variety and standard good. The noodles shed that sold her a veggie dish with chicken in last year was there again.
  4. Security. Low key, fine by us.
  5. Sound. Usually ok!
  6. Programmes. Needs a proof-reader!  The blurb on Sicknote Steve never mentioned him! All about Seasick Steve…strangely economical with the facts!
  7. Crowd. Well-behaved, never saw any problems. And I noticed an interesting aspect that may influence the next point. Fests like Cropredy, Glasto and even Cambridge Rock always have lots of people in previous festival t-shirts. I probably spotted only a couple here. Yes, there are a few explanations, but if one of them is that people have been before, bought a t-shirt but haven’t returned, then that is a big concern.
  8. The future. Mike Stephens always has time for the punters, I managed a few minutes with him. There could be a VERY interesting development! (Or two!)

All in all though, we always enjoy the weekend. We met some good friends (Check out the excellent WHITWELL FESTIVAL OF MUSIC. ) and it is a bonus to be near a town.  The weather was great, but sadly for the ‘walk-up’ contingency, it could have been better if the sun had come out earlier in the morning.

*Have a look at previous article re Tribute Acts and Plastics Pollution

Tribute acts and plastics pollution

At first, you may think the above two topics have nothing in common. But with the prospect of festivals in the distance featuring probably both, I had time to consider.

Back in the mid-seventies, The Bootleg Beatles were formed. An unusual concept, the next major such group were probably Voulez Vous, a tribute to the defunct Abba. Now, of course, the live music scene is awash with tribute acts. In Leeds we used to have two very good venues, The Irish Centre and the New Roscoe (a smaller version of the former). In the eighties, nineties and noughties the likes of Wishbone Ash, Dr Feelgood, Jefferson Starship, Jack Bruce and many more graced the stage of the former. Now it is almost exclusively tribute acts, Similarly, the New Roscoe hosted Eddie and the Hot Rods, Man , Wilko Johnson and others with not quite the pulling power of the Irish Centre. The venue similarly went down Tribute Boulevard and has since closed.

Sadly punters nowadays would rather see a tribute act than a group producing new music. Accordingly, venues have had to make a business decision which has penalised new music. A short term decision without considering the long term effect. Without new music there would not be these tribute acts playing the songs created by the big names! It was new music at one time! The Who and the Stones started out playing Motown and Chess stuff respectively, then started dropping in original songs.  There is no encouragement for musicians to create their own stuff when they can get a quick dollar down the tribute route. The tribute industry is now an infestation.

Think about plastic packaging. It was a great short term concept for eg bottling plants to make their own plastic bottles. Good for profits and good for the consumer,  but not realising the long term implications which now confront the globe. I take biodegradeable pint pots to festivals now.

Am I being hypocritical by regularly going to watch the Petty Heartbreakers though!? Maybe a little bit but a) the lads are TP fans and b) it is free!

Hope Festival. Warlingham. 25-27 May 2018

An early outdoor festival in the calendar, we have been for the last few years and always enjoyed it. Check out past reviews. Advance apologies for any errors re names. Also apologies for any acts being missed while we were chatting.

Friday. First on is Tom McQ. A familiar face to Hope regulars, via his mid 60s Donovan/Dylan appearance.  Good original songs, Her Ladyship commented that it was a good start to proceedings.             Unorfadox. Festy favourites of ours, the name has been going for more than 4 decades. Brian is a great front man, check out some great vintage photos on Youtube!  Good songs , including ‘Generation B’, ‘ Silent Hurricane’ and their excellent ditty about being at the Roxy. Still Bromley’s best-kept secret.                 Flakey Jake.   Drums/sax/accordian.  Ska to the fore, unusual enough to be popular.                         Carnaby Army  .   ‘Louie Louie’ and ‘The Seeker’ were the openers, I didn’t bother after that. basic pub covers outfit which we could see in our local pub. And selling t-shirts?!  But the pitiful reflection on today’s live music is that there were more in to watch this lot churn out covers than there were to watch Unorfadox play their own stuff.                         Port ErinThree young men with beards playing original songs. I seem to remember thinking they were decent last time. ‘Chaos in the Streets ‘ got some feet tapping .              Sasha and the Shades.  Another face that I seem to remember from previous events, with a young man on vocals with a much older set of tonsils.   The female on vocals gave it a sound not unlike the 1968 Jefferson Airplane.  They were very good.                        Mick O’Toole . Described as ‘folk punk’, my description is ‘Plastic Paddies’.  ‘Irish Rover’ is featured early and the set is an extension of that. Being told to put my hands in the air as a beginning doesn’t exactly get me on their side either. Tedious, but popular so ‘de gustibus non est disputandum’. (Apologies if my O level Latin isn’t quite accurate).          And that was Friday.  Some very good stuff…and some not so good. Still ok though.

