Mods. Rockers. Throwing deckchairs. Strawberry Mivvis. It has well and truly kicked off here!!
This is the Bank Holiday madness I never imagined I would be caught up in. Mild-mannered Bob; dream maker, heart breaker, oats are Quaker. Yet here I am.
As I type I am on my scooter in Brighton, with trout-pout Leslie Ash riding pillion and Sting chasing behind us with our luggage, I pass Ray Winstone in the bath with Roger Daltrey, being punched by Toyah and her mod mates. I want to say that this is wrong. That this is law-breaking. Yet I cannot. The adrenaline is coursing through me faster than you can say ‘Jamie Oliver needs a kicking’. I was born to be this man. The sea breeze rushing through my sweaty crop cut and making my panda eyes blink as if waking up for the first time.
Now that was exciting wasn’t it? But, I hear you ask, was it wholly true? Can I type whilst scootering. Indeed am I a scooterist? Would Toyah incite mod violence?
Let’s just say there is some truth to this as this year I went to the Stone Valley South mod and ska festival with my old pal Steptoe. It were brilliant, so much so that we have booked up for next year already.
My top 5 highlights;
- Talking to a bloke who was like Les from Crème Brulee (a la League of Gentlemen / “It’s a shit business”) who lived locally, and was in a band many years ago and knew Bruce Foxton out of The Jam who was performing and wondered if he should go and say hello back stage. By ‘knew’ this meant he had met him once or twice about 30 years ago. He also fondly reminisced about Jobbo from The Skids, who are now booked for next year, so surely he will connect up? Happy yet sad.
- Steptoe getting more sunburnt than me and then crying like a baby and being sick on his phone [n.b. not all of this may be true but this is my blog].
- Trying to work out if the woman on stage (who could not sing or dance) was Neville Staple’s partner or daughter (it was his wife btw).
- Death of Guitar Pop, Secret Affair and Basket Case.
- The clever urinals.
The worrying bits top 5?
- The old scooterists (a word wot I now know) who kept bugging us and telling us to go to the meet at Mersea Island and to join various clubs. No no no!
- The woman who kept messing with the food at the takeaway stall.
- My hangover.
- Having to play pool with the ‘big boys’ (but I did get free pizza).
- Cast headlining on the Saturday.
Bob Junior (male) is at Reading Festival as I type. I never did any proper festivals in my day despite my passion for music. My most memorable day festivals however, are;
- Manchester Anti-Heroin Festival in Heaton Park in 1985. I went with Killer to be entertained by Bad Manners, The Membranes and PJ Proby (not Harvey) amongst others before a load of the unpleasant variety of Skins appeared to cause trouble at which point we muttered ‘Nazi scum f**k off’ and rushed for our bus.
2. Slough Festival in 1991 with Steptoe, Tara and Squinty. Now this was Shoegazing Heaven – Ride, Slowdive, Mock Turtles (Steve Coogan’s brother on lead vocals)
That was a perfect day music and weather wise but I think there may have been some illicit substances and poor toilet facilities.
My belief that Chapterhouse played appears to be borne out from this interview extract I have found with aforementioned band (see I do do research).
“A lot of people talk about the 1991 Slough Festival as being the definitive moment for the first wave of shoegaze, even the bands that weren’t on the bill. What are your recollections of that day?
Stephen: My recollections are quite vague actually. Did we play it? We did? Oh right, I remember being there but don’t remember an awful lot about our set to be honest!”
3. Rage Against Racism Carnival at Brockwell Park in 1994 with Mrs Bob (who cannot remember this and / or has blanked it out like PTSD) and Steptoe. I think this was a hot one too but it was free and the Manics did a set along with Billy Bragg, Credit to the Nation and The Levellers amongst others. I wore DMs.
I need to get back to gigs a bit more. Later this year me n Steptoe are off to see The Wedding Present and also From The Jam supported by The Vapors (as they were 40 years ago as The Jam) for their Setting Sons tour.
Thank goodness for Red Alert and now just J.O.B. as this is where I am getting back to occasional gigs. Combined age of 52 I think (3 of them) and about to release their first long player. Rocktastic.
J.O.B. Axeman The Grouch’s father Pinky was performing with band Slam yesterday at the sublime Harlow Linkfest open-air festival. Great stuff in the sweltering heat.
Their covers are great but their own stuff is even better. Get down The Crown in Romford when they play – great proper music pub and the friendliest people you will meet.
The dogs enjoyed the festival particularly their own shared Mr Whippy and getting bits of my sausage and egg baguette. They were not impressed when I stroked goats, sheep and reindeer (n.b. these are not euphemisms).
This blog is somewhat more musically-orientated than planned. At least there is a theme. Makes it seem planned.
I actually read two music books on our recent Mexico hols. Highly recommend both. Ranking Roger’s (RIP) autobiography and also Michael Bradley from The Undertones tome. Both were full of joy and happiness and did not slag anyone off. Perfect reads.
I also read a couple of Simon Kernick novels, a couple of other not so good novels and the Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer fishing book which was great. I am now simultaneously reading a ’50 years of Carry On’ book and one about British comedy from Reeves and Mortimer to The Office. Why don’t you read a book too? Be a literate bumface like me. It is very very groovy.
I will end this soon. I had so much to cover but will save it. None of it is of interest anyway.
By the way I am currently off the booze. This is Day 79. I will be back as I like a drink but must be doing me some good.
Next time…..our hols in Mexico and Norfolk; football frolics; TV treats; and much much more!
I will leave you with some tasters –
- I got bitten on the left testicle and had my right nipple ‘punished’ last night. Neither injury was caused by a human.
- Did Rod Hull’s emu have no innards? How did he manage to live?
- Rocketman is better than the Queen film but should have had Watford FC featured in depth.
….and finally…..many many congratulations once again to two very special friends who tied the knot this month in New Mills and I was proud and delighted to join their day of happiness and love.
Time to sit in the garden with Mrs Bob and the mutts. With Boy at Reading and Girl in Cornwall we can smooch until Midnight.