Thursday, 27 August 2015
The A-Z of Beautiful Days 2015
We arrived back in the early hours of Sunday morning and since then, we’ve been unpacking the van, washing and reminiscing. BD always manages to thrill with its combination of friendliness, great music and laid back vibe.
Everyone’s festival experience is of course different, but here’s a run down of what we got up to.
A massive thank you to the Levellers for their annual shindig and for opening and closing the festival with two stand-out sets. Also, thanks to the man who helped push our camper out through the mud in the rain on Sunday night!
The Big Top – not just the setting for some memorable performances, such as Hannah Martin and Philip Henry, She Makes War and the Moulettes, but also a nice place to shelter from the downpours. Each time we hid in here, we made a fabulous musical discovery.
A Curious Life – great to get another go of seeing the film and also getting a Q&A with director Dunstan Bruce and Jeremy.
The fire-breathing dragon! My son spent hours hypnotised by this! And it provided a handy RV point. “See you by the dragon at 9pm!”
Eddi Reader – amazing voice, brilliant performance. Like being in a Paris chanson party.
Freeborn John – just amazing to see this again. Of course, John Lilburne was the first Leveller and a man whose name should be much more commonly known as it's to him more or less that we owe our human rights. The performance is peppered with big names (Maddy Prior, Kathryn Roberts, Sean Lakeman, the Levellers, Justin Sullivan from New Model Army) and was memorably signed off by Rev Hammer’s encouragement to “Vote Corbyn”!
Gnomes – lots of these dancing around the site in keeping with the This Garden theme. Not only that, there were some amazing costumes, including a family walking around with a massive snail, across the board to the people who were wearing compost bags as shirts. Amazing stuff.
Happy Mondays – 25 years! Can’t be!
I didn’t dress up at all. Hangs head in shame.
Jack Savoretti – lively set; not sure why I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed this.
Katzenjammer – what to say! An amazing female band who swap instruments, and are a four-woman party. Just loved their set – especially
What else could L be but the mighty, mighty Levellers.
Moulettes – their line-up seems to have changed but not their incredible musical virtuosity. Gosh they can rock a bassoon and a cello!
Next year’s dates: 19th -21st August!
The one that comes to mind is the one my little son wanted to do by a queue of people waiting to order their food!
Queue of washing for my washing machine and nowhere to dry it.
Rich Hall – we leapt into the Big Top to shelter from the rain just as this was starting. A woman then complained that she couldn’t see and made us move to an area “where there’s more room”. And why was there no room? Because no one else wanted to stand shin-deep in a puddle of muddy water, squelching loudly every time you tried to move your feet. It didn’t spoil this hilarious set though. Loved the song about Exeter and also the Bob Dylan-esque song about ….Bob Dylan..
She Makes War
Two Daft Monkeys – on the bandstand, missing a bassist, and playing their old stuff. Amazing. Apologies for the wobbles in my filming here!
Umbrellas. Needed particularly on Sunday.
Watching people manoeuvre around the site in the mud was like a homage to Dancing on Ice….
Wasps. I have to admit that I did laugh a bit when I saw a man dressed as a daffodil running away from a wasp. Which served me right and deservedly my karma was being stung by a wasp on my throat which provided a bit of a scary moment that nearly made me stop drinking cider.
Fire extinguisher. Let’s say no more about this. Lesson learned.
Why does it go so fast?
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ – our little boy fell asleep seconds after the Levellers set saying he’d enjoyed the fireworks, One Way, What a Beautiful Day and ‘Three years old’ (his name for 15 years). I think we finally wore him out!