Rock-Stock is rising.. friday..

One hell of a bar has been set as the festival season commenced this weekend, for Ella and I it started on Thursday evening for Jonny’s EP Launch. After finishing up at work Ella got a train in to Solihull and we headed off to grab last minute stuff from home and jump into Ludo to take the short drive up to The Chimneys in Willington for Rockstock and Barrel. On a normal day it’s a nice-but-functual former industrial social club site – when Debbo, Phily and the team get their hands on it they turn it into a magical festival wonderland.  We got ourselves parked up in a handy spot, and set to the quick job of getting the van sorted as our accomodation for the next few nights.

The Cheezy Vinyl Bar and The Scrumptiddly Cider Bar were set up outside, the former also housing a Murphy’s Stage giving a third performance space at the festival.  Inside the main hall housed the main stage area, the acoustic stage moved into the former snooker room which had – predictably – had a Rockstock and Barrel makeover to create a wonderful intimate space.  Friday morning started with helping John move his tent – then a stint covering the gate to the Riverside campsite for just under a couple of hours.  It was quite nice to just watch the world go by and guide in a few early arrivals to their camping spots.

Then it was time to loiter around the Chimneys campsite as people started to rouse or arrive – a quick walk to Willington for supplies passed some more time, and a chance to ‘vandalise’ Tim and Jo’s new van, Tootle (it has a blackboard-paint covered boot lid and they had chalk pens for us to use).  We were pretty restrained I think, it will be interesting to see how it fairs over the course of the festival season!  Soon enough though it was time for the music to start.  I’ll make no apology for doing lots of dipping in and out of things and not making detailed notes – but hopefully I can still do the weekend some kind of justice!

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Freeborn Al / 2nd April 2017 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos

Rolling out the festival barrel in style.. (part one)..

aIMG_3283Glancing through my notes this might be better off broken up into two parts – although since it makes sense to write it by day part one will be a nice introduction to the longer part two.

I’d been looking forward to the festival season getting under way – maybe that explains a loss of concentration resulting in me getting into a car accident (and hence the car off the road) on Thursday morning, already more than one eye on the weekend?  Friday was spent trying to get a courtesy car sorted in between finishing up the working week (mercifully I am able to work from home pretty easily – which is lucky really, with the office 40+ miles away and me without wheels!).  Fortunately the garage called in the afternoon and had sorted out a car for me to use whilst mine gets itself mended.

And so it was we were able to chuck everything in the back and head on over to Willington and get the tent pitched – I’m not a fan of tents, hopefully this is the last time we have to sleep in one!  We located a spot that looked flat and not too prone to bogginess should it rain and got camp set up, catching up with folk already there – before heading over to check out the venue.  As Ella was recording all the ‘Up Close and Personal’ gigs in the Purrple People Eater we went to check that out, always a risky prospect, but great to have a natter with everyone over some worryingly early shots.

IMG_3244It’s worth noting the transformation the fairly industrial site undergoes – a couple of teepees, a purple bus and the stalls outside bedecked with colourful throws, charming hand-painted signs and the like really brings the place to life.  The alluring cheese bar was set up outside too sadly not yet open for business, more on that later!  Folks were arriving all the time so that the sparsely populated camp site was filling up nicely, Dave, Caroline, Brian, Karen, Joe and Naomi all parking up near us (and Murphy the Festival Dog of course!) making for some ace neighbours.

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Freeborn Al / 3rd April 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos