That sounds like a punchy duo doesn't it? Last week I had two festivals to play, 171 miles between them and a whole lot of road. Ben did his usual routine with Wickham... "oh it'll only take us 3 hours" which of course jinxed it.
There was sadly an accident on the main road which extended it to four hours (okay not as bad as it could've been) through back roads but that did mean we cut it very close to our contracted sound check time; arriving with 20 mins to collet wristbands, tune up, go to the toilet and get on stage. Luckily they didn't need us right away so we could chill... IN MY DRESSING ROOM! I know, right! In my cool, portable dressing room there was a bucket of ice and in the bucket of ice (I feel like I'm writing a funny bones novel by the way) there were cans of fanta, pepsi and bottles of beer! I can honestly say we felt like we'd made it haha So I unpacked, relaxed and began tuning up. Outside I could hear Carlos Nunez warming up and I jammed slightly, and by all accounts anonymously, on my banjo to the pipes. He has no idea of course as I remain chronically shy...
Eventually a soundcheck sort of went out of the window as 5pm was quickly approaching and it was time to start so a quick line check and I stepped out onto the main stage in front of about 500 people and gave it my all. What a euphoric and surreal experience to have that many people applauding and whistling with video cameras whizzing from side to side watching you at the foot of the stage as you sing. Incredible. I had an amazing time in that brief 40 mins and when I came off Ashley, one of the team of sound engineers backstage who kindly removed my instruments from the stage - another novel experience for me! - said, "just think... you've opened Wickham." I can tell you now that feeling of "YEAH!!!!" doesn't go away for at least a week and a half, I'm still buzzing from it!
After the set we had celebratory ciders then made the mistake of pitching our tent. Sorry Ben. I believe I spent the entire time laughing my head off and rolling around on the ground sheet. Whoops... we then went exploring around the site. Whilst buying a vest a rather inebriated fellow in pink fluffy attire slurred, "you were great!" and then as I made my way to the mechanical bull - you heard me - for another round of let's-humiliate-ourselves a little girl with a voice straight out of Oliver said, "You're Roseanna Ball!!" "..er..errr... yes I am" I stuttered back. "You were amazing!" She continued, as did my awkward replies. One day I might be articulate, maybe when I'm not so shocked at being recognised at a festival full of huge names where I'm in no way 'known.' Oh and by the way I lasted 30 seconds on the bull, 10 seconds shy of the trophy, and my thighs are still paying for it.
After a very lumpy sleep, where I was sure I was woken up by the Beautiful South's (now known as the South) tour bus arriving in the early hours of Friday morning, we hit the road and headed back in the direction of Barnstaple where we crashed for the night at Nev's before attempting Croyde the next morning. I tell you an air bed can feel like a king size memory foam mattress after sleeping rough camping! So after that glorious rest we went on to locate Croyde View and had a lovely chilled out time in the sun waking up the campers and warming them up for Chris Millington. It was a humbling, chilled out way to end a crazy week and I have the say the hog roasts were out of this world! We decided we should make the most of the epic weather and what little energy reserves we had left by going for a swim in the sea, unfortunately I was stupid enough to wear my jellies into the breakers and off one flew, never to be seen again. New look must love me, I keep the orders coming in!
So there you have it, two awesome festivals in one rollercoaster week.
Next week: Broadstairs!