Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Sunday: Lucky Luke

(Pavillion (sic) Stage)

Fingers in your ears, here come the folkies! Lucky Luke are from Glasgow or Scotland or somewhere like that. There are loads of them, with some of them being boys and some girls, inviting easy B&S comparisons. Their folky music was easy on the ear, so I sat in front of the stage thinking about how much fun festivals are, but how much more fun they would be if you could spark the hooter while folkie bands were playing without being hassled by The Man. Other people thought Lucky Luke were a bit meh, but I was impressed enough to mark them down as a band to watch out for the next time I am at a festival they are playing.

image source

Clever Dog Does Tricks

At coffee break some of my colleagues were venturing into somewhat unsavoury territory (about how people from certain countries are taking over Ireland and playing the race card whenever their sinister endeavours are challenged etc.). I managed to save the day by recounting a story heard on the radio news, about a good dog who saved its owner's life by realising he had gone into a diabetic coma and barking furiously (the wife thought he had just fallen asleep). The owner is now out of hospital, but the dog (a Cavalier King Charles) keeps licking his hands and ankles to check his blood sugar levels.

Sadly, this important news story seems to exist only in the what-the-papers-say section of the radio news. I will therefore have to leave you with the enclosed picture of another Cavalier King Charles. This one is called Cindy, and the BBC reports that she has been astonishing her owners and neighbours by her ability to lie on her back and balance objects on all four paws simultanaeously.

Would you like to know more? Dog's tricks are 'better than TV'

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Forthcoming Events

Here are some things I am definitely going to. You could come to if you want to be cool like me.

The Fall, 16th March, Crawdaddy

The Fall have been brilliant every time I have seen them. Don't believe the rumours!

Ladytron, 16th May, Tripod

I'm surprised they are playing somewhere so big, as I always assumed from my friends' dislike of them that no one here likes the Tron's electropop goodness. But then my friends are often not exactly in tune with what the kids are into these days.

One thing I might go to:

Love Is All, 1st March, The Button Factory

OK so I only know one song by Love Is All, but it is G*R*A*T*E in a frenetic sax driven shouty vocals kind of way. The problem with this, though, is that they are actually playing support to some other Swedish band who, from photos, look like a bunch of lovely ladies. I've nothing against attractive women, but I don't know if I could face a gig by the Swedish Fluffy. On the other hand, attractiveness and the associations this condition generates seems to be a particular curse of the Swedes and may have no negative connotations for their music. Nevertheless, I can see myself staying at home this night unless I am strongly persuaded otherwise, which is unlikely.

image source

Film: The Darjeeling Limited

Let me take a break from my incredibly fascinating recounting of things seen at the Nightmare Before Christmas, to instead let you know what I think about this well-known film. As you know, it is about three brothers with problematic inter-relationships who are on a holiday together in India, travelling on a train to Darjeeling. It was made by that Wes Anderson fellow who has made many other popular films. Since his Rushmore, I have derived decreasing utility from his works, but this one really affected me, with the film managing to be both funny and poignant. I suppose Anderson is helped by the three excellent actors (Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson) he has playing the brothers, and the astonishing backdrop of India and the superposh end of its train system does not hurt either. But I reckon the best thing about this film is probably the cinematography and the art direction… it just all looks so beautiful. And Anderson's ability to marry images to music remains very impressive; using so many songs by the Kinks in a film about feuding brothers is maybe a bit obvious, but it works well in the context. I also liked the film's lack of comedy Indian characters, though I was a bit underwhelmed by the unlikely brief romance by the Jason Schwartzman character and the lady conductor.

One amusing thing about the film is that it is preceded by a short called The Hotel Chevalier, which gets its own certificate from the censor up on the screen. This led to some "Where's the fucking shark?*" reactions from the audience, before it became obvious that the short links into the main feature that follows it.

The short on its own was delightful. There is a wonderful piece of cinematic formalism in it when the character in it sets whiny classic 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely?' playing, and then the camera pans around the room alighting on things that are mentioned in the lyrics. Crazy, man, crazy.

