Saturday starts with queues at the campsite gate to get on to the site. People aren't allowed in until just before 11 am which seems a bit odd. At most festivals, you can wander around and get food and drinks, even if the venues aren't ready to be opened.
Highlights are a short poem about the excruciating time that he met Paul McCartney, 'On Supporting Madness', a poem about being asked to go on tour with Madness, and a poem about Russell Brand who he met a year ago but prior to that had an irrational hatred of him. Jupitus says he was "charming, funny and smelt of flowers and ladies". He also reads from his book 'Good Morning Nantwich', which is about local radio DJs, apparently they wouldn't let him read it in the Literary tent!
I try to catch a bit of Ardal O'Hanlon in the Comedy arena but it's absolutely packed out the main arena as well as the side tents and screen areas. In the Film & Music arena next door, they are showing a short, but sweet, film featuring Adam Buxton called 'Little Face' about an imaginary childhood friend. The next film which I'm very excited about, 'When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors', is introduced by Ian Haydn Smith, editor of the International Film Guide.
Bizarrely, although next year will be the fortieth anniversary of Morrison's death, it's apparently the first documentary ever made about The Doors. The film, narrated by Johnny Depp, sets The Doors in the context of the '60s with the civil rights movement, Vietnam and the youth counter-culture show at the beginning, as well as snippets of electrifying live performances where Morrison always seemed to be surrounded by police officers. Unfortunately, there was a technical hiccup during the screening so we missed a chunk in the middle of the film but nonetheless it's a powerful reminder of what a great band The Doors were.
Brett Easton Ellis, revered American novelist, is being interviewed in the Literary tent but appears to be giving the interviewer a very hard time and being uncooperative to the point of ill-mannered, although he loosened up when the audience started asking questions.
One of my favourite musicians, David Ford, is appearing in the Word venue with his band. It's a blistering but short set incorporating some new songs, a couple of oldies, including his signature tune, the brilliant, looping 'State of the Union' and the emotional 'I Don't Care What You Call Me'. Ford describes one song, 'Surfing Guantanamo Bay', as being about a couple of things the Geneva Convention on human rights and surfing! He sings "the only love song to Margaret Thatcher that I'm aware of" - 'She's Not The One For Me'.
A nice little show in the theatre, entitled 'Lovesong' features Omar. It's a one man show with a touching storyline about finding love in an unexpected place interspersed with soulful songs on the keyboard.
The Mummers play in the Film & Music arena as part of Mark Lamarr's 'God's Jukebox' show transplanted from Radio 2 where he features non-guitar bands that wouldn't normally get radio airplay. The start of their set is delayed for some time, which appears to be sound problems, and the audience start getting angsty. It's worth the wait the nine piece from Brighton fronted by Raissa Khan-Panni, incorporate strings and brass, keyboards, melodica, xylophone, with childlike lead vocals and other-worldly songs.
Walking past the 'In the Woods' stage, which continues till 3 am, Club De Fromage DJs are entertaining the audience dressed as Father Christmas, and playing cheesy tunes like Dire Straits' 'Money for Nothing' and 'Rockin Robin'. Meanwhile Gaymers cider is sponsoring a Lost in the Orchard stage, an open-air venue sited between the main site and camping areas, where there's a queue to get in to rockaoke.
Whilst queuing for the theatre again, I can hear Les Enfants Terribles in the Faraway Forest. They're hosting a masked ball and are singing a song called 'Smiling Makes the Day Go Quicker', sounds like great fun. I should have joined them. The show in the theatre, called 'The Show of the Night' by the Perennial Theatre Company, has a promising concept of a hen party meeting a funeral party in a bar. It turns out to be very disappointing and the theatre which starts off full, rapidly empties out. The play is not helped by technical problems with the mics initially. The acting is good, though there's a bit too much shouting, screaming and swearing, but the writing feels shambolic, improvised and directionless. There's no satisfying conclusion to the story and the depleted audience clap with sheer relief at the end. I'm wishing I'd gone for a comforting bedtime story instead.
review by: Helen OSullivan
photos by: Gary Stafford
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