The Real Isle Of Wight Festival Review ” officially unofficial ” … Day Deux Part Deux.
Can I just say I am getting a lot of criticism for my gramma’ . Fair point and I need to learn from, my mistakes . But please if you are finding it difficult to read or understand say so. The thing is, not only will I learn from this but if you were a critique I will slap you round the head with a peppered mackerel. Should that be a critic?
” God gave rock n roll to ya, gave rock n roll to you, he gave rock n ro-oll to everyone ” . This was one of many songs Stubbly and myself heard as we whistled our merry way down to the tentacles of the larger group of Lisa, John, Shelley and Neil. Did you know that the song mentioned above was by a British band called “Argent” ? …There you go, another thing to stick in the back of your head for when it comes up in your next pub quiz. I’m so good to you lot.
That was probably the oldest song we heard during our short walk down to general ( cattle ) camping. The newest was a song that goes something like ” wave after wave, wave after wave”. Obviously a timeless classic that in 30 years will be revered and remembered in the same way as ooh ” Shake Your Love ” by Debbie Gibson. I think you get my drift. Just so you know I didn’t at ANY point hear that Debbie Gibson song during the course of the 5 days.
Our lukewarm beverages were Stella 4 per centers. These are unlike the full on wife beater known as Stella Artois. The Weller 4% allows you to argue with your loving treacle, if of course you can get a word in, until it gets to the aggression stage. By this point because they aren’t as strong, you’ve drunk 8 of the buggers and need to use the facilities. Upon your return, fair maiden has cooled down and the garden is rosy once again. Off on another tangent, my apologies, let us resume… Our 10 ( could have been 12 ) pack of once cool beers were now at room temperature. Unfortunately the mirage of a room we were located in was about 90 degrees. They were going to be disgusting. No-one, least of all moi likes hot beer. Hot rekorderlig in winter: oui. Hot Paul Wellers in summer: non.
Thankfully upon arriving at base camp ( the Lee/Shorter, and soon to be Pring HQ ) having crossed through what seemed like a tent version of the Crystal Maze, we discovered that not only had these thoughtful people brought seats but more importantly they had ice. Better still, the aforementioned ice was already covering various random alcoholic fluids. It would have been extremely rude not to offer to share our toasted tins. Strangely the lads declined our kind gesture, and being of good stock returned the compliment by opening up the cool box and waving at us to take a cold one. Well, you can lead a horse to water… and this little donkey was a thirsty mule. We dipped in, plucked out two cold lagers and our afternoon chilling ( melting ) by the tent had begun. I should say, in our defence that our Stellas also went into the cool box and were shared as and when needed once at a sensible temperature.
Quick sub-point. It was Lisa and Shelley who offered up the cool box whilst getting themselves a fruit based drink. The chaps were too busy taking in the scenery and slipping out the odd muffled trump.
After arranging ourselves ( me and Stubbly ) into a comfortable position courtesy of two unused sleeping bags, the 6 of us basked in the sunshine. I must say all jokes aside it really was SCORCHIO!… At one point I did think to myself ” this must be what it feels like when you’re a chicken in an oven!. Of course they aren’t normally alive but I was cooking. The sun cream ( 30 + 15 so 45 in total ) wasn’t doing much. I could feel the sweat dripping off me. My semi naked torso was glowing in the intense heat. Calm down ladies I’m not going into 50 shades of grey mode. Closest I will ever come to showing off a 6 pack is if I purchase one from a local off licence. ( I should add that originally the idea was to bang a pic of me holding some beers in here but my plan went t*ts up.
Sacre bleu, the weather was making people do all sorts of crazy things. For instance, opposite where I was sitting, there was a group of roughly 10-16 youngsters. Again a guessed aged of between 15 and at a push to 18 or 19. The language was quite volatile and at a festival you expect that, accept it mostly. One or two of these little bleeders stood out though. Firstly, in 85-90 degrees fahrenheit, the kid whose every sentence contained the F word. We will call him bobbly hat kid. His term of lingo didn’t really bother me so much, it was the fact he was wearing a vest and a full on woolly hat. A woolly hat?? Are you sure!? Why not chuck on a parka and balaclava as well!. He resembled a thinner Benny from Crossroads but without the brain cell. He was creasing up and laughing as he had the sun cream out and was at his relatively portly friend’s request ( we will just for the storyline call him the turnip kid ) applying the said lotion. Now this is where my line of the weekend comes from. You had to be there really but the conversation went something like this ( excuse my language ) :
Bobbly hat kid ” I’m going to draw a massive f****ng penis on your back ”
Turnip shaped kid ” f**k off , is he drawing a p***k on my back? ”
His friends laughing “yep ( encouraging ) , WOAH, that’s s**t ”
Bobbly hat kid ” I’m drawing a f***ing cock! look ” … Short snort chuckle chuckle chuckle
Turnip shaped kid ” you better not be drawing a pri*k on my back , it better not be s**t”
Neil, on hearing all this turned round to the turnip kid and says ” of course it’s going to be s**t. well, what do you expect? Letting your mate draw a c**k on your back in sun tan lotion.. you are letting him so if it’s not very good it’s your own fault ” . Lardy boy stares. ” wha… ? ” . Drugs , alcohol , modern day schooling , who knows but the whippersnapper had no idea what to say. He couldn’t even pronounce his letters. Reading it back it doesn’t sound that funny but I promise you either I’ve wrote it very inaccurately or my sense of humour is unlike most others because it really was from nowhere to ” best line of the weekend ” In my faintly artistic mind.
Now please bear in mind none of this is recorded or noted but I reckon that at around 2.30pm right in the middle of listening to jump ( for my love ) by the Girls Aloud, we had two new members to the party: Jack “The Cat” Jenner and Johnnycake Bryant. I heard that originally Jack, who is a fully trained soldier in the British Army and to add to that is a bloody top bloke, was bringing a Marine mate with him. I love Johnnycake but 1st appearances told us that he was no Marine. For a start he was ginger. I mean I know they are a bit feisty and attack at will but johnnycake Is more a lover than a fighter. Johnnycake loves a conspiracy theory. I have no idea where the cake bit came from in Johnnycake by the way, but I do like it. When I say I’ve no idea I do mean literally not a scooby. Good ladies out there Jack is not known as the cat for his preying technique on the ladies. He is an exceptionally good goalkeeper and according to the leader of the lesbionic psycopath tit floppers society of New Zealand has never ending upper arm muscles. crowing ” Ooh , Oooooh, Oh my god, Oooooh , OOOOOOOH, have you felt theeese, feel theeese” she then started on me but more of that later. Much later!
Around this time Lisa made a frank and shocking admission. ” I’d love a co*k and balls for a day.”
Shelley was dead against it. It would be far too uncomfortable. I may be wrong but I think Lisa just wanted to have that moment where you walk down the road and have a fiddle. This drew us into a whole can you clone a mans parts onto a woman discussion and vice versa. I think it was a flashback of the bloke from the pub the day before that brought this conversation up. Before you know it we were having a semi intelligent conversation with childish references thrown in now and again of course as to whether lady parts could be stitched on, or up.
” They just tuck it up don’t they ” , Jon Lees input.
” That must hurt ” Neil’s input.
“I’d love to know what it feels like swinging about in the wind”. Lisa’s input.
“Can you s**g yourself?”. Jacks input.
“Must be a C word 🙂 , if your ticklish”. My own input ( sorry mum if you are reading this )
“I think they can probably stitch a c**k on now but I don’t think it’s physically possible to pee out of them”. Jonnycakes input.
“I was wondering how that bit works, a tube?”. Shelleys input.
“Do you think all them birds up there are looking down on us thinking oi you C word with an S ,get off our f*****g land. Where are we supposed to go?.” Stubblys input.
“f**k em”. Jon Lee again.
Talking of minds, what happened next blew mine away. Sat there supping away in the hot sun suddenly John stands up followed rapidly by Neil . In unison the rest of us peer beyond our tent ( their tent, stop being so picky )… Roughly 45 yards away there are bags swirling around in the air. Tent bags, carriers, all sorts. They are moving around in a circle up to 100 feet high. Slowly this mini twister no wider than 10 metres is making its way across the field.
