The Real Isle Of Wight Festival 2014 Review Day 5 ( officially unofficial )

  The Real Isle Of Wight Festival Review (officially unofficial) Day 5.

It seems like an ongoing theme but I couldn’t sleep during the night. There was all sorts of carrying on in the tents surrounding us. I’m probably just getting old(er) but I don’t understand. You are at a music festival. Surely the idea is as follows: arrive, drink, listen/watch preferred bands. At end, go to bar, drink more, go home ( back to tentsville ) , crash out. 
I’m fairly positive it’s not supposed to go…. Arrive, drink, sleep, wake up as last band comes on, watch band, go back to tent, stay up till 7am, and repeat….. Which is exactly what it felt like was happening around our tent. It was like Ministry of Sound had set up a mobile DJ stand next door and every bugger wanted a go. Slight exaggeration but you get the gist ( is that spelt right? ).
Of course, upon waking up a multitude of times during the night I was not best pleased when light sparkled onto our tent. More to the point I was positively fuming. Being of the aggressive ( passive ) nature that I am I burst out of our nylon door ready for fisticuffs with any little scrab still thinking it was party central. I found myself in complete silence. Disco city had hit the hay bales.
To take the edge off of my temper I sniffed through my alcoholic leftovers and made myself a crafty little “Rumbuca”. I think Captain Morgan needs me on board to conjure up his new drinks. It was different. Neither nasty or nice. It made my lips comfortably numb. 
After breakfast, I shoved my head into the tent and could make out the shallow half snoring, half whistling Stubbly peacefully a bliss in the land of many zeds. I needed to diffuse my fury. Dispense of the anger. I decided to take myself off to the meeting point early. Not wanting to cause a fuss, or stir up a hornets nest of the tired little pups I wandered out of our area warbling U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday at the top of my voice. Both topical and very annoying. Even stopped to tie my shoe next to the biggest culprit. laughable considering i had slip-ons, but hey, you live by the sword. 
I walked alone through some very quiet fields, past the stages and out onto the road heading into Newport. It was a nice peaceful stroll. Relaxing. A time for reflection. I reflected on the fact that under normal circumstances I would probably have a much more intense headache. Some might call it a hangover. I felt fine. Upon arrival at the pub I had picked up a newspaper. I sat calmly browsing the paper with a diet coke and Glenmorangie chaser. 
Minding my own business was the intention. It was working fine as well for a while. Then the idiot brigade appeared. . The sweater tied round the neck, wearing shades, chinos and deck shoes. perfect attire for a festival. The tallest and possibly brightest asked me if I knew of anywhere open, In between pointing out to his peers that there was nothing around and the place was dead, so I directed them politely towards the town centre.
 All things considered, it was 10am -ish on a Sunday, what exactly was he expecting? Pacha perhaps, The Hippodrome… . I hate being stereotypical but this young ( ish ) fellow was your archetypal upper class, public school educated, wind up merchant . He had all he needed. A group of witless branches hanging off of him, like the king oak he considered himself to be. 
Quite why he felt it necessary to turn his attention to the quiet, Guardian reading fellow just whiling away his time I’ve no idea. Yes that’s me, and ok, it wasn’t The Guardian, it was more than likely the Mail On Sunday. Well, I do love a bit of doom-mongering. If you want to know anything about the last days of Princess Di, the bad weather coming our way, or what the UK ISN’T doing to prevent terrorism the M.O.S is the paper for you.
I was fairly conscious they were discussing me as they sat down at one of the pubs green plastic tables. . Even now I’ve no idea as to whether it was to provoke a reaction or they were just talking too loud. You could argue it was because I was drinking on my own first thing in the morning. It could have been for countless reasons but the bottom line is, I didn’t need to hear it. 
It was starting to light the wick of my already scorched candle. The question was how to deal with it. I could do the intelligent thing and ignore it. Alternatively there was a possibility of fronting them, but there was eight in the group. Four females and four males although two were debatable. I didn’t want the hassle but it was time to stand my ground. 
I necked my drink ( the chaser not the softy ), and stood up to wander over. Just to ask what the issue was. As luck would have it though, when I got to my feet so did they. Obviously they realised the danger they were in!
As a tribe called Quentin mooched off in the direction of the non – eventive ( another one for Collins to stick in their dictionary ) town square I decided to take immediate action.
