If you’ve ever watched Gladiator you will know that Emperor Commodus was not particularly well disposed to busy little bees. We at Bigtopp, however, think that any way of acting that upsets tyrannical dictators of any time period, real or fictional, must have some kind of merit and so we’ve been buzzing around vigorously these past couple of weeks.
Last Friday we swarmed up the M4 to balmy Bristol in pursuit of a rollicking good time at Roomtown Fair, the notably insane festival-in-a-house hosted by the notorious Ivo. The trouser-flapping manor was bursting at the seams with the best kind of people and they were treated to a scintillating array of some of the premier underground ska and punk bands in the Country. Two bedrooms were decked out with equipment and the bands alternated between them; we found ourselves happily in the jungle themed one.
I was, believe it or not, stood flush against the back of the wall when I took that and so you might be wondering how we managed to fit twenty odd noisy ska junkies fueled with home brewed cider and animistic lust for life in there on top of us. I don’t have a clear answer for you, it had to be experienced to be believed. A big hoorah to Ivo and pals for one of the best parties I’ve been to in a while.
The next day, fueled by pancakes and coffee, we rocked up to the picturesque Alresford Festival buried deep in verdant Hampshire. It was the second time we’ve been there and it’s a very nice smaller festival with a friendly family vibe going on. Our slot was perfect, just as the haze of early evening was setting in and people started to flip from sun-basking mode into full party capacity. A highly enjoyable set to some warm appreciation and I hope they’ll have us back next year, if only for another go on the adventure playground.
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of us on the adventure playground.
The week dragged by like an unhelpful elephant seal who simply won’t cooperate with your attempts to heave him across the rocks by his tail (I’m sure we’ve all been there), such was our anticipation to be playing at Isle of Wight Festival on the Saturday night. We finally made the crossing in gorgeous weather although by the time we actually made it in, the music had stopped. We had to wait for the next day, although we were sure treated to a mighty fine selection of splendours then. Aside from the customary festival silliness,
musical highlights for me included the effortlessly cool Backbeat Soundsystem, the amped up Chainska Brassika and of course the Ohmz, who we again had the dubious privilege of following.
What can I say though? It was a hell of a gig. I can’t think of any better ones I’ve played in over seven years with the band. You know at most gigs when the frontman asks if people are having a good time, and is met with a half hearted murmur of grudging assent? In this instance we were almost deafened by the response, leaving me in no doubt everyone was having a very good time indeed. It’s always quite special when so many people are watching you they can’t all fit in the tent. Torrents of gratitude to everyone who came and watched us and made the whole thing such a roisterous blowout, it was seriously amazing.
We’re still only really getting warmed up so keep an eye peeled for more Bigtopp news. I leave you this time with a wildly optimistic article about entrepreneur and philanthropist Elon Musk and his plan to save to save the world with solar power, written by someone who is apparently almost as much of a gushing fan of him as I am. Till next time!