Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Bank Holiday weekend

29 August — 1 September 2011

I didn't get out to Small World Festival this time — apparently it's the last one which the Kaplick Stage will be at, and I've heard that Syd Arthur played a particularly "vibey" set thereupon, having emerged from a long period of studio work to rock the axis.

Instead I spent the weekend with Stella and Colin, visiting from Sussex. Stella played me some of her new songs (some new styles emerging), already looking forward to making a second album. She's supporting Po' Girl (a band which involves one Trish Klein, once of the Be Good Tanyas) in Lewes later in the month, and during a trip to Whitstable we noticed that they're playing the next day at the Oyster Stores. She considered contacting the Whitstable Folk Club about another support slot, but her dad will be visiting, so it's probably not going to happen this time. But we must get Stella to come and gig down here at some point!

Back from Whitstable on a chilly evening, I lit the woodstove and fired up the DVD of the Incredible String Band's 1970 film Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending which Tim gave me for my 40th birthday) on my decrepit laptop. Stella and I share a deep love of the String Band (she knows all the words to songs like "Three Is a Green Crown" and "Creation"!) and Colin is well versed in their early albums having had an ISB fan roommate when at a boarding school in Scotland during their heyday. Unfortunately, the laptop couldn't seem to play the audio, so we ended up listening to an ISB playlist I quickly threw together while watching the visuals...which worked surprisingly well. The sub-film which it contains, called The Pirate and the Crystal Ball, with Rose, Licorice and friend done up as The Fates, at the Pentre Ifan dolmen in West Wales, particularly caught her imagination, taking us right back to her days with the Spacegoats (who famously began life in a crop circle in Devon on the 23rd anniversary of the String Band's set at Woodstock!).

Licorice M as one of the Fates
dear Licorice as one of the Fates

On the Monday, after bidding them farewell, I cycled down to the Dane John Gardens in Canterbury for the Global Picnic (the stage at the foot of the mysterious Dane John Mound). This was something organised by a charitable organisation called "Music For Change" about which I know very little, but they seem to be doing good stuff.

an old postcard image of the Dane John Mound
an old postcard image of the Dane John Mound

I caught sets from Attab Haddad Quartet (oud, bass, flute, percussion — the flautist Phillipe Barnes being the one who plays on Syd Arthur's Moving World EP) and the Senegalese kora master Seckou Keita. Wonderful music, acceptable weather, lots of peaceful people spread out on the grass eating and drinking. Some old friends, Neil from Lapis Lazuli on the mix. Nice. Many thanks to whoever put that together!


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