Waveform, being the ecologically green festival that it is raises some interesting questions which as an attendee I find myself wondering about.
The biggest concerns the actual peace ceremony at the heart of the festival. Billed as an Earthdance it actually consisted of a poem read by a hippy woman which I personally felt failed to connect with the majority of the crowd. The wording seemed too couched in hippydom to be taken seriously.
This raises a wider question, dance music has been around sometime now and so much of the audience was middle aged and middle classed. Some people have leveled criticism that the ‘NIMBYs’ and eco-conscious light warriors are actually just middle aged hedonists really there just to have a good time.
Showing little interest in saving the world or the environment and more in doing what they want, partying. As someone who went there I find this an uneasy criticism.
Certainly it was not all middle aged hedonists, there were young people there too, but was everyone carrying a torch for eco-ism? Certainly it was friendly and there was no trouble – so the peaceful side of the festival ideal is covered. But what about the eco message?
There was no hard sell of these messages, there were displays of eco shelters and alternative green living and some workshops on sustainability but these were more on shakras and changing your consciousness and rarely did I see many green workshops.
It seemed the hippy message was firmly embedded, and recycling materials for kids workshops and the compost loos were admirable, but many didn’t know how to use the loos – their split seats with a separate container for urine went unnoticed by many, males in particular.
The high levels of Greenhouse gas (N2O) abuse all weekend and the metal containers and balloons dropped everywhere were perhaps indicative that some were there to party and not to save the world.
Going back to the ceremony afterwards it seemed many were disappointed that they didn’t connect to the thing, so clearly there were also people with good intentions. Perhaps many also felt they didn’t do enough in the fight for the environment too. Or at least make an impact and that’s something that’s hard to achieve.
Certainly the site was pretty spotless and the recycle bins used – but a closer inspection of their contents showed than many couldn’t work out which bin was for what.
I’d like to think that overall the split was in favour of the environmentalists on the whole, and of course there were a lot of elderly locals on site - there to see the hippies but it’s hard to spot a hippy from a Trustifarian and proper living off the earth hippies from ‘Totnes weekend hippies’ but I think most had their heart in the right place. But I obviously have little proof of this.
I guess the point is that at least the organizers showed they were making an effort, solar panels, compost loos, in the main vegetarian catering, cigarette butt holders, local plant hire, bio-diesel and manageable wood, all point to them doing their bit. And I’m sure their ideal of a totally sustainable green festival was achieved. But can the same be said for those attending?
It’s hard to say whether the ‘green festival’ rubs off on an out and out hedonist. Or whether those living in the live in vehicles and shelters full time feel they need to make any more of an effort than they do already – being self-sufficient. I guess the fact they are there proves to some it can be done. I know we tried to do our bit – consistently sticking to the ‘leave no trace’ policy. But I still feel this isn’t enough, but what more can we do at a festival? I have no answers.
But ‘no trace’ I guess is at the heart of the eco-message – reducing waste, and with such a clean site I believe that worked. The organisers also made efforts to cut noise pollution with many stages having sound meters outside.
After witnessing the waste left over from other festivals this year, I believe this shows the message got through. But I do think weekend eco-warriors have a job on their hands to prove they are indeed saving the world to the on looking public.
How hippies can make the language of the sixties more relevant and connected to younger audiences is more of a problem and one that makes me wonder if the eco-message could in the future suffer from the same ‘out of date’ language. What happens if going green becomes untrendy?
What is interesting to note is that the ‘peace and love’ message has now become well embedded, and everyone there showed respect and friendliness to those around them, so festivals at least have bedded in that message. Can creativity, diversity and everyone having a good time possibly not be enough these days? I find it hard to believe many would seek more than that – perhaps it’s time we tried. Perhaps these kind of festivals will empower us to do just that.
Considering the last 'beep beep' festival I went to was overloaded with chavs and zombied trancers and Ket heads and seemed to involve wall to wall advertising, I've tended to shy away from them since the glory days of the late Eighties and early nineties and yet here is Waveform to re-affirm my faith in dance festivals - well done Family Gathering youknow how to do your festivals. Okay so the line up boasted some great old school names Banco De Gaia, Eat Static, System 7 and the real Ozrics (Dream Machine).
Dream Machine were amazing, finally I got to see them and anyone who says the band who still carry the name Ozrics sound like those tunes of yester-year are wrong - here is the incarnation of that sound and god it so works with flute. Whoever said they could never hear it need to see this lot and then tell me they could never hear it. Like the old days it was, mental stuff! Ozrics without flute really isn't the same - these boys were fantastic! and with Paul Didge too it were proper great. Then most of them stayed on stage for Zub Zub which had me dancing in the sun while throwing giant frisbee about - lovely.
The organisers of this the first eco-sustainable dance festival organised by the Global Undergound and the people who do Sunrise and the Glasto Greenfields. clearly really know what they are doing and god they're good at putting on a festival. They planned everything out we'd want for the weekend, seven main stages offering a selection of dance styles, I'm too old to know my trance from my psy - if i like it i listen, that's it. Although Feed Your Head sounds were there in abundance. Then there were lots of other little domes offering more choice, fantastic food, great visuals and lasers and shit loads of good drugs floating about. Loads of happy hippies and psy trancers, crusty jugglers, a high dreadlock count and Sunrise real ale and cold cider. Chai wallahs for all nighters and a wonderful vibe - really great - mental salve for the mind it were.
