Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I survived Electric Picnic...

and lived to tell the tale.

My tale involved wellies, lots of mud and an inordinate amount of walking. I think I may have shed a few pounds this weekend too. And my blisters have blisters..!

It was brilliant. I arrived (after three hours walking around outside) on Saturday afternoon to support writer Kate Dempsey's children's writing workshop in the Kids area, where we and Niamh B helped some very imaginative retellings of fairytales come to life on the page.

I caught a quick blast of Rita Ann Higgins on the Literary State in the Mindfield area, followed by Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan reading from William Burroughs' iconic classic, Naked Lunch.

The rain managed to hold off and later on I caught the last ten minutes of Billy Bragg's set in the Crawdaddy big-top tent. Billy hasn't changed a bit, still angry and still giving out about politics and capitalism, but still giving us a fresh take on it all, aided by his lonesome electric guitar.

Later after a quick chill-session watching a bit of Heath Ledger in Dark Knight, I watched Imelda May, with mi amigas from the Divas (and hubs!), and we enjoyed the tight band, complete with slicked hair, and rockabilly shirts - ooh and a strummed double bass.

Highlight of Saturday: Madness. Even better second time around, their saxophonist is bonkers and Suggs, well, is Suggs. We had prime positions for this hour-long gig, and the band actually started early - and encored late! Yay, "Madness, Madness, they call it Madness..."

Sunday was a much wetter affair, alas, with our own Poetry Divas collective kicking off the day's lineup on the Literary Stage. Photos here, courtesy of EW - thanks! Can you see the state of my wellies?

Some of us Divas went off to the Body and Soul area, to hit the Bog Cottage with more poetry, and that random hit seemed to go down very well, after some session muscians kindly allowed to us to read.

Later I enjoyed the Poetry Chicks' set on the Spoken Word stage, being ably managed by Marty Mulligan - also saw Raven, Miceal Kearney, Billy Ramsell and Maighread Medbh in the crowd relaxing on cushions and taking in the show.

Long story short: the mud was really sucky and mucky. It took me an hour to find my car afterwards, and I had to get a very nice gentleman on a tractor to drag me out of the field - backwards - adding a new twist to that expression, 'looking like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards...

I'd do it again though!

12 comments:

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Great report, B - you gotta love the Electric Picnic!

Kay said...

Sounds like heaven!

Rachel Fenton said...

Crikey, I'm so envious, it sounds like a blast.

Rachel Fox said...

Went and looked at the photos. I love those shots of wellied-up writers in the big armchairs (and was that a chaise longue?). I'd like to see Billy Bragg on that...
x

Totalfeckineejit said...

A great time B.You've never lived till you've been pulled backwards through a hedge backwards by a tractor (you) or a goat (me).Well done onyour readings.Saw BBragg in the early 80's- best concert I've been to.say that about every concert- don't really remember any of them. Did you get troubled by wasps, B? Wasps....B......Bees ....wasps B?....I'll get me coat.

Emerging Writer said...

Brilliant weekend. So many memories, many involving mud and portaloos, some involving music, words, cