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