Monday, June 20, 2005

Oysterband Big Session Festival, Leicester

Phew it was HOT! And not just the music!
We arrived at a very strange b&b that seemed to be run by a cross between Jimmy Saville and Larry Grayson, who insisted we were 'good people' - well... The housekeeping wasn't up to much, the breakfast was large but only served between 7 and 8am (a bit mean at the weekend, we thought) and there was no shower, only a bath. Still, the garden was nice and the beds comfy.
Val and Matt drove us up, and were camped with the Oysterband yahoo-group. Bill knew them all but I didn't - wierd! Sarah Smith was also there, blossoming nicely if a little sleepy at times!
DeMontfort Hall was a superb venue for such a festie - nice big hall (built 1915), plenty of field space. More beer in the beer tent next time though, guys!
The gigs were mostly Oysterband with one or two other bands on every now and again! Eliza Carthy's set was a little more downbeat than normal, maybe she just wanted to play slowies because of the heat. Rev Hammer and Mark Chadwick were very relaxed - I joined Dim, Wonderhorsie, Rosie and friends at the front for that one - only trouble was, Rev's voice wasn't that good and he didn't seem to want to give the vocals to Mark very often. Rev later hogged the mike from JJ when he guested with the Oysterband for 'Drunkard's Waltz' - what an ego!
Justin Sullivan's set in the Hall was quite gloomy, and the sound was bad - went to catch Show of Hands in the Tent but it was packed, I only heard muffled singing from a distance. They should have swapped locations really.
Whapweasel were indeed one of the best Ceilidh bands I've seen, but it was far too hot to be ceilidhing really. Bill and I danced 2 sets at a time, then had to rush back to the table for lots of water.
I also met Cousin Wayne down town, it was great to chat to him again. We went for a drink in Brucianis icecream cafe, a bit of a nostalgia trip for me as Grandma used to take me there as a kid. We reminisced about our departed grandparents and Auntie Mari, I caught up on news of Wayne's community work, Cousin Shaun's band etc. Could have talked all day! Afterwards I did some shopping, bought much-needed sun hat and sandals. Leicester is fab ;-D

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