Saturday.  The DJ in the Bar Stage decided, at 11.30 am, to unleash some AC/DC on us. I can only assume that a) his girlfriend is called Rosie  , b) he told her to listen out for the song   c) she lives in f**kin Dover because the dB level was ridiculous.  Especially annoying for those sitting outside when young Leon Tilbrook came on the other stage and they hoped to listen to him. A seasoned performer by now, he didn’t have his well-known father to help out today. Plenty of his peers there to give him a good reception.                                Gavin Martin. Irish punk poet with recorded music back-up. Had to include the word ‘f**kin’ though.                      James and Jonty. Due on the other stage at 1.00pm , it was about 1.15pm when a bloke with a leg in a pot hobbled up. More poetry, Her Ladyship liked him.                          The Random People.  Four teenage girls who seemed to be about forty years too late, as opposed to fifteen minutes as was the bloke in a pot.   But, bless’em, original songs. It made us chuckle when she included lots of obligatory ‘f’ words in one song. Sounded so polite! Plenty of peers and parents there to applaaud them.                 Small Victories. Two young men with shades on drums and guitar/vocals. Seemingly the bass player had to cry off on the Pat and Mick.    But they managed extraordinarily well as a duo.   Own stuff with festival favourite ‘Gloria’ thrown in . We got briefly more excited when we thought he announced a Spirit cover, but it was , I think, Spiritualized.                       Jimmy Regal and the Royals. Their appearance hinted at the onset of ska/Two Tone, but, no, they were a decent blues-based outfit. ‘Look Out’ had an ‘On the Road Again’ feel and some Bo Diddley is always welcome.  They finished with ‘Just Because’, which was much longer than my Flying Burrito Brothers version. Enjoyed them.                 Mee and the Band. Wacky duo, surely influenced by Bjork, Kate Bush and even Peter Gabriel?  They must have put a lot of work into the performance and went down well.      (Did I see Steve Boltz Bolton from Atomic Rooster walking around?)             Databass. Another occasion when the other stage was still going when this one started up.  Dave Ripp on bass, so it was always going to be what I understand to be ‘dub’ based. Plenty in to watch. We sat outside.                             Weird Cousins. B/D/G group with female vocals. Drowned out by Main Stage dj who thought it more important to play a load of ska.   They weren’t all that remarkable really. Harsh?  Maybe, but realistic.                             Hannah Scott. Young singer/songwriter with a decent songs and voice. But just basic chord strumming is just too…basic?                  Dead’s Man Corner. Well that’s what it said on the board! It is the afore-mentioned Steve Boltz’s side group.  Very much based  on sixties rock and roll. Some Billy Fury, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and ‘Is Vic there?’.  Also Memphis Minnie’s ‘When the levee breaks’. Enjoyable set, you can send Mr B a seventieth birthday card next year!                       Twangers. More Hope regulars. ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’ set the scene.                         Dishy Tangent. Starting on time, with ‘twanging’ still happening across the way.  Now getting an annoying feature!  Drummer looked and sounded like he should have been in a much heavier outfit. But, again, full marks for playing original stuff.                    Hobo and the Hippies.  More Plastic Paddies, from a few miles down the road.                    Aunt Nelly. Five piece soul combo with female vocalist.                       Professor No Hair and the Wig Lifters. Sub-Ronnie Scott’s jazz stuff but a) warmer in the tent than outside and b) away from a couple of intrusive wimmin who decided that it was perfectly ok to invade our company.   Got some boogie woogie piano and a Booker T-sounding number. Bass solo! Drum solo!  ‘Mojo Working’ got some feet tapping.   Not our sort of stuff really.  Afore -mentioned couple came back to pester us again.  We were so fed up we went . Of course, if I had told them to ‘F**k off’ I would have been homophobic, they would have claimed. In fact, totally not. Is probably xenophobic , if xenophobic means not liking total strangers boring us with details of their tedious f**kin existence.        Went to bed, been awake for a long time. Just beat the rain.

