The Real Isle Of Wight Festival Review ” officially unofficial ” day deux part deux

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.

Sub notes.

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


The Real IOW Festival Review ” officially unofficial ” day 2 part 1

The real Isle of Wight festival review “officially unofficial” day 2.

Thursday 12th June. Let the festival commence. Or maybe not. I wake up in the north wing of the stubbly Johnson residence. Having arrived later than the rest of the party I or should I say we ( myself and my good lady ) are as fresh as a daisy. That’s more than I can say for the rest of the crew. The household resembled an episode of the walking dead for the first hour. We had a cab booked for 10:30am ( I think ) and at 9am this was looking like a sure fire no-go. We showered (you perverts get that image out of your heads, not all together we took it in turns although there was a large key bowl on the side so maybe I just missed out) and after the car crash that was Graham Stubbles came down the stairs momentum started to gather.

Credit where it’s due, our host cooked all of us a fine and dandy full English breakfast. No matter how rough he looked you have to say that boy has a way with a frying pan. Oh and a saucepan or 3. It was an incredible effort considering he looked like ( and in his own words felt like ) he had been hit by a truck. At 10am with half of us still eating stubbly disappears and re-appears 14 minutes later looking like a tramp that’s found a cheeky can of special brew in a dustbin. The grin is there, tick, mischievous glint, tick, ridiculous choice of clothing, tick. The one positive note is that being about 125 degrees ( slight exaggeration but it was bloody hot ) there was no sign of that soppy jean jacket he likes to think is cool. Just kidding stubbly 🙂

The minibus/cab van thing arrives on time and amazingly manages to fit in not only all of our stuff but every member of the travelling party also. Always a winner when you are a cabbie. So the 6 of us ( Lisa, John, Shelley, Neil, Stubbly and myself ) set off for the festival site. Of course being 130 degrees ( slight exaggeration but it was bloody hot ) the minibus driver informs us as we set off that he can’t turn off the heating. Just what you need when dehydrated and feeling a bit peeky ( not sure if that is a word but regardless just pretend for the benefit of the sentence ).

We arrive at the site after a very important man in a high viz jacket points for a bit then gesticulates for an even longer bit before in no uncertain terms showing us the exact spot that he wishes us to park in. We park, unpack. Join the queue awaiting the piper and the 12pm opening of the gates. John Lee who I have to mention as he is a truly magnificent chap has his own bit of kit to carry the majority of the equipment. Now if you are an Eco friendly environment lover with a responsibility for your carbon footprint look away for the minute. You wait till you see this I believe may have been Johns words as he carried half the contents of the amazon rainforest to the cab. I am hazarding a guess that the local B & Q in Maidstone was completely out of stock for any wannabe purchaser of wood in the middle weekends of June.. It’s a nifty piece of gadgetry until everything is on it. Then the handle breaks and it’s a not so nifty bit of kit. The last thing you need in 135 degree heat ( slight exaggeration but it was bloody hot ) is your transporter not being fully functional. Alas this was the case. Lisa and Shelley were buried under an avalanche of chairs , sleeping bags and the all important port-a-loo while John and Neil wheeled the Trojan horse type barrow across the grass and mud trying to avoid the empty beer and cider cans already spread over the field.

Luckily stubbly had an extra sack barrow found at a previous festival so him with his green box and me with my sack barrow made our way through the still crowds and awaited the arrival of Lisa, Shelley and the men from del monte. People were already laughing joking throwing frisbees, using the bushes as toilets and getting in the mood to party. Knowing there was still a little bit of walking still to do we all showed our sensible side and avoided the alcohol temptation that some had no doubt given in too. We are all around 40 so Jesus give us a chance. Recovery times are longer as you get older you know.

