Woke up about 6:45 and got up to make a cup of tea. Afterwards I went for a wander around the site where I found my American friend John sitting in the bar with a coffee. The great thing about SoL is that the caterers left the coffee/teabags etc on the bar and those people who got there before them helped themselves and left the money on the counter. Other people came and went and I chatted to lots of them. I was quite looking forward to today as there were some great acts on – two of which had been at my suggestion!
The first of those was You are Wolf. Kerry turned up wearing bright yellow wellies and pink tights! It was their 5th wedding anniversary and they’d come to play the gig before setting off to go to York for a family party that evening. She was doing some of her new songs that were based on British Birds and some of them were played for the first time at SoL. She seemed to go down quite well and there was a queue to buy CD’s at the end – oh and I got a name check during the gig!!!
At one point Kerry introduced the song about the most popular bird in a survey on her site – the Barn Owl which was called Oh Ruin as they were thought to bring ruin. As she started the song it started to rain, not heavily but that set the pattern for most of the day – warm enough but with intermittent showers.
In the evening was a man who was on a list of suggestions I set of people we could book (sadly the day after I sent it one of the people on the list died but I don’t think that was connected). I hadn’t seen Michael chapman for over 32 years although I had found out that I’d seen him twice rather than just the once I’d previously thought! He played a great set after a brief soundcheck (yeah that sounds like me!). Sadly no postcards of Scarborough but we did get two songs off of Fully Qualified Survivor instead!
I managed to catch Jokers Bleed Diamonds on the acoustic stage. The guitarist is the son of the owner of the land and he has been helping with the festival since he was 10. I’d heard some of their stuff on Facebook and really enjoyed watching then for about 4 songs. While I stood there I fancied something to eat. I asked for a baked potato with chilli but they didn’t have either. After some discussion I ended up with a baguette covered in curry. It was lovely and so much better than the usual burger fayre. Only thing was after eating the curry off the top I was left with a curry soaked baguette which was very messy!!
The headliners were German Grateful Dead cover band Cosmic Finger. They were down to play 3 sets but part way during the first set a technical problem with the amp caused an impromptu break! Once it was sorted they continued and the second and third sets were magical. The stand out tracks for me were Crazy Fingers in the second set and the Eyes of the World > Jam > The Other One monster that started set 2. They came back for 2 encores as they crowd, who have stuck it out during torrential rain which almost flooded the stage, just wouldn’t go away!!
The rain was pouring off the top of the stage and then curling back onto the front of the stage. At one point I ended up on the stage trying to clear the water away. Jay, the soundman, had some tarpaulins which when we put them over the monitors bounced the way away rather than onto the stage. I started to worry about the cables that were running through the mud, firstly would they hold – I didn’t want to see it all end in a big blue flash! I was also worrying about what state they’d be in tomorrow as I’d have to pack them all away and I didn’t think they’d be very happy at work if they came back caked in mud. In the end I needn’t have worried on either account.
After the end of the night the band drove their van onto the area of grass between the stage and the control area. This seemed a strange thing to do as the ground was very sodden there by this point. After they’d loaded it and sold merchandise from the front they tried to get it back out. Reversing only made it very muddy so they tried going forward. I assumed as I didn’t see it again that they’d got off until the singer appeared at the tailgate of my car. It was almost 2am by this point and he told me the van was stuck and they needed help. He said they could wait until the morning to get pulled out by the tractor but they had 3 people who needed to get to a hotel in town……was there anyone who could give them a lift!!
Sunday – After the deluge!
I woke up at about 7:30 and the first thing that crossed my mind was where were the car keys. I’d taken off my jacket and hoody and hung them in the car before locking it and making a dash to my tent in the pouring rain. I checked in my shorts but they weren’t there so I was panicking about what I’d done with them. I opened the inner tent and found them laying on the groundsheet. As I was awake I thought I’d better go and see what state the cables were in. I made a cuppa first and wandered up to the bar with it. Apart from one area where people had trampled over them on the way to the bar. Luckily the cloth I’d been given to mop the stage last night doubled as a handy cable cleaning cloth!! And it was still wet!!!!
The German van was dragged out of the quagmire by the tractor and I was pleased to find that the weather had improved and the ground had started to dry up. I slowly got everything packed away into the car which I’d moved slightly up the hill from where it was parked just in case. The site slowly cleared with people stopping and thanking me as they went past. The guys came to collect the stage which was good as I hadn’t met them up till that point. At about 1 pm I was fully packed and I drove away from the site – already looking forward to SoL 7 next year.
Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hands