Eat Static on the Saturday were awesome and followed by some crazy hippy stuff which had me in stitches and was well received by those into their shakras etc - "switch off your mind and open your heart.... you are a wave....form!" It had me smiling and was the worst rhyming in some time - hippies ehh gotta love them. Crystal skulls and Stonehenge and all that - world peace started that night with 350 or so countries also joining in the synchronised dance - personally I'd have had Eat Static do the whole thing.
Told the Eco Rangers to target the No2zers who were leaving the metal pellet things and their balloons all over what was an otherwise clean site. Christ they annoy me almost as much as Ket heads with their total lack of keeping the place clean at a festival which underlines a leave no trace policy.
Managed to get up after minimum sleep on Sunday morning to catch Eat Static but have to say I was drawn to the all night partying of the Ninja Hippies were better.
But what a terrific weekend end to the festival. Lovely time camped with Clive, Lucy and Chocky and demolished our cider allocation around the fire at night and of course the lovely Midnight was there too - helpfully filling in my poor knowledge of recent developments in the underground dance scene and informing me of line up changes etc. Met some lovely new random people around our fire. Discovered some great music to listen to - like Sub Source and Sunfish (sun theme there?) - and really got into the hi energy of Ninja Hippies.
Loads of festie characters and familiar festie faces, even a cat, happy kids and a great music programme from full on Friday to chilled Sunday - They really knew what would go with what and after some probs at the start and a late kick off they really got it organised. Sounds like it'll be even better next year.
Mirror System - Steve Hillage were awesome in Eartheart and at the time i had no idea it was hime! Thanks to Midnight I discovered it was. and talking of that wasn't System 7 excellent too. Shame it was so badly attended by efesters - as it's an awesome location, fantastically planned and executed. Best way to end a festival and lovely weather too - bliss! Bit cold at night - good job i brought the fire. The best in old skool dance parties has been brought bang up to date in a lovely setting by the river. We have another festival we can be proud of right on our front door.
To be honest I enjoyed it more than Beautiful Days, not just because of the lack of mud but also the audience - okay the music was a far less wide spectrum but the green credentials brought with it the mellower more chilled and colourful festival goers, resulting in a better vibe than this year's BDays. A local version of Sunrise, Glade and Eastern Haze - I'm told - no longer do I miss going to them.
For me though it lacked the wide spectrum of events offered by Shhhhhh, which has a similar crowd, but it was just as much a party as Endorse-It which had music I'm more accustomed to.
So the festival season falls like this:
Gotta go back for the party: Endorse It, Waveform, Beautiful Days.
Loveliest festival over a widest spectrum: Glastonbury, WOMAD, Wychwood.
Nice local footprint and new music: Respect, Ex-folk, Urban Lawns
By comparison rather mainstream, but having the big names: IOW and Guilfest and half of Glastonbury.
Best for kids: Shambala, Beautiful Days, Wychwood - we don't take Z to Glasto.
Festie List 2007:
Endorse It Indoors - April - Sunny scorchio
Exfolk - May - Sunny
Urban Lawns - May - Gale force rain
Wychwood - May - Sunny
Isle of Wight - June - Scorchio
Glasto - June - Big Mud
Respect - July - Sunny/Cloudy
Guilfest - July - Sunny til Sunday
WOMAD - July - Wo-mud more like but late night rain
Endorse It - Aug - Lovely
Beautiful Days - Aug - mud, wind and rain
Shambala - Aug - Sunny Scorchio
Waveform - Sept - Sunny
This weekend was expensive - firstly we tooled up the Mrs with a mid-range bow plus accessories and I bought a dozen - heavier weight 32" (45-55lb) arrows. Quicks must have been glad to see us.
Then it was the club championships. And we all walked away with silverware. I got the best barebow score 331 and Z came second in the juniors. K got third in novices. Z also got a trophy for the Junior League (another second) and I won the league for Short Windsor (that's shooting 50 and then 40 yards). Z also got a ribbon for qualifying as a First Class Bowman - not bad considering all of us have been shooting for under a year.
Next weekend is the last festie of the season for us - Waveform!
Back from Shhhh - once again the most fun I've had in a field all summer - loads of workshops (most craft stuff I've seen since Glasto) loads of extra stuff to get involved in like jousting, gurning, tug of war, football, political issues, - and loads more. Mead, ciders like Hecks (Hex) a whole perry pub, great performances (although the music took a back seat), lovely location woodland was great with lights, visuals, glitterballs, hammocks etc. Lots of bands i liked from Glasto new bands' finals (which incidentally has me credited on the CD!) like
Dr Meaker, Baraka, loads of cool bands to chat with like Nuala, The Duckworths, Smerins - medieval village was cool. The site lovely, the hot tubs were a right touch, the kids' fields, nice loos, fires ahhhh it were right gorgeous. Fantastic - the festie of the summer! Wonderful company once again - seemed like it was a Busman's holiday with loads of festie crew there on their holibobs!! Good to meet some new folks - hi neighbours and some familiar faces too.
The best moment had to be when 12 year old A. took out the wrestler! Twice! Hope your head's ok .