I have to give Neil, JOhn and the girls credit ( though not necessarily through a giant O in Johns name ) that in their defence they were armed with stuff for 6 as there were two more to join the group at a later stage. Amazingly for the first time since I’ve been going to the IOW festival the gates were open before 12. We as a crowd en masse started the slow and monotonous snails pace stumble through the various fields to the main entrance. Thankfully due to the serious lack of rain in previous weeks the ground was solid and the trollies rumbled relatively smoothly over the land.

It does seem though that some people just cannot wait that extra 45 minutes to get to a tent. Once festival fever hits you it encapsulates your being and drives you to drink. That’s the only logical reasoning I can come too when thinking about the next memory I have. Now at this stage we are still waiting to get in. This is a very rough guess but I estimate there were maybe some 1 to 2 thousand people standing in a field with very little to do other than sit and wait ( or as previously mentioned chuck stuff about and wee in the hedges surrounding us ). One chap, bald, at best late forties early fifties had his own plan. He was at the festival and it was time to let his non existent hair down. I confess, I have been during my time as an adult in some sorry states after feeling the effects of one to many sherbets but this guy knocks me into a cocked hat. A side thought but if you where a cocked hat does it make you a d**khead?. Onwards Nicholas.

This fellow to put it mildly had had one to many and then just to make sure he was undoubtedly smashed followed the one up with another seven or eight. Clinging onto his girlfriend or his sister or maybe they were one and the same he was wobbling around like a trifle on a rollercoaster. The only thing stopping his legs from moving other than his own physical capabilities was the fact that his jeans were round his ankles. Beautiful. I should also mention the fact that he was very red. Stubbly gets sun kissed… I get sunburnt… this poor bloke had been cooking on 200 degrees basted in goose fat judging by the look of his shoulders and arms. To not do him a disservice though he was still walking ( I use that term loosely, in the same way that Ron Atkinson isn’t a racist, he just uses the N word now and again ). Walking is probably slightly inaccurate. In hindsight I think he was being dragged, but he was still taking in the sun topless and glowing like a beacon on a lighthouse.

I think the well oiled bringer of sauce lasted at least as far as halfway into the first enclosed walkway before crumbling down hugging the fence. I only stopped to watch because it was at this point I noticed my barrow had become much more difficult to move. I first thought someone was taking advantage and adding stuff on but nope. Checked for cans and bottles obstructing the wheels. Nope. A third of the way approximately to our field the bolt holding the right wheel onto my barrow had decided enough was enough and had gone AWOL. It was now in the hands of the gods.. Or at least in the hands of a field with huge lumps.

As we approached the official entrance, having passed a half cut bag piper en route my sack barrow was suffering. Weight shift was the key. Or at least i thought it was. John and Neil were manhandling the arc like people possessed . They were doing a sparkling job. The theoretical approach was that we would all 6 of us share the burden and carry the load. I had carried the one sleeping bag for all of 500 yards before my bolt had gone looking for his nut. It had plenty of choice. This changed group thinking. As we reached the turn for general camping it was decided by stubbly ( and in fairness I gladly caved in ) that he would continue on with the group to lend a hand and I would stay parked up until his return. An ideal time for a Crabbies. Ginger , one of your five a day!.

I sat, I waited. 25 minutes later the bouncy boy returned. I had seen various people with their ” it’s a ********* thing ” *, ******** being a surname. I hadn’t seen drunk bald bloke. Again confession time. Stubbly and I had booked ” posh-ish ” camping. If you really must know as a reviewer I feel that I should say that #tangerinefields was worth every penny. I will give an overall explanation later ( bet you can’t wait ). We arrived and after given our wristbands we were shown to our tent. She was a lovely northern Irish girl called Anna. Not our tent! Our steward. Unfortunately it was in a secondary field. Our tent, not Anna. As we tentatively tracked our way to the 2nd field my sack barrow finally gave up. With our steward Anna carrying half my kit we finally got to tent 767. Then she had to be Boeing ( going ) geddit? Oh well.

