Friday, 5 August 2016

Cambridge Gratitude 2016

Thanks to T-Money for transporting some instruments and stuff for me, it made the train journey that much more pleasant.  (It’s fucking rubbish getting on/off the tube with shitloads of stuff, isn’t it?)

Massive Thanks to F-Dog for taking part in an experimental duo set on Friday afternoon.  It was ballsy, and something I’ve wanted to try out for a long time.  I can’t describe it exactly, but one person got annoyed and walked out with a dismissive hand gesture (I don’t know if he didn’t get it, or if he got it but didn’t like it).  Others looked equally upset by it, whereas some seemed to really enjoy the whole thing.  (Incidentally, the project is called Johnny Hashtag & The Just Sayins.  F-Dog might disagree, but he’s wrong)

I actually hurt my sides laughing about it afterwards.  Like, literally.  My actual sides were literally hurting. #truestory
Thanks to FGR for telling me someone had described me as having a “massive cult following”.  The fact that she couldn’t remember who told her this adds credence to the idea, somehow.  How strangely entertaining.
Thanks to KT for telling me her friends are “obsessed” with me.  I asked if they were ones who’d been hanging around outside my house.  I don’t think she knew what I was talking about.  Anyway, she took a snapchat to prove she’d met me.  How entertainingly strange.
Thanks to the young girl who bought a CD, which I signed for her.  I later heard that it was all her Dad’s suggestion, and she wasn’t that bothered about me signing it.
Thanks to that girl’s brother, who bought a different CD and got it signed as well.  I couldn’t help thinking that may have been a sibling rivalry thing, but I asked the boy if they would share the CDs and he said they would, so that’s good, isn’t it?
Thanks to my Friday night jam band: PH Level on bass, F-Dog on keys, J-time on drum, JC on violin.  It was all rocked off the top (apart from most of the words), and it was cool and mellow.
Thanks to the Friday night crowd for getting right involved with the call and response: “When I say Black Lives, you say Matter – BLACK LIVES!”  There was a lot of enthusiasm for that one, which I was pleased about.  (It was part of an improvisation based on Umi Says by Mos Def.  I thought it went well.  I revealed my sources, I’m not a biter…but I totally could’ve got away with it, as the Cambridge Folk Festival audience is surprisingly unaware of Mos Def’s ouvre)
Thanks to F-Dog for letting me get on the mic for his jam band version of Rapper’s Delight.  It was a delight, Sir.  For me, at least.  (I think that was Thursday.)  Thanks also to CT for inviting me up at the end of the jam, closing out by rapping over Toxic by Britney Spears.  (I think that was Friday.)  Good times.
Thanks to PH Level for keeping the sound crisp all festival.  The hardest working man in sound tech.
Thanks to The Night Jar for providing my annual “lone wander around to watch a band I’ve never heard of” Cambridge moment.  They were very good.  They played that old Hangman song, which I hadn’t heard for many years.  Their version was better than any of the ones I could find online when I looked just now.  Although, apparently the Led Zeppelin version of Gallows Pole is based on it. 
Thanks to the festival staff for the polite/passive-aggressive/totalitarian note asking/ordering me to get a tent tag. 
I’d never heard of a tent tag before going to this festival for the first time, a few years ago.  I assumed it meant writing a name on a tent in spray paint.  Now, having been to this festival several times, I shudder to think of all the other tents that go un-tagged.  At every other festival ever.  How does everyone cope with that? 
Thanks to everyone who listened to my spoken word set, and thanks to all the PFR crew who encouraged me with it.  It was the first time I’d done it, and I enjoyed it.  Seemed like it was a modest success.  The story entitled When I Was Arrested For The Second Time was particularly well received.
Thanks to everyone who listened to my other spoken word set, and thanks to all the PFR crew who encouraged me with it.  It was the second time I’d done it, and I enjoyed it.  Seemed like it was a modest success.  The story entitled When My Bike Got Tooken was particularly well received.  I may well do this thing again.
Thanks to Johnny C and FGR for all their hard work on the brand new PFR Zine, Issue 1.  It’s jolly good, and features one of the above stories – Thanks to CJ for the illustration. 
Thanks to Cookie for the surprise set.  I wasn’t surprised, I’ve seen him before, I know he’s great.  I appeared cool and knowledgeable by knowing him.  #reflectedglory
(I also appreciated his suggestions on fixing the problem with the mandolin strings.  It took a while, but I worked it out and it sounded great.  Until 30 seconds into a fucking song when the strings slipped again and went out of tune.  #folkproblems)
Thanks to GG for playing for us – and for saying that she reads the blog.  Hello!  (So that’s one reader, at least.)
Thanks to A-dog for everything: the seagull poem (“shut up you shitehawk!”), his acoustic set on Saturday night (beautiful – featuring a great duet with LN, props to her as well), and, of course, the clip of him singing on TV from many years ago.  He’s just a love machine, you know….
Thanks to everyone for letting me “headline” on the Saturday night.  Thanks to the Saturday night jam band: EC on drum/keys, J-time on bass, JC on violin, LV on cello and B on drum (thanks to him for a beauty of a solo as well…).  It was a bit more structured than the Friday night set, and it felt like a really good one.  The players were superb, and PH Level kept the levels tight.  It was the last time I well get to play the PFR for a while, and it seemed the perfect way to go out.  There was a lot of love in the place.  It was moving.  I was moved.
Thanks to the Saturday night crowd for getting right involved with the call and response: “When I say Cambridge, you say naked: CAMBRIDGE!”  (No one got naked, it’s not that kind of festival.  But we can try, can’t we….?)  Hey, Cambridge, thanks for listening.  Thanks for listening, Cambridge.
Thanks to the PFR crew for the after-hours singalong, and especially T-Money for his song about FGR.  It was called Angel Eyes.  It was good.
Thanks to all the PFR crew and everyone who came to hang out with us.  It was a pleasure and a privilege, as always.

No comments:

Post a Comment