It’s Tuesday, and I am recovered enough to finish entries about the festival with a short summary of Sunday. A “Happy Father’s Day” text from Jimjams woke me to get to the festival in time for Proximity Effect – another of the Island’s young bands – on the main stage, and breakfast at the Smooth Criminals smoothie bar. The Smooth Criminals is a regular stopping point of a festival morning. A vegan Jungle Juice got me going, and another customer commented that it sounded healthy. After the alcohol unit count of the day before, it had to be.
I caught the last of Sondura (another avalanche of sound type metal band) in the Big Top, stayed for Hogg, and then back to the main arena for Newton Faulkner. Faulkner provided a breath of air for the day, with immense talent coupled with humour and wit, thus entertaining on several levels. I’d have never bought his album before this point, but now it seems a must buy for the collection.
Back to the Big Top for the end of Gweido, and the whole Arcadian Kicks set (see earlier entry), and then it was main arena time for the rest of the day with Starsailor, James, The Kooks and finally The Police. The Kooks were the only one of four to disappoint, if only because after two well-known numbers it was just another lot of indie band noise that probably meant something to the fans. Jimjams loved them.
I hadn’t seen James for years, last showing interest in them around 1990. But they were polished and tuneful, and I recognised some of the set.
The Police were the only headlining act of the weekend to live up to their billing. Competent, polished music that covered all the well known songs and a few I never knew existed. I have never been a fan of the group, but the set closed the weekend wonderfully, and with five numbers in two encores they went down well. It was even possible to get close and revel in the atmosphere of the occasion. Jimjams didn’t hang around for them, however, and snuck off to Feeder in the Big Top.
About my only disappointment with the event as a whole was that it continues to be dominated by old, wrinkly performers. Was there really no one better than the Sex Pistols – a group that dismayed old and young alike – for the Saturday? Better to have the Sugababes, who packed out the Big Top and well beyond on the Saturday, yet on appearing on stage seemed surprised, saying that they didn’t know how many people would turn up. For goodness sake girls, you’re a top-selling girl group!
Sunday also proved to be day of the jerkwad, with one fat drunk objecting to how I looked. I have to wear gloves at these events because the grass aggravates my eczema (I go stuffed full of antihistamines too and have to avoid food with dairy products). OK, it makes me seem freakily Michael Jackson like, but most people assume I just have cold hands. Drunks, of course, have no subtlety. And there was the pettiness of some man defending his patch of festival soil, saying I had to go round and actually putting his arms out to stop me going straight through to my friends who were just in front of him. As I said, day of the jerkwad.
The bad weather held off, with just a few spots of rain on the last night. And allergic reactions aside, it was a great three days. Can’t wait for next year.
Sundays stats: Cigarettes: 0; units of alcohol: 8 plus more unknown whiskies. Food eaten: vegan Jungle Juice (Smooth Criminals), lamb tagine (Dunsbury Lamb, again – so good I had to eat it twice), felafels. Jerkwad count: 2 (1 more than last year). Bands liked: Proximity Effect, Newton Faulkner, Arcadian Kicks, James, The Police. Disliked: The Kooks. Wish I could have seen: Scouting for Girls.
The Arcadian Kicks: http://www.myspace.com/thearcadiankicks
Proximity Effect: http://www.myspace.com/proximityeffect