Thankfully we had voted by postal vote, so did not have to rush home from Norwich. Instead, we headed to Essex for the Election Night. Horrible drive in torrential rain. The horror of the drive was the precursor for the awful night. The hospitality of Andrea and Richard was fabulous. It was good to meet up with Jon, over from South Africa for his mother’s funeral. The horror of the night was the election result. The closing polls were almost spot on predicting a Conservative majority of more than 80.
We met Andrea, Richard and Jon at Claydon House. After we arrived, we all walked to the cafe and had a quick meal, before having a tour of the house. Much of the house was under repair because of serious cracks in the ceilings. Furniture had been removed and stored in other rooms. It was likely to become worse before getting better. After the tour, we went home for supper and copious amounts of whisky.
Saturday we met up with Ravi and Simon, plus his daughter & her family. We found Ravi, Simon and family in the Peoples Vote March. I heard Caroline Lucas giving a supportive Remain talk. There were a few leave people giving the Remainers a hard time.
Afterwards, we went to the Branca Restaurant for a good lunch and then a walk around University Park.
Today was the main get together of the Sadgits at the Folk Festival. Mike, Reiko & Simon added to our numbers today. We got two tables together where we camped out for most of the afternoon, drinking beer and Pimms and eating curry.
First I watched Nancy and James who are apparently among the best-known British acts working today. Voted “Best Duo” twice at the BBC Folk Awards, “Nancy and James brought their captivating live sound, along with their first-ever live album, recorded over two nights in the winter of 2018”.
Kathryn Tickell on Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle, voice, Cormac Byrne on percussion, Joe Truswell on drums, Kate Young on fiddle, voice, Amy Thatcher on accordion, synths, voice, clog dancing, Kieran Szifris on octave mandolin, musicians from Northumberland, Scotland, Ireland and England “invoke the dark, powerful, sounds of Ancient Northumbria and broadcast them to the modern world”.
“Mad Dog Mcrea blends a unique mixture of folk-rock, pop, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and ‘shake your ass’ music. From self-penned songs of adventure, drinking, love and life, to traditional songs of gypsies, fairies, legless pirates and black flies – Mad Dog never fail to capture their audience with their infectious songs. In constant demand and having played just about every festival and two-bit, jibe-arsed dive in Christendom, Mad Dog Mcrea are, in every sense of the word, a live, band. “
Finally ended up eating a late-night meal before heading back to the campsite.
The first day set the trend for the rest of the week. Up fairly early for a shower, to try and miss the queues, then breakfast. Then the bus ride to the festival. The heading off never quite occurred on time, always ended up chatting with my neighbours from London. I thought they were late risers, but no, they were up early as well but went swimming in the nearby pool.
Typically I would arrive at the festival at midday and have my second breakfast, bacon and egg breakfast, with a beer to wash the food down, sitting at the main bar, waiting for Sadgits to arrive. Then I would wait for Ravi, Jo, Callum, Andrea and Richard to arrive. Today was a lovely warm sunny day, and much of the time was spent drinking, eating and chatting with a few musical interludes.
My quotes are from the website to act as a prompt to me about the various acts
RURA, “one of the most exciting bands on the Scottish folk scene”, had already played on Thursday, but were also playing today. RURA “are a multi-award-winning act, and one of Scotland’s most sought-after folk-based bands, with three heralded albums – most recently In Praise of Home.”
Not sure Ben Caplan chose the best shirt to perform in, not loose so by the end of the gig you could see it was dripping wet from perspiration. Ben Caplan “explores themes of immigration, loss, darkness, love, sex, and God”. I absolutely loved his song, Plough the Shit.
The final band for the night was Graham Nash. Unfortunately, I was way back from the stage. Each song was proceeded by a story which explained the time and events that helped in the creation of the song. Some very interesting stories.
That was it. Glastonbury was over. We showered, packed up and The Love Fields at 7 am in the morning. Stopped off for a Costa and arrived home.
Ravi and Simon stayed over, so we entertained them to some local village life. The Ludgershall Bike Night. Thousand of bikes parked up in the village from 6 to 9. Stalls selling beer, fish and chips, burgers were doing a roaring trade. We opted for the pig roast which was run by a local Kingswood man. Was accosted by the Air Ambulance, who saw we had been to Glastonbury and then talked at great length about the event.
There was a fabulous American truck unit on display. Rosemary saw it pass our house that evening. The event earns money for the Air Ambulance and other charities.