 I picked up a chair and hurtled towards them. It was all over in what felt like 30 seconds. The chair exploded as it crashed into the ringleaders face. Before the two transgenders realised what was about to take place I launched a roundhouse kick “Bruce Lee Sty-Lee”. Hitting one square in the jaw, he fell backwards onto his neighbour sending them both sprawling. Of course you don’t need me to tell you this isn’t really what happened. I allowed myself some deep breaths and shooed them away in a very low and unheard voice.
A relatively warm day meant that a little earlier than normal the whole group were sitting around the table with a beverage in hand. Some were struggling more than others it’s fair to say. Johnnycakes was pushing through but was having a hard time getting through his real ale and grapes. Jack, looking fresh all things considered was masking his way through his first pint of Fosters, with randomly purchased strawberries. Who said we don’t do healthy…. And then it started.
When you have been drinking solidly for 3 or 4 days it doesn’t take much to tip you right back over the tippled edge. The silly jokes , ( what’s brown and sticky ?, what’s pink and hard ? .. How many times do you have to tickle an octopus to make it laugh?..).. The odd conversations were rearing their softly tickled on the underbelly heads. How many otters could you fit in a suitcase ?.. Why aren’t butterflies covered in butter? .. How many deer glasses can we stack on a persons leg ?.. Deer should read beer, or dear, but that would be an expensive conversation. 
We ordered food. Seems like the normal thing to do. We even ate most of the food. Have I mentioned the size of the portions?… If you know the jolly green giant or you manage to catch Gulliver on his travels tell them to stop by and attempt a bash on munching their way through a Bargemans Rest breakfast or lunch!… Of course with a few beers washing down the food things were getting funnier by the millisecond. It’s at times like this I wish I could convey in a better text what happened next. 
Quick recap. The group of us camping were as follows: me, Stubbly – Tentacle 1. Jack “the cat”, Johnnycakes – Tentacle 2.the Lees, Lisa and John, the Shorters, Neil & Shelley, and last but by no means least the Prings, Tony and Julie, these 6 were all in base camp 3. The ladies known as GB and CJ ( wonderful attachments to the lives of myself and Stubbly ) would join us at the stages during the days. 
Stubbly and Tony were wasting away the time casually discussing the birds. Not that sort. Although it was a two legged type, the flappy type. In particular the two or three that were perched up on high eyeing up our morsels of left over food on our table. Having had a couple of ‘liveners’, what better way to initiate a bird tantrum than to goad this increasing number of peckers. Hamid had a salad. He didn’t, he wasn’t even there. Hamid? Who the f*** is Hamid!… Having had a salad Stubbly still had half a loaf of bread on his plate. Under normal circumstances I’m sure my friend would not do what he took it upon himself to do. 
Stubbly broke off not a small piece of bread, it was roughly the size of a bread roll and sat it on his head. Not wanting stubbly to be on his own, Tony joined in. They both sat there normal as you can be just chatting with two loaves on their bonces. The gulls were in flight. After a minute or so, the bread heads had their notices served. Two birds came in with a close swoop. Like guided missiles. Stubbly with a sharp “F*** that” ducked and swivelled in case they were returning with an attack from behind. Finally after a good three minutes the boys caved in. These gulls were not going to be denied. The dough was removed and things returned to some semblance of normality. 
We all had a few more beers and it was time to head back to festival. First up. Deap Vally. Two women, who formed the band in Los Angeles in 2011 ( according to Wikipedia). Both ladies are very very cool. Not my immediate cup of tea, they rocked and they rolled their way through a heavy sound and set. I hold my hands up, I thought they were superb. Next up were The Strypes. Now I’m not criticising them. Lots of people liked them and enjoyed the set they played including most of our group. They weren’t for me in truth. Stubbly and myself wandered off afterwards for a couple of ginger mojitos and we slipped in and out of the crowds watching bits and pieces. 
Passenger was extremely good according to my lovely wife. Fall Out Boy again are not really a band I would pay to see and so we made our way to watch The Horrors. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was actually disappointed by this group. They sung songs I knew but with what sounded like no enthusiasm. Like the Specials Terry Hall on anti – depressants. The finale was Travis.
I love the music of Travis. Thankfully for me they were awesome singing all the old favourites and the odd newbie. A couple of our group were making noises that Fran Healy was struggling a little with the high notes. Having not seen him before I knew no different. They sounded as good as a good band should be in my humble opinion. I was happy enough. That just left what was left of kings of Leon and I’m not their biggest fan. I’m not saying it was disappointing headline act. They are very much one of the biggest bands around these days, but personally for me the highlight had already been and gone. 
