Saturday, 18 October 2008
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Monday, 6 October 2008
Also Pedestrianism is a mysterious group win the states who's website is more to sell T shirts and paraphenalia and to state that 'Pedestrians' dont follow anyone, walking their own path, but look out for other pedestrians; presumably those who've bought the merchandise and wear it, in all walks of life. A kind of Freemasonry lite, except even more pointless.
Does give me ideas for my new cult of pedestrianism though....
Friday, 3 October 2008
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Just had the latest Greenbelt Dispatches, and there's some interesting news.
Just had the latest Greenbelt Dispatches, and there's some interesting news.
here is the email in full :
We are delighted to confirm that
- Best Lineup
- Family Festival Award
- Grass Roots Festival Award
- Best Toilets
The winners will be determined by public vote at here over the next few weeks (voting closes on 20th October).
Everyone who votes is eligible for the prize draw to win a pair of tickets to every winning festival.
On 13th October, a final shortlist will be drawn up comprising the top 10 nominees in each category. All other nominees will be removed from the voting process at this stage.
The winner will be announced on-stage at the UK Festival Awards Ceremony on Thursday 30th October at the IndigO2,
Tickets to the event (which also include entry to the first ever UK Festival Conference during the day) are selling very fast (tables are almost sold out), available now from ukfa.ticketline.co.uk
I do wonder about this having awards for everything though. who are these self appointed bodies that set up these events? obviously there must be a case of attracting money in some form or other, but mainly I think its because everyone likes a jolly and dressing up , and there's nothing wrong with that every now and then!
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Bit of a controversial choice this one, I suppose. Petra only played Greenbelt once, at Knebworth in 1983 at the GB 10 year special. I had heard of them somehow before going to my first GB in 1983, and this was the band I was looking forward to seeing the most. The two albums seen left, 'More Power To Ya' and 'Not of this World' to me are absolute early 80's AOR classics. At the time I loved the very uplifting Christian lyrics and insanely catchy tunes. I played each album many times in a row at each listening. I cant remember much about that live set at Greenbelt now, I think the excitement must have put paid to remembering too much though I do remember enjoying their set immensely. They released another album, 'Beat the System' which carried on in a similar vain, but a lot more eighties in style, and after that, their vocalist Greg X Volz left, and they never seemed the same to me. They finally called it a day in 2006, and thus passed one of the more important and earliest Christian rock groups into history.
Monday, 22 September 2008
We played in a classic rock stylee, a mixture of covers well known and obscure and some rather spiffing original material. I notice on their website that they still play some of the songs for which i wrote lyrics to and had a hand in arranging. I played drums and sang lead and backing vocals. During my tenure in the band, there was a prediliction bordering on the obsessive for Judas Priest and Man, though my country and western/prog leanings didnt always go down so well. Nice memories of writing the chorus to 'Does the Memory Fade' in Wales and the serendipitous chugging ending to the same song when it was recorded in the studio. Also walking down a street in an obscure Forest of Dean Town and seeing a poster for one of our gigs in a shop window.
I left about 5 years ago, due to circumstances too awkward to go into here.
If they ever play in your vicinity, do go and give them a listen, they put on a good show and have a nice selection of crowd pleasers and natty new tunes.
Certainly it could be said that both Christianity and Islam both began as what we would call cults today. Its just the a combination of message context and need nourished the growth of these into what we now see today. Obviously there is a lot more polarisation both between these religions (when does a cult become a religion?), and also internally in both religions themselves. Is it the media that inflames this ever more extreme taking of sides? Perhaps, although it is too easy to blame them for everything. Perhaps the contemporary social and intellectual attitudes changes and deviations from the past reflect a need for a firm belief in 'something'.
In the coming days, weeks, months, i'll work on the cult of pedestrianism, and publish its core values tenets and beliefs, dogmas and doctrines.
Remember, its FUN!
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
An absolute legend form the 80's! You couldn't miss Griff in those times, mohican, 'alternative' style clothes, guitar always in hand. he seemed to play everywhere, but always seemed to be at the Fringe (bring it back, now!). You could by his tapes from the back of a dodgy looking Ford Cortina in the car park (OK I made that bit up), and many people did. He had a song about a hammer he had, and he 'hit nails in with it' The hammer, not the song, but thinking about it...). It became the soundtrack to a couple of festivals for me and the youth group at the time.
Friday, 12 September 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Apparently it wont be on the August bank holiday weekend, as there is no such equivalent holiday in Scotland or Ireland, and Potential Greenbelters from those areas are quite rightly loathe to take there kids out of school on the Monday and Tuesday of the Festival.
So we could be looking at a another Greenbelt in the summer (July? August?) to meet the growing need for this. I haev always said that I would love for there to be a Greenbelt in every summer month and now it appears there might be two at least. (whats the betting for an English, Scottish Irish and Welsh separate Greenbelts?!) I say that i guardedly welcome this.; I am reminded of the attempt to split the festival into two in the late 90's with the Freestate debacle. I would hope that the essence and ethos of the festival would not be diluted by this radical idea, though Greenbelt is a hub for radical Christian ideas!
