Friday, 12 June 2009

Isle of Wight

I think this was the point I realised I had officially lost touch with the kids. Or the yoof. Or whatever you call the underformed human beings listening to repetitive, ear drum damaging music on tinny phone speakers. I also realised that I've grown beyond the 'totally up for it' marathon boozing that is usually associated with music festivals. I know a lot of you are now crying "soft!" I don't care, I like my music, and I like to be able to remember seeing great acts.

None of the above should be read to imply that I didn't enjoy the Isle of Wight festival. I did. Immensely. Unlike Glastonbury, at IoW the sun shone, and you're not locked in the musical concentration camp for the duration, but can escape into town or even the beach. When it came to the music, I started to feel old: while the yoof were splitting their ears listening to the Prodigy, I ducked away to watch Bananarama. And yes, after all these years, yeah baby, she's still got it. And I was extremely glad all the unwashed and uneducated kids left early on the final day because they'd never heard of the Pixies or Neil Young, leaving us old fogies to enjoy the legends in relative peace.

As for the stuff the young kids were listening to: Goldie Looking Chain are, like Ali G, a parody too far (it's all well and good getting a chuckle out of the satire of "Guns don't kill people. Rappers do" or "Your mother's got a penis," but when people are idolising and imitating your chav persona, it's time to go); while Razorlight were a pleasant surprise, suggesting I shouldn't give up on music just yet.

And on second thoughts, perhaps I shouldn't be so harsh on the tradition of festival boozing, because it left us with a choice selection of anecdotes. Once we finally found a patch of ground big enough for our tents, we were abused and assaulted by our drunken 'neighbours' (including a royal marine fresh back from Afghanistan who insisted on showing us pictures of splattered bodies he'd taken with his iphone) who were unhappy to find that their 'private lawn' had been invaded by colonials (Sorry fellas, it's a music festival, and if it doesn't have a tent on it, it's terra nullius - see how you like it, you English gits).

We seemed to be in the military field, because we had a bunch of boozing sailors on the other side of our tents who furnished us with some choice quotes overheard in the wee hours of the morning: "... so, I was coming back from the loos, and there was this guying lying face down in the mud, completely naked. I gave him a bit of a shove and asked if he was alright... he came around a bit, looked at me, reached behind him and pulled a condom out of his arse, looked back at me and said 'don't say a fucking word' and walked off..." and the overall winner for quote of the festival: "I've seen more cocks this weekend than bands."

Big thanks to Mark and Fiona for letting me tag along as their third wheel, and also to Sam, Dave and Louise for letting me hitch said third wheel to their travelling road-show and crash at Dave's dad's place for daily sobering up sessions... truly, the only civilised way to festival.

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