Guilfest Day 2 // The 405 Review
Photos by Chris Mathews Waking up quite refreshed on Saturday (due in no small part to the fact that my tent didnât resemble an oven) I headed into the main arena for a proper look around; none of the stages really get going until 12 so I had a couple of hours to really explore the rest of the site. Despite the lack of music, there were still quite a few people ambling around eating breakfast, and I grabbed a cup of coffee before heading to the Theatre Tent, with was alr... (continued)
Photos by Chris Mathews Waking up quite refreshed on Saturday (due in no small part to the fact that my tent didnât resemble an oven) I headed into the main arena for a proper look around; none of the stages really get going until 12 so I had a couple of hours to really explore the rest of the site. Despite the lack of music, there were still quite a few people ambling around eating breakfast, and I grabbed a cup of coffee before heading to the Theatre Tent, with was already going strong, albeit to a fairly sedate crowd. Currently on stage were Curtain Raisers, who were singing songs from the various musicals, thankfully avoiding the really cheesy ones. It was a great way to spend the morning, actually. From there I ambled over to the Good Time Stage to check out the Fish Therapy stall â something Iâd seen the previous day but only from a distance. It really is very strange â they have tanks full of a type of fish found in Turkey who thrive on eating dead skin. Â£5 will get you 10 minutes with your feet in the tank, while the fish nibble at your toes. It was fantastic to watch, but the squirms and the squeals did more than enough to put me off having a go myself. Next up was the Eden People tent â again, something Iâd seen the previous day while wandering. The tent was a veritable treasure trove of art supplies, face painting, massage, comfy sofas, home-made cookies, fresh fruit and chill-out space. Everything was provided for free (donations gratefully received, and it was nice to see that people actually were donating) by wonderfully friendly volunteers, and it was a fantastic place to while away an hour or so, sitting and chatting and relaxing. Heading to the acoustic tent to see what I thought was the open-mic sessions, I found Macavityâs Cat just starting an acoustic set, so stayed to watch. By their own account theyâd had an incredibly heavy night, but it didnât seem to affect their performance too much, and they got another great reception. From there, I spent a fantastic half hour in the Efestivals Comedy Tent, where the âfamily friendlyâ show covered such topics as the election (the comedian started off with a very anti-conservative stance, but then realised that Guildford may not be the best audience for that subject matter âIâll find myself clubbed to death with a ciabatta), urban foxes (and urbane foxes), Raol Moat and the Oil Spill. It was like Question Time meets the Daily Mail seen through a veil of satire. He finished off with a Morrisey-style tribute to Doctor Who called âIf youâve got the Timelord, Iâve got the inclinationâ. Perfect. And now, ladies and gentlemen, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown. And it was crazy indeed. Taking to the stage initially in a full length black velvet robe and psychedelic face paint, he later discarded the robe to reveal a red shirt and waistcoat with tails. No longer setting himself on fire, alas, he nevertheless did play âFireâ, as well as his cover of âI Put A Spell On Youâ. He was huge amounts of fun to watch, and has definitely still got it. He also possibly has the scariest voice Iâve ever heard. It was wonderful. Due to the main stage running late, we caught the last two UB40 songs, which, predictably enough were âKingston Townâ and âRed Red Wineâ, which were the only ones we really wanted to hear anyway. Next up were Kid Creole and the Coconuts (for coconuts, read scantily clad women). Kid Creole looks very much like Cat from Red Dwarf, and his act is unashamedly ridiculous. Fun, but not really my sort of thing, so we headed to the Rock Sound Cave for Japanese Voyeurs. Japanese Voyeurs played a much tighter set than when Iâd seen them at the Great Escape and are sounding much more polished, although they still have a tendency to rock out facing the drummer and not the crowd. Lead singer Romily Alice really rocks the heroin chic look (she also has a wonderfully awesome tattoo of a t-rex skeleton on the inside of her forearm: instant love), and alternatives between her âgood little girlâ voice and crazy screaming. A little like Be Your Own Pet and a little like Go Betty Go, these guys are catchy and fun and seem to love being on stage. Iâm definitely looking forward to hearing more from them. We watched Alvin Stardust from the Gran Marnier terrace (well, we bought a pitcher, and it seemed sensible to sit down...) and I tried to name the songs I recognised while Chris created a photoshoot out of our drinks; I did get to drink mine eventually. He played a great sunny afternoon set, which seemed consist predominantly of covers, with âI love Rock and Rollâ and âGo Johnny Goâ being the highlights. We tent-hopped for a bit after that (tent-hop is my new favourite verb) â taking in a wonderful band called Free Radicals, some Pad Thai, numerous photo opportunities, a screaming metal band with kids beating each other up at the front of the stage - Iâve never seen a wall of death with only 2 people before - and the 70s disco tent, where I suddenly came to the startling revelation that âWhite Linesâ is about cocaine (I lived a very sheltered life) until it was time to head back to the main stage for Human League. Well, it was for me â Chris decided that Hawkwind were calling him and so ambled off in that direction. Well, he did say that Hawkwind were good, but for me it was Human League all the way. Their set-up was very minimalist; black and white, clean lines, psychedelia on the screens at the back of the stage; it was great. After their opener they moved straight into âTell Me Whenâ, and finished with âFascinationâ and âDonât You Want Meâ (Which was FANTASTIC) before coming on to encore with an absolutely storming performance of âElectric Dreamsâ which had everyone going mental. After the high of that performance I definitely wasnât in the mood for sleep, so headed over to âFarmer Gileâs Barn Danceâ â something Iâd definitely been looking forward to. It was probably the least organised ceilidh Iâve ever been to (I grew up in Somerset, I had barn dancing lessons at school), with most people unable to hear the caller, and those who could hear being far too inebriated to actually follow, but everyone was trying their best and it was an incredible amount of fun. Near the end, the caller gave in and joined us on the floor, leading a dance which ended in possibly the biggest conga line Iâve ever seen, taking us right out of the tent and back in the other side. It was a fantastic way to end the evening.
FestivalGuilfestArthur BrownUb40Human LeagueAlvin StardustJapanese VoyeursGran MarnierAlcoholCocktailsCeilidhHawkwind