Thursday, 19 July 2012

IOW - the festival of luck

Last month I was fortunate enough to scoop a Backstage Guest pass for the Isle of Wight festival which is particularly one of my favourites. Partly because (reading fest i'm looking at you) it doesn't have thousands of stupid drunk pre-teens exercising their idea of 'rebellion' and setting fire to tents and lying infront of ambulances and otherwise just being a nuisance.

Now you all probably saw in the news The Mud. I can't even find the right word for that sheer abundance, it was like the grass had just hidden away in fear of thousands of punters. Fortunately one group broke down on the way to the island, so instead of being trapped in that 13 hour queue to the festival we were sipping back a bar load of spirits and beers at a friendly local pub on the island. By the time the others arrived, sodden and dampened spirited, we perked them all up with a cheeky curry and drunken merriness. Another stroke of luck meant one of the group has a rather snazzy house on the island so we slept there for the night, all 9 of us in a tetris fashion accross the kitchen and lounge floor.

The next day the luck god was smiling down for a brief moment, whereby instead of queueing in that mile long queue to grab the festival bus, after some chats with a friendly staff bus man, he cut the queue in half and led us first on a bus. This meant the back seat was ours and boy was it comfortable to rest the rucksack on. A nap away we arrived at the Mudfest. Upon hearing we were getting backstage guest passes we had a little squeal before the mission of finding the guest camping. Now I am not sure if everyone was playing around with us but upon asking directions we'd meet a chorus of "oh no there has never been guest camping" "no such thing" "hahahah what? guest camping? never heard of it" WELL festival security I have you know there WAS guest camping and it was a back breaking ordeal to get to, considering all 9 of us had rucksacks that were triple our own weight at least. The treat of guest camping meant there was actually grass and a charming view of the lake. We were on a hill but waking up at the bottom of the tent was totally worth it just for the grass It also meant that we were technically camping within the arena so we could be super sneaky with cans (not that I condone sneaking cans in - but your prices are too much).

My music highlights would have to include watching the charming lucy morris performing not only once in the champagne room but TWICE with her hipshaking the hipshaker lounge. Biffy Clyro absolutely stormed thier set as always and knocked out the big hits of Golden Rule, Bubbles etc, I think I spent their whole set wondering if Simon would marry me that evening. Crystal Castles were one of my favourites, so much so even in the piss poor weather I danced around in a crop top, which was a brilliant follow up to watching Enter Shikari in the Big Top.

I have to conclude with the BOSS, who absolutely blew my mind. I was in the process of sneaking a can into a festival cup when I could hear the opening chords to Badlands and I legged it over to secure perhaps the best view, right at the front of the VIP bar. I will take this moment to express my absolute anger at IOW VIP bar for screening the England game, yes it was 'important' to some people but surely they could have watched it in the Sky tent or just not at all, I don't see how a festival should screen every single other headliner within the VIP bar but their closing headliner? nahh the football was on instead. Anyway it kinda worked out for the best as I got to get a sweet view of Brucey Boy, I was, although, on my own for the majority of his set which was fine by me but at one point of lucidity I was fist pumping the air like an all-american boy and suddenly realised what I was doing, all on my own, and replaced the dancing hand with my beer. Bruce pointed at us at one point 'what the **** are you guys doing in their? all kettled in?' he was obviously pointing at me. Obviously. Wrecking Ball almost had me in tears then did Atlantic City, it was an absolute dream to see such a performance. He was flanked by the E Street Band and my god the sound was just intense, at this point Bruce made a slight reference to the recently passed Clarence Clemons, which made me feel really bad for the new saxophonist. It was such a treat to see Steve Van Zandt, does he have hair underneath that bandana?

Overall it was perhaps one of the most special festivals I have been to in years, we saw a couple of famous faces here and there but it was just so great to be with such a great bunch of people and such amazing music. I also got papped for the Storm Models Blog which was hilarious as I was blind drunk (it WAS 4pm) and it was super windy and I have awkward beer arm.

All photos (bar the last) courtesy of Annie Lambert - BABE

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