BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Friday, July 17, 2009


Sheep Music festival (Day 1)
“It’s still on fire you nutter!”; “Let’s all hold hands and have a séance” and “This one is dedicated to you Kuntz”; three phrases you don’t often hear in one weekend, but this weekend we will be treated to them all, and more.

The days leading up to Sheep Music 2009 were frustrating to say the least. First the Ginger Prince wimped out because they would not allow caravans on site. Then there was an almighty cock up with my wages that resulted in me running around various banks moving cash about; in the process Barclays bank in Porth landed me with some counterfeit notes that my own bank refused to accept. The final straw was Tara Iguana deciding she was too tired to come to the festival, following a week in London with school. I was destined to go to a festival on my own for the first time ever (unless you count Frogstock … oh, and there was one in Belgium about 20 years ago)

Friday morning I was in no mood to go a festival on my own. I watched some DVDs instead. Then I watched some more. I was determined not to waste the ticket though and eventually decided I had to make a move or I would be putting my new £35 tent up in the dark. So at around 6pm I set off, weaving my way in and out of the Welsh border, landing in Prestigne some two hours later.

The lack of signs for the festival in the area was somewhat surprising, but with my map at my side I found the town fairly easily. What was really frustrating though was the total lack of signs even when you reached Prestigne itself. After driving around like a bloke for ten minutes, I eventually stopped and asked a local, who seemed incredulous that I had not spotted it on my tour of the village. No matter, the car was soon parked, wristband strapped on and the perfect pitch located.

The £35 tent was liberated from its bag (it had to go up now, there was no way I would get it back in the bag). Like a bloke I started rummaging trough the various parts trying to decide how best to put it together. Like a woman (mainly because she is) Caroline from Llanidloes, my neighbour for the next few days, grabbed the instructions and within five minutes we had it erected (the tent that is).

Sick Note were due on shortly, so I proceeded to make up for the couch potato time and guzzled a few down me quick sharp. In no time at all I was stood on the edge of the crowd swaying in time to the post new rave beats of Cardiff’s finest dance floor terrorists.

The usual visuals were not in attendance this weekend, but the house lights and the smoke machine managed to do the trick and the tent was ‘avin it’, ‘banging’ and ‘appening’.
Every time I see this bunch I think of the near orgasm I had when my brain was first invaded by them three years ago and look around the crowd at the faces, wondering if anyone is going through what I went through. I think a few are.
Doghouse asks everyone to join hands for a séance (he’s not all there you know) and the tent becomes a temple of techno for the gathered masses to worship in.

After The Note I head off to The Dome to catch Martin Harley, who is thankfully late on stage, which means I don’t miss anything. I had prearranged to interview him at some point during the weekend but keeping in mind you only have one chance to make a first impression, and me being now three sheets to the wind, I decided to ring him tomorrow.

In a bizarre looking Bedouin tent thingy two kit drummers play the most amazing percussion set I have ever seen. I make mental note to look them up in the programme tomorrow. More wandering is done and then it is back to the tent for an early(ish) night. Sleep is only disturbed by the young tikes next door having fun with balloons. My overworked imagination tells me nitrous oxide must be involved, but I would not like to give evidence in court about it officer.

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