KOL were alright to be fair. They came they kicked arse they left. They played the songs people wanted to hear and as it seems to be the American way they displayed little in imagination when it comes to any sort of stage presence. We were pretty much altogether at this point and as most places were closing early we hedged our bets at trying to get a late drink in our glamping field. As I tried my hardest to distract the single guard, mainly by talking complete tosh the others just walked in. In fact it’s fair to say that I’d done such a job of making it so obvious that I was trying to distract him that he couldn’t be bothered to stop anyone going in. I could have told him I was bringing another 8 peeps into our field and he would have just shrugged his shoulders!
That’s pretty much the way it was at IOW14. I’m writing this as I’m sitting in the car driving at a Pelicans pace ( I’m not driving numpties ), along the A3 on my way to IOW15. It’s June 10th. The sun has got its hat on and GB is in the driving seat. We have done our usual routine. I moan about her driving, her choice of radio station and am just generally a pain in the rear. She for her part, snaps back, drives how she sees fit, packs the car up with enough gear fo a month in the Baltics and puts Classic FM on just to p*** me off. Now we aren’t talking ( that’s normal don’t panic ). Virtually The same crowd are going this year, with one added bonus. Gilly will be there. A man with a wit drier than the Sahara Desert, and angrier than a parrot with a speech impediment. So here we go. Enjoy the party. Hopefully I will see you there!
Thanks to all those who participated in the making of “The Real Isle of Wight Festival Review 2014”

You’ll be pleased to know that no sparrows were injured or killed during the event, unless of course the Bargemans Rest lied about the Organic Chicken! … I’m sure they didn’t !
This year I have an iffy neck due to a car accident. I have more drugs with me than Boots!.. Surely I will get a decent nights kip this year!


A Social View Tredwells & Matt Goss

A Social View – Tredwells and Matt Goss – a win double!

It’s certainly not every day that I write a review whilst on board a cruise ship. I’m on holiday. First proper break in two years so it’s long overdue. GB is on the sunbed next to me reading the excellent Girl on a train by Paula Hawkins. I’m three quarters of the way through the equally absorbing Hotel Alpha written by Mark Watson. The weather it’s fair to say is warmer than an otter in a sheepskin jacket, ( although I must confess I’m still very much un – tanned as opposed to suntanned.   

Let’s rekindle back to the 25th January. I’ve never spent a full on weekend in London. When something is so close you tend to take it for granted. I’m as guilty of that as the next person. It’s a Sunday, nothing opens until 11am. After breakfast at the EDITION, which might I add was exquisite we decided to go for a stroll around London TAAAAAARRRRRNNN. It was a cold but beautifully sunny day.
We made our way through the centre of town, coffees in hand up to Horseguards Parade via Leicester Square and The Strand. There was a re-enactment of the English civil war going on. I’d love to say it was fascinating, but although they all looked the part there wasn’t much happening. I’ve seen more action down my local pub. Along The Mall We went, onwards to Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park Corner. At this point for some reason, mainly due to being naive and stupid I decided to tweet Matt Goss. Okay maybe I’m not so naive..
Why Matt Goss you ask?, that’s a bit random ain’t it Rollo? well if you’re  asking you obviously haven’t read my last blog. How very dare you…. ( just kidding, welcome to you all )… Well, in September last year my sister – in – law Aine ( pronounced on – ya ), had mentioned that her lesser half had purchased tickets for her, to go see the aforementioned former Bros, and now solo singer at London Palladium. Wifey was a HUGE Brosette. She was hardcore. The Gibson Blackwatch shoes from Shelleys. She had the dungarees, the leather jacket and at one stage had ‘BROS’ shaved into the back of her hair. Thankfully I met her afterwards!
As we romantically dove tailed down Through Green Park my phone pinged. Or should that be dinged? Is there a difference between a ping and a ding? It definitely wasn’t a ring, but here’s the thing, I’ve run out of words that fit in. … So anyway, I have a butchers at the dog ( that’s my dog n bone, we didn’t suddenly swipe a shih-tzu from someone to add to the story), and Matt Goss is following me. Or maybe he hit the wrong button!.. Scrolling along I notice that someone else I follow on Twitter is due to see Matt Goss that evening. 
