Home from Greenbelt

Another August bank holiday weekend over, which means we’re home from Greenbelt, hot, tired and sweaty, but very mellow after a fabulous weekend of great music, great friends, brain food and organic munchies.

Greenbelt’s been an annual fixture on my calendar for 15 years now (I’ve only missed two years in that time, and really don’t want to have to remember the reasoning behind those…) and as a result I know definitely-hundreds-possibly-thousands of people who go (it’s about a 20,000 attendance).

Aside from my previously mentioned gigs, I did get to see a few fantastic things – here’s a short summary:

Bill Drummond – doing his ‘How To Be An Artist’ talk – funny, charming, self-deprecating and ever-so-slightly nuts. A fabulously entertaining show that resulted in me forking out £2 for 1/10,000th (strictly, 2/20,000ths) of an original Richard Lock print. He was remarkably restrained, given his propensity for doing things that lots of people find shocking (burning a million quid, throwing dead sheep onto the steps of the Brit Awards, numerous other activities that have really upset a lot of people).

Ben Castle – saxophonist with his quartet, featuring the wonderful Tim Harries on bass (sadly not weilding his BC Rich Warlock bass, but sounding just as metal as ever).

Carleen Anderson – with Ben and half his band as well, and featuring the also-wonderful Andy Hamill on bass. (Sunday was a killer bass day at Greenbelt, with Oroh Angiama also turning up on the mainstage earlier on in the evening!

Juliet Turner – I never get tired of listening to Juliet play; genius singer/songwriter, with a great trio, playing in a lovely venue. And I was compering. What fun!

A panel discussion on the intersection between faith and comedy – four very talented comedy peoples (Milton Jones, Paul Kerensa, James Cary and Jude Simpson). I also saw (and guested on) Jude’s own gig, which was as funny and charming as always.

Pure Reason Revolution – neo-prog trippy loveliness, with a former student of mine on bass. Sounded great.

Jazz Jamaica – the motown project, featuring many many amazing musicians and some very cool arrangements. Nice to see Alex Wilson, Jason Yarde and Gary Crosby again.

And aside from that the hundreds of friends caught up with, smiles and hugs shared, news swapped, and friendships rejuvinated. Much fun indeed. I’ve got a lot of pictures, that I’ll hopefully put here over the next few days.

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