Monday, 18 August 2008
I don't know, but I suspect if you have a girl, the answer is "never", if it's a boy if your lucky, may be six, probably younger...it's the first sign of independence. In The Boy's case, I think if my shaky memory is right it was thirteen. That's not entirely fair...it stopped when he was six and a half, but this weekend was very much a hand holding weekend.
We went off to our first Festival (a right of passage for both of us)...V Festival in Stafford...frustratingly we had not been able to get Chelmsford which is just fifteen miles away. The Boy's first concert was Turin Brakes at Somerset house when he was eight...the ideal first concert and they have remained a firm favourite ever since...perhaps the inspiration for him learning the guitar now. But the festival is all-new...as is camping.
1. Pissed blokes - drinking starts at 8 in the morning and carries on until well probably 3 or 4 in the morning. Unlike Brighton on a Saturday night, getting drunk doesn't involve starting a fight...boisterous behaviour, yes but generally very good humoured. The Pissed blokes category also includes pissed women...
2. Glamorous Girls...yes inspite of the fact that they're caked in mud up to their ears, haven't washed for three days, they still insist on applying the lippy and a short skirt to match their decorated wellies. There are also Glamorous Guys...they simply wear whatever is the Festival Fashion...but certainly undertsand the need for a 'look'
3. Pissing Blokes...men will urinate anywhere even without eight pints down their throat. Fences are a favourite, but even in the middle of the crowd listening to the Kooks, nothing gets in the way of a man desperate enough to get his willy out. Having said that, it is the age of equality, and girls now seem free to go anywhere...sometimes with a friend holding a jacket infront of their lady parts to protect their modesty (!!!), sometimes not...my favourite was the girl who pissed against a wall...I think that's an achievement fraught with risk?
4. Festival toilets...oh I just can't think of that. Ever, ever again.
5. After the inevitable rainstorms and the end of the festival, the long lines of bedraggled festival goers resemble nothing more than a line of refugees...we are only one band away from the end of humanity.
6. Possibly my second favourite companion was the worm that had burrowed into the mud on my shoes...it was that deep...and thought he had found a rich seam in which to live. I gave him freedom!
We managed to be front of stage for The Stranglers, and next to 'Young People' who had never heard of Squeeze...sacrilege. Generally we were front of stage for most acts...perhaps my competitive streak means that I have to, have to be at the front. Good for most groups...but The Stereophonics it all got a bit too boisterous...hence the mutual hand-holding...it'll never happen again!
For the record - Muse were stunning, as was Lenny Kravitz, Amy Winehouse won't be around in five years, Duffy is a belter and it was good to see old favourites like Echo and the Bunnymen.