I honestly hadn't imagined this little festival to be such a peaceful and pastoral affair. In the back of my mind were images of rufty tufty old punks in ancient leather jackets wobbling about slopping beer all over the place. There was beer aplenty, but it was being dispensed by genial people with the seriousness of apothecaries and consumed by smiling picnickers in the Sussex sunshine. As I pulled up, Smiley and the Underclass were just finishing their reggae flavoured set. That's them in the first photo, trying to train their lazy eye to see a thrown tennis ball. That's what bands do after they have finished their set: did you know that? The guy on the right trained for the air force, I do believe.
Joe Solo went on next, leading the thronging crowds in a sing-song with his electric folk, followed by Barnstormer 1649, Attila the Stockbroker's band. He can play a multitude of instruments, many of them with a pint of beer in one hand (air force training again, perhaps?) and has a phenomenal amount of energy. He organises this festival every year, with Alex Hall, brewer extraordinaire, and is on-hand to introduce every band. The song dedicated to Robina, his wife, was incredibly touching. She is lovely.
Before I went on we had very rapid catch up. Attila's band Brighton Riot Squad and Joby and the Hooligans played together in The Vault in Brighton, thousands of years ago. He even remembered Joby's mum, Daphne, driving us around.
It's extraordinary to think of all those punk lives, those punk people spreading out all over the place (56 bands rehearsing in the Resource Centre alone), some still playing, some not, and some no longer here (Dick Damage, Big Dave, Dick Piranha to name but three). And of course, Smelly came. He had bumped into Nick from Nicky and the Dots (and later, Stomp!) who basically doesn't have to work because Stomp! have been so successful. Now why didn't I do that instead of this?As he stood there, someone came up and persuaded smelly to be carried aloft through the crowds on an inflatable mattress. despite claiming that his boots were too heavy, he agreed to do it. He is an amenable fellow.
One or two people had identified themselves as Chefs fans (hello Nick Linazasoro!) earlier on. And it was nice to see Simon Pickles from The Pop Guns, who had cycled over- they had played the day before. Afterwards, Combat Shock did a fast and furious set which was really enjoyable, especially the 58-second song about phone sex. And somehow, Attila had the energy to whizz though a one-minute Grime spit when I mentioned Grime music. I had a nice chat with Ese from Ese and the Voodoo People, who I'll see in London next time they are playing, and of course Nick and his pal. It was a very friendly affair.
To crown it all, the perfect shade-bed was growing in the shape of a bendy tree, and that's where I sat and chilled out, with a lovely view of the sky through a filter of leaves.
Review of Saturday here: http://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2018/06/03/glastonwick-festival-is-in-full-flow-day-2/