Wednesday

the past

once again it's two weeks of diary entering!

so i went to green man two thursday's ago. brought all my baggages to work, and piled off to paddington, getting to the station ten minutes before when i thought i train was. being me, i had managed to compensate for the mad dash by setting my train for an hour later - and then forgotten i'd done this. so i found the cafe bar upstairs, ordered a pizza and a grolsch whit beer - both of which were surprisingly good - and had a last good natter with rachel. i had taken plenty of books, both as emergency reading material and head props for sleeping. i didn't get through much of them.

the train got into newport ten minutes late, meaning about thirty campers and i missed the 5-minute change over to the abergavenny. this was about predictable as anything i can ever imagine happening, and i saw it as soon as i bought my tickets online. sigh. so i left my bags with some people i'd just met, and set off into newport to do a booze run, having forgotten to get any myself. i walked into the same town as derby and leek and so many other industrial midland market towns - the undulating 3-story streets leading to a clock tower with police van parked underneath. people handing out flyers, me smiling and taking them, so i wouldn't have to speak and reveal my accent, for fear of starting a conversation or worse. eventually i found an open late shop - i had to walk into the suburbs, which were about 2 minutes away. got back and chatted to some of the other greeners a bit, there were some very nice people as you'd expect. but some were a bit boring which is always a bit disappointing.
when we got to abergavenny, an hour late at 10.35, rumours started by a tacsi driver abounded of the last bus having already gone. nonesense, declared the majority of the crowd, it said on the website they were running all night, i was told we'd be in plenty of time... &c. half an hour later, we had confirmation from someone on-site that buses stopped at half ten. it's like everyone fucked up except me. i called dan's friend alish, who'd he'd put me onto set up with, who said she'd come get me and all that but then couldn't because the warden wouldn't let her out... and so on. eventually i mangaged to squeeze in a taxi with a physics magician. wandered in and found them; it wasn't raining and i wasn't alone so my predictions kind of fell flat.

once again it's two weeks of diary entering!

so i went to green man two thursday's ago. brought all my baggages to work, and piled off to paddington, getting to the station ten minutes before when i thought i train was. being me, i had managed to compensate for the mad dash by setting my train for an hour later - and then forgotten i'd done this. so i found the cafe bar upstairs, ordered a pizza and a grolsch whit beer - both of which were surprisingly good - and had a last good natter with rachel. i had taken plenty of books, both as emergency reading material and head props for sleeping. i didn't get through much of them.

the train got into newport ten minutes late, meaning about thirty campers and i missed the 5-minute change over to the abergavenny. this was about predictable as anything i can ever imagine happening, and i saw it as soon as i bought my tickets online. sigh. so i left my bags with some people i'd just met, and set off into newport to do a booze run, having forgotten to get any myself. i walked into the same town as derby and leek and so many other industrial midland market towns - the undulating 3-story streets leading to a clock tower with police van parked underneath. people handing out flyers, me smiling and taking them, so i wouldn't have to speak and reveal my accent, for fear of starting a conversation or worse. eventually i found an open late shop - i had to walk into the suburbs, which were about 2 minutes away. got back and chatted to some of the other greeners a bit, there were some very nice people as you'd expect. but some were a bit boring which is always a bit disappointing.
when we got to abergavenny, an hour late at 10.35, rumours started by a tacsi driver abounded of the last bus having already gone. nonesense, declared the majority of the crowd, it said on the website they were running all night, i was told we'd be in plenty of time... &c. half an hour later, we had confirmation from someone on-site that buses stopped at half ten. it's like everyone fucked up except me. i called dan's friend alish, who'd he'd put me onto set up with, who said she'd come get me and all that but then couldn't because the warden wouldn't let her out... and so on. eventually i mangaged to squeeze in a taxi with a physics magician. wandered in and found them; it wasn't raining and i wasn't alone so my predictions kind of fell flat.

i sat up for a bit with alish and tom, their twelve string, and some herbal tea that i had flattered them with. the tent went up no problem as it always did. That night was absolutely freezing, even through all my layers. Foodwise I was well prepared: the keystone was the large round loaf of organic sourdough bread, with a remarkably long shelf life. Added to this was a jar of roast peppers, two packs of tofu fillets – one corn/rice, the other tofu sea cakes, both of which rocked massively – oatabix and individual cartons of flavoured soy milk (chocolate porridge for breakfast!), hit biscuits, bananas, and eventually some naff baked pretzel things too.

