Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Festies! Larmer Tree and Pump Festivals - July 2012

This will be a long post and will take me a couple of bites to get everything on so please bear with me.  The photo's are great and I have met some wonderful and beautiful people.

I'm not a folkie.  My daughter, who worked both festivals as well, is and I think a little baffled that I don't even open the programme these days to see who is playing.  I go to festivals to break up my largely mundane life.  I like to talk (usually about myself!).  Working festies gives me a reason to talk to people and selling high quality, guitar shaped furniture is a great reason!

The other traders are a great crew.  Most are serious, or have been serious festival goers and all have a story and all have some hidden talent.  In short they are a great crew and I think Roger, my boss, and I fit right in.  We all know that friendships can be fleeting and we all accept that we will all meet each other again sometime.  This wonderful situation means you can be yourself.  Being outrageous and "letting go" is very easy and refreshing in such company and in such places.

"Festivaling" is about the people for me.  The music brings the people.

In the photo's below I've tried to capture this:

My step-daughter Lizzy to the left and Megan, the Lady from Pennsylvania, US of A to the left.  Megan's son make up this trio.  Megan all 2st 4lbs of her has a huge voice.  More of that in the narrative to follow.

This lady was next to me trading with her artist husband.  As a young lady she spent 10 years in the US and returned with 2 small Thai children.  The rest of her life I would imagine was equally as interesting and I love this photo.  the painting in the background makes it.

Take enough photo's and every once in a while you get a classic.  This was not posed and this lady, who's name alludes me, was the owner of this stall and I will get a high quality copy of this and give it to her as a gift next year.  Love this one!

Rose is a trader who makes felt.  She did the multicoloured felt tails that adorn my festie hat and my well travelled manbag.  This is her normal look and she is great - and obviously a nutter!

My point about people is made here.  The first I love.  There is a lot to look at with the back drop having as much impact as the subject!  The second is motherhood, just motherhood.  I wish I knew who see was; again so I could give her this snapshot.

Reg is an old hand and boy doesn't he look like it!  This is a real character and he runs/owns the Arts Cafe at the Larmer Tree festival.  We partied with some of his staff at the Larmer and it was my moment of the summer festie season.  He, I and a few of his staff had a late night drinking session and we had professional standard singing (with Megan, Sparkle and Ashley) hand drumming (Reg and I before I could no longer keep time..) and an empty, closed, cafe tent to play for.  Bliss, true bliss.  Thank you guys.

The first photo.....I don't know what to say!  The second is my founder of my feast or should I say Fest, Roger.  My bosh showing what he thinks of my selling skills!

That's not tea in that cup.  It wasn't the first cup she had either!

Sian and Damian are a great couple.  Met Sian several times at festies and we are getting friendly.  Hey guys, really looking forward to seeing you soon at mine.

"You ain't seen me, RIGHT!!!!".  Pissed at the Larmer.  My favourite tipple took a major beating this night.  A bottle of wine followed by a bottle of Rum made a great night better!  This guy will remain nameless.  Why?  International spy?  Criminal on the run?  Billionaire doing the cheap?  He probably went sick....

Mud, mud, glorious mud, there's nothing better for cooling the blood.  Yeah, no shit.  This site does not contain any positive references to mud.  This particular variant is Larmer Tree.

Would you buy a veggie burger from either of these two ladies?  Yup, me too.  I bought loads of them.

The components of a festival.  The semi-pro, the pro instrument support, the great locale, the tiring workers and the diversity.

...and the scary...

....and the weird...

......and the friends enjoying each other...

...and the music that brings...

.....all of you...

...in contact with lil' ole me.  I thank you all.

To music.  There is only one song that could possibly end this post.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Charity Gig Details

Charity Fund Raising Event

Location:                   The Royal Oak Public House, Corsham.

Date:                          2nd September 2012

Charity:                     British Heart Foundation

Point of Contact:    Steve Rattley, 07958 779006

Supporters:             Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Greatest Living Adventurer, Heart Attack Survivor, The West’s Own.

Mr Viv Anderson MBE: Former England and Man Utd Footballer, 2 time winner of the European Cup (Nott’m Forest).