It’s nowhere near us but in its path is a gazebo which it lifts up and pulls out of the ground. Luckily one leg of the gazebo holds firm and it stays in position which is more than can be said for the little black tent that gathers pace within the tornado . Am I allowed to call it that? Taken from its pitch the owner gainfully chased it until gathering it and walking it back to where since someone has nicked his/her spot. Another tent was taken for a ride at the far end of the field and it did genuinely blow away. A phenomenon? No idea, it was just mental. There was empty bags in the sky swirling around in a circle for f***s sake… It was 85-ish degrees, there was no wind other than the short sharp bursts of human air released by the Lee/Shorter/Stubbly party. We had witnessed a miniature jimmy white or even a gustnado. Yes that is officially a word. I have done research you know!
We lazed we gazed and eventually it was time to partake in a little musical reviewing. I knew we would get there in the end. The time had arrived for us to enter the stage and bands would be whacking out their tunes. The first band we encountered were the ” The Doors Alive” . I’m not the biggest doors fan but they had the hippiness about spot on and you could not argue with their musical similarity. The singer certainly looked like Jim Morrison and hands up he sounded the part although not fully convincing at times. I can’t complain too much as I enjoyed the spectacle and light my fire and riders on a storm were very good covers. I was looking forward to the next band.
I have no idea why the jam split up. I sincerely wish they hadn’t . While I and thousands of others would like to see it I don’t think a reunion between Bruce Foxton, Rick Buckler and Paul Weller is on the cards anytime soon. The fact that Paul Weller stated in 2006 that “reformations” are sad and that him and his children would have to be destitute, starving and in the gutter for that to happen is somewhat of an indication that he isn’t up for it. It’s not all about you though is it Paul. The third member of The Jam,Mr. Buckler, to this day is rumoured still not to be on speaking terms with Weller. I don’t for one minute think it was Foxton bringing home peach flavoured Muller Corners instead of strawberry that caused the dismantling of such an iconic band at the very top of its game. Sidetracked again. Sorry. Let us join up again along the yellow brick road towards the big top of sounds.
Bruce Foxton after going under various guises joined original Jam member Rick Buckler at a gig in a band called “The Gift” way back in 2006. In 2007 they changed the name to “From The Jam” , They played together for three years until 2009 when Buckler left. Members have changed but since 2007 Foxton remains the one constant. I for one am glad he remains. According to our leader Stubbly, #FromTheJam are regular visitors to the IOW for gigs. Having never seen them before I waited with great anticipation. Starting off coincidentally with “Start”, an old Jam number, the band showed exactly how a festival should be played. No let up in great songs, climaxing with “That’s Entertainment” and of course a truly crowd rousing version of “A Town Called Malice”. What else is there to say other than magnificent. Absolutely loved it. Still swinging his guitar around like a 17 year old rebel Mr.Foxton is much loved and it’s easy to see why. I have to give a special mention to #russellhastings . As a lead singer the one must have box that needs to be ticked for any live performance is stage prescence. Years ago I went to see REM and came away so disappointed with Michael Stipe. He gave off an air of I’m getting paid but I can’t be arsed.
Mister Hastings thankfully was nothing like the aforementioned Stipe. The buzz words of the moment seems to be “Get involved”. Russell did just that with crowd interaction and owned the left side of the stage. Similar in style, haircut and vocally strong Weller-esque aggressive toneage ( made up word but I like it ) Mr. Hastings and his fellow band members of From The Jam tore the place up and spat it back out again. Electric!
This left Boy George , and another band. The Inspiral Carpets who were next up I was very much looking forward too. They came on stage and obviously looking a fair bit older than when they had their biggest hits 20 years ago, started off with a song that the majority of the audience knew but I have to hold my hands up and say I’m not sure I did. I enjoyed their new song, soon to be released and when they did sing ” she comes in the fall ” it was great that they still had that unique Inspiral sound. Bitches brew was instantly recognisable or was it? That might have been their first song. Oh well. Without doubt two songs stood out. Anthemic back in the day Saturn 5 still sounds just as good and the band were relatively tight ( I don’t mean they didn’t leave the roadies a tip ) and they held it together well. For me though the winner on the night was ” This Is How It Feels “. Quite tipsy at this point I remember me and Stubbly bouncing up and down singing the chorus with joy and abundance but adding our own little AFC twist. ” This is how it feels to be Tottenham , this is how it feels to be sma-aaaaaa-llll, you sold Bale, we signed Mesut Oziiiiiiiiiiiiiil, we signed Mesut Oziiiiiiiiiiil “. In my merry state while singing this I thought it would be a tremendous moment to record it as a keepsake. A memento of an inimitable occasion. Of course being in my merry state I recorded one second of it then thinking I was hitting record actually stopped it. I do have a split second of the ground though, which is nice. Memories will suffice.
