It has become something of an annual tradition for me to attend the V Music Festival at Stafford with my daughters and Kirk, who is such an incredible friend that I often wonder what I have done to deserve someone like him in my life. I have missed a couple of years previously on account of having given birth to my two little ones but this year saw me once again dressed in my age inappropriate festival clothes and wellies with rucksack containing toilet roll, suntan lotion, raincoat, bin bag, emergency money and snacks.
|Setting off for day one of the V Weekend|
We had glorious sunshine and we had downpours. It really was the complete festival experience!
Tom Jones was incredible on the Saturday. I particularly loved his performances of Delilah and It's Not Unusual. Scary to think that those songs are nearly as old as me.
My Sunday Highlight was watching the Proclaimers perform their feel good songs whilst it rained so hard that we were soaked through to our skins. Luckily the sun came out and dried us off so we were in good shape to enjoy the rest of the acts.
I was far too excited by the inclusion of Aiden Grimshaw in the line up. You would be forgiven for not recognising that name. Aiden Grimshaw was an X Factor contestant a couple of years ago. I had a special fondness for him because he reminded me so much of my daughter's boyfriend. This was not just me. He was stopped in the street and asked why he wasn't at rehearsals! My daughter absolutely refused to acknowledge any resemblance until she saw him perform. She reluctantly agreed that he had similar ears and side of the head and yes, he could be mistaken for a relative, maybe. I have to admit that the songs he sung weren't that great but he has a fragile kind of beauty and mannerisms that are at odds with his deep, angsty vocal. I find him quite compelling. I wonder if my daughter's boyfriend doing karaoke would have the same effect on me!
One of my the best moments of the weekend was seeing musical comedian Tim Minchin perform. His skill as a pianist was impressive enough on its own but add to that his brilliantly witty lyrics and larger than life eccentricities and he was an absolute joy to watch.
On the down side was the stench of the portaloos, the people who use festivals as an excuse to drink far too much, the litter, the aching body parts from being on your feet too long or trying to find a comfortable position sitting on the ground (thank goodness for the binbag), and call me old fashioned, but I will never get used to the sight of ladies squatting to pee against a tree/perimeter fence in full view of everyone.
I was concerned to hear that there had been a fatality. I was even more concerned to find out that the deceased was from the small town that I call home. As further details emerged, it turned out that a young man that I had known when he was at primary school had been found unresponsive in his tent during the early hours of the morning. I probably would not even have recognised him if he'd been right next to me in the crowd but his name was very familiar and it was sobering to think that he was now dead.
We live close enough to the Festival that we come home and sleep in our own beds on the Saturday night rather than braving the campsite. For some reason this year, the organisers had decided to not allow us to turn left out of the exit which would have seen us on our way and home in half an hour or so. We were made to turn right and follow an outrageously long detour which more than doubled our journey time. I am not usually one for deviating from the rules but in order to avoid a second night of the seemingly pointless detour, we took a 'forbidden' cross country route. By some coincidence, the random lane we took bore the same name as the surname of the unfortunate young man who I hope is now partying in some great music festival in the sky.