It rarely stopped raining, but it was never much more than a hard drizzle; my tent leaked a little. After the first night I was completely shattered, soaked through, and possibly in danger of suffering from exhaustion. I watched Joanna newsom from the perfect vantage point of a well placed café, sadly disrupted by the break-core coming from the Mexican next door.
Last year I gave a complete breakdown of everyone I saw but it’s not possible now; so many bands I merely glimpsed and I can’t remember who they were even with the listings in front of me. Euros childs was obviously great, but Richard james now seeming pretty dull. I couldn’t stand through an entire set of gruff rhys either, not for any particular reason. The north sea radio orchestra were brilliant because they were an actual orchestra, with their own program and everything, battles were fascinating and in retrospect pretty good, although I found a live video on that youtube thing that was very similar to what I saw but crikey it was boring. I caught the last couple of songs by thee, stranded horse, who seemed brilliant. Fridge were completely missable – I joked with ian about them coming out and playing a set of bad smashing pumpkins covers, only for that hebden fella to then actually play some riff that I know from Laurence playing it. eerie. And then they played forty minutes of basic go-nowhere post-rock. Again, I’m surprised at just how many bands are completely uninspired; one highly-touted band we’d walked past had a last song consisting of the three basic chords and an endless refrain of ‘it’s over now’. As ian said, repeating something doesn’t make it psychedelic.

We all had our problems of course; much of one day was spent trying to repair thalia’s new tent, which had a broken pole, with no replacements available from the on site camping shop. Only some weak gaffa tape from the general store brought it partially back under control, until a drunken sod felll over onto it at 4 the next morning and break two of the other poles. Queue more taping and seething. On Sunday I went back to my tent to get my torch, to find the whole thing had blown over – it was frequently being blown a good 45 degrees on Saturday night, waking me up as dangling socks (my washing hadn’t dried when I left) stroked my face. Generally it was too cold and wet to enjoy the bonfire this year, but when I did go up I found james Milroy once again entertaining all and sundry. On the last night we went up to the disco tent for the strangest mashup I ever did hear – b music djs (can’t believe I never went to that when I lived in Manchester) playing everything, as long as no-one knew what it was. I think I recognised one song, can’t remember what now. Possibly from the ‘welsh rare beat’ album that votel and gruff rhys put out.

I managed to get a lift back with alish and tom, piling the luggage up high, djing on their mp3 player, and playing guitar and uke in the back while they sang along in the front. I dumped my stuff at home and went down to London fields. It was a short week, then; three days of work and then off to my parents on Friday morning, with Rachel. I’ve not taken anyone home for about 7 years. I’ve hardly been out with anyone in 7 years but that’s not the point I’m making. We went on lovely walks and had dinner in the pub (which is now more of a restaurant, but at least it’s open). It went very well, and I even had the fortune to bring back a mountain of bedding on Monday.

Thursday, I went out on a brighton binge; sam’s birthday in the cock near oxford circus, where I would have hung around longer if he wasn’t so drunk, and if I then wasn’t going to meet robin, kate, and friends at the ghetto for ‘miss shapes’, a gay indie pop electro night. I think we danced; not real big dancing but it was still fun. There seemed to be almost a trendy trend going on, prompting the girls to wonder if lesbianism was finally cool. I left about one, and stayed up drinking and chatting with ed, who’d just got back from nice, ‘til about three. All this to Rachel’s chagrin, as them lot were all having a meal at pizza express.

So we’re up to last weekend; I think I managed to stay in pretty much the entire time. Friday I was too tired from Thursday. Saturday I tried to meet up with a Spanish girl called lorena and her boyfriend at a Singapore festival in brick lane, but I didn’t get down there until about four, when they weren’t letting anymore people in due to the hour queue (free food and booze will do that). So I just tried out the new rough trade shop, bought botch’s debut album and the new euros childs record, then accidentally got a bus to the south bank – which is actually quite interesting, and walked back up to soho for ‘lunch’ at beetroot, which I’ve wanted to test for ages. when I got home, I called Adrian, who said them lot were just heading over to see james kettle perform in Camden. Why didn’t I call when I was in town? Well they were recording but I could have tried. They never made it to Kilburn where I said I might meet them but there you are. Sunday I think I just struggled with my mp3 player and then went for dinner in the dove with Rachel. I’m sure it was a smaller portion of mash than I’m used to. Monday night the tubes struck, so girls girls girls had a brief rehearsal in our flat with me on un-asked for guest guitar, then drinks in the good ship with michelle (who’s leaving in 30 days and counting) and her friends. I went home with ed, while jez and Adrian decided for some reason to go out to piano bar.

A word on Adrian; In the last week he has once again tried to give up boozing, womanising, and meating, and comprehensively failed at all three, which would be okay if he hadn’t failed at the womanising as well as failing to give it up.
And then last night I had a roast supper with the girls of Istanbul (Rachel, jo, and ruth), drank lots of wine and chatted shit over each other all night.
Post a Comment