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Saturday, July 18, 2009


Sheep Music Festival (Day 2)
The advantage of an early night is that you wake up fresh and ready to take on the world. This morning I was up with the larks, or at least up with the balloon people next door who were larking about thinking it was still Friday. I took a deep breath of fresh air and strolled down into the site with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. Or something like that.

I start with an exploration of the site. It is only small, but there seems plenty going on. There’s the main stage in the Big Top, The Dome, which will host lots of acoustic stuff and a bit of theatrical stuff, Café Seren which is a funky little venue with a stage and .. erm.. a café. The Village Hall will host everything from Knitting classes, through theatre workshops to acoustic folk sets and The Gamelan will have percussion, percussion and percussion all weekend long. It seems the amazing drummers I saw last night were not any band in particular, but part of a three day long jam (at least I think that was what was going on).

On top of this there were a few food outlets, a bar, a kid’s area and a few art installations to ponder on or freak you out, depending what mood you are in.

Knitting at the Village Hall

The whole thing is taking place right next to the village, my unusually flat and comfy camping pitch is actually the local football pitch, there’s a tennis court right next to me and there is even a skateboard park within the festival itself. The kids area is amazingly in the middle of an orchard.

There is also a ‘sculpture trail’, which, quite frankly, unless I took a wrong turn somewhere, was a bit crap.

The security, despite walking around in shirts and ties like night club bouncers, seem friendly enough and on the whole there is a very relaxed vibe about the place.

I try to ring Martin to arrange the interview but find there is no reception anywhere on the bloody site, so decide to have a wander into town to have a nose about and to see if I can get reception. There is not much to Prestigne, but for a small place it does seem to have more than its fair share of boozers. I pop into The Royal Oak for a swift one.

I float out six pints later to try and catch Martin Harley’s second set, having established that the natives are very friendly and they have no problem with the festival because there is never any trouble. On returning to the site I find Sick Note hanging out in Café Seren and I slur praise for Martin Harley before heading off to find him.

The Dome is, strangely enough, a dome. I believe geodesic, is the term. Like most of the stages on site, is powered by wind and sun. Inside we have carpet, tables, chairs and lots of civilised people who chuckle politely when martin Announces, “This guitar is made for me by a friend in Germany with the unfortunate name of Andreas Cuntz. This song is dedicated to you Cuntz”.

Martin harley with a Cuntz on his lap

The set is the perfect laid back blues for a lazy afternoon, although he does get the slide working over time to funk things up occasionally. Even Sick note enjoyed it, which surprised me a little.

After the set I introduce myself to martin, who informs me he is off to Germany to see his favourite Cuntz straight away, so the interview will have to wait for another time. I am disappointed, having done my best to stay sober enough to talk to him, but slightly relived because I had failed to stay sober enough to talk to him.

After this events sort of shuffle themselves about a bit in my memory. At one point I find myself sat with Sick Note by their tents. Filthy the drummer decides to make himself a ‘meal’. After messing about with changing the gas cylinder on his cooker (one of them little calour ones where the valve goes straight into the canister) he lights it, but next thing you know the is gas coming out of the canister instead of the valve, and it's on fire. To avoid setting fire to the tents he holds it up in the air above his head, like the statue of liberty, but in the process almost melts Flapsandwiches sun glasses to his head (which would actually look pretty good on stage). A passing hippy reassures us, “So long as it is on fire it is not going to explode”, so Filthy puts it out. Luckily it reignites and once more presents no danger of blowing up. Eventually calm is restored and he finished cooking his boil in the bag pasta (was it worth the effort?)

Squib... cool, even when straight

As darkness descends we go off in search of music. Flappy was keen on checking out Dub FX, who don’t turn up. I was keen on checking out Maroon Town, who turn out to be crap. As all the main stages close down we find ourselves in Café Seren watching Squib. I camp out next to the stage, enthralled with their funky uptempo brand of jazz rock. I love it and at the end of the set buy a CD, with my mind churning over the possibility that they might have just been good cos I was stoned and when I get home the CD will be crap (it wasn’t). I find Sick Note in the corner, who are moaning about having to sit through a jazz band.

Eventually everything on site shuts down so we head back to the tents, stopping off for five minutes at the all night café on the edge of the campsite. Five minutes chilling turns into five hours of turpitude and when I get back to my tent even the balloon heads from next door are crashed out.

Flapsandwich later writes in his blog that I have a calm aura about me and he felt peaceful and relaxed around me in the all night café. This is very nice of him but maybe I should share with him the proverb about the old bull and the young bull.

An old bull and a young bull are at the bottom of a field. At the top of the field is a herd of cows. The young bull says to the old bull, “Dad, lets run up the hill and f*ck one of them cows.” The old bull responds wisely, “No son. Let’s walk up the hill and f*ck them all”.

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At 12:50 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol ... love the proverb also still bit mifed that we had to sit through all hat free form jizz and dubfx didnt show !!!! Great festival though :-) Flakey


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