The festivals are all jostling for space at the end of August and beginning of September.
Your correspondent filled with optimism and a sense of possibilities finds himself attending two festivals in consecutive weeks if all things go to plan. The brilliant Red Rooster moved from May to the bank holiday weekend and End of the Road which sits proudly in its usual spot. This could be a brilliant last hurrah for the school hols and may indeed signal some kind of return to an albeit new normal.
Which leads me to my happy problem. At the last Red Rooster in 2019 I had a surreal almost Lynchian experience. In amongst the normal tents and stalls selling moth-eaten denims and alpaca condoms there stood a miniature circus tent. I know – a small big top! Lurking within the darkened interior there appeared, like Mr Benn’s shop keeper, a crepuscular fellow in an extraordinary jacket, big of beard and bibulous of jowl he beckoned me inside. The tent was empty save for five more splendid jackets hanging from the central pole and a piece of string leading to the door flap. With a flourish he presented me with his card – Evil Uncle – Tailors. Since he’s not my uncle I referred to him as Mr Evil throughout.
Mr Evil makes bespoke jackets and coats, they are unique. You choose the pattern, cut, fabric etc. and then you pay. Now drink had been taken but I was not a lamb to the slaughter but Mr Evil’s patter was good and the idea of owning something splendid that I could wear to gigs and festivals appealed to me. I am, after all, a drama teacher! So measurements were taken and ideas for patterns discussed and money changed hands. I left feeling buoyant and Mr Evil returned to the shadows.
Some weeks later after a series of calls discussing artwork etc. and more money being transferred the jacket pictured above appeared in the post. It is a fabulous thing featuring at least 15 Neil Young album covers ( look closely). I love it and have yet to wear it to a festival and it has only graced two gigs – Wilco and The Felice Brothers (a good start I think you’ll agree) before lockdown stole its thunder. And that’s my problem. Since lockdown began I have lost two and half stone ( you try teaching on line!!) and now my lovely jacket fits like a bell tent on a garden gnome! What to do?? I have put it through the washing machine at 20 degrees but no reduction in size. Should I go hotter? Is professional alteration possible? Should I get in a hot bath wearing it? All advice gratefully received.
Whilst pondering my problem here are some festival tracks to get you thinking about August. First up, always great to see on a stage on a summer’s day First Aid Kit, secondly the wonderful Dale Watson with another drinking song as well as his Lone Star beer ad and finally another Red Rooster alumni the criminally underrated Treetop Flyers.
As ever take what you want or need.
Should be huge