Picture Source

*this is a complicated reference to the time Accent Monkey's dad went to see Barry Lyndon in the cinema, and some guy came in before the film started and fell asleep during the trailers. Later on, some loud noise woke him and he was confused to discover that the cinema was not showing Jaws

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Sunday: Little Dieter Wants To Fly

On Sunday morning, ATP TV were showing this documentary by Werner Herzog, about some German guy called Dieter who joined the US Navy air force during the Vietnam War. He was eventually shot down over enemy territory, and locked up in one of those scary prisoner of war camps you see in films. After a bit he busted loose with some other guy and they tried to escape to freedom. Dieter made it, the other guy didn't. What is funny about the film is that Dieter – who spends a lot of the film talking to camera, often in the places where unpleasant things happened to him – seems like an incredibly chirpy and well-adjusted fellow, even while describing the grimmest of events. "Watching my friend being killed in front of me, it was terrible. I wanted to die too… but here I am, let's party burr burr burr" seemed to be his attitude. Herzog wasn't really having it, so all his narration was all "The pointlessness of human existence is revealed yet again by Dieter's desperate attempts to put a happy face on his travails etc.". I reckon these two would make a great comedy double act.

Herzog recently made a drama film about Dieter's story, with crazy man Christian Bale playing the German pilot. I suppose I have given away a lot of the plot in the last paragraph. Ho ho ho.

One odd thing about this film is that it got me wondering if Herzog has a bit of a thing for bears. You are familiar of course with his Grizzly Man film, about that guy who made friends with grizzly bears and was then eaten by one. And recently I saw a film showing of his Kaspar Hauser, which features a circus and a performing bear. In Little Dieter Wants To Fly, Dieter talks about how when he was lost in the jungle and all alone, a bear started following him around. He began to see the bear as his friend, as it was the only living thing with which he was having any interaction. Then he realised that the bear was just waiting for him to die, so that he could eat him. "But I didn't mind, he was still my friend," says Dieter.

Picture Source

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Riot of Pandas

Pandas are famously not that interested in mating and reproduction. Each gender only gets to hankering for a couple of days a year. Even showing Pandas videos of other Pandas getting it on seems not to arouse their interest in things carnal.

However, somehow or other the Pandas of Wolong Nature Reserve have managed to produce eighteen cubs, who have recently been given names now that they have passed the seven month mark. For more pictures, click here: In pictures: Panda cub playground

Monday, February 18, 2008

Shameless plug for my other boring blog

IF you are interested in the ramifications of Kosova's independence for the Eurovision Song Contest, click here: EUROVISION IN CRISIS

Afrika Bambataa's 'Planet Rock' and the most famous sample ever

You know, this is a classic of hippity hop, recently acquired by me in a vinyl reissue. Melle Mel and some other guy rap in a most engaging manner to an ORCH5 heavy musical accompaniment. It is hard not to dance to this record, with the rapping being what carries you along as much as the music. Deadly stuff.

I'm going to a performance of Stravinsky's Firebird later this week; it will be interesting to hear the source of the ORCH5 sample. Hip hop don't stop! And wow, small world... it seems like the guy who made the ORCH5 sample is in fact yer man David Vorhaus, who was in The White Noise with Delia Derbyshire & Brian Hodgson. Sadly, the White Noise are not actually as brilliant as you might expect, though they have one really good song. It is called... 'Firebird'.

There is a nice picture of David Vorhaus here: Fairlight Week: Pt 4: The most famous preset ever

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: The Aphex Twin

(Centre Stage)

The Cornwall sensation was headlining saturday night, playing music from laptops. To make it a bit more visually interesting there was something of a light show, and for the ladies two neds came out and danced onstage while an attractive lady filmed them with a camcorder. Mr Twin's set started off as something very straightforwardly dancey (eh, this is a good thing, given that dancing is fun). After a bit the beats got a bit fractured, making the music much harder to dance to. This was handy for those of us feeling a bit tired. In fact, so tired was I by this stage that I went to the back and sat in a comfy chair and dozed to the relaxing sounds of the Aphex Twin. Best festival ever!

