Friday, 10 September 2010

Coume’stock part 3 – Pancakes and screams

I slept well, and awoke to the sound of....... nothing. There was the occasional snore from the neighbouring tent. I got out my little stove and boiled up some water for a hot chocolate. It was going to be a long day. In fact, apart from going for a walk in the afternoon, I slept for most of the day. There was a bit of excitement when a goat who was on an upturned tin bath, found that it was not so easy to get down from it. However help was at hand and another goat leapt onto the bath and tossed him off.

The site was like a ghost town. In the early afternoon, I had a few beers, then I watched the two girls who were going to be turning the cellophane sheet into print. One of the girls had had a former boyfriend who worked for a big Fanzine publisher and who was an expert in this printing process. The girl’s friend had done a course in it, and as the expert, she was in charge. The sun was hiding behind clouds, and they needed light for the process to work.

expert at work

They managed to borrow a couple of lights that were attached to motion sensors and they rigged them up to point up at the printing frame from below.
They turned on the power. Nothing happened.
Those are motion sensors, I said helpfully, you will need to wave in front of them to turn them on.
Waving took place.
Nothing happened.Also, I said helpfully, they might be light sensitive and only come on when dusk falls.....
They reverted to plan A. The sun peeped out and they carried their apparatus into the light, before the next cloud could spoil their fun. They Needed to time it, so they waited until the big hand reached the top of the dial on their watch. They also counted.

They forgot what they were doing and neither the watch nor their counting figured in the exposure time.
How long do you think it’s been? Said one. I haven’t a clue, said the other.
So they waited another 30 seconds and proceeded to the next phase.
When the swearing started, I could tell that things were not going well.
How’s it going? I asked cheerily.
It hasn’t worked said the expert.
Why’s that? I asked.
Dunno, said the expert. By now her mate had wandered off and was eating pizza.
She eventually decided that it hadn’t worked because the expiry date was passed on the special paint that the process used.
So no print to take back to A.
During the weekend I had been introduced to various people. One of them was a small singer, dancer, musician, clown, acrobat. She was a friend of Bee-Boy’s family. Her family own a creperie in Brittany and she was there with her little red caravan, which had been customised for her by her father. I think that she must have got a grant to have it modified, and that the grant had also paid for her p.a. system and microphone.
She had been rehearsing the previous day when I took this photo. Her small audience were Bee-boys parents and sister, the farmer’s son, and another friend. Bee-boy’s dad had been kept busy helping her to prepare the caravan and props, ready for the apero concert on the second evening.


She may be small, but you are constantly aware that she is around. She squeaks in a voice that would make a cartoon character proud, does excercises, stretches, rehearses,,,, She must run on special fuel. C from the French family, cannot stand the screechy voice.
Talking of fuel, I know that you are worrying about how you get electricity in the middle of nowhere. Well, you use 6 portable petrol generators, and when smoke starts to billow from behind the straw bales hiding them from public view, the farmer runs towards them very, very fast.

petrol generators make light work

Food was only available in the evening from 19:30 H or after the bands had eaten, whichever was the later event.
The meat was cooked over a barbecue. The first night I had the grillade and chips. This cost 10 euros. It consisted of chips and two small shrivelled bits of meat. Of course my new knife enabled me to cut through the meat with ease.
The second night I tried the couscous with meat 8 euros (Couscous with vegetables was 5 euros). There were two tiny blobs of meat in my meal, probably worth about 50 cents.
Everyone was responsible for washing their own plate and cutlery. There was a big tank of brownish water to wash in, then an adjacent tank of water to rinse in. A bag for bones for the dog, and a bin for scraps for the pigs. There was also a draining rack for the washed items.
The time came for the apero concert, and Mathilde appeard in her costume to be made up by one of her pals.

We then sat on a big carpet facing her caravan and the performance of "Ham Gigourbi" began.
Despite her earlier rehearsals, she seemed to make a lot of it up as she went along.
This was a cut down version of her one hour show.

The tall, fall guy

Once the performance ended, she proceeded to serve crepes from her caravan. People were expected to put a few coins into her collecting box. Her show would probably do well at the Edinburgh festival. I suspect that the caravan would get clamped, stolen or both within the first few days though. For me, her performance was the highlight of the festival.

Can you spot bee-boy in this photo?

Eventually the music began. The musical standard of the acts that I watched was higher than the previous evening’s offerings, but they do love to be pretentious and clever, rather than concentrating on a strong tune.
The expected big crowd failed to materialise, and their were less people than the previous evening. This was a shame after all the hard work that had gone into organising the event.
Watching the bands, you were standing on a slope leading up to the stage. This can be amusing for the first hour or so, but after a while of leaning forward its novelty wanes and the legs start to ache.
I have no idea what the last band was like. Once again things were running so late, that I was too knackered to remain leaning, so I headed up the hill to bed. Once again torchless and in the pitch black.
I can report however that the band stopped at around 2am and that records/ cds were played until 5.30am.
At 5.45am, the couple with a child of about 4 who were staying in the tent next to mine, arrived.
Je ne veux pas dormer” said a small voice. This was repeated many, many times, and eventually became a constant scream for the next two hours.........

The t-shirt slogan shoud read "I'm a spoilt, noisy, little ba"""d"
Why one of the f****ng hippy b””””””d parents couldn’t just walk the child around until it dropped from exhaustion (the child, not the parent) I do not know. They just let it scream on and on and on and on.......... They were presumably too right on and cool to give the brat a good clonk to shut it up.
I don’t think that anyone could have slept through the noise.
At around Noon, after a hot chocolate, I packed my tent away into its little bag, and lugged all my stuff back to my car.
So that was my first overnight camping stay at a music festival. I expect that you will all want to come with me next year. Wait, come back, I haven't finished yet. Hello?
Oh well, pausing only to say goodbye to Bee-boys parents, I sat navved my way home, only losing my way once......

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

    Jacketed Kettlesstock


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