Thinking positively, I would hope that the one festival is just a continuation of the other , and that there will be differences, but much that is the same, and the Greenbelt experience is just extended to another summer weekend. I wonder how speakers.performers and bands etc will be booked, and if they will be contracted to play both festivals, for example.
I would imagine that there will be a number of festival goers who will go to both festivals, I for one certainly would consider it. It wont be happening in 2009 apparently, as has been stated on the Greenbelt email. Might be a good time to become a Greenbelt Angel and be in on the news directly.
Might also make Kathy Gallowaywho led a talk at this years festival happy, in raising the profile of Scottish identity among Greenbelters!
Monday, 8 September 2008
A case perhaps of over reaching yourself, but my, what a glorious failure, if failure it was.
An attempt by a cross ecumenical group pf visionaries on the
I remember at the time hearing some rustlings of the organisation, the seed of the Idea perhaps belonging to an American man called Sam, surname long forgotten, for which I apologise. Certainly the good and the important from Castlehold Baptist church and
It was June or July of 1987 that the festival took place in a field on a road near Shanklin. Unfortunately, and I think this did affect festival attendee numbers, no camping licence was granted. Still at least 3000 hardy souls attended seeing the likes of Sheila Walsh, and some others, quite famous Christian artists whose names completely escape me now.
The run up to the event saw the formation of ‘The Wightlight Band’ to promote the festival amongst the churches and bizarrely Nightclubs on the
I think talks happened here and there like at GB, but it was a festival I spent a lot of time backstage in, using my elevated status as a ‘performer’! The crowd seemed to enjoy the event, and I heard years later from someone I worked with in a
I remember the weather being hot and the atmosphere great. It was a brave attempt at providing another festival to complement GB, but ultimately was hampered by the non camping problem and needing perhaps a bit more publicity.
If anyone attended the festival, and or had photos, please contact me, I’d love to hear your memories and stories around it!
(thanks to Pyro 1963 flickr photostream for the pic)
It was the ten year special- Cliff would be there as would Petra, who I absolutely loved at the Time (that’s the American Gospel rock band, not the Blue Peter dog..). And it was a festival, camping, sunshine, revelling in the glory of all Gods people (well 20 odd thousand) and lots of music!
After seeing a video of the 1982 festival (or was it the 1979 special they did, ah my memory!) our youth group at Castlehold Baptist Church on the Isle of Wight was asked if we would like to go. Of course we said yes! I think this was early in 1983, and our well-attended and vibrant youth group were set to go to one of the biggest Christian celebrations in the country.
Plans were made and everyone made checklists as to what they would take. Ultimately I remember about 10 of us went with two group leaders. We were going to Knebworth, home of all those fantastic festivals in the 70’s, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Pink Floyd, wow! My first memory was sitting in sweltering heat in the minibus in a slow traffic jam on the Friday Morning waiting to gain entry to the site. We’d all put our plastic wristbands on early due to the excitement!
Once we got into the site, I just remember my jaw dropping at the sea of tents and people. It was certainly a new and almost overwhelming experience. We found a spot, traditionally as would become, miles from the festival village site, and then tried to put our tents up. It was my first time doing this, and found that in very hot weather, with very hard ground contrived to make it a long process. We even poured water onto the ground to soften it where we wanted to put tent pegs.
I remember sharing with two other lads, Stuart was definitely one, there was also Heidi, Vanessa, Sue and Jo I think and others who unforgivably I cant remember!
Eventually we ventured the long walk into the festival village, where we were immediately assaulted with the sights sounds and smells of the arena. Music was already happening, we probably bought some food of some description and started looking around. We found the place to buy a programme and studied that for a while. Me being record mad found all the record tents and made notes of possible purchases for later. I don’t remember much more of the festival, no not because I had a secret stash of alcopops, but I think because the immediate impression of GB was so strong. I remember being wowed by Petra, 100% proof and also seeing Cliff and Sheila Walsh, who’s cover of Graham Kendrick’s ‘God put a Fighter In Me’ was the highlight.
I remember lots of silly time in the tent, and not being able to sleep that first night. I cannot forget the toilets, obviously.
We went home on the Monday evening, and it was only at the next years festival at Castle Ashby that I realised there was a Monday night programme!
We were definitely going back next year, and encourage the rest of the youth group to attend as well! It was the start of a long and involved story.
I don't remember going to any talks, though we did go in the Rolling magazine tent with Pip Wilson compering. It was just a time of unrestrained Joy at being in such a great atmosphere and a time of belief and faith, riding the wave of optimism and regeneration that the Christina community was experiencing. We also discovered that Christianity could be challenging and edgy, and perhaps a little bit scary....