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: Om

(Centre Stage)

Much was promised by this drone rock duo, but they turned out to be a bit dull, so we sat down and drank beer while they played. While not the best band in the world if receiving one's undivided attention, they were a perfectly valid accompaniment to a quiet pint.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: The Heads

(Centre Stage)

I think maybe we wandered in late while these were playing and sat towards the back without fully engaging with them. Or maybe I am thinking of someone else.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

X-Factor

Up in Sligo a while back I saw an episode of that X-Factor programme. This is one of those TV programmes where people compete to have a musical career as long lived as those of Gareth Gates and Will Young. Previously I had only ever seen the grand finale of a series, so this was my first time seeing a "normal" episode. Frankly, I found the thing disturbing in its general nastiness, in particular the drawn-out humiliation of the contestant who was eliminated. The two lowest placed performers had, at the end of the programme, to perform again for the judges who would then vote on which one to exclude. The whole process seemed designed to be as tortuous and stressful for the would-be stars as possible.

I worry about i) the sick minds who could come up such a format, ii) the society that could produce such a programme, and iii) the people who would get enjoyment from watching someone put on the rack like this.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: Julian Cope

(Pavillion (sic) Stage)

I have resolved never to go and see Julian Cope live in Ireland again. He always plays Ireland solo (I think his musical associates have some unfinished business with the IRA that makes visits here problematic for them). This can be good, but without a band behind him there is always a danger that Cope will start shiteing on about how mad he is, or about the difference between Celtic and Saxon mindsets, and so on. You don't want that. Instead what we got was Cope playing as part of a power trio (occasionally joined by two Hessians on additional drums), with the musical journey through his backpages lighting on tunes that suited this kind of line-up. Result. I particularly enjoyed hearing some of the rockier tunes from Peggy Suicide; what were also fascinating were the couple of songs from Fried or Teardrop Explodes albums he played. This has led to me exploring further these records and deriving great enjoyment from them. I am also considering putting together an introduction to Julian Cope CD… any takers?

I so enjoyed this set that I bought an album by Cope's new BRAIN DONOR band. They play the kind of forward thinking metallic sounds he could not really get away with as a solo artist. I have not yet fully digested this record.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

World's Greatest Film Approaches

So I saw the trailer for the film in which Rambo brings democracy to Burma. It looks awesome.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: GZA/Genius

(Centre Stage)

Eventually we made it back to the venues, and on a whim went to see some of the hop hip music they had on. Apparently it is popular with the young people. These GZA and Genius fellows really knew how to put on a good show.

One of the fun things about GZA was the various pronunciations of his name you would hear: Geezah, Gizzah, Gee-Zee-Ay, Gee-Zed-Ay, Jeezah, Jizzah, and so on. It was also not entirely clear initially whether Genius was a friend of his or some other name by which he goes (the latter is apparently the case). On returning, the young lad at work was able to confirm the correct pronunciation of his name as Gizzah.

Mr GZA is a member of The Wu Tang Clan, a group of hippity hoppers, and on this occasion he was performing his solo album Liquid Swords. He think he has also done this recently as part of one of those Don't Look Back concerts the ATP organisers are always putting on. Now, I believe in not looking back, and reject the rockist canonisation associated with this current vogue for artists performing their classic albums in their entirety as though they were some kind of classical symphony rather than a collection of tunes. In the case of Mr GZA, however, it was a bit less problematic, as I have never heard the album in question and so was not approaching it in a spirit of chin-stroking reverence. In fact, for all I know Mr GZA might have been playing the tracks in an unrecognisable style (or playing different tunes entirely). But it was still a big bag of fun, enjoyed greatly by the almost entirely white audience.

Some commentator in The Guardian did scove at the vista of whitey giving Mr GZA the W (a form of salute associated with fans of The Wu Tang Clan), but the writer maybe missed that point that i) Mr GZA asked us to do this and ii) worldwide, most hip hop fans are not actually African Americans. So live the dream. This made me think that I should go to more hippity hop gigs, as I typically enjoy them whenever I do. They can be quite dynamic in terms of onstage spectacle and all that. Word.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: Trapped In The Closet

(ATP TV)

After Oneida, we went into Minehead for a cream tease (something of a local speciality). This meant we missed a lot of the bands playing during the afternoon, but no worries as they were all shite. On our way back, we stopped in the chalet, initially intending this to be a brief visit. However, when the words

TRAPPED

IN

THE

CLOSET

appeared on the screen of ATP TV, we found ourselves trapped in the chalet. It was episode episodes #13-22 (or thereabouts) that we caught. As you know, TITC is hip-hop nonce-accusee R. Kelly's magnum opus, an ongoing hip-hopera film about people and their tangled sex lives. R. Kelly plays Sylvester, a man at the centre of a sexual web warping the time-space continuum. All other parts are sung by R. Kelly, even when played by such guest stars as Will Oldham. TITC is very hard to describe. Don't believe the rumours - find out for yourself. It really has to be seen to be believed, and is available for free on the interweb. Whether it is a work of genius or something so completely rubbish that it is brilliant is an ultimately fruitless line of inquiry; TITC reveals R. Kelly to be some kind of idiot-savant subgenius who has produced something that people will hold up in future millennia as a perfect example of the artworks of our time.