Sunday. Tunehead.  Opening three numbers sounded very much like one of those Steely Dan b-sides which featured an instrumental mix.  In fact, one was a Jaco Pastorius number.  Freddy Husband, Grover Washington and a couple of Miles Davis tunes  came along. Not our genre but much better on a Sunday lunchtime than having some youngster telling us to wake up and put our hands in the air.                            Pelican Assembly. Low-key tapalong stuff with female trumpeter. again, ok for the time and day.                      Interrupted by Memphis  across the way doing their pub covers . ‘Roxette’ got Her Ladyship to her feet, it does no matter who is playing it.    Rolling Stones stuff well in evidence, but , after being marginally overserved the night before, a barrage of King Crimson would have been a bit misplaced.  Strangely, we were talking about Lou Reed’s ‘Transformer’ when they started up ‘Walk on the Wild Side’!  I decided to say my Lottery numbers out loud! *             Ukedelix   Women with ukeleles . Struggled with Roy Orbison, but who wouldn’t ?                              Stone Cold Fiction   Youthful power trio with original songs. Keep it up lads.               Dave Bassey. We got talking to a couple of women whose musical knowledge far exceeded ‘Bat out of Hell’, ‘Queen’s Greatest Hits Vol 1-3’ and Robbie Williams so missed watching Mr B and friend. Which was unfortunate, because anyone who starts with the Flying Burrito Brothers and includes Steve Earle, Little Feat and even Manassas in their repertoire will definitely get our attention next year.                                    Similarly missed the excellent Nigel Clark across the field.   Her Ladyship went across and and said he was great, as he had been before. She was especially moved by his rendition of Tom Waits’ ‘I hope I don’t fall in love with you’.                           Alex and the Wonderland.    Early showing of reggae and funky stuff.   All for people doing their own stuff but this lot didn’t interest me.  They seemed to have plenty of friends there to listen to a quasi-Jamiroquai number and Johnny Nash’s ‘Cupid’ sped up my exit.  Went across to await the arival of the excellent Mazaika.                                Like some before them , they came onstage on time but said there was no point trying to play over the other lot who thought they were wonderful enough to overrun. The woman was quite rightly annoyed . Frustrating that a couple of world class musicians whose presence would not go astray in the Royal Albert Hall were kept waiting by a load of bog standard, going-nowhere tw*ts who wouldn’t fill the Royal Albert pub in Grimsby.    Eventually they got going with their blend of hot swing, classic, Russian folk song music and Django Reinhardt.  Absolutely imperious musicians, Brian Unorfadox was in total agreement. He rightly also commented about the eclectic nature of the weekend’s music. I spotted an old biddy in a purple tie-dyed dress having a good jig to ‘Hava Nagila’ and then thought ‘ Sh*t, it’s Her Ladyship in her latest purchase!’. Worth every penny of their fee, which hopefully was in the tens of thousands of pennies Dave!         To end the event, Hope All Stars  mega ska jam session.  Definitely zed-time!

So, overall? An enjoyable weekend, met our festifriends and basked in the sunshine.  Predicted Sunday storm didn’t quite get to us thankfully but there was a spectacular lightning display witnessed from inside our tent in the early hours of Sunday morning. We never got down to the Piano Bar, so apologies for not covering the events there.

1. Music. Eclectic as usual, with the emphasis probably on ska. Missed the usual bonus of unannounced presence of Squeeze or members thereof though.

2. Food. More choice this year but £4.00 for ‘real’, ‘large’ chips!?

3. Bar. Price £4.00 a pint. OK, not Wetherspoons but not JFK Airport prices either!  But staff? Got to be said…hopeless. The number of times we were quoted wrong prices and (almost) given wrong change was far too many. Her Ladyship actually once gave some change back!  The gesture of giving eg £10.20 to make giving change easier on a round of £8.20 should have made things simpler but caused multiple aneurysms, And the fact that appeals were going out at the last minute for help behind the bar just doesn’t wash. The person getting the contract should surely have to provide a well-prepared, quality service. What if all the musicians had turned up without instruments and asked if anyone had a guitar?

4.Security. Seemed fine but certainly not intrusive.

5. Dogs. Once again ‘No Dogs Allowed’ was the order. So why let these tw*ts in with dogs who are just laughing at the stated conditions?

6. Scheduling of stages. The boards seemed to indicate one stage finish/other one starts. Too many instances of acts not sticking to an important schedule.

But a good, friendly event. Getting slightly more popular though.

Anyone wanting to use any of the photos is welcome to do so, it would be nice to credit Her Ladyship though!