Sunday, 7 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. Rob da Bank's Underwater Army

I have just got back from my weekend at Bestival on the Isle of Wight. I have come home a day early for a number of reasons, first among which is that I need to sort my life out before I go to Japan. Also, by coming home a day early I get out of having to clean out, put down and pack up the tent. Ha.

Festival: 9/10
Weather: 2.5/10
Overall: 7/10

As you can see, the weather was a significant factor in reducing my enjoyment of the weekend. Having said that, I really ought to be grateful that it wasn't raining when we were putting up the tent, and also that our new massive 8-man behemoth tent was really pretty good, and I managed to keep my bed dry-ish. It really did piss it down though, for at least the first couple of days.

We got there on Thursday after a pretty long bit of travelling (longer for the Liverpool and Sheffield contingents than for me) at a moment when it wasn't raining, and just as they opened the new campsite right next to the festival entrance, so our timing was perfect and we managed to get a spot at the top of the hill and get our tent up before any rain fell. The first night, as far as I can tell, was spent mostly having a bit of a drinky drunky game, although I don't remember it too well. We definitely went off to the Big Top for a bit of a dance, until we realised that there weren't any acts on and we were just dancing to a CD which was repeating itself every 8 tracks or so.

After a pretty damn soggy start, Friday was my real grand evening of excess and wild abandon (for which I suffered dearly the following day) and we went to see Layo and Bushwacka! (I'm pretty sure the exclamation mark is officially part of his name, and not just added by me out of enthusiasm) and Erol Alkan. Layo and Bushwacka! played some really good deep, deep rolling techno and Erol was pretty good but didn't particularly blow my mind. Later there was an extended after-party at our tent because it's massive. (This is the main downside of having a massive, sturdy, dry tent - everyone uses it as a lounge, bar, emergency bunker, meeting place, refuge and general flophouse, so within a day the endless stream of drunkards and wreck-heads had turned the communal area at the centre into the most depressing array of muddy beer cans, muddy clothing, muddy wellies, muddy footprints and mud.) I got chatting to this really cool girl and we spent hours lying in my bed just giggling, chatting and shouting at my friends. No sexy times went on, I can assure you; just shit-chatting and laughing, but it was cool.

The next morning my misery began in earnest. I was feeling really unwell for some reason and was totally unable to sleep so I just lay awake for hours, watching the ceiling of my tent bow and shake in the wind, listening to the rain lashing against the canopy. It eventually dawned on me that I really, really needed a poo in the most urgent terms. I must have lain there for at least an hour just going over and over the horror of it all in my head.
"I need a poo. This requires me to:
get up
put on my horrible muddy trousers
climb over my muddy friend
find loo roll
get to the door of the tent without muddying my feet in the endless sea of filth, mess and mud
find a matching pair of wellies (my own wellies had been borrowed for the night, so I was without)
put on said wellies
find a rain poncho
go out into the rain
squelch my way amidst the guy-ropes in the dark down to the toilet
lock myself in a tiny plastic cubicle which is filled with other people's shit and doesn't even keep the rain out
squeeze out a sad, uncomfortable slug of poo into the stained plastic bowl of a chemical toilet
walk back
take off wellies (without getting feet muddy)
cross tent (without getting feet muddy)
get into bed (without getting bed muddy)
take off muddy trousers (without getting bed muddy)
lie in bed, unable to sleep, shivering with despair whilst watching the ceiling of my tent bow and shake with the wind, listening to the rain lashing against the canopy.
Oh, woe upon woe! Oh, tragedy upon tragedy! Surely no person's misery has ever been more complete."
I might also point out that I was equal parts very drunk, very hungover and very tired, which makes none of the above tasks any easier. I ended up going through this process 4 times that day. Woe upon woe indeed, and even tragedy upon tragedy. My sorrow could not be described with words, nor even reckoned by the acre, so complete was my misery.

Thus Friday brightened into a Saturday which was marked by my discomfort and sadness. On Saturday it rained a lot, and I felt very ill. I didn't get to sleep until 3.30 Saturday afternoon.

Before I managed to sleep though, I did manage to drag myself down to the Big Top to watch the Human League They were awesome, but I was so tired, sad and unwell that I could scarcely force myself to sing along with 'Don't You Want Me Baby', so my enjoyment was severely hindered by my depleted mental state. Not to worry, says I, they are playing a another, longer set later on, so I must just make sure I am well enough for that.