Mr Peter Gabriel:  Universally Respected International Musical Genius and International Star.


The target of the gig is to raise £350 from 2 events occurring on the same evening:

Firstly, a gig comprising of 3 bands playing in the following order, at the following time.

1st Band:    Fat Freddy’s Cat – Rock and Blues Covers from the 60’s onwards.

Time on:    1830-1930

Contact:     Jim Smith, (mobile: 07885 721059)

2nd Band:   Black Widow – Contemporary Rock and Pop Covers.

Time On:   2000-2100

Contact:     Steve Rattley, (mobile: 07958 779006)

      (Raffle Draw)

3rd Band:    Afrayed Knot – Classic Rock Covers (awesome lead guitar!)

Time On:   2130-2230

Contact:     Phil Kamm, (mobile:  07977 047049)

The Royal Oak Public House is located in Corsham’s historic High Street and has a reputation for staging and promoting local amateur music events.  The gig will be performed in the first floor function room.  There is a high quality modern PA hardwired into the room the use of which can be confirmed if requested from any act – Black Widow aims to use this at least.  The pub possesses a large car park to the rear and there is an external, wide back stair case for fire evacuation.  This is accessed through the “Secret Garden” from the car park.  This is the preferred and easiest method to load and unload equipment.  There are a number of 240v mains outlets on and around the stage.  This stage is small and a 5 piece band would be cramped.  Fixed, coloured stage lighting exists and a modest lighting mixer and this gives a good effect.  Viewing is recommended by band leads but you could play here without bumping your lighting rigs.

Access to the function room will be available from 1700 on the day.  At a guess, without seating, the room would accommodate about 50 standing persons.  The bars are downstairs, and are 2 in number and quite large.  There is no bar in the function room.


A Raffle will be drawn immediately prior to the performance of Afrayed Knot.  The winners will decided by drawing a winning ticket followed by ticket denoting the prize won until all prizes are given.  Prizes include signed books and photo’s from the supporters list above.  10p a ticket and tickets will be on sale before the event.  The draw should not take more than 15 minutes.


Steve Rattley, the drummer of “Black Widow” had a heart attack on the 21st May 2012; his mother had similar 5 months earlier.  Wendy Nugent, the former manager of local band called “El Ninio” died of a heart attack in April – a former girlfriend of Steve’s.

Let’s do something to reduce this and have a good time doing it!


Have a Heart – Buy the British Heart Foundation a Pint!

Buying a round?  By a pint for the BHF.  One day it may save your life.


All bands are requested to post this gig on their respective websites and other forms of online presence.  Melksham News and Wiltshire Times have been contacted and have shown support.  They will run stories on the event.  I would like a 2 pronged attack here.  Firstly, something like “stars support local charity gig” sooner.  In the week or so before the gig, another article would also be very useful.  This would be a generous gesture and so far both publications have been extremely positive.

2 banners will be used on the day, at the venue advocating the “buy a round, buy a pint for BHF” theme.

Posters in Melksham Blue Pool.  Leaflet drop in Corsham.


The venue is booked.  The landlords are changing end of June but I am assured all booking will be honoured.

Black Widow, Afrayed Knot and Fat Freddy’s Cat have all declared there availability and commitment to performing on the 2nd.

Ongoing publicity will be the responsibility of Steve Rattley and all administrative overheads will be met by him.

It would be useful for all performers to meet at the Oak to look at the venue and available equipment.  Steve Rattley will co-ordinate this.

Sponsors have begun to send in raffle prizes:  Mr Gabriel has promised signed item (believed in the post) and Sir Ranulph has already provided signed hardback autobiography and photo.

Local press informed of the event and this document represents the next action required from them.


This is a small event to raise some money for a very worthy cause.  The target is to raise £350 from the drop bins and raffle.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that was the money that paid for that killer bit of research that saved 100’s of lives!

This event requires people.  As many as we can get at the Royal on the 2nd of September.  Bore people with details of this event!  Talk about it and sell it.  It will be a great day to have a pint and buy one for the BHF after all!

More to follow!

Steve Rattley

Black Widow

28th June 2012