Glynn Purnell is not just a brilliant chef but an extremely funny guy. His restaurant, coincidentally called Purnells is 100% on my list of places myself and GB are heading for ASAP. More importantly though he was heading to the palladium for Mister Goss’s performance. 
Quick joke: what do you call a zoo with just a very small dog in it? A Shih-tzu!
Being the nugget that I am I tweeted Mr. Purnell, and asked if,  highly unlikely that it was, he bumped into my wife,  that he would give her a kiss and wish her a happy anniversary. He replied that of course if she spotted him to say hello. Well what were the chances EH!.. Before the evenings entertainment kicked off however we had lunch booked with the in – laws. We made our way back up towards Oxford Circus. 
My brother – in – law Burky knows every nook and cranny of the west end. He gets to a bar in 5 minutes when it would take me 20 minutes to just remember the name. Having met up, the first pub we ventured to was The French House. I can’t really explain the reasoning for what was going on outside but a group of 6-8 chaps stood outside dressed in Victorian style clothes. They were filming something or other and obviously having a laugh doing so. A rather tall fellow,in a top hat,  dressed up like a member of Madness would go outside now and again, speak two or three lines and then they would all break out into a ‘Nutty Boys’ style dance. Alcohol and comedy, a win double. 
After two drinks we hoisted up the anchors ( not a metaphor ), and latched on to the Burky trail towards Seven Dials for lunch at Tredwells. I knew it was part of The Marcus Wareing group of restaurants but I wasn’t sure what to expect. It could have been a gastropub for all I knew. Of course it shouldn’t have been but we have all had lunches or dinners we have been disappointed with. When I first started getting into fine dining and appreciating what actually goes into becoming a top chef, before the days of multi – channeled TV food programmes Marcus Wareing was one of the few names that stood out. The name Marcus Wareing goes back, way back, and I’m not saying Mr. Wareing is old just that he has been at the top of his game as long as I can remember, and my memory isn’t that bad. The guy is a legend. The majority of chefs whose restaurants I choose to eat at now would probably have Mr. Wareing as an idol.
I thought it would be bigger!.. Not my wife’s thoughts on her Christmas present this year ( but I was cunning ), my first impressions of Tredwells as we approached the restaurant. Of course at that time I had no idea there was a whole floor downstairs as well. Our quartet entered the building and within three steps we were approached by a very friendly looking front of house chap. Seated and menus supplied we were soon discussing what choice of cocktails would prevail in the battle of cocktailiers ( my new word )… 
One of us chose to stay with water.. She wanted to stay fresh for Mr. Goss. The remaining three of us went with the following:
Aine : Down The Apples and Pears. Vodka, apple, pear, elderflower, thyme.
Burky : Penny Farthing. Olorosso sherry, goji berry, blackberry.
Moi : New Fashioned. Rye Whisky, marmalade, bitters.
All three of us that went down alcohol way reported most happily that the cocktails were of the highest order. 
Only two of us went for starters. The numbers were dwindling. It’s early doors but I have to say the chicken wings were ‘top of the morning’. Perfectly seasoned, cooked A1. A tip to the top way to start a meal. My sis in law went for a Chicken with Satay Sauce type starter. It wasn’t her favourite starting plate ever but between the four of us we polished off the food presented to us. We were happy little beavers at this point. Little did we know of what was about to come.
I’m not knocking him in any way at all but Burky isn’t big on paying for high dining Fare. His tastebuds aren’t great, and I can sympathise. Until I met her indoors I was a truly fussy eater. I wouldn’t try diddly. Slowly but surely she has turned my palate from miserable to a palate du jour. I still can’t make out the difference between Coriander and cumin but I am getting better. So I was a little unsure of where to book for this lunch. Cordon Bleu! Am I glad that I booked Tredwells.
Both parties ordered the highly rated roast dinner. Myself and GB going for the poultry option, or Chicken if you ain’t down with the kids. Burky and Aine went for the Beef roast for 2. I’d seen the odd picture and read reviews on Twitter but honestly nothing could prepare us for what was put in front of us. For the record this is definitely a picture moment, alas I have none. I’ve no quibble, ( it’s like a nibble but in an orderly Q ), whatsoever in saying this is THE BEST roast dinner you will get in London. The Chicken was just extraordinary. Jam packed full of flavour. I was worried that being a ‘one pot’ roast, the perties ( what GB’s Irish rellies call potatoes ), would be soggy. No chance. Deep in the heart of the chook stood magnificent spuds. Soft and fluffy on the inside, firm and crispy on the outside. Like a leather sofa but without the leathery taste. 
