Thursday, 28 August 2008

Greenbelt - Binky's

Binky's had its origin at last years Greenbelt when Jer and myself took a big gazebo for sitting in during rain etc. It also doubled up very nicely as a sort of after hours social club, to which everyone, especially Birchy cottoned on to quite quickly. all the usual shenanigans went on and plans were made to make it bigger and better for next year, especially by Tony Cook

2008- we arrive and Tony has been true to his word and brought a big marquee type tent which can be used for such a purpose. Birchy had been despatched to provide the signage warning prospective campers near us, that it wouldn't be the place to be if you valued your beauty sleep. Thus was Binky's born into full fruition.

A place of low culture and high Dudgeon, or the other way round, it became slightly infamous at this years GB.

It came to a bit of a windy end on the Saturday Night - a huge localised tornado, centred on Binky's, probably prayed for by the Price's caravanning in a part of the campsite far, far away literally lifted Binky's off the ground and over.
I managed to hold on to it to prevent it cannoning into nearby tents. I will always treasure the picture of Birchy, big bag of chocolate on his lap, glass of JD in his hand suddenly looking up and being very confused as to why he was now outside. Eventually Jer looked round as well, and I politely asked for some help as my arm was being ripped off by the attempted escape across the field by Binky's.
The next day, the remnants were turned into a washing line, proof perhaps of reincarnation in some small way, for those of you that believe in such matters.

I believe that Binky's will return next year in a bigger (!) more tied down guise. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Greenbelt quickie (3)

Heard from a customer when serving in the Monster Music stall- an original meaning of calling someone a 'Natural' meant implying they are simple. 
So be careful with your superlatives.

Greenbelt- bands that inspired me this year

Julie Lee - Will There Really Be a Morning?
Beth Rowley - Little Dreamer
Virgin Passages - Distance
Foreign Slippers - Oh Death
Steve Lawson - Lawson/Dodds/Wood trio album TBR October
Karen Grace - Find Me
Julie Mckee - What A  Woman Shouldnt Do
Miriam Jones - Sign and Semblance
Olivier Messiaen - Quartet for the End of Time
Andensum - Lucky Witness
Kashee Opeiah - Panic in Solitude
Nikko Fir - Walking Free
Esther Alexander - Last of The Hopeless Romantics
Ultravox - Vienna
Steve Lawson and Lobelia - Live EP

Lots of folky and female vocalists, balanced a bit by the Heavy metal (is that a term still used?) bands- lots of Metallica Maiden Opeth and Meshuggah in there. Oh and Ultravox was the CD to play at midnight on the Sunday. 
The Messiaen recital was a revelation, and also pointed to where the King Crimsons get some of their influence from.

Actually, this GB was a bit of a stormer for music and exploring new bands and artists, alongside the usual GB faves like Steve Lawson.

Greenbelt quickie (2)

So last years GB was the 'trying to grasp the wet bar of soap' GB
this years must be the 'Glitter accessories' GB

Monster Music RIP (as we knew it)

Featuring Jer and Ian.
will it be back next year as the place to get musical GB goodies past and present?

NP 'Distance'  Virgin Passages 
they appeared on a Mojo front cover CD- nice musical landscapes, a bit like A Silver Mount Zion and Tra La La Band, bits of Polyphonic Spree.

Greenbelt quickie (1)

Picked up the new phrase/acronym which i quite like, as it refers to me , as well.


Not a Christian as far as I know.

NP 'Will There Really Be a Morning'  Julie Lee  (absolutely beautiful haunting folk/country- get it now!)

Camping at Greenbelt

Its always the same, arrive on the Thursday, which myself and Jer have been allowed to do since we started working for Monster Music (more of which in an entry all of its own, later), and find the Sanctuary lot from Bath, or tell them where we are. Normally thats campsite 9, on the hill at the end of the Loooong road from the festival village.
We've seen a succession of tents, from a two person  to an ancient huge frame tent to the prototype Binky's stylee modern one that we have had for the last two years. It can actually fit in 22 people, as we found out almost by accident on the Saturday night. One of the joys of Greenbelt is meeting new people and socialising or, if you will, fellowship. This led to the creation of Binky's this year, a more fully realized version of the events held in Jer's gazebo last year. Binky's also will get its own entry.

Anyway, the tent gets put up, for which the wind picks up solely at this time and for when we take the tent down. Air beds are blown up, tables placed, seats and cooking equipment all ready for use. then its helping with others tents, or generally supervising a la Jon Birch (check out his work with Asbo jesus and Proost).

Sleep is almost optional at GB as there is always NOISE (especially in Binky's) and the fact that there is so much to do and see means that less and less time is spent in the tent, and other peoples tents in the manic round of socialising that GB can be.

Once the tent is up then GB begins- 5 days of general loveliness, seeing all sorts of planned and unplanned things. A great description of Greenbelt can be found here  on the very talented Steve Lawson's site.

To come;
Music at GB
Monster Music

and more!

NP   'Oh Death'  - Foreign Slippers

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Just got back from this marvelous festival. This is  the first in a few reports about this years bash

The Final year of the Monster Music stand, i helped out this year on a very ad hoc basis. it was emotional saying goodbye to Ian after he handed the stall over to the new owner. I have my doubts whether MM will return now. Time will tell. I think Ian appreciated the chant of 'Ian, Ian' as he  left the beer tent.

Lots of lovely people seen, catching up with the Sanctuary and St Philips lot and camping with 'Binky's ' in our midst, but more of all this later.

NP         'Find Me'   - Karen Grace