Archive for August, 2011

Green Man Festival 2011

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Just back from four wonderful days in Wales at the Green Man Festival 2011. Amy and I took our two kids and three of their teenage friends. We’ve been before when our children were younger and stuck to our sides like glue, but now they are ‘youths’ we were a little nervous of how the weekend would work out. Free to roam the wild Welsh hillsides, would they get drunk on cider? Would they be abducted by weirdy beardy men? Would they like the folk-tinged music?

They loved it. We loved it. We loved it that they loved it. They loved it some more.

Highlights for me:
Josh T Pearson. We’ve struggled at work to like his rambling, miserable songs. They’re long. They don’t have tunes. They all sound the same. But live he was just brilliant. Funny too. ‘I’m Josh T. Pearson. Google me. I’m awesome’.
Fleet Foxes. We were down at the front and they were superb. A great headline act.
Iron and Wine. He seemed to have soaked all his songs in a big barrel of funk jazz juice. Not what I was expecting, and from our seat on the hillside we could see a fair few people decided to leave him to it and walked away. I wasn’t totally convinced either, but he redeemed himself with his acoustic encoure, ‘He Lays In The Reins’.

Also John Cooper Clark, Villagers and Laura Marling.

Amy says:
I’m still feeling all warm and fuzzy after a fantastic weekend. Villagers and Low Anthem were brilliant but Fleet Foxes were amazing and Laura Marling was breathtaking. The music was just a bit of it though. The sunshine and mingling with lovely, entertaining, friendly, good natured people from all over was a privilege and made me very happy! Oh, and the toilets weren’t that bad either!

Highlights for the kids:
While we were in bed, they stayed up ’til 4.30am on Sunday morning, sitting under a tree with Zervas and Pepper (a Welsh band who had played on Friday) strumming guitars, singing and talking music. A few hours they will remember forever.  And they chatted to Skyler Skjelset from Fleet Foxes too.

A general atmosphere of happiness pervaded the whole festival.
Great music everywhere. Friendly people everywhere. Magic.

Our group in their fancy dress.

Amy in her bird mask.

Me dressed as a nun. Don’t ask.

Joe, my son, in his Minecraft head.

All together now …

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Today, for the first time in ages, we are all together at Bigtop headquarters … and jolly nice it is too.

The atmosphere is lovely. Daniel has made a Spotify playlist for Green Man (James, me and 5 teenagers are off there on Friday) and it’s playing now while we beaver away.

Sometimes I think my days at home in the holidays are numbered. The Arnold children are getting on a bit now and seem to get up when I’m preparing supper. So, on days like today, I come in to the office having been off for a few weeks and I think – it’s jolly nice here, what a nice place to work, we’re a happy bunch.

Perhaps if you can’t make it to Green Man this year, you could sit in your garden with a poncho, pair of wellies, can of Special Brew, packet of peanuts and plug yourself into this.

Bye for now …