Bandy & Lemonade, Baby …. LOVE At The Cantebury Festival
August 27, 2002
By Mel Cicero
Mike hasn’t got near a computer for days.. so he asked me to post a diary for Sunday’s show at the cantebury festival. It’s the least I can do.. since thanks to Mike I got to drink at the vip bar where they still had some ice.. and the bartender had no spirit measure for the brandy and a generous eye. It had took me 6 hours to drive from wales for this show.. due partly to totally missing the m25 and having to drive right thru the middle of London.. seemingly taking in every tourist attraction London contains.. before finally seeing signs for dover and praising the lord. but for the chance to see the best show on the road in a mellow festival setting it was worth every mile travelled.
The event was set in mount ephriam gardens which is like a statley home type thing with lots of pear trees and a lake.. and it wasnt raining.. yet. It wasnt the sort of festival im used to attending.. since it was pretty much a traveller/psychedelic type gig on the whole.. Though sunday had a pretty diverse lineup:- with crazy arthur brown followed by a folk band (sorry guys I forgot your name whoever you were but you were pretty good) and ending with the damned. The crowd was a mixture of middle-aged weekender hippies; your black-haired stranglers T-shirt wearing contigent; eager lookin kids wearing love tour T-shirts; and dreadlocked vegan types smokin dope behind tie dye stalls (and I doubt youre reading this, but big thanks to deb andy and paul for letting me chill out with them and get over my london road hell!). It was a small but very drunk and happy crowd and it was a cool intimate kinda scene.i was wicked keen to check out the pretty things set since ive been a fan of theirs a long time but never seen them. wondered what sort of set they’d do – but I couldnt of been more pleased when they opened with roadrunner…. huuuunnney. they did some more early numbers like lsd, as well as stuff from sf sorrow and parachute… and Arthur Brown in his gold trourers joined em for a neat hootchie cootchie man. I was well impressed anyhow.. and tried to tell phil may later.. but he just looked at me like I was insane. Well I often have this effect on people. But thanks again Phil. So the pretties went down well… but when Arthur and the guys hit the stage we all just loved it. I’m never any good at reviewing shows and I had too many brandy and lemonades by now but the love experience was just as fantastic as last time for me. late running cut the pretties set down, and this was a shorter set than I saw Arthur do at wolverhampton. but in the warm evening hazy sunshine.. with the smell of grass wafting threateningly round the noses of bystanding weekender hippies.. and some very keen chap dressed in what appeared to be a curious varation on a green paramedics uniform enthusiastically waving his “lee is god!!!” banner… as seasoned and uninitiated love appreciators alike danced, sang, drank, staggered and freaked out in an appropriate manner. it was a really lovely scene and everyone played great – I guess with months of touring they just get better and better. Arthur didnt say a whole lot at this show but seemed to be really enjoying himself. If you wanta know what song they closed with youd have to ask someone sober.. I seem to remember Arthur doing 2 encores.. but its never enough huh? Roll on Bristol in a weeks time.. and how sad is it gonna be when this tour is done and finished?
I was supposed to meet Mike backstage but the damned had gone all mariah carey and were making unreasonable demands with the result that my pass was no longer ok to be allowed through with. punk’s not dead, it just stays in holiday inns and leaves its room neater than mike randle. allegedly. I’m sure they are lovely people really. uh, Arthur Browns wife was lovely! But so normal seemin to be part of his crazy world! Anyhow Mike sorted the pass shit out and introduced me to all the baby lemonaders and the rest of their wild posse.. ringo and mick and some nice girls whos names I cant remember, and glen who rescued the merlot and was for some reason being pursued by two rather attractive nuns. mike went to buy the greasiest food he could locate and then we took a stroll round the lake (the gardens were beautiful) which shortly became a stroll INTO the lake when a tree on the bank just crumbled away.. Mike and I go crashing into the lake.. which looked like only about 2 foot of water but turned out to be about 2 meters of water with tangly leg trapping weeds on the bottom.. and just as I’m thinking ‘I’m drunk, I think I might drown….’ Mike rescued me. the only part of me that was still dry was my joint.. I might of faired better if I’d concentrated on swimming rather than just holding my spliff above the water. but you live and learn. we found everyone else and got photographed (damn!) by someone and generally laughed at. Daddyo I think it was had to lend mike some clothes which totally didnt fit.
Everyone was so nice that I met and I just had the best time, Mick Brown was hilarious and a real cool down to earth bloke. and I even got to have a go on Arthurs maracas.. doing a pretty neat little red book I thought but no-one else seemed to recognise it! later, after returning to my hotel room, I got to meet Arthur which was one of those ‘shit, I dont know what to say’ moments.. like I knew it would be… and which are rare for me! He seemed so sweet though and spoke to me about laurel Canyon where he lives and about nearly playing aint too proud to beg at the boston show. wow. Thanks so much to Mike who is a real gentleman.. It was the best day ever, and I hope my reportage is worthy. love to all mike’s readers..