So top five of the year goes:
2. Endorse It.
4. Beautiful Days
So we're definitely going to all of these next year.
Plus having experienced a few lovely sunny festies - we're cheered up about Glasto - so we'll be applying for them again next year.
Found a great excuse for carrying a tankard at festivals - it's for medicinal reasons. Getting hot here tonight (10.40pm) so looking good for this weekend hopefully. Might not even need the BBQ - hoe they have good food like the furnace there. Will be wearing same costume too - been told this is boring - but hey can't afford loads of stuff. Work is totally nuts another graphics guy has walked so there's now 4 of us doing 78 magazines. That's 20 a month each - not enough hours in the day. Plus speedway programmes and a greater workload as i have a 3 day week this week and 4 next week. Last weekend of festivals this year.
Okay we have /waveform\ but we probably won't be camping.
Just got back - after a weekend of cider! the lack of feeling in my hands meant i kept dropping pints so I've joined the tankard brigade. Lovely weekend - although it's a bit of a realisation for me that my real life friends are less festie hardened and found it more difficult. Loved the weekend - although it seemed a much slower pace than last week's Endorse It. Still more fan Glasto for me and equally as nice as Wychwood - i do like late night (all night) entertainment and so would put it third on my festival list.
I'm intrigued by a few festivals which re-define festivals like Summer Sundae - with it's indoor/outdoor mix. Lattitude too offers some more diversity it seems - but I'm in no great hurry as i know what i like in my festivals. But both of these I heard good things about. The main one that many were raving about was Rhythm - although this could move to force a clash - if it doesn't I think we'll give that a try.
1. Endorse It.
3. Wychwood/Beautiful Days
And would dearly like to do:
Ragged Hedge Fair on August 31 - September 2 just to see The Cosmic Charlies
Could it be that if you buy a ticket for Endorse It and for Beautiful Days then you've pretty much spent the same amount as at Glasto and if you take the week off inbetween you're actually at festivals for longer and liable to get some sleep at some point. If you're an old school geezer like me then you prefer Avalon, Jazzworld and Greenfields more than Main and other stage- i just think you have a better time not having to trudge everywhere.
Also, after Amy Winehouse's recent coming off the rails I've noticed that bands are actually much fresher at IOW than Glasto, so if you're into mainstream you are better off seeing them there. As they seem to often fall apart come the end of a gruelling schedule Ms Winehouse being the latest example, an excellent performance at IOW has slowly deteriorated to her feeble sounding recent appearance.
Oh and Endorse It is fabulous! What a terrific weekend - lots of fun had a blast met all the most lovely people - they all know who they are. I love the fact there was much more going on - the festie goes from strength to strength and lovely weather too. Dreadzone for nigh on 2 hours! Wow!
So far the best festies are:
1. Endorse It.
4. Glasto (blimey - this low?)
7. Exeter Respect
8. Urban Lawns
With three more still to go - will there be any change at the top? All strong new entries - Beautiful Days, Shambala and Waveform.
Festies I've heard great things about:
1. Glade (still not kid friendly - so off the radar)
2. Sunrise Celebration (mmm might have to go to this.
3. Eastern Haze (space rock)
I'm thinking of knocking Glasto on the head - let the kids have/break it or themselves. But it's like christmas i just can't leave it off the calendar I've been going too long.
Ahh Endorse It on Friday - who knows what time we're gonna get there! Or for that matter where we're camping! But looking forward to it lots! Back to the Planet OMFG!!!! The forecast for Beaut days is deteriorating - wonder if it's too late to get a tipi?
...ah Wo-mud has found a home. Lovely site, lovely crowd, lovely stages, lovely varied music to suit all tastes, lovely arboreum bit, with the bottom of the site and meadow stage to look forward to next year. Faces in trees man - awesome. Where we camped was a handy location - will be back there next year! Stilldelighted despite the weather and got a costume for beaut days, endorse it and shambala - sorted!
Congratulations! You have been diagnosed with an extremely rare disorder of the central nervous system involving a cyst or cavity inside the brain tissue. The cysts or cavities are usually the result of some injury to the brain following an illness or trauma, but they can also be the result of abnormal development. Your condition has been confirmed by our wonderful MRI machine however the exact cause is unknown and the symptoms unfathomable.
Yours is an arachnoid cyst (SPIDER BONUS - I HAVE SPIDEY SENSES!) The prognosis for individuals varies according to the location and extent of the cyst. These may include delayed growth and development in childhood, spastic paresis (slight or incomplete paralysis) CHECK, hypotonia (decreased muscle tone) CHECK, seizures (often infantile spasms) CHECK, and macrocephaly (an abnormally large head) NOPE or microcephaly (an abnormally small head) NOPE. Those severely affected individuals at one end of the spectrum may have poor or absent speech development CHECK-well word replacement problems and name issues, epilepsy NOPE, hydrocephalus NOPE, spastic contractures (shrinkage or shortening of muscles) CHECK, and mental retardation CHECK.
