The home of the haikulator

 

Links

My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman
BurberryAndBroccoli
MarkInventions

The Musical!
Incredible Productions

apostrophell
backlash
incredible
haiku


Previous Posts

Back Of The Line
A Sense Of Something Missing
Progress
Dynamic Reconfiguration
Alone Again
Workmanship
A Man Of Leisure
Cosmic Ordering
Tired Of London
What A Tosspot!

Blog Archives

January 1970
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
August 2009
September 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
October 2011
December 2011
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
May 2014
July 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
July 2016
August 2017

Global Domination

Locations of visitors to this page

Sunday, July 22

Wickerman Festival

I headed away from the water-logged part of the country on Friday in order to go to south west Scotland for a festival. All in all, this was a good thing and I had a good time. I'll try to recount the story of going and spending some quality time with my car.

I headed north by a silly route, intentionally. I wanted to avoid the nasty parts of the M6 and I also had the notion that I might be called on to pick someone up in the North East. This didn't happen, and when I'd come to realise that I wasn't going to be doing that, I changed course and crossed from the M1 to the west of the country via the Peak District.

I reasoned that I may as well, if I was cutting across to Manchester way, via Chesterfield, go and get myself some lunch in the place where they filmed the League of Gentlement. This is called Hadfield and it's very near Tintwhistle - a place I once spent hours in a traffic jam at, on the way to the gig that was on my 30th birthday. Hadfield is a fairly simple, non-descript sort of a place, but the local people have adopted the League of Gentlemen identity and are sort of proud to be associated with the fictional "Royston Vasey". Lunch was at the Royston Cafe. I got take out.

At this stage, I should point out that I think I've completely fallen off the dieting wagon and I am in no way impressed with myself for this. I ate tons of crap all weekend and I hope I can stop myself descending any further, or I will end up back to square one, or worse, in a very short period of time.

I sauntered from Hadfield up to Scotland via a couple of stops and without really encountering much in the way of traffic. I arrived at the festival, got my Artiste pass and then found myself directed to a normal parking space. I sauntered across the camp, found a spot to pitch my tent, pitched it with a fair amount of ease - despite never having even taken it out of the bag before - and then went off in search of the others.

My previous festival experience had been Glastonbury, where the idea of being able to find someone was almost totally preposterous. I knew that I could meet my colleagues at the venue for our show, but I doubted I'd be able to find them before. How wrong I was. The Wickerman Festival is quite small - at least compared to Glastonbury it is. As a result, I think I managed to meet everyone whom I knew to be present, along with a few people I hadn't realised were going to be there.

I found the others and they had camped in the special VIP camping area. They asked me if I was going to join them, but I was happy with my successfully pitched tent and I quite liked being a "man of the people". This is not really very interesting. The short version of the story is that I was in high spirits, in festival mode, and managed to get my guitar stuff both stored and also technically planned for the evening's show. By technical, I mean that we devised the method for making the guitar come out the speakers. Such things are important when you're going to perform.

So far we have the story of me driving to a festival, pitching a tent and finding the others. It's a fairly small festival. I only really wanted to see one band - Hayseed Dixie - who were performing as I arrived and whom I basically either missed or ignored. Still, I think they were present, and that was nice for someone.

I'll tell the tale of the two shows we did.

Show 1 was on the Friday night after midnight. We were performing in a big top. This is a circus ten where a circus was performing during the day. It had seating round two thirds of its circular area, and it was, at first sight, a hard room to play. The acoustics and the audience positioning were against ease of doing comedy. The fact that circus tents attract children wasn't going to help either.

When a crowd turned up, some of them were children, some of them were adults, a few of them were actually interested in comedy. We told the audience that it was an adult-oriented show and there were a few laughs at the way they were told. However, our first act basically found himself getting more and more abusive heckles. The kids, sitting on an inflatable sofa on the front row, while their parents sat back and enjoyed they misbehaviour, ended up throwing a ball into the face of the first act. There was drunken abuse being hurled and the gig turned from a 150 person ambivalence fest into a bit of a bear pit.

Somehow we kept things moving and the next act, whom I thought would belong in that environment, and I was right. He did really well.

Another act came and went and then it was my turn. I had an absolutely lovely time, but then I'd been driving for 10 hours to Scotland, had a load of stuff on my mind which I wanted to put to one side, and was there to have a good time. I swept aside the silliness of earlier and had a good time. I did things differently. I played the set as though I were in a big top, and I was... I bantered with the crowd a little. I threw jokes at them. I threw improvised songs at some teenage hecklers and I generally had fun. Because I was having fun, it seemed to work. I was going to have fun regardless.

The night went on for a couple of acts more and then we stopped. It was late, but it had been both good fun and horrendous, depending on which act you happened to be.

We had post-show drinkies at the VIP campsite, and then I went back to the midst of the real world to my tent, cleverly marked with an "A" in gaffer tape so I'd find it in the dark (with my torch).

Despite being kept awake by some people singing and playing guitar nearby ("Can you shut that thing up!? Nice playing, by the way"), I managed to get some sleep in the end. Probably at about 5am! I woke up after lunchtime, though I didn't miss lunch, obviously!

The day was frittered (fritters - one of the few things I didn't eat) away and then it was time for show 2.

Show 2 was much harder. We opened the doors at about 9 and nobody came. Then some people came. Then they left, because we didn't start the show because there weren't enough. This cycle repeated for a while until we had a sparse audience in and we coralled them into a single section. Then we blocked the doors so nobody could come in or out. This may have helped, or it may have created an increased audience attrition rate, since people ultimately did leave and our new potential punters never got the chance to enter the venue before they got bored. Such is festival gigs.

The show limped along to the smaller audience and I was thrust in front of them as a closing act. I did some stuff that worked, and I did some stuff which failed. I broke a nail. I had some repeat punters from the previous night, and so I chose to do some material I hadn't done the previous night. My attempt at improvised song didn't work so well and I also felt less comfortable doing filthy stuff with quite a lot of children in the audience. As a result, I just messed about.

Then we went to watch the burning of the wicker man that the festival was all about.

I took my guitar back to the car to lock it up there. I had been back to the car previously that evening to get my microphone - the venue didn't provide one - so I got a nice walk in. This probably explains the general sense of aching bottom. Yes. Too much walking. That makes my bottom ache. Either that or the poor airbed I use.

Then it was late night. I sauntered around the site, everything closing down. There were some people watching the movie of "The Wicker Man", I got to see a giant screen version of Brit Ekland and her body double cavorting nakedly - then I got bored. I had some porridge. I met up with the other guys at the camp site and chatted for a bit.

Returning to my tent was part of a plan to get an early night. Lying on my airbed I discovered that it was a plan to lie down and listen to very loud music for a couple of hours from a neighbouring dance tent. Still, it was fun.

I woke up at 10.45, packed up my tent and left the site. That was that, really. A good festival.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2012 Ashley Frieze