Moving on, we unpacked. (Definition of unpacked in my eyes is I basically took my beers out of the rucksack and hid them in the shade to save them exploding). We unravelled beds ( separate rooms , told you it was posh ) and then with our 10 exposed Stella Artois ( 4% I’m not a wife beater ) we headed off back to where john, Lisa, Neil and Shelley had set up camp. …. Day 2 still has a twister , a hero , lady parts, the line of the weekend ( in my humble opinion ) and two new arrivals. This will have to be a 2 parter. Hope you like it.. At no point will i Be offended if you tell me to shut up so feel free to say what you think. Day 2 part 1 DONE! X

The Real Isle of Wight Festival Review “officially unofficial”


The real Isle of Wight festival review… “Officially unofficial”… Day 1. For now let’s call it ” A tutorial on a hamsters approach to liquid “. Granted this makes no sense now but read on….


Firstly the boring stuff. Many people were involved in the making of this blog.” the taxi ” Mark Crane , Graham Stubbles, Lisa Lee, Geraldine Rolls, Carla Johnson and Vicky Crowden to name but a few. To these people I thank you from the bottom of my heart. In the words of Kodak or even kojak ” who loves ya baby “. I think he said that.


Wednesday: 11th June. Geraldine arrives home from work. It’s 4ish. I’m cooking pulled pork and potty wedges with salad. In my mind this could be the last food I see until the following Tuesday. ” Eatings cheating “. We eat, we pack, we argue. Standard procedure before any form of break. I explain that our comrades are waiting for us across the water. Meal booked. Geraldine expresses her bemusement at this information. She didn’t know this. She bloody did. Car packed with enough stuff for a month and we fluffy bob tail down to Portsmouth.


Very little traffic, even less conversation. Slight tension in the air. As we approach Liphook on the A3 my dog and bone rings. Ice broken as a half cut stubbly bloke questions our whereabouts.”you can make the half 7 ferry” he cries.. Is there a half 7 ferry? I ask. ” I’ve no idea ” he replies. Lisa’s checking but she’s got no signal. Bear in mind they have been in the pub since half 2 having popped out to pick up a Father’s Day card. Might I add at this point no card had been acquired, but a fair amount of alcohol had been quaffed.


We arrive at Portsmouth harbour literally with minutes to spare thanks to my Nigel mansell-esque driving skills. Murray walker was talking me all the way through it I swear. I think if her indoors had been driving we would have made the 9 o’clock ferry but to balance things out I wouldn’t have nail marks in my dashboard. We board the St. Clere and the festival is upon us. The sun is red hot , the air is clear and the water is blue. I text our fellow festivallers ( I know that’s not a word ) to let them know we are all aboard the skylark. The response was not what I expected. No playing with words this is exactly what it said.
” hooray! We are having a debate as to whether hamsters can swim in wine “.
Now I have to confess that 10 days on the answer is no clearer. What I can not so proudly declare however is that they cannot swim in wallpaper paste. Please note this is not through my own scientific research. It was googled. I’m not quite sure what disturbs me more. The fact that someone put a hamster in paste or the possibility of a small rodent in my glass of merlot paddling away like its in benidorm for the week.


I digress. The show should surely, swiftly move on. We hot foot it to graham and Carla’s ( thank you much lay for your ( much lay ? Damn you predictive text )muchly for your hospitality ) and as we arrive on the gravel driveway we are greeted by Carla. Smiling, sober and sensible. Unlike the rest. In Carla’s words. ” I’ll warn you now, they are all severely wa**ered “.


By Jove ( not often you hear me use those words ) she was very much spot on.the three of us entered into the doors of olivos to the snorting, cackling and general merriment of 6 very drunken friends. One of these friends,Dryzee pronounced as it reads I have to say early doors is an absolute legend. When Micky Flanagan talks about popping out for a pint of milk and coming back 5 days later I swear he is talking about Dryzee. Having bumped into graham in passing at around 4pm he was now fully encompassed in the group. The topic of slurred discussion was about glenns stand at the festival. Glenn is Dryzee by the way. Come on keep up. 🙂 .. Basically to cut an already long status shorter mister drysdale ( still Dryzee ) is a purveyor of a franchise of fine Italian dining on the IOW. Alright he owns a number of pizza parlours but they are nice pizza parlours.


