Gig in the Park 2010

August 10, 2010

I’ve just come back from the Gig in the Park, Halesworth’s answer to Glastonbury. Not that Glastonbury is a question. Halesworth’s version of… oh, it’s just a… Why am I even trying to explain what it is? It’s evident. It’s a gig. In a park.

We were invited along by good friends whose parents live in Halesworth, in the most gorgeous cottage in the world. And this gorgeous cottage has lots of little cottages growing out of its side. And we get to stay in them. And they are five minutes away from the gig. And there are ducks!

Lots of ducks, and five of them are very special. They were rescued as chicks from a drain by Jen and Tony (our hosts; and Tony, being a retired RSPCA bigwig, knows about animal rescue). Now they are doing very well indeed.

Could this weekend break get any better? Well, we started of our Friday night park-gigging destroying Capitalism with Mundo Jazz. You can support them by buying some of their Fight Capitalism merchandise. I recommend the beer.

They were followed by Showaddywaddy.

No other group ever managed the combined Fifties and Seventies look in one go as well as The Shwads. What? No! Not even Darts.

They sang all of their hits. Except Tiger Feet. Because that was by Mud. It’s an easy mistake, that many people at the gig made.

And Dave Bartram, the grinning lead singer? Well, he’s still got that grin. His voice is shot to pieces, but who cares? All the ladies still go crazy for his cheeky voiceless grin, the damn 50’s/70’s freak. It’s as if someone put the 50’s and the 70’s into Jeff Goldblum’s Fly Pod and out popped Dave Bartram.

Well done, the Waddy’s, you made my Friday night.

There were lots of acts on; in the region of ten a day on the main stage, the same number on the mini-next door stage and then more down at the Jungle Stage. But, without meaning to be rude, although being patently and openly rude, some of the bands are a bit… well… weddingy. They’re good. Very good. But they might not quite do it for me.

The Shaddy’s did it for me. They’ve got what it takes. And also The Undertones, Saturday’s headline act, they did it for me.

They’re Feargal-less these days but don’t let that put you off. Paul McLoone’s a great replacement. You can just make him out in this clip from a distance one of the audience has put up from Saturday night’s performance. Sorry I haven’t any photos or films; I was too busy acting like a fool, throwing myself into the crowd at the front.

Sunday and the gig winds down. It ends with the Lee Vasey Band; local heroes who perform a set of crowd-pleasing classics, but the highlight of Sunday for me was on the small stage just before.

Benjamin Bloom is my kind of festival performer. I even bought his CD. Ok, it was only £1 but it’s the best pound I’ve ever spent. He won’t be for everyone and indeed some of my friends, I think, found him too bizarre. This is how I described him in two tweets, and I’m sticking with it:

Imagine Rick Wakeman having a child with Morten Harket. Then listen to that child. Or, if you prefer, Ron Mael mating with one of Billy Mackenzie’s whippets. This gives you Benjamin Bloom.

Have a listen to his tracks here. I guarantee you will be singing Kingpin or Brainwashed all day long after just one (maybe two) listens.

And if you read this Benjamin, me and Zoe were dancing down near the front. Some of our friends were dancing too,  maybe a little mockingly. Not me and Zoe. We both bought the CD and we are both big fans now.

Soon, I think, he will have some of the Gig in the Park songs up on YouTube. When he does I will put them up here and link to them.

Finally, another duck picture.

3 Responses to “Gig in the Park 2010”

  1. Rachel Green said

    Benjamin Bloom is a great find. Thank you Simon.

  2. Zoe said

    I was glad I bought the cd to find out the track was called Kingpin rather than Temping as we were singing! That could be an idea for a new track though.

  3. Andrea said

    Sounds like brilliant fun. And your duck pics are beeooootiful.

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