Thankfully, at the other extreme, some patients with this disorder may develop hardly any discernable problems and be able to lead a relatively normal life. Ah great cept I already have a few of those unfathomable symptoms
Where it is your head is involved in orientation, recognition and spatial awareness. Ah hence why i get so fantastically stoned! I once had a patient who had a small blood clot on the brain in this bit of the old pink jelly, and in the acute phase of his condition he was unable to copy certain shapes or position the numbers symmetrically on a clock face CHECK. He could not recognise simple objects placed in his hands with his eyes closed (e.g. a fifty pence piece) DUNNO and could only find his way back to the correct room on the ward by leaving his dressing gown on his bed NOPE - i find my tent even in total darkness.
I sincerely hope that you are not too adversely affected by this rare disorder. THANKS I have good reason to hate spiders now!
So i went and clicked on this:
Then clicked the patients guide was reading through going check nope for a while then read the bit about planes - where she speaks of the agony of flying - i get the too!
Went to the doctors yesterday as my flu from Glasto is still around three weeks later and wanted to check it wasn't aan infection what needed anti biotics.
My real doctor wasn't available so saw the consultant - told i have no fluid on lungs or infection and that the coughing fits are probably down to not smoking increasing my suceptability to hayfever!
Anyway I mention that i haven't had any news on the MRI yet - she has her computer monitor facing me as she does a search - seems the specialist has sent a letter to the doc - it's been scanned - in it it diagnoses me as definitely having neuropathy brought on by a cyst on the left side of my brain (some bit i can't remember) other than that it gives me a clean bill of health. Not really sure what a brain cyst is - is it a scar? But will google that when i have more time.
Meanwhile bow has been fine tuned - hitting golds last night at 60ft.
Also RED ARROWS display team would like to be the flash mob thing this year at Beaut Days - let me know if you fancy being a pilot - the more the more spectaclear it will be!
Really looking forward to Guilfest - gonna be superb!
And went looking for a dress in Tk-Maxx for Endorse It far too many to choose from - how on earth do women buy frocks? I recommend all blokes do it - it's hilarious to gauge other shoppers reactions as you attempt to measure them against yourself and argue the virtues of dots over flowers and a material's transparency! Ended up rolling about laughing!
My reviews of those bands i saw all their performance at Glasto are up now:
3 Daft Monkeys - Thursday, Leftfield
Ed Cottam (PeekAdore)- Late n Live, Thursday
The John E Vistic Experience - Late n Live, Thursday
Fortune Drive - Leftfield, Thursday
Pama International - Leftfield, Thursday
Guilty Pleasures Live – Friday, Jazzworld
Oi Va Voi - Friday, Avalon stage
Damian Marley – Friday, Jazzworld
Ganga Giri - Saturday, Jazzworld,
Cortina Deluxx - Late n Live, Saturday
Feluka - Late n Live, Saturday
CSS – Other Stage, Saturday
Duke Special – Saturday, Queens Head
Hazah - Late n Live, Saturday
John Fogerty – Saturday, Jazzworld
The Saw Doctors - Saturday, Avalon stage
Rise Kagona & Champion Doug Veitch – Sunday, Avalon Stage
Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans - Sunday, Avalon Stage
Tinariwen -Sunday, Jazzworld
Fat Freddy's Drop - Sunday, Jazzworld
Bellowhead - Sunday, Avalon
Now I was wondering what happened Friday? Not many acts and then I realised that was when Kaz arrived on site - so i missed a huge chunk while we did the grand tour (to get her passes) and meandered around Park Field and chilled in the bar at Jazzworld for a while.
Plus I did a sort of personal overview based on the earlier blog post below. I call it 'Escaping Babylon.' as i had such a great time not going to the two big stages.
Amazingly it seems my theory could have some corroborating evidence:
1. Firstly I hear word that St Petrocs the Padstow Church has in its East Window - behind the High Altar a depiction of a canopy with bow, arrow, sword and two peculiar hunting horns which is a badge representing St. Petroc, the first Abbot and founder of Padstow church. And the bow? It's a reflex recurve and not a longbow!!! St Petroc the saint of Cornwall is symbolised with a reflex recurve.
2. Then I'm told that in Cotehele - the National Trust house in Cornwall on the wall are hung two unstrung reflexes! These would look odd to anyone not in the know about bows as unstrung they look like this:
and when strung like this:
When I was told this I had a dim memory of seeing an unstrung Reflex in Buckfast Abbey - but I'll need to go there to prove my finding.
But so far it looks like the history books and the Cornish archery society are wrong and indeed the Cornish used recurves and not long bows.
So why a reflex recurve not the traditional English Longbow? Well mainly beacuse personally I believe the Cornish Celts used recurves not the traditional English Saxon longbow of the rest of conquered England. My reasoning for this? Comes from the origins of Britian and the Trojans arrival in Cornwall in around 1250BC with reflex bows.
Perhaps the most common cultural characteristic of the ancient Celts was the Celtic languages, a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The earliest established origins of Celts dates from c.1000-800 BC in Eastern Europe, though research and excavations in very recent years indicate that cultures in Siberia and Northern Mongolia may well be directly linked to the Celts. Both of these cultures date back as far as the second millennium BC. The prowess of the Celts as master horsemen with the capabilities of travelling very long distances give these links further credibility.
These bows are mentioned in Book 21 of Homer's Odyssey. The contest with Odysseus' Bow: Described:
There is the a competition to string the bow, which proves impossible - however it's solved by stringing the bow while seated - which is the case for a Reflex recurve - thus this well sprung bow used by Trojans is the reflex.
