SoL 2012 Part 1

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

Started to get the bits I need for the Summer of Love festival together today. the first phase is always the equipment I borrow from work. This is mostly cables to run the power to the stage and to feed the video and sound back to the video projector in the bar. There’s also some lights and a few other bits and pieces. I’m worrying because the car is a lot smaller than I’ve had in the past. Having said that I have cut back a bit on the stuff I take figuring I didn’t really need 2 of the big multisocket plug boards so I reduced the number. I also didn’t need the lighting stands this year and they take up a lot of room – still I’ll be happier when I know it’s all in!

The second stage will be to stop off at the garage we rent to pick up tent etc and then finally I’ll pick up the stuff from the house and shed! I also must remember to get some food from Tesco and to fill the car with petrol!!! In an ideal world I would be down there now but it’s just not practical – I had to drive up here to pick up stuff in the first year which was a bind so I’d rather do it this way. I’ll be so much happier when the first band is on tomorrow!!!


When I loaded the car yesterday it was red hot but this morning it was quite overcast. I still put on my shorts though as I set off for this year’s SoL party. I got to the site at 10:30 and the first thing I noticed was the nice new stage but the second thing I spotted was that there was no marquee. This was the second year running they hadn’t turned up on time.

Thankfully everything was eventually sorted out and Didi Bergman kicked off the show for the second year running as a replacement for Corey Webb who was ill. I missed most of her set and the following set from Adam & Jayne due to a problem with the cable feeding video to the bar. There was a dodgy cable in the line somewhere but finding it took some time. Then when I did get it working we discovered there was no sound either – thankfully that got sorted out so much quicker!

So the first band I saw was Heart of Rust who were a very good Neil Young tribute band – they started off with an acoustic set and then followed up with an electric set. they also played in the style of the stuff I really like about Neil. Next up were Sarah Tonin who were really cool and finally (or so we thought) were Marrakech Express. One member of the band was ill so they couldn’t do the whole Byrds/CSNY bit so they said they’d do some of the set with material from those two bands and throw in some West Coast standards as well.

We’d originally expected them to play two 45 minutes sets so it came as a bit of a shock when they announced their last song just before 10:15! With a little cajoling we managed to get them to play for an extra half an hour but that still left us with the music finishing over an hour early. Bit embarrassing!

Luckily someone had the sense to say if there was anyone who wanted to play they should let us know and a chap called Johnny B stepped forward. Alone with an electric guitar he entertained for about 40 minutes. And jolly good he was too!

At around 1 am I crawled reluctantly into bed amazed that it hadn’t rained apart from a short shower when we were setting up. I was just settling down when the guy by the campfire with the acoustic guitar started a Grateful Dead song. I listened for a while but eventually fell asleep.

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