Not exactly to do with books. Well, not to do with book at all, but indulge me.
My family and I, in various different combinations of siblings, cousins, parents, aunts and close family friends, go to the V Festival every year. I think I’ve only missed one since the first time I went. I was fifteen and collapsed in the toilet queue from heat exhaustion – not as terrible as it sounds, I got to use the clean St John’s Ambulance portaloo and be waited on by a cute paramedic. While my mother took embarrassing photos of me looking grey and pathetic, but let’s not dwell on that minor detail. At least I didn’t have Facebook back then 😀
Festivals are always carnage, and we don’t even camp. Living just down the road from Weston Park, we can easily commute. Good when it pours with rain solidly for the week before, and across the weekend as it did two years ago. I was worried I would never get my poor little Fiesta out of the car park, but at least I didn’t have to sleep in a puddle that was once my tent.
This year was no exception, although the weather was considerably better than it has been some years. Look, photographic evidence of the sun shining. –>
(You’ll have to take my word that it was taken that weekend, but I am an honest person, you can trust me :P)
Best of the Fest
There were a lot of great acts playing this year. Sunday’s line up was like my dream festival lineup from about 1.30 til the end. The Magic Numbers, Newton Faulkner, Scouting For Girls, Joshua Radin, Ellie Goulding, Florence and the Machine, Kings of Leon. And Saturday wasn’t half bad either, with Seasick Steve, Pixie Lott, La Roux and Imogen Heap to name a few.
All these acts were great, except Kings of Leon, who were okay, but not exactly the bold, brash headline performance I like to see. The Scissor Sisters did a great show (that year I fainted) and Muse were worth waiting for on the Rainy Festival From Hell year. Kings of Leon were… meh.
But, what I like best about Festivals is the chance to see some acts you’ve not heard of before, or vaguely know, in those bit between slots when you have no one you desperately want to see, giving you time to check out some new stuff.
My best find this year was The Temper Trap. (Who I discovered I actually have a track of on a compilation CD in my car, and never knew it.) Their performance of Drum Song totally won me over. You can see a recording of the most important bit here. Not V Festival, but they did the same thing. Drums plus water equals one happy Liberty. Yes I really am that easy to please.
All I Want For Christmas is a Keytar
Imogen Heap was great too. Not an artist I’ve listened to much, but ickle sis Ivy is a huge (and often incoherent) fan. Hence I found myself standing not 5 metres from the front of the stage, admiring Imogen in all her quirky glory.
And deciding that I really really want a Keytar. If I ever get rich this will be my first impulse purchase. Other half talks of cars, houses and expensive holidays when he muses about winning the lottery. Me? I want one of these babies.
£820??? That’s extortion. I guess I will have to keep dreaming. And save up my christmas and birthday money for the next 15 years.
And Now for a Round-Up of the Weird and Wonderful…
Because Festivals are not normal places. I don’t know if it’s the ‘jazz cigarettes’ or the abundance of alcohol, but people get up to some strange stuff. Like the very drunk man who waved his belt at me like it was a part of his anatomy from that general region and said to his equally drunk girlfriend that ‘this looks like a good place to sit down.’ People are strange.
And the Best Welly Award Goes to…
The bloke I saw wearing a pair of these. How unbelievably awesome are these? I may have to retire my marshmallow wellies in favour for a pair.
Not that we really needed wellies this year. The sun (see above) meant the second day I actually wore walking boots. Much more comfortable than wellies over a long period in my opinion, but nowhere near as sexy as some of the amazing wellies we saw throughout the weekend.
There wasn’t actually as much of this as there has been in previous years, but we still saw some good examples:
Some pirates, several all in one body suits in various colours, two bananas, a caveman, several men in dresses (always disturbing), some nerds, some Where’s Wallys, Spongebob Squarepants, some cows (with udders), The Village People, Mr Krabs, a whoopie cushion (seriously) and some Oompa Loompas.
Award For Most Friends Made
Definitely goes to Ivy. Apart from by brief incursion with the belt man, hardly any randoms spoke to me. Which is exactly how I like it when said randoms are high, drunk or both.
Ivy, however, had a man doing impressions of Tommy Cooper for her, someone take a photograph with her, and many people asking her if they were at the right stage. We think it might have been the fez she was wearing.
Some Parting Advice for Future Festival Goers
Whatever you do, don’t forget the AntiBac. Honestly, if you pack one thing in your festival bag, make sure it’s a bottle of this stuff.
(Yes, those are my hands, and my awesome fingerless gloves, genuinely knitted by my nana. Eat your heart out Shreddies.)