This year the festie, organised by Atilla the Stockbroker, was held at Shoreham airport and we were fortunate to get lifts down and back with Other Val and Matt. The weather was sadly a bit blowy with occasional rain (usually when queuing for beer at the outside beer tent!) but otherwise the atmos was great. There were loads of people there from Surrey/Hants CAMRA, as well as Glyn, an old friend from South Wales, but did not spot any boardies from The Alternative Levellers Messageboard, where I 'live' online.
Got there at about 2pm and started drinking beer - there was a long queue for the beer tent as there was only a small hatch and 2-3 people serving. Kevin and Other Val decided to go to the lunchtime music session - apparently David Rovics was very good - whilst I continued drinking beer and eating Val's party-eggs!
After the lunchtime gigs at about 5pm Val drove us into Brighton, almost too late to browse through the North Laines (my spiritual home) - couldn't resist the posh choccies in 'Montezuma'. We ended up, inevitably, in the Evening Star on Surrey Street, one of my all-time favourite pubs. Dark Star Expresso Stout - outstanding!! Shame I missed their mocha stout at the festie. Hurriedly ate some fish 'n' chips from the pier before heading back to Glastonwick for more beer and the evening music.
First up was Jim Bob, an ex Carter USM member. He was awl right, a lot of people were singing along to his songs so I guess they must have been old hits, I was never really into Carter USM.
Then all the Carter USM fans disappeared and all the Adverts fans appeared! Silver fox TV Smith took to the stage with his guitar and played some of my favourites like 'Thin Green Line', 'David Gilmore's Eyes', 'Lion and the Lamb', and 'One Chord Wonders'. He seemed to be having a great time, and played 'Bored Teenagers' as an encore 'because you're a crowd and I feel like pleasing you!' Indeed he was in such a good mood that he signed my 'Red Sea Crossing' CD and posed for a photo with 'News and Ale' for Other Val!
The band I'd been waiting for however was McDermott's 2 Hours. An Irish folk-punk band, band leader Nick Burbridge was one of the main influences on the Levellers and wrote 'Dirty Davey'. I got a front spot as all the Adverts fans left, and met a lady called Liz who was in need of a dance partner! So we pogoed right in front of Nick and Matt - we attempted an Irish reel but was afraid of sending Nick flying which would have been RATHER embarrassing. I did throw my beer all over my face as I was pogoing, hopefully I wiped it off before any of the McDermotts saw me! They played mostly fasties with the odd slowy to give me and Liz time to get our breaths back, the craic was out of this world. Was singing along, as many of the words as I could remember, I do like songs with a message.
After the gig I noticed a 'Live at Ferneham Hall' CD which the McDermotts recorded at Fareham and Gosport Folk Festival (see previous posting) so I bought it to see if I could hear myself. Then quickly sneaked back into the hall to see if the guys would sign it. Chased after Ben Paley the fiddle player first, who had trouble remembering his name - he'd obviously tried a few real ales! Matt the bassist signed second and shook hands with me, he seemed rather shy. Then asked Nick and he was happy to autograph and chat about the difficulties of playing with no monitors. Then he said he'd spotted me singing along and thanked me (much to my surprise) saying it made all the difference to the atmosphere. Then I shook hands with him and he gave me a whiskery kiss on the cheek as well!! I shyly said thanks and hurried over to see Dil the drummer. Dil was even more chatty - he put a 3-fishes symbol on the CD as well, and when I asked him why he said it was an old family emblem (not the arms of Kingston-upon-Thames as I'd thought). Strange, these people from Pembrokeshire!
Could have stayed and talked to the band all night, but Other Val, Matt, Bill and Doug were waiting to go home so I skipped back to them to boast of my hobnobbing and kissing activities! Best beerfest ever by far ;-D
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