But where the Cornish connection? Well:
Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia regum Britanniae (1135–39), says the founder of Kernow was a Trojan warrior who accompanied Brutus the Trojan, the legendary founder of Britain, to England. on the founding of Britain - The bit particularly about Cornwall. In which Corineus is mentioned as coming from the Trojans and thus reflex bows.
The statue of Corineus at London beidge erected in the 1500s showing him with a reflex Recurve and arrows upon his back.
There's also of course the other Celt and Pictish reces of Britain to consider the Irish were unfamiliar with Longbows and so too the Scottish. However the Welsh - were the origin of the longbow which pretty much overtook all other forms of bow in England in the 13th Century had not only longbows but recurved horsebows, I've yet to find much on them but the image of this American replica looks pretty similar:
During the Anglo-Norman invasions of Wales, Welsh bowmen took a heavy toll on the invaders. The English were quick to realise the impact that the longbow could produce on the battlefield. As soon as the Welsh campaign was successfully over, Welsh conscripts began to be incorporated into the English army. The lessons the English learned in Wales were later used with deadly effect by Welsh mercenaries on the battlefields of France and Scotland. Their skill was exercised under King Edward I of England (r. 1272–1307), who banned all sports but archery on Sundays, to make sure Englishmen practised with the longbow. As a result, the English during this period as a whole became very effective with the longbow.
But were these bows the traditional tool of the ancient archer? They are cruder and less technical to make than the ancient reflex and I feel it was this ease of construction which led to it being the weapon in the UK. But if we had Trojans in Cornwall then we'd have had their bow technology and perhaps the Cornish bow was once a recurve. Especially if we were a nation of mounted militia - celtic horse skills are well documented and a long bow would be irrelevent on horseback or celt chariot.
Infact the BBC gave Robin a reflex recurve in the last TV adaptation explainuing it by saying: The bow Robin carries is not a typical English bow (longbows did not arrive until just before the Hundred Years War); it is a recurved bow, supposedly adopted from the Saracens he fought on Crusade. In reality it is an Hungarian hunting bow - the glues used in Saracen bows would have meant it would quickly fall apart under European weather conditions.
Any archaelogists studying in Kernow may be able to she some light on if any recurve remnants have ever been found.
Today i finally got around to buying my bow it's a HUNGARIAN BOW OF THE MIDDLE AGES as used by the Magyar and also I've since realised used by Robin Hood in the BBC TV series. Damn that sounds too cliched now.
I bought it in this design, see pic below, although I'm considering putting a knotwork design on the limbs in the future. Z is currently creating one for me.
total length: 60 1/2"
length between siyahs: 53"
length strung: 55 5/8"
draw weight: 44# at 28'
max. draw length: 35"
brace height: 7"
Next up I need to get a Gorytos - a bow quiver.
Hoping the weather is clear enough to try her out tomorrow. I'm giving up smoking again at midnight but my cold is too bad to actually smoke anything tonight!
Guilfest line up is looking superb and Exeter Respect is on before that! Really enjoyed Glasto only 50 weeks to the next one.
Had a great time, spent wednesday and thursday walking around the greenfields, then off to cider bus, then off to some place to dance all night! Kaz turned up Friday which took a while to meet up as i was waiting at West carparks and she parked in east - by then my phone was on its last legs. Camping in Dragonfield was well handy for Bimble inn - defo camping near there at Beaut Days this year.
More rain than any previous Glasto ever - but less deep mud cos of all the drainage. Still heavily blistered feet!!
Best Glasto i've had in the last three.
Spent Solstice eve forging Iron in the craft field, had a bop in Lost Vagueness (but it was too packed usually) bought a pint (or more) in 32 of the bars on site. Wandering the site at dawn on the Solstice was superb - especially Banyan Cafe and a dance tent in the Park - which is a great addition.
Blagged a Workers Beer shirt and helped myself to a beer occasionally. Didn't bother with Pyramid met loads of people - Seth Lakeman, Katie Melua, Corrinne Bailey Ray, 3 Daft Monkeys, the blokes from Pama International and Lee 'Scratch' Perry Band, lead singer of Hazar and Cortina Deluxx
Saw loads of smaller stage, well main stage and other i can watch in the comfort of my living room:
Oi Va Voi
The Saw Doctors
3 Daft Monkeys
Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans
Rise Kagona & Champion Doug Veitch
Avalonian Free State Choir
Guilty Pleasures Live
Mr Hudson and the Library
Soil & 'Pimp' Sessions
Fat Freddy's Drop
Jam Session (indoor tent)
3 Daft Monkeys
LATE N Live
The John E Vistic Experience
A cool DJ
3 Daft Monkeys
Thank god for the Mrs arriving Friday - East 6 is the last carpark so easy to get out - the mudbath we walked past to get to the car - had me worried - hope people get off site ok today.
My fave Glasto since 2000 - so much better to totally avoid main and other stages, saw 45 acts, visited 32 bars. Thought the rain meant the mud stayed slushy and movable - if it dried out it would have been hell. More rainfall than anyprevious year I reckon? Would i be right?
