Friday, 22 May 2015


Rhythms of the World 2014 was fraught with difficulty.
We’d had a few of the old guard leave after 2012 and we were breaking in new names in different positions in the hierarchy.
Amy, who used to head Artist-Liason was now Chair Person along with Bob who had returned from a few years out except as a trustee.
Times were changing, but you know what ?
The more things change the more they remain the same.
The day before the programme had gone to press I'd heard that Bob is getting some drummers who were performing and doing a workshop to play people into the festival at the nearest gate to us.
Nice thought, except it was literally just up the path from us and we’d got a really good up and coming folk singing acoustic guitarist opening the day’s proceedings…
And they were likely to drown her.
For fuck’s sake, you’ve got to be joking ?
And you think this is alright, me having to drop the last band in and start Kelly off thirty minutes
late ?
You think dropping this shit on us the day before the programme goes to press is actually fair, because if you do, I certainly don’t ?
Not that moaning or swearing will ever get me anywhere so why not just shut up and drop the last band in and get on with it ?
Job done.
I have had to ring up a band and cancel their appearance and I am not happy about it…
Bob has this idea that he wants the festival to be like an ‘All Inclusive Village Fete’ which is something I have been known to take the piss out of on more than one occasion.
There’s a bit of film of me doing it on Youtube from 2009 if you want a look ?
It's not perfect because I started off at 'Ramones Speed' but it's the only bit of film I've got of it.
We were now a band down and the cohesion of the line-up in the middle part of the afternoon was now non-existent.
Hang on…
No, just hang on a sec’, I’m not the fucking bad guy.
I didn’t ask a bunch of drummers to play people in for thirty minutes causing us to start thirty minutes late because they’ll drown out an acoustic folk singer, did I ?
Why not take some fucking responsibility and accept that I wasn’t even given a choice ?
Why indeed ?
I cut a band to try and get back on course after being crapped on.
The powers that be didn’t seem to like it, probably because they have had to take responsibility for the change.
I had no option except to start later because it would be massively unfair on any artist to have to compete soundwise.
I KNOW how loud acoustic drums are and when you’ve got about a dozen all hammering a rhythm at the same time then believe me, It’s going to be LOUD.
We’re sorted.
I'm not bloody arguing.
We’re starting thirty minutes late.

And with two weeks to go, we had another disaster…
We’ve had a drop-out.
To be fair it was through family illness and there’s not a lot anybody can do about that except wish them all the best and not to worry.
Family comes first.
And so I’m back on the ‘phone…
Guess what ?
We’ve had a drop-out and you guys are back in.
Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.

We went to inspect the site and attend the Stage Manager’s briefing the evening beforehand.
More to make sure I’d actually got a stage because I certainly wasn’t about to go through that shit again,
but there it was and damn near ready to go.
Sophie had left me a message that she wanted to see me about stage decorations and so off we trouped trying to find her, which eventually we did.
Did I want all the decorations in the same colours as the kids backdrop as I think you told me they were the colours on the Gambian flag ?
Sophie, you’re a darling.
Yes. If it could be done then that’d be great.
Ok. I’ll get the team on it.
Now you’re talking.
The decorations they are putting up and around the site look very effective. 

 Oi’ Chris, go and have a look at your stage before you leave the site… 

Somebody obviously knows something I don’t know.
And there it was…

Not decorated yet but everything delivered and ready to go. 
There’s this wave thing, I can’t really describe it but it sort of rushes through you…
It brings along a sense of pure relief and a lot of thanks to any and all the Gods out there.
It’s one less battle to fight and I won’t say it brings a sense of peace or calm, but it does bring a sense of job well done.
You know the teams on whom you have to depend have actually done everything they are supposed to do and sometimes even more.
And you cannot praise them enough because there are no words for what you actually want to say, but you can hug them when you see them and that seems to be enough.  
It’s getting dark, so we leave Ben and Pete to it.
Ben is camping over and so he’ll try and sort all the wiring tonight as opposed to first thing tomorrow.

Sophie’s mob seem to be on their way with some stage decorations and neither team needs us getting in the way.
We’ll be picking Frank and Grant up between nine to nine-thirty tomorrow morning.
The others will be arriving under their own steam.

Hey !  Can you hear that ?
I can hear The Magic Wok calling...
Let’s go eat.

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