The storyline in these episodes had two strands. In one section, Sylvester's brother-in-law Twan discovered that the woman he thought had grassed him up to the cops (leading to his spending several years in chokey) was the mother of the child he didn't know he had, but was know dyking with the woman who had actually reported him. In the other strand, the nosy neighbours discovered that while Pastor Rufus had determined to leave his male lover and stick to his wife, said gay lover was now in hospital, leading to speculation that he might have The Package.

But yeah, you had to be there. Chaletmate Sarah suggested that our astonished reactions to TITC were if anything more exciting than the strange events depicted onscreen.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

SLUTSPURT

Have you ever wondered what a SLUTSPURT is? Click here and find out: Copenhagen slutspurt

In other news, my beloved and I are going to BERLIN for Easter. I am saying this not so that you can burgle Carwash Mansions, but so that you can marvel at how cosmopolitan we are.

HI DERE I WRIT PAPER

The Internet's greatest news source has been found, and it is called PRAVDA

Some of today's top stories:

Russian woman easily delivers gigantic baby

Vegetarianism proves to be perversion of nature

Russian designer invents flying rug for civil and military use

OSCE decides to sabotage Russia's presidential election

AND THE GREATEST PHOTO STORY OF ALL TIME:

Putin easily mingles in animal world
(picture from here, obv.)

hat-tip to Pravda English Edition -- The Jewel of the Internet

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: ONEIDA

(Pavillion (sic) Stage)

The first band we saw on this day were called Oneida. They play a lot of songs by Oneida. They have this kind of boffiny stoner nerd thing going. They like to rock out. When one of them says something like "OK, next up we're going to play a song by Oneida. It's called 'People of the North'" then one of the others will say "Hey, I love that one!". Crazy guys.

When we came in they were playing this completely mental tune that seemed to go on forever and consisted of the same droney chord being played over and over and over. Everyone thought they were crazy, but the kids loved it. The song was called 'Sheets of Easter', something I discovered later when talking to Mr Oneida when he was staffing their merchandise stall. "It's a song by Oneida called 'Sheets of Easter'", he said. "It's on the album Each One Teach One. By Oneida".

So yeah, Oneida, nerds who rock. Live the dream.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Saturday: Heavy Metal Parking Lot

(ATP TV)

Loafing around the chalet, we saw a fascinating documentary called Heavy Metal Parking Lot. This was an engagingly simple concept, recording a load of teenagers in the parking lot of some Maryland enormodome while they hung around drinking their illegally acquired beer before going in to a concert by Judas Priest. Attendees of events like ATP and the Nightmare Before Christmas think they like a drink, but they have nothing on these Priest fans, many of whom probably died on the way home in drink driving accidents.

The film is fascinating on a number of levels. It is, obviously, straightforwardly amusing to look at all these drunken teenagers shouting about how much they love Priest. At another level you can analyse the social mores at play. The metalheads here (mostly male, almost entirely white) seem to live in a land untouched by fashion, for although the film was made in the mid to late 1980s, they look like people from the 1970s. Given the testosterone flowing from these guys, it is also amusing to imagine how they reacted subsequently on learning that the lead singer of Judas Priest bats for the other team.

Heavy Metal Parking Lot was followed by Neil Diamond Parking Lot – same venue, ten years later, but this time Neil Diamond is playing the Maryland enormodome. I never knew that Diamond's fans are predominantly middle aged (and older) women. But it was interesting to watch these people enthuse about the music maker they were going to see, albeit in less drunken terms. I think they then had Harry Potter Parking Lot (children queue for J.K. Rowling singing (in a bookshop, not the enormodome), Monster Truck Parking Lot (unfinished), G.G. Allin Parking Lot, Annabel Chong Parking Lot, and There's Life In That Horse Yet Parking Lot.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Golden Frog Waves Goodbye


The Panamanian Golden Frog lived in an environment where fast-flowing streams made such noise that its croaks could not be heard by its fellows. So it evolved a new way of communication, and used hand-gestures to signal to friends, enemies, and potential mates.

