Hairdryer out on a day trip to the Big Chill, me and the boy, precious cargo, hats on, heads down.
We arrive and indulge in the traditional festival beginnings, me a Grande Bouffe sausage and potatoes, he a pancake with sugar and lemon, with Steel Pulse live as background music. Thinking, so much has changed since the Handsworth Revolution.
There are two sets and a lot of wandering and observing to be done, but after the downpour the sun is shining, whether this is anything to do with the imminent arrival of Norman Jay only he and god really know. But he comes, he plays, the sun stays out, and it is, as they say in the good book, um, good.
The boy makes an appearance with a live version of his cult Strings, Wood and a Box of Air jingle, other son turns up and talks about orbs, we play an exclusive new version of Odyssey’s Native New Yorker and generally feel on top of the world and having some good times that will be shared next week with the Melodica audience.
Then it’s out again to witness a little Warpaint, a great band that inevitably have to be compared to The Slits if you want 80s references, a great band that are really enough of their own thing to be, already, beyond, lazy comparisons.
The festival feels a little disconnected and not quite busy enough, maybe it’s us, maybe it’s because it’s Sunday. It feels like a series of festivals that don’t quite fit together. At one end there’s the kids and parents bit, separated from the rest by a stringent, no kid wristband, no entry policy which we find a little Daily Mail paranoid and sinister; then there’s the Enchanted Garden, like the hippy remnants of the original festival; the main arena, a mish-mash of styles depending on who’s on stage; and finally the teenage area, a series of tents and sponsored arenas with DJs and electronic music artistes.
We wander and talk about focus and unfocusing our eyes, then walk into a cloudy tent, like looking inside our heads and float through booming bass and drifting synth and some style of beat poetry into the future past. We think about taking a fairground ride and quickly decide it feels better on the ground. We dance / march with the tuba and trombone and let the music take us where it will. We drink indie coffee and decide that too much milk is worse than too much caffeine.
Then it’s time for my DJ set, straight after Mr Scruff. It takes a while to find my feet, but eventually I do with some of that good old/new, old school new school acid house music. Like it’s then, but now. Plus a couple of classics. Well, it is a festival after all.
Finally it’s foot down, hairdryer back to London city. What a blast.