From Biggleswade to Penpol
Posted on September 1, 2011
What a busy week I have had, moving from a drink fuelled festival in Bedfordshire down to the tranquil surroundings of Penpol in Cornwall, with only a brief pit stop at home and Diane’s in between. That’s the nomadic life of Rock “n” Roll I suppose, always on the move me, I’m so cool. The Rhythm festival in Biggleswade was great fun, the music, the company of my fellow campers (Nick, Jerry and Monty) along with the general ambiance of the festival made it a special weekend that I will remember fondly. We had a really good laugh, proving that camping out at these events is just as much fun as an old fart as it is as a young buck………you just ache more afterwards. My neck shoulders, lungs and liver have seen better days that’s for sure!
Pick of the bands for me was The Men They Couldn’t Hang on Saturday night, backed by the brilliant Boothill Foot Tappers and The Blubberry Hellbellies on the CowPunk Stage. From the Jam were what you would expect, Nick and I jumped around to tracks such as To Be Someone and The Eton Rifles just like we expected to do, but they were very good rather than excellent and a failure to do an encore missed the spirit of the occasion and demonstrated slight lack of respect in my opinion.
Amongst the others Hazell O’Connor (who I have always disliked, purely because I had to because my sister liked her) was excellent, as were The Burns Unit who are to be highly recommended if you like a bit of diversity in your music. Their brave attempts at being totally different were really impressive and set them apart from many other newer bands. Meanwhile The Blockheads were very good ( bass player Norman Watt Roy is a genius) but the charisma of Ian Drury is still badly missed whilst The Pretty Things were really cool, bringing out in numbers the relic hippies from 1967 like they were war veterans. Toots and the Maytals left Jerry a bit flat as he expected more, especially as he had waited all weekend to see them. I could see his point, they were good, but lacked audience participation, though Toots is 70 now, so it is understandable I suppose.
The general atmosphere was really laid back, the festival had excellent food stalls everywhere and though the organisation and signage left a lot to be desired, I would rather that than the cynical fencing and over zealous guarding like what you get at major festivals (Glastonbury/Reading/ V etc) that appear to have become the annual meeting place for the upper middle classes, footballers, actors and younger members of the Royal family. The Rhythm Festival won’t be in OK or Hello Magazine, it’s not cool enough, though you may find a bit about it on page seven of the Biggleswade Bugle. Because of that and its general lack of hype, it was right up my street, great music, full of lovable weirdos and as laid back as you can possibly imagine.
So now I have arrived in Penpol with three teenagers. We are spending the week kayaking, surfing, swimming and generally messing about. It is Wednesday night now and we are having a great time in this beautiful part of the world, the weather is good, we are in a lovely house, and thanks to (girl) friends in the right places it is a really cheap holiday (we love you Sally!) that I otherwise couldn’t afford, we are in grand a week territory here.
Back to reality on Saturday or Sunday!!