I have realise in recent years that my memory has merged a lot of the early GB’s I attended into one, certainly the ones at Castle Ashby, which I still see as a bit of a Golden age, but then I also see 2003 til now as a Golden age too.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Who'd have thought it, a pub at Greenbelt? one with alcohol and barmaids and things?
Inaugurated at the 2004 festival as a privately run beer tent, this has become a very popular haunt for social gatherings, a (less frequently recently) quiet pint, and loud, raucous but reverential worship following its transformation into the Jesus Arms at the 2006 grenbelt
This years festival saw up to 3,000 Greenbelters present during Beer and Hymns, closely followed by the Carols and cider event on the Sunday night. the events were streamed over the net, becoming the first ever live web broadcast of any Greenbelt venue event, cementing the venue as one of the GB places to visit during the festival.
I must admit to being a little surprised at finding it there in 2004, but it has become a place to meet people both known and unknown, and could be said to be the hub of certain festival goers GB. I prefer it for a pint in the afternoon when it is less busy, conversation, which after all is an essential part of any drink, is easier, though I do admit to thinking that belting out hymns and carols with a pint in hand ranks among the finer pastimes in life....
I almost started on my testimony to a some nice ladies Who sat at Jer's and My table, about why I was no longer a believer and all that sort of thing. The JA is that sort of place!
And where else can you ask for a pint of confession, then absolution, followed by the very best pint of redemption?
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Friday, 5 September 2008
read it in conjunction with the wikipedia entry which adds more on who played and when.
I am still trying to find out attendance figures for all the festivals.
I know that in 1974 they started off with 2000, then went up to 20-25,ooo in the mid eighties, then back to about 3000 in 1999 and now once again yo-yoing to 20,000 paying punters plus 5000 contributers/volunteers.
anyone with any idea?
Thursday, 4 September 2008
A Beautiful Human Person...
This man once dropped an egg on me, in the rolling magazine tent, which then cooked itself as I was so hot (the egg, not the Rolling Mag tent. Or maybe it was my girlfriend at the time. (Who dropped the egg, not Pip dropping her on me).
At least I think I knew who I was camping with at the time.
You may have been sold a CD or LP by this man at Greenbelt in the Monster Music stall. You may have heard his, er, unique sales patter. You may have even discussed Bob Dylan with him (oh why, oh why?!), and why he (Phil) looked like Bruce Cockburn on the cover of one of his albums (Bruce, not Phil).
Please approach with caution as he may talk to you!
Recent years have seen me design a couple of special shirts for GB. This one, wonderfully modelled by Phil, is the Monster Music staff T, with the classic legend 'only at Greenbelt..'
Previously, a shirt inspired by another GB-er and spotted by Jer, who REALLY wanted one, had me getting help to use scans of all the GB programme covers to form a collage for front and back designs showing all the years of GB.
It would be great if GB themselves did this (i'd be only too glad to help!) I'm sure it would be a best seller. Im sure also that there would be lots of horrible copyright issues too!
Anyway. look out for the new improved shirt next year....
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
As a drummer myself, and often the butt of 'musicians' jokes it is great to find something rhythmic as well as carrying some sort of melody. I dont know if they have appeared in any form at Greenbelt yet, but would make a perfect insturment for meditation, or as part of an ambient chamber ensemble.
Getting hold of one may be a bit problematic though- check here
check them out at Hang Blog
Music at Greenbelt has always been an important part of the festival for me personally. My first GB in 1983 was a real eye opener and the first real exposure to the Christian Musical Sub-culture, which was probably at its height in the Mid-Eighties. In those days we used to spend all the time in the festival village, which I seem to remember surrounding the main stage area and the mainstage itself. I nearly wet myself when I saw Petra at that first festival. Cliff as there too, whilst not musically he most challenging at least he performed, and a lot of it lying down, for which we mocked him unmercifully fro being old!
Music could be found in all sorts of places, in small marquees and the big top. There were seemingly lots of record shop tents all over, unlike the present set up in which you have (had?) Monster music, and the G Music store (ICC in another guise), which pays to have a monopoly on all music sold by artists appearing at the festival, which I think is just WRONG, and counter to the ethos of the festival. It is another story in itself, the politics that went on between MM and the G music manager, but not one that I’ll recount as publicly as this.
As the festival changed, so did I, I didn’t go for 10 years, (got married, fell out with the cosy social club that church had become, I could do social gatherings so much better than the church anyway). In 2002 I met Jer who inspired me to go to GB again, a music mad gooner like myself. I have to say I was quite under whelmed with that festival the fact it wasn’t a Greenfield site, had only about 9or 10 thousand punters and what was the main music venue doing in that shed?!!
I didn’t go in 2003, but tried again in 2004. I think I had been remembering the festival with very rose tinted spectacles form the eighties, and decided to give it one last try.
I must admit I normally use the time to have a lie in, reflect on events of the previous days, have a good breakfast and read the paper!
Like the red and the balloons though.