Tuesday, 25 May 2010


How tired and grumpy I am right now, like a battered old shoe still thumping along with a ragged foot inside. If only I could pass out and sleep for one hundred days, alas, no, I am still up and writing. It seems much more important that I relay the experience of the weekend past to the unfortunate masses that couldn’t be where I was.

Wood festival 2010, was the source of my ultimate joy this year so far. A small gathering of about 800 people, camping in meadows in the middle of nowhere. It couldn’t have been further from any festival experience I have previously suffered. No one was in my way at any point, there was distance between bodies, no officious high vis jackets, and no angry voices. Even the naked toddlers running around causing mischief, which by the way I haven’t seen since the 1980s, could mar the feeling I was experiencing. In fact, I might have even thought that children weren’t so bad after all, funny little blighters.

Now I know it’s just camping, but really, why do we not do more of it? Why is it a novelty, a past time, when it was once daily life? Emancipation from the elements, a higher standard of living, always moving away from that shabby floor that ultimately sustains us. What thanks we give it.

I puzzled over the constellations above me while Cate Le Bon was wafting softly around me, my head was spinning, but I wasn’t ill, quite the opposite, life couldn’t get any better. But then it did, I took her place on stage with my own band, and we played an incensed set to an appreciative sun-baked crowd. The final word of the festival was from Timber Timbre, who sounded like Roy Orbison trapped in a shower banging, in time, on the door to get out. In and out of consciousness they took me, and set me up for a massive fall.

After 2 days in the pure unadulterated countryside, waiting for the bus back to Oxford, stood on the highway, maniacs in cars shot past us, ruthlessly slicing all my joy. By the time I was in the plastic box watching the sunset on the fields I was not a part of anymore, it had been shredded irreparably to bits. Back to the city, back to someone’s so called “civilisation”.