The local people consider the Golden Frog to be lucky, but in this they are perhaps mistaken. The Golden Frog was recently filmed for the first time waving, but soon after this its habitat was invaded by the chytrid fungus, a menace threatening many amphibian species with extinction. The Golden Frogs were all taken into captivity for their own protection; the frog is now extinct in the wild.

The BBC crew who filmed the Golden Frog thoroughly disinfected before approaching the animal's habitat, so it probably was not them who brought the killer fungus to it.

Picture from the BBC article 'Last wave' for wild golden frog

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Friday: G.G. Allin

(ATP TV)

What’s that? Could it be that notorious figure G.G. Allin had faked his own death and made it to Minehead to defecate on us? Sadly not. Instead the Festival's own TV channel was playing a documentary about him, which we watched while drinking our bedtime cups of cocoa.

As you know, G.G. Allin is the punk rock fellow famous for writing songs about extreme pervertalism and playing concerts where he would masturbate and/or defecate on stage and then throw the fruits of his body into the rapidly thinning audience. The documentary was good at demonstrating how disturbed Allin was. I suppose from the thumbnail description this is hardly surprising, but he did come across more like a severely damaged street person rather than a seriously nasty menace to society. More worrying were perhaps the various G.G. Allin fans who showed up in the programme, there being an air of creepy voyeurism in these ghouls deriving enjoyment from the actions of a man plainly in need of serious psychiatric help.

Allin always said that he was going to end his life by overdosing onstage. However, he accidentally overdosed in private a number of years ago and died away from his public. I went to bed before the film ended, but I got the impression that it was completed before his death, so it probably did not end on a downer.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Friday: Françoiz Breut

(Reds Stage)

Ms Breut was meant to have played earlier on the Centre Stage, but some unspecified factor led to her being postponed until much later, playing a bit after eleven in this more intimate environment. She is from France or Belgium or one of those countries. Her music is of the pleasant lady-singer-songwriter sort – note the "pleasant", adjective, by which I mean to imply that this was pleasing on the ear and enjoyable to listen to late in the day when you're feeling a bit *tired*.

While Ms Breut was playing, Ken C left us with a voluble English guy who told me about how in Stuttgart they made a giant metal cross out of war debris.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Friday: Portishead

(Centre Stage)

Portishead were playing two gigs over the weekend, but a rationing system meant that you were allocated a night to go and see them. It is so long since I lived in a flat of Portishead lovers that I had largely forgotten what a great band they are. That said, my appetite was well whetted by a purchase of Dummy in the week before the festival. The band really delivered the goods at this concert. If you liked them before and can remember what they did, you would know what to expect here in broad terms – Beth Gibbons' voice, twangy tremolo heavy guitar from Adrian Uttley and hip hop stylings courtesy of Geoff Barrow. A lot of people went on afterwards about Gibbons' voice (and it is a great voice, even more so live than on record), but this maybe obscures the input of the other two. Uttley's guitar work was revelatory, burying the idea of his being the band's norbert. Barrow seems to have mutated into some kind of multi-instrumentalist (or maybe he always was, and I was not paying attention).

It is interesting to think back on how the prehistory of the Sheds. I have always thought of Geoff Barrow as having been the original leader of the band, or at least the person who put them together. It would not surprise me if he recruited Uttley and Gibbons initially as virtual session players, only to realise that he had gold dust in his hands. To his credit, he gave them their heads and made the band far more than it would have been as initially envisaged. Does anyone know if this model of the band's early days bears any relation to reality?

Subsequently I wondered about the second Portishead album. Can anyone tell me if it is any good or not? My recollection is that no one bought it… the world had moved on by the time it came out and they were no longer flavour of the month, meaning that trend people shunned it. Hipsters, meanwhile, started to wonder if maybe Portishead had all along just been making coffee table music for yuppies, so they didn't buy it either. What say you, Internet?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Drugs Are Bad!