And thus I went to bed, and successfully slept until the Human League played again later that evening. Fortunately, this time round I was able to fully appreciate the fact that they are seriously good and I really did enjoy them. Many thanks to Jonny and Kirsty for dragging me out of the tent for that. Under my own power I fear I would have probably just spent the next 48 hours in bed complaining about my poo.

Then DJ Yoda and Shlomo did a short set which was pretty cool, but I still don't quite see the point of turntablism or beatboxing. I mean, they're both pretty impressive, but even when it's done really well the end product isn't really music at all. Some interesting noises, certainly, and I couldn't do it any better, but it's still not really real music, y'know what I mean?

Hot Chip followed the Yoda/Shlomo duet and were extremely good, as ever. They also all came out in fancy dress, which I liked, and covered Sinead O'Connor at the end of their set which I also liked. However, the sound on the main stage just wasn't loud enough, so none of these shows was quite enough to blow me away. It was good though. We then went to see Hercules And Love Affair who made me question myself (the lead singer is a really really sexy tranny. Seriously, I totally would. Really good band too), but I could not be bothered at all with Aphex Twin, who played a really boring set of nerdy techtronica which didn't go anywhere or build up to anything at all. He did have 2 professional gurners on stage pulling ugly faces at the crowd though, which is nice. Aphex Twin was boring, so I got drunk and went to bed while everyone stayed around and partied.

Sunday. Got up early. Not raining. Bought coffee. Saw comedy (Phil Jupitus, Marcus Brigstocke and 2 other guys doing"The Early Edition" ie. reading the newspapers and making me laugh about it). Ate hog roast. Built Titanic. Watched Sebastian Tellier. Went Home. Had a poo (best poo ever). Done.

The official fancy dress parade was actually on Saturday (the theme was 30,000 freaks under the sea), but we were held back by the weather and everyone's general grumpiness on Saturday, so we finally put our costume together on Sunday. Our Titanic consisted of 7 people wearing wire and fabric sections of the Titanic with tall cardboard funnel hats on. It didn't quite have all the bells and whistles we had discussed/planned (including lights on the inside, built-in beer holders, drowning lego men) but I think the overall effect when it was fully assembled was pretty impressive - several people stopped us to take photos so I reckon we must have looked pretty amazing. I didn't take my camera to Bestival with me, but I believe there will be photos at some stage so I will keep you posted.

Best Act: The Human League
Worst Act: Aphex Twin
Wish-I'd-Seen: The Specials played a surprise set on Saturday. They were listed as "Special Guests", and someone told me the Specials were gonna be there but i didn't believe them, so I missed it.
Quote of the Weekend: Tough to call, but I like "Look, we're all talking shit, but our shit shits all over your shit!"
Would Go Again?: Yes. The weather can't really be helped, but the Festival was really well run and had a great atmosphere as well as some awesome music.

So that was Bestival for me. All my friends are still there having a massive last-night-of-tour blowout party without me, but I felt I ought to get home to make sure everything's in place for going to Japan.

2 days to go now until I fly, so very soon my blog about my trip to Japan will actually start to feature my trip to Japan in it! Yay!

I know you're all going to miss me dearly as I galavant around the concrete jungle of Tokyo, so if you find your self pining for some hot Woody lovin', just remember this:

We'll always be together,
how ever far it seems.
We'll always be together,
together in electric dreams.


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HegglePeg said...
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HegglePeg said...

Well Woody, I am following your blog avidly. Bestival was summed up nicely, i didnt get to see Metronomy, Late of the Pier, Likki Li, Ida Maria or any comedy thanks to the flooding. Rachel, too, was disappointed which made for altogether New York, ice cream, TV, travel, bad times. Aphex.. such a let down. But still, carrying Maxi over my shoulder back to the tent with Johnny, after he was found escorted by two Stewards, pants round his ankles was a highlight for me. I had to unclothe him. As the Outkast song goes..."you can plan a pretty picnic, but you can't predict the weather". Lesson learned: make the most of what you get, stay postitive and 'its not about the line-up out there, its about the line-up in here'! Miss you Woody.