The game was thinking up pizza names to match up with the acts on stage. To give you an idea of how it works the headline act on Friday was reduced to ” Beefy Clyro ” . Others to come up were as follows:


Calvin Ham ( diabolical to be honest ) for Calvin Harris
Red hot chilli pepperoni – hopefully I don’t need to explain that one.
The selecter – no play on words but you pick your own toppings.
The specials – again no play on words but it had everything.
Rudimeaty – rudimental.
Inspiral capers – Inspiral carpets ( my own )
Polyphonic sweet corn – polyphonic spree ( again my own but not in the same league )
Inspiral chickens – see above


Think you get the idea by now.


We ate we drunk and we got a Father’s Day card at the end of the evening. Addressed it to stubblies mother ( I love mrs Stubbles ) after initially considering putting down the address as ” dad , Kent “. I could make a joke about bad spelling but mister Stubbles senior is top drawer as well. Being slightly dishevelled with the correct address scribbled upon the envelope stubbly junior wrote ” for dad ” on the back and all was well.


I will repeat that these 5/6 people ( that’s not a fraction ) had been on the sauce at this point for the best part of 8 hours. Quite an accomplishment. We left the restaurant purchased said card and headed for home. However this is the IOW. It was now around 10:30pm and talking to Dryzee and stubbly they were both unsure as to whether anything else would be open. It’s a Wednesday night after all. People were gearing up for the influx of revellers mañana. Home for the stubbly Johnson combo is a short 6 to 8 minute walk. Unfortunately or some would say fortunately it passes a number of pubs. If you have never been to the Isle of Wight you may not know the “king lud”. To use Dryzee’s words the island has an eclectic feel. Well if that’s the case I’m guessing they all gather in the Lud. As a grockel ( the islanders term for a tourist – see this is educational as well ) I have to be a trifle careful here.


The King Lud was having an open mic night. We shuffled in and ordered beers and fruit based drinks for the ladies. There was a lad up at the equipment playing dire straits. I think it was sultans of swing. On surveying the pub the first thing that caught my eye was a chap dressed in women’s attire. Apparently well known on the island he looked a little bit like a Turkish belly dancer. I don’t mean that as a form of insult it’s just that he had a long flowing skirt and a form of beaded wrap covering his torso. Full make up, nails painted and a bald head. No-one local took a blind bit of notice. I couldn’t help but think on the riviera he wouldn’t stand a chance. Maybe that’s acceptance of who he is. Having lived a life of trying to be who people want me to be I understand it completely. Give the bloke credit.


Two tables away, next to the singer was a lady with her mother ( educated guess ), the younger lady in her long flowing dress was bobbing along but it was her mother that caught my eye. Stop it!! I’m not Wayne Rooney. This old girl was dancing like a 60’s hippie. In fairness she may well have been as she had a full black suit on with matching baker boy cap. The bit that I found most bizarre though was her glasses. It could have been for medical reasons maybe but I have absolutely no idea. She had one very dark lens and one clear. It was frankly strange but funny and I have to say fair play to the old dear. She was swinging those hips and grooving like she wouldn’t see tomorrow. Nothing wrong with that though. Opposite her there was a group of kids jumping around and partying and next to them a couple suited and frocked up to the max. I won’t even go into what else was there. The singer that didn’t sing. The comedian guitar player who was obviously a local favourite.


The majority of our group headed home. Graham Dryzee and myself stayed on for a little longer before retiring and hitting the hay. Dryzee stayed. Well he had friends over and didn’t want to get in the way ;)…. Ok those of you that have read day 1 have the choice. Do you want to hear about days 2 through to 5… Yes and we continue, no response and message understood. No offence taken… Honestly. Day 1 DONE! X