The Beef pot looked equally appetising. Just pink enough to say eat me come on you know you want too…but not so red as to say I’m putting you at risk. GB’s sister isn’t easily pleased, she’s plucky, not difficult, but she is a firm believer in getting what you pay for. When she came out with , and I quote ” that is the best roast dinner ever ” and even more shockingly Burky agrees you know that you have put a pound in the slots and 7-7-7 has just come in. By a country mile the best roast dinner I’ve ever had!.. It must have been good. We are taking my mum to Tredwells for her 70th and my mum is a ham egg n chips girly. I have total confidence in the Tredwells Trademark Roast though. ( TTR )
Rather than making a song called **Baby Come Back**, I swear if Pato Banton had just promised to take the love of his life to Tredwells for a roast dinner, I bet she’d have been there quicker than a raccoon chasing an acorn. There was no chat during the eating of this main course, no banter. Just huge grins and smiles. It’s only January but I’ve already got two contenders for a best main of the year. Think I might have to split it to a sat/sun category.
I wouldn’t say the desserts were bad, they were actually very nice, I mean a minimum 8 out of 10. The trouble is they had so much to live up too after that. There was a cheeseboard shared by the two sisters and I think I had the Warm Ginger Cake, but I could be wrong as honeycomb rings a distant door bell. Let’s get to the heart of the matter. Courses 1 & 3 could have been hand delivered by Goldenballs himself naked, swinging free handbags round like a hula hoop and it still would have rated below the roast dinner. Okay, maybe I’m under rating the power of Becks but you get my drift. 
Finishing up and paying a very reasonable bill we had a slow stroll down to the London Palladium. The plan was for me and Burky to shovel off one way and for the girls to hang around until the doors opened. It was jam packed so the four of us had a little drinkipoos in a bar in and around Carnaby Street. Wifey was a looking a little glassy eyed bless her. At around 18.30 we split up. The two men partaking in sampling various public houses, leaving our spouses to enjoy their evening. 
Imagine my surprise when less than 30 minutes later I had a text message from GB. 
“I’ve just met GLYNN PURNELL, he’s lovely”… A bit too embarrassed to provide details of who she was, Mr. Purnell was polite enough to have a brief conversation before disappearing in to see the star of the show, Matt Goss. I will hold my hands up to the point where having never really been a Bros fan I just didn’t consider trying to get a ticket. By the sound of it I couldn’t have got one anyway!
Now I can only speak from a third party sense having not witnessed the show myself. I caught Matt Goss doing a spin on Saturday Kitchen the day before the show. Now a huge star in the US, Mr.Goss has a regular stint playing to thousands each night at a Las Vegas hotel. In his own right, in his own way Matt Goss had made it ( twice ). He came across as a very humble and caring bloke. I sort of wish now that I had managed to swing a ticket. He was also doing an extra show , which literally had been arranged at the drop of a hat at the Dorchester on the Monday for a charity close to his heart. A top bloke in every sense.
 Arriving back at the pub where we were waiting the ladies went through a thorough and detailed explanation of the show. Matt Goss has grown up. His voice was magic. His swing style was amazing, his voice suiting a mellow big band style tempo and of course he looked… Well… Like our Matt!.. GB may have been dribbling at this point. Mr. Goss sung old songs, new songs, and the odd blues songs… It was like a national treasure had returned. Many people came, and very few, if any left disappointed. I’m slightly surprised we didn’t end up making another trip to his old house in South London for nostalgia’s sake.
That was it. The group split at Oxford Circus, Burky and spouse heading back towards East London while Wifey and I headed back to our hotel for closing drinks. I had to confess to feeling slightly envious. GB had met Glynn Purnell ( the Yummie Brummie ), and had seen one of her biggest idols in Matt Goss. Actually I think i was just overjoyed. Glynn was a nice bloke and Mr. Goss had been every bit the superstar she was hoping. My missus had a brilliant weekend, and so did I.. Plus I’d had the best roast ever!
If you have no idea who Pato Banton is then place the following in between the ** —– ** back up there ^^

Song too old?  Replace with “Need you Now” Lady Antebellum 
Song too new? Replace with “If you Leave Me Now” Chicago
Hope you enjoyed Tredwells and Matt Goss. As always I loved writing it.. And that’s the point, it’s good for the soul EH!