First of the festivals this weekend, and bass player Gibbon picks me up in Hawaiian shirt, shorts, flip flops - oh, and a Vauxhall. He, clearly, had not read the same weather forecast as I had. Not that Vauxhalls aren't good in wet weather, mind. You could say the same about us. It's always nice to turn up to find an on stage kit, a bass rig, a Fender Twin, a five way monitor split and the sort of guys who have clearly done this sort of thing before stoically manning the desks and avoiding the subject of the weather as only festival-hardened veterans do.
There was backstage catering, a tent for keeping gear out of the rain, crates of bottles of water, artist-only portaloos but, as Mrs. Skirky - who spent an hour driving around the town looking for the roadside banners indicating where the festival was being held - only one sign, which as she pointedly mentioned to the friendly steward at the gate, she was now looking at. A pretty topping show for us – Our Glorious Leader started off proceedings by simply announcing “It's a good day for the slaves!” which is both the title of one of our new songs and a mildly disturbing declaration of a manifesto, depending on whether you are aware of the former or choose to believe the latter.
There's an element of both, but it's certainly an emotive choice of language, used cleverly to explore some complex contextual themes and deconstruct modern mores and political language within the constraints of a three minute pop song. And, as I say, more to the point I got to play through a Fender Twin. After that it started raining pretty hard, but you know what they say about a hard rain.
All in all, it was a pretty good start to the summer season – the new songs sounded punchy, the old ones reliably catchy, everybody played all of the right notes (you can fill in the rest, can't you?). Most of the requisite on stage banter got an airing and was gently warmed up, including Fiddly Richard being all the way from Thorndon, a banjo reference, and that one about the bass player looking like Alan Davies. Sorry about the twins joke everybody by the way. As OGL said - “I really didn't know that was coming”.