Apparently the government is having another crack at stamping out teh Drugs. I was thinking that what would be great would be TV ads that showed two actors taking Drugs, and then some bunjo could come in and batter them with a hurley. Following that, he would turn to camera and threaten anyone watching with the same treatment, should they ever go near Drugs. That should do it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fierce New Animal Discovered


Dr. Galen Rathburn and a team of scientists have confirmed that a strange animal found in Tanzania is a new species of Elephant Shrew. This cat-sized fellow is no relation of the common shrew, but is rather part of the same world of animals as elephants or hyraxes. Each one of these fellows seems to have an individual colour scheme, but they all use their long nose to implacably hoover up insects.

Picture from the BBC article "'Bizarre' new mammal discovered"

Wojtek Soldier Bear

Voytek was an Iranian bear who was adopted as a cub by Polish soldiers in the British army in 1943. Initially Voytek was just a mascot, but as he got bigger he helped his friends out by carrying ammunition for them. He was also known to sit in the front-seat of jeeps. Off-duty, he would wrestle with his comrades, or join them in a beer or cigarette.

He was actually enlisted into the British army so that he could travel with the Poles to Italy, where he served at Monte Cassino. The unit was so grateful for his help that a representation of him carrying a shell became their emblem.

After the war, most of the Polish soldiers went back to Poland, where they had a hard time of it from the new Communist regime there. Voytek was spared that, though he did end up living out his days in Edinburgh zoo. Like many former soldiers, he found the adjustment to civilian life difficult, though he always liked when his former comrades came to visit him, and would always wave to anyone who called to him in Polish.

Now there is apparently talk of making a film about Voytek, or of putting up a monument to him in the Borders area of Scotland, where he was stationed for a while.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Friday: Thurston Moore

(Pavillion (sic) Stage)

Yeow! Thurston goes acoustic! Except that, although he has gone acoustic, he is playing with a band who have not. So this basically sounds not unlike the mighty Sonic Youth. Some might see that as a bad thing – I did not. I would have liked to have stayed for the whole thing, but sadly this largely clashed with the Sheds upstairs, so I had to skip out before he had really got going. What I heard was pleasing on the ear.

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007, Friday: The Horrors

(Pavillion (sic) Stage)

The problem with Fridays at ATP style festivals is that I am always a bit *tired* after all the travelling, so I am not really able to give the bands my all. These fellows seemed endearingly energetic, kind of punky gothy jumpy and so on. They looked a good bit better dressed than some of the other bands who played over the weekend. I enjoyed what they played but would have liked to be able to pay more attention to it. Particular happiness came my way when they launched into a version of freakbeat classic 'Crawdaddy Simone' (hitherto known to me in the version by Joe Meek band The Syndicats).

Nightmare Before Christmas 2007: Introduction

It has been said that reading endless write-ups of bands someone has seen at a festival is incredibly dull. If you have said this then this blog is no longer for you, as there will be many such posts coming up – last December I was at the Nightmare Before Christmas festival, and now I am going to start telling you about what I saw.

First, though, let us consider the festival's location – it is in the sunny South West of England, on the edge of Devon, in a Butlins holiday camp outside the town of Minehead. Going there rather than to Camber Sands lent the whole affair an air of novelty. As has been mentioned by previous Minehead ATP attendees, the chalets here are far far nicer than the ones in Camber Sands. Crucially, everyone gets a bed to sleep in, with none of that folding out a living room camp bed shite that makes Camber Sands so uncongenial.

But what of the venues? There are three of them:

1. The Pavillion (sic) Stage was within a giant marquee. It felt like an outdoor venue, partly because the carpet in front of it was green. The sound here was a bit shite, but it suited the kind of bands who do well outdoors. This was the largest stage, but not the most prestigious (because of the sound, basically). And the last bands here would end c. 10.00 pm, probably because of noise restrictions.

2. The Centre Stage was in a room a bit smaller than the upstairs venue at Camber Sands, but with a stage as big. This was the headliners venue.

3. Reds was the smallest venue, but was still probably a little bit bigger than the smaller venue at Camber Sands.

There were also a number of places where people would DJ and stuff.

My chalet mates were Sarah, & Ken, from the Internet, and Irene, my beloved, from Carwash Mansions.