No offence is meant by this but I am not a fan of Boy George. I know he is an icon but he’s not my cup of tea. We,thats Jack, Stubbly, Johnnycake and myself decided it was time to take in a bit of World Cup action. Well it was where the Dominos pizza stand was. We queued, collected our bit of munch and parked ourselves side on to the pizza stand against some fencing. We ate, although certain parties have no recollection of this. Halfway through munching on his pizza ( red hot chilli pepperoni I believe ) Jonnycake, (spelling repair there) looks up and spots something. This isn’t made up. It’s a heartwarming piece of chivalry that is dead in the water these days. Jonnycake notices a young girl, petite pretty thing ( no relevance just an observation )pushing a wheelchair. We as a collective in passing comment how it’s a fair and noble deed bringing a disabled old girl to a place like this. It’s not the flattest and easiest surface to be pushing a wheelchair on. This young lady gets to the pizza stand and backs the old girl up against a tree. The young girl speaks to the old dolly and leaves her there. While the old shuffler contemplates The Hipshaker for a spin or The Cabaret Club for some new school hard core rave music, the spring chick hot foots it up to the pizza queue and gets into the line of about 30 people.
Jonnycake stands up and says under his breath ” Bo****ks that ain’t right. She shouldn’t have to queue up if she wants a pizza . I ain’t having that “. Jonny then walks directly to the front of the queue. He basically brushes everyone else aside and Speaks to the two young lads at the front. He has a brief convo with the pizza seller, 30 seconds later he has a pizza in his hand and walks to the back of the line. Attracting the young girls attention he beckons her over to the wheelchair and hands the pizza to one very happy old girl and one astonished young girl. He refuses to take any money and after a short and well meaning conversation he makes his way back over to the three of us, who are sitting there full of admiration for his heroic deed. It really was one of those what a top man moments and I was proud to say he was with us. Or I would have if i wasn’t stuffing my face full of pizza.
It turns out our Jonnycake has much gusto. After getting the young girls phone number ( obligatory after his good deed ) we headed over to our next port of call. Life’s a beach. Palm trees, cocktails, sand ( obviously ) and good music from the 80’s through to the 00’s. Just what the doctor ordered to finish off the day. Having revelled in his glorious moment Jonnycake then tested his new found fame out on pretty much every woman within the surrounding area. He was well on his way to finding success on a couple of occasions as well. I have no doubt that the funniest moment although not his finest, was when talking to a reasonable looking sort. Somehow he managed to fall a**e over tit and continue the conversation both without flinching or spilling his drink. Impressive stuff. A cheeky peck on the cheek followed and then we were off home back to tents ville.
It turned out that 2 or 3am just isn’t late enough for some as music and chat was still encompassing our area. This continued until at least half five I reckon.
I have it on good authority that dressed in a tee shirt, suit and pumps, Boy George and his big droopy blue eyes put in a very good live performance. He rolled back the years and was extremely good value for money.
I had to say that. Well, I don’t really want to hurt him. Bad joke! Seriously though i have been told he was above average so fair play to BG.
The stuff about The Jam splitting up is all researched but the only people who really know were those involved. None of this is meant to offend and hopefully it hasn’t. I’m just glad I had the pleasure to see From The Jam live.
No hamsters were hurt in the making of this blog.
Finally although I did not attend it this year several members of our group encountered their first ever Silent Disco. They thought it was the dogs goolies and would recommend it to anyone. The 80’s versus The 90’s being a real highlight along with mods vs rockers. At some point there was a Pat Sharp vs Toby Anstis session as well. Those two names alone speak volumes ( no pun intended ) as to why someone invented a silent disco.
That’s it for day deux. It was a pleasure writing but an unforgettable blast living it so it seems. Day 2 part 2 DONE X