Two Weeks In A Life (A Belated Part Two)
I want to write about the Latitude Festival before it slips out of my brain for good, before the photographs start to take the place of actual memories.
My friend Kirsten is a stage manager for various theatre companies in London, and she had been asked to accompany a comedy troupe to the festival so she could do, like, lights and sound and stuff. As a lure they offered her a free guest pass to the four day festival, so she invited me.
We arrived late on Thursday night after a somewhat traumatic car journey which involved an unnecessary detour via Ipswich. Eventually and after a lot of peering myopically at small dark signs, we pulled up at the performers' campsite. I stood and guarded our bags and tent while Kirsten parked the car, then we trudged over to the corner where the others had already begun setting up camp. We joined in, and soon we were all standing around admiring our work and clutching frothing cans of Kronenburg.
The days that followed were brilliant. We hung out in the sunshine, meeting people and watching music, comedy, poetry and theatre. I saw Joan As Police Woman for the second time in as many weeks, and was completely blown away once again. I didn't quite rush the stage but I might have done if I could have leapt that far. Kirsten and I spent a lot of time with these boys and this one too.
There were woods, in which was hidden a stage, and a lake just next to it. On Sunday morning Kirsten and I went and lay down by the lake, just to regroup and gather some strength. Kirsten was lying on her back, eyes closed to the sunshine, and I sat next to her idly putting on lip balm and watching a couple of costumed folk frozen like statues on a little platform on the edge of the lake. As I continued to watch, more figures in costume joined them, and soon there were about ten of them, all with classical instruments and headed up by a man with a voice that was part Jeff Buckley and part Anthony and the Johnsons. It was beautiful. Kirsten sat up and we watched this group (The Irrepressibles)upon whom we had accidentally stumbled, in awe. After their set I went and chatted with one of them for a bit, trying not to gush in too embarrassing a fashion.
A similar thing happened with Middleman and with Rodrigo y Gabriela, who were astonishing. I didn't go and see Arcade Fire, as someone persuaded me to go and see The Gotan Project instead. I'm sure Arcade Fire were great, but I prefer smaller venues/tents/arenas, and The Gotan Project was fantastic.
We sat around a lot. Chatted aimlessly, drank warm wine from boxes, celebrity-spotted in the performers' bit. Made friends and listened to plenty of incredible music. The atmosphere was so relaxed and non-stressful, and I met so many ace people. I had no phone (it accidentally got itself lost in Portugal) but even so I never found myself without friends.
I am going up to the Edinburgh Festival in a few weeks. I'll be sharing a room with my good friend Lily to split the expense of accomodation. There is some singing to be done, and plenty of opportunity to meet people and find places to perform. So for the next two weeks I will be counting out pennies, making lists and doing as much writing (of music) as I can before my head explodes with the effort. I am, of course, not temping, so I am not anticipating that the counting of the pennies will take more time than it takes to say the word "one", but it means I have some time to prepare. Like, musically, and stuff. I'll also be in the studio during that time, too, and I have a couple of gigs as well. As long as I can scrape together enough money to actually get on trains and things I should be alright. At the moment I am casting around for things I can sell on eBay, but apparently the dog won't fetch too much money so I am a little stuck.
I will now slink back to the lab to devise short term money-making schemes and write songs about how one time I had one pound fifty, and oh it was wonderful, but then I spent it on shoes and now I am poor and sad. Or maybe I'll have to think that one through slightly.