Is it me or is LV a little boring? Nothing new this year, when it kept evolving it was so much better.
Despite the media moaning cos of a lack of indie kids i thought the atmosphere was sooo much better for the lack of pissed up teens - perhaps they stayed in their tents?
All the headliners were great, Bellowhead and SAW Doctors especially. Avalon and Jazzworld made my weekend.
Late n Live was a god send, an oasis from the mud and some great future talent displayed, (I notice coming back last night that Radio1 are saying they've found these great acts - think Glasto found them first!!!) and the DJs were superb - had me singing all day!
Bimble Inn, cheap beer, Chai Tent and tipi nekkid mud wrestling - had me grinning.
3 Daft Monkeys ("we thought this was a beer tent") and Pama International set up my festie vibe in Leftfield! Woah it's a big tent now!
Forging iron on solstice morning was the dogs! The craft bit of Glasto sets it head and shoulders above any other festival! Make your own wooden sofa! Bargain! Talking of Solstice thought the celebrations were rubbish - one solitary drummer? You drummers should be ashamed!
Park Field is a winner, a festival in itself. Shame about the horrendous mud, but in principle it looks lovely (nice feminine touches) and will be terrific on a drier year. Loved the rabbit hole although it did freak me out!
Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans and Rise Kagona & Champion Doug Veitch were the finds of the festival for me. Guilty Pleasures Live - Suggs doing Love is in the air was fantastic! Fat Freddies Drop were the biggest energy of the festival. John Fogerty rocked but his crew should be admonished for appalling behaviour stage side, pinning the stage manager!! - which stopped Rodrigo and Gabriella being on time.
Seth Lakeman's new stuff sounds wicked. Eat Static rocked in the Glade. CSS and Duke Spirit were my flavour of new music. Arcade Fire failed to deliver and much of the crowd were idiots. Pyramid was far too quiet sound wise.
Screens at the other stage! wow what a difference!
Met loads of people, new and old.
Well done to the infrastructure for keeping it going! Much better mud than any previous year, more seating like that in Jazzworld around a few other stages would be nice.
Been pretty busy recently:- Urban Lawns, Salisbury, Wychwood, Isle of Wight (Stones were fantastic) all on the bounce means this weekend we get a week off or would do if it weren't my cousin's wedding. With taking most of next week off for Glasto I've had nine mags to do in one week, plus reviews written, a couple of phone interviews and radio shows. The weather for Glasto is looking rubbish which is really depressing, as I'm there for all of Wednesday and Thursday on me own and was lookin' forward to sunshine and cider at the bus before Kaz arrived. I'm gonna have to hang out at Late n Live instead if the weather is like this.
Today is Oak Apple Day,
used to be a a holiday celebrated in England on 29 May to commemorate the restoration of the monarchy in Britain and Ireland, in May 1660. Charles I was said to have hidden in an oak tree in 1651 in the Battle of Worcester and the oak apple became a symbol of his restoration to the monarchy. In 1660, Parliament declared 29th May a public holiday.
Though Oak Apple holiday was formally abolished in 1859, traditional celebrations continued involving the wearing of oak apples or sprigs of oak leaves. Despite it being Royalist (and I'm no Royalist, but it seems many of cornwall's traditions are based in royalty, it's not the Duchy of Cornwall for nothing I am coming to realise) it's been traditional for years. Seems, I've just discovered Pepy's described as "Forever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King's return to his Government."
The 29th May was King Charles II's birthday. when you are meant to wear a sprig of oak. in the olden days if you didn't do this then young boys could pinch your bottom hence is was known as Pinch-Bum Day. The Chelsea pensioners celebrate the day by drinking beer and eating plum pudding. Charles II over ruled Cromwell's ban on merry-making and invented this day for people to party.
But the celebration appears, as is usually case to overlay an older Pagan festival. In 1603 the villagers Wishford, Wiltshire were granted the rights to collect wood from Grovely Forest for all time. They celebrate this by marching to the forest once a year. They return with large branches of oak, chanting "Grovely, Grovely and all Grovely" and carrying a banner bearing the words "Grovely, Grovely and all Grovely. Unity is Strength!”
In Cornwall and Wales, it's the time for special Oak clad Morris dancing as an ancient tradition first recorded in the reign of Elizabeth I, these ‘madde men’ with their ‘Devils dance’ were banned by the Puritans following the Civil War. Hmmm, banned and then replaced with basically the same ceremony.
In Devon and Cornwall many of the estates are open for half term activities many of which involve using oak leaves and apples.
The original ceremony is as far as I can determine the Celtic feast day of 'Buryan', also known as 'Bruniec', 'the Irish Lady', Irish princess, said to have accompanied St. Piran to Cornwall from Ireland. There is a village named in her honour near to Penzance, Cornwall, England.
Where traditionally miners would beg their bosses for food and beer. Which became seperated into the Celtic feast day of 'Collen', legend has it that Collen slew the evil giantess at Llangollen to save the lives of the people there, and as a sign of thanks he was made their Patron Saint.
Suggested that the giantess was a metaphor for the pagan practice and beliefs often associated with such events and the mother goddess or often replaced as the dragon. Usually usurped and overlaid with new traditions and religions - pretty much copying the older ones. A metaphor for re-labelling if you will.
