Monday, 15 September 2014

15/6/2013 The Festival that never was...

Saturday finds me heading over to Walthamstow - not something I do often, especially now the Royal Standard has closed. Some ex-bandmates of mine are playing at a festival in the area so I'm going over to give them some support. Well that's the plan anyway. It's raining. I'm concerned that I might not make it in time to see my friends play - they seem a bit vague about the timings. I needn't have worried - I arrive at Higham Hill Recreation Ground expecting to find the free festival in full swing. This is the scene that greets me.
Massive crowds.

My friends hadn't actually performed yet. Nor had anyone else. The drums were just being set up on the 'stage' - see below...
There wasn't even a stage - the band were expected to play standing on the grass. It didn't seem to have occurred to the organisers that it might actually rain. In England. In June. The bloke operating the PA is on the phone to his boss - who obviously had the sense to be elsewhere. The PA is making a funny noise. An 'executive decision' is made to pull the plug on the gig - probably just as well to avoid anyone getting electrocuted. So much for the festival...

However, I hear that a Beer Festival is taking place in a nearby pub. Myself and guitarist Dave decide this is the best place to take refuge from the rain. So we find ourselves at The Warrant Officer. Dave keeps saying he can hear bagpipes and can't figure out where the sound is coming from. I point to the wall mounted jukebox/piped music speakers that surround us and say it must be coming from them. I am proved wrong when a side door opens and the pub is invaded by a full bagpipe marching band!
They are rather loud in this confined space!
I have been sampling the ale, and now the rather fine Oatmeal Stout is kicking in - things seem to be taking an increasingly bizarre turn.
The Stowe Caledonian Pipe Band play two sets, and after a few ales I'm starting to quite like this pub. Later there is some quieter live music provided by Jaega Wise - with her soulful tones she is a bit easier on the ear than the bagpipes and drums earlier!
Certainly a day out that didn't go as expected, but it turned out OK and was worth going in the end.

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