Maverick Sabre proves a fitting end to the weekend

House of Fun Weekender review

published: Wed 30th Nov 2011

Maverick Sabre

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
from £149 per person (based on four people sharing)
daily capacity: 6500
last updated: Thu 10th Nov 2011

So many people had left by Sunday morning that the car park was half empty. I can only guess that the distance some people had travelled and rest stops factored in meant that they would have to leave before 12 midday in order to be seated on the couch with a cup of tea by the time X-Factor begins.

Abandoman
By now I was treating this event like a weekend away holiday, if I got to see any act that interested me then that would be a lovely bonus but mildly surprising. Abandoman was a real talent and a break from the norm, an Irish man rapping with the aid of a guitarist. What is so special about that I hear you say? Well all the songs were improvised. Imagine first singing songs (that rhyme) based on object that the audience have in their pocket, then imagine having the ability to rap at high speed and think of witty rhymes relevant to objects the crowd were displaying. Very impressive indeed. I spent a long time trying to understand how this could be. Sure some objects in peoples pockets would come up all the time, a phone lighter but people were pulling out cork screws, hand lotion, Gaviscon, or an oyster card. I am sure that so far in my life this is the closest I have come to witnessing superpowers.

Finally our rapper offered the audience to air the most pedantic things that annoy them and he would rap about them. He told us that past gripes included someone really hating the font 'new times roman' to the point of cheekily revolting by writing in 'wing dings' or another person upset by petit feleut pots when you realise that the spoon you have doesn't fit the pot. Our audience put their collective bonces together and came up with their combined iq that the little thing they most hate in life is cold kebabs. That is some deep thinking.

The final evening featured a silent disco which always puts a smile on people's faces, especially with anthems such as The Killers 'Mr Brightside' or Kings of Leon 'Sex on Fire.' It is a lot of fun to hear large numbers of people singing without them being able to hear themselves. Or to watch people mosh in silence to Rage Against the Machine's 'Killing in the Name,' or skank to 'One Step Beyond' by Madness.

Maverick Sabre
Finally the last notable act (as Jaguar Skills had been cancelled) was Maverick Sabre, the latest new soulful sensation making a name for himself. Within 20 seconds it was evident that he and his band were going to be the most polished and enjoyable performance of the weekend. To name a few he sang a Sam Cooke song perfectly, played his top 20 single 'I Need' and ended with the fantastic 'Jungle,' the song by Chase and Status of which he provided vocals. For me it symbolised a sharp contrast between long standing and established Madness and new star in his embryonic form, a fitting end to the weekend.

Monday came and I couldn't wait to leave but it seems that car park was now 95% empty already so maybe it was a shared feeling. In summary I have to say that I feel there were some successes but many failures. The comedy was great, in fact I think a whole festival of comedy would be perfect at Butlins but venue seating was minimal so to stand for hours at a time was annoying.

5am finish times were absolutely pointless – the average age being at least 50 and few people of this age want to do all nighters, much less 3 in a row and besides attendees drank themselves to sleep long before this.

My biggest regret was missing the Sunday scheduled dip in the ocean. British sea temperatures are currently about 10 Celsius so it would have been a delightful sight to watch some lunatics going for a quick dip. However, no times were scheduled in the programme and I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if it was cancelled. Maybe next year? I think not.
review by: Anthony Hetherington

photos by: Anthony Hetherington

Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
from £149 per person (based on four people sharing)
daily capacity: 6500
last updated: Thu 10th Nov 2011


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