Icidentally, Llangollen it is Believed to have travelled to Glastonbury. Also this is the period of celebration of fruit in the Jewish calendar too, as well as other old world religions.
Also, it's worth noting that the oak leaf is the symbol for Jack in the Green, although I'm unsure of his origins pre-the Roman invasion, he obviously has links to the Goddess Flora and her festival - with May Queens, Garlands and May poles. More common up country.
More on the month of May here:
Including historic accounts of May Poles which every village once had and the derivitive of festival the Celtic word feur. And of course Glastonbury's very own Dunstan who was an Anglo-Saxon saint; he was born a few miles from Glastonbury in Somerset, around 909AD. His father was a Wessex nobleman of royal blood.
Glastonbury was a place for Christian pilgrimage and a renowned centre of learning at that time. Dunstan was educated at the Abbey before joining his uncle Athelm, Archbishop of Canterbury, at the court of King Athelstan.
When Athelstan died his successor Edmund named Dunstan as Abbot of Glastonbury.
Dunstan acted as a royal advisor. In 955 however, Dunstan argued with the young King Eadwig, who confiscated Dunstan's property and exiled the monk.
Dunstan was called back to England by Edgar, king of Northumbria and Mercia. Under Edgar's influence Dunstan became Bishop of Worcester, and when Eadwig died in 960, Dunstan was named Archbishop of Canterbury. Dunstan arranged the details of Edgar's coronation as king, which remains the basis of royal coronations today.
When he died in 988 Dunstan became the most popular English saint of his day and his tomb became a place of pilgrimage.
Last weekend was Urban Lawns, Axminster - very wet and windy - the festival prevailed despite worsening conditions. A great weekend we'll be back as it was so inexpensive and would be grand in summer.
Thursday is P~agan Mayan ceremony at Stonehenge! Yay! and then Wychwood Festival on Friday! Feur season is here.
My sister in law is getting married in New Zealand next year. So in order to finance it we're selling the house and moving, well the neighbours have won I guess - but at least we'll get some sleep.
However it's not the wedding I'm excited about but instead the possibility of us getting a flight from Auckland to Port Vila (I'm going home!!!!)
Yup I've already managed to secure the services of the lovely Sheila in Auckland Holiday Shoppe who is on the case and enquiring about staying on Iririki - the small island in the port where my sister was born and hiring a car to drive to all the places i wanna see again. i'm so excited it may be over a year off but I'm gonna plan the whole adventure in detail.
Next up is to get hold of some islanders and arrange a guide to help with me finding the places i was too young to remember the routes to. But that'll be winter homework. Main thing is The Rossi still exists so the first night's meal is taken care of.
I've not been blogging for a few weeks as work and the radio broadcasts have kind of taken over. Hope you're all listening - I've really enjoyed doing them and so signed myself up to do the Glastonbury ones - well no one else had jumped in.
This weekend we've got a busy time, there's getting the house assessed to sell, Baka Beyond, FA Cup Final, Exeter City at Wembley, visit to my Gran,
and two sessions of archery - I've gone barebow (no sights - much easier i move my head too much) and Z is doing well - she's been recommended a bow now. And I'm looking at a KB69 Samick Phoenix Hunter Take Down Bow-62 inch and some carbon aluminium woven arrows. Nice - K has also taken up the sport and is doing a novice course.
Bought some odd and sods fish - a few cardinals, a couple of glowlights, two barbs, 2 more gouramis and 2 peppered corys - to bring the tank up to full again. We had to take back the yellow barbs they just harried the other fish.
First outdoor festie is next weekend! Then Wychwood and IOW! Yes, at last! I'm not allowed to wear the eye poppingly bright shirt until IOW!
This summer there's
Ambient Lawns - local and ease of checking tent etc,
Wychwood to start happily,
IOW for the Stones,
Glastonbury obviously for the big daddy of all festies,
Cornbury to chill post Glasto,
Guilfest for the sun and nutty fun,
WOMAD for world music and a new site,
Endorse It for the rocksteady skankin top rankin,
Beautiful Days for the party
Shambala for the far out crazy mental party festival shiznet!
Ahhhh lush! Great summer of what!
Better than holidays in crazy Florida or the Algarve and use less airplanes.
to find someway to explain what i mean about ancestors when the answer appeared in the book i was reading a while ago. A Hat Full Of Sky by Terry Pratchett here is what Tiffany says to the Hiver (Arthur) on page 304.
And that's pretty much nail on head. Our responses are either monkey, lizard, rat, fish, or a host of other old echoes. It's knowing which impulse rules your head in conflict or need at any moment which gives us the ability to control it and remain human.
Archery Friday was fantastic - clear skies, sunset and shooting outdoors with a new long bow.
That was before we were off to Exfolk for a very enjoyable night. 3DM were terrific, Kangaroo Moon as great as ever but Mark Ronson looks old not seen him in 20 years so it's not surprising. Guess this means Gong must look wizened even more thse days! Real find was local based boy from High Wycombe - Leo James. Click myspace Superb singer/songwriter. Nuala was also really wonderful - indoor gigs seem to suit her more than open stage ones. Guess her morning at Endorse It outdoors was a one off - by all accounts they were great in the tent the night before.
