Tuesday, 7 August 2012
The Wonders of Wickham and Wurzels
Annie suggested a few months back a visit to Wickham Festival. Having never been to a small scale affair, I decided to give it a go. Avidly checking the line up I realised for £70 for whole camping package for 4 nights we were never going attract the more obvious acts.
So with an impressive line up of headliners which included the Proclaimers and the Levellers and some obscure bands headlining Saturday I knew I was in a for a musical treat. Bear in mind these are the name droppers, I also had to endure Jools Holland and his ego, plus the star of Sunday afternoon, The Wurzels (it's not set in a corn field for nothing). I'm sure I saw one of their gigs advertised at Watford Coffee Shop a few months back, so it was worrying they might get stage fright with an audience of over 30 people.
Arrived Thursday morning at Westlands Farm Shop as the camping was in their usual sheep field. It must be the only festival where you get a sausage wrapped round your wrist instead of a wristband.
Campsite was pretty full so after a bit of negotiations until the steward lost the will to live, managed to bag a nice huge camping area for my and Annies bell tents
The Campsite Before (and in fairness a lot of the time it looked this anyway. The festy doesn't attract the usual gorgeous slim festy goers)
With the tents pitched
Strangely this family had brought their 3 ferrets with them (they probably knew more of the bands than me though)
First night was the delights of Jools. We wandered over the corn field to the main arena, got our sausage wristbands, couple of pints of cider and black (we're not students honest) at the Moose Bar. The moose became animated during the evening and repeated the same jokes over and over again. Really bad jokes. If it wasn't for the tasty barman and the fact the only other bar was a real ale one that smelt of gone off vinegar we might not have returned here religiously every night
So we endured the light fingered piano playing and crescendo brass for a while, then special guest Chris Difford came on stage with them. Now your talking....in full stereo me and Annie sang at the top of our voices to classics 'Up the Junction', 'Cool for cats' etc.
Unfortunately no one else did. It was a blot on the intellectual music level to everyone around us, as their confused faces look mortified that Jools could possibly be involved with this commoner music...
I'm not sure what these people were doing during the peak of Squeeze, but by their miserable faces they looked more up the junction than cool for cats.
I'm not sure our appearance gave us any credibility either.....
It started off with a tail....
Then a nice top hat....
Finished off with a bit of face painting....
Annie in full tribal make up courtesy of Sarah our new personal make up artist
So slightly worse for wear we stumbled back across the cornfield and had a nice lie in.
I had my new 'solar light headboard' set up, which actually worked really well for reading in bed. Although i do have to take Annie everywhere with me to hold the back of the magnet while I clip them on
Luckily we could park next to the tents, so the Mr Men got kitted out pretty comfy. Plus we had posh showers, washing up facilities, fresh water and decent loos. Something to be said for these little festies
Annie took the olympics to heart, and decided to fly the flag...
Saturday we visited Wickham, bought up half the co-op and mooched back again
We passed the deluxe camping at £160 a night...really????!!!...They were lined up like domino's and no space at either entrance - no imagination whatsoever
Didn't take many pictures at Wickham so here's all 3 piled up.
Annie didn't see any of wickham she stood talking in a shop doorway for about 3 hours as normal. I thought my mum was full of rattle but Annie could get medals for it. She talks to EVERYONE!
Including a particularly annoying bloke on the campsite who got named 'chatty man'. I got into the habit of crawling under the car when he walked past rather than listening to his musing of the day, but Annie would sit their patiently and converse with him. I did try and hypnotise her into staring directly at me when he walked past, but she still succumbed to his amazing tales of tent poles and roast dinners
Friday night was busy as the Headliner was the Proclaimers (preceded by K T Tunstall) So we waited for 4 hours to sing 2 songs we knew. Letter from America and 500 miles for the encore
Saturday we took a drive out to Bishops waltham, then Alresford . Bought a few bits for the tent as usual and stuffed our faces with cake. Highlight was a nice orange fridge
Never heard of the bands on tonight so we mooched down to the arena, got the faces painted again and watched the world go by outside the Moose bar. All very civilised...to start with. Then we get Wickhams equivalent of the Inbetweeners come over to 'chat us up'.
I was my usual graceful self and told lookey likey Alistair McGowan and his mate Micky the Mullet to clear off and come back when their balls had dropped. Annie was more civil and not one to miss an opportunity engaged in deep meaningful conversation with Mr Beige (top to toe in the colour with a jumper made out of what looked like exhibition carpet)
For some strange reason Annie offered to pay for Carpet Boy to have his face painted, plus the entire male population of the moose bar. So we sat and watched as a bevy of beauties were painted. It transpired the new addition of blokes were a stag party so were pretty game for a few sparkles to be painted on them.
Must admit I thought the 2 twins were a bit tasty...I think it was the Paolo Nutini eyes...(not the ones painted down his face, the ones in the sockets)
Mask Man seemed to like his
Not all went down that well though, altho 'Gay Boy George' did seem to embrace his glittery tiger eye after a few beers.
Nicely tanked up we said our goodbyes and mooched back to the tents, ready for our final day
Sunday afternoon was the Wurzels. We couldn't miss that. Not because I have any great love for them at all, merely because I had heard of them, and sadly knew more of their songs than anyone else the entire weekend
Walked up to the site passing this landrover conversion - I reckon Gumball should have a go at one of these
So spent our time in the sun eating and drinking blummin soft drinks (driving home straight after tonight)
Highlight meeting Sheridan the Dog! He was real, honest. I didn't like to ask what happened to his legs as the poor thing spent most of the time on his mobility scooter
Piss poor copy really....but nice to see one
I mooched off and watched the black face morris dancers for a while (border morris men evidently). Started taking a few photo's....and then got accosted by them. I think somehow I have now agreed to join some strange morris dancing club, send all my photos to some strange man who gave me his card and have made best friends with half the group
Another hot date
Finally got round to watching the Wurzels..finale being this revolting character stripping off to his underpants. It wasn't just Gary Glitter that was a bit warped from that generation
In the evening Annies cousin Andy joined us. Apart from having a very unique taste in shoes (awful....white birkenstocks?!) he appeared to have borrowed his shorts from a relative of Coco the clown
Weirdly, altho he bought his shorts with 'plenty of room to grow into'...his socks barely managed to reach the top of his feet. His shoes seemed to eat them up and spit them out. They might come in handy if he decides to take up ballet tho
Annie suggested we make a pathway through the crowds to get front row access to The Levellers.....nice theory...
However Annie had also suggested on Friday night we do exactly the same. So after stamping on half the audience, ignoring abuse and squashing ourselves into prime position...Annie said 'My feet hurt I want to get out now'....
Slightly wary of doing the same again, she re-assured us her feet were fine as she hadn't stood on them all day. So we went through the torrent of abuse walk again and within touching distance of the stage we got ready....10 minutes later Annie mentioned....'Actually I get a bit claustrophobic....'. So we ejected Annie back out again
I remained in the scrum with Andy and we were determined to stay in position. It turned out to be a ringside seat...for the several fights actually. There was a good one between 2 girls over a robbed hat. Annie should have stayed for that one at least
The Levellers weren't quite the tasty band from the 90's that they were (Mr dreads is seriously UGLY)
Altho the fiddler was blummin good
So they played 'Beautiful Day' at the start...and that was it!! NOTHING else I knew :(. They didn't do Hope Street and more more more annoying they didn't do 'Just the One'.
So one final drink later and the weekend was over. Leaving at 12pm with a face painted as a brown cat creature I seriously hoped I wouldn't get pulled up on the motorway or need the loo....
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