Talking of which Endorse It Indoors was great amazed how good the acts were - particularly the early ones. Lazy Habits, Tarka Groove Experiment and Los Albertos all impressed greatly.The first was hip hop collective with a real band. The second a hotpot of musical styles around a central core of blues/American country. And the latter crazy Ska action! Ed Tudor Pole was an enigma all the signs were that i wouldn't like him but i did! Pronghorn were scorching as ever and the dancing continued with both Merv and RDF in top notch form. RDF especially were much more together than their set at Endorse It last year - they've clearly been practicing - could a tour be on the cards?
Overall it was a shame the day was so sunny really, mind you the journey there was easy, I did a quick tour of the pubs in Frome in search of Baccy as the shops were all shut! Nice taverns and nice architecture - looks like a good place to live. The Cheese and Grain also felt less
festivally this year - only one stall no indoor catering no tattooist etc. Probably dependent on pre-sale ticket numbers - lets hope a big name draws in the masses next year!
Well the MRI has been done - no one told me about injections til they strapped me in! what with having a head cage over my head and not able to see the injection panic levels were near critical. But all done they wouldn't tell me anything about what they'd seen or let me look at the pictures. I took a CD but the headphones were too quiet to hear the songs and the thudding of the scanner was more rhythmic than the CD anyway. So that's it now test wise - just wait for the consultant to call me back in now - and find out what's wrong. although the warmer weather makes the symptoms almost un-noticeable again now.
One of the old gouramis died last night - seems the nitrate filter failed sometime since the last water test (last Wednesday) and the Nitrate levels escallated to 20ppm before i noticed he was looking droopy. Replaced filter and did a 20% water change but he continued to deteriorate. Fingers crossed the others are okay! another 20% water change tonight and hopefully the nitrate filter is now working efficiently - it takes time for the bacteria in it to kick in.
Last night was the Arctic Monkeys at the Great Hall, a great performance but not headliners surely? Just too much space between the songs where they'll lose the audience. Really tight with the songs though, but not commanding enough on stage.
The new material sits happily with the old stuff and the drummer is just awesome to watch. Glad I've seen them indoors as this is another act at the Pyramid I won't be seeing. They played:
Still Take you home
Rits To The Rubble
When The Sun Goes Down
Do Me A favor
If you were there
Old Yellow Bricks
View From Tye Afternoon
Leave before the lights
Coming up we have The Earlies, Hayseed Dixie and Switches to look forward to. Plus we received a mail out from OTT - could K change her mind? Z is doing atheltics this week and sailing next week.
Ahh heard from the hospital - I have an MRI on Tuesday morning - couldn't come too soon. Getting a bit fed up of the dizzy spells, stars before the eyes and the intense pain that can't be controlled with lots of ibropofen! I'm currently highly worried the two acts I've most wanted to see Rolling Stones and Yusuf Islam will be missed either cos I'm dead or cos they call me in for surgery (fortunately this is the NHS we are talking about doubt much will happen til after Shambala. That's dizzy as aopposed to Dozy - my old mate from Zim has emailed me today so I'm glad to be in contact - may even send him this blog link (Hi Goose!) so he knows I've remained as lazy as ever! And can catch up on my life. Do people read these things?
I'm a bit worried about the MRi as I'm thinking these days it is an injury causing my problems rather than an illness - so i suspect it'll be an operation after - i hate hospitals for no rational reason - but my belief time in non-linear time means it could be cos of something in my future like a bleedin operation making me miss Yusuf Islam and the Stones!
However in other news my sister appears to have split our family in two. She's got my mum's side of the family and me my dad's! Just phoned her and my cousin's down for the weekend - only she forgot to tell me and she and my dad's mum aren't getting on. Wooried now she'll not inform of any summer gatherings - we left Endorse It to see them last year and would happily do it again. Life's too short for me to get involved in the whole thing but I'm now worried she's trying to freeze me out of that side of the family. Shame I'm so useless on phones (I grew up before the days where people constantly phoned each other) or I'd be better able to phone them.... anyway.
This week we're busy we got Exfolk tomorrow - a trip to the relatives (clearly) and then Endorse It Indoors - yay and then a go in the MRi machine listening to Hawkwind, ahhh great weekend - and possibly a bit of rabbit stew and some chocolates - oh and i think we're off to the cinema.
Z's report was really good and she's doing sailing next week to earn her SD1. And she's had a friend over today and made a video starring some bears they bought in the bear shop she now needs splicing together - ahh Dad the editor clearly. Oh and her school put on an end of term show - there are some very talented kids there including one doing Minac Theatre productions, another on the west end, a cellist of prodigal talent and a staff band who were dire! I was considering reviewing it but decided against it.
Oh and HSBC came around about the holes in the wall/floor and said it wasn't covered but dragged the builder around with them who was shamed into fixing it for nothing. He phoned earlier to come around and sort it (finally).
Oh and Lee Scratch Perry is at Endorse-It outdoors - superb what a coup. All this plus the Grand National!
Ohand have i mentioned The Stones play IOW on Sunday.
Essential Glasto equipment:
this is all you need!
Folds up great for getting through the crowds and if you fit a horn - simple for moving around the track in muddy weather when you can finally get to move faster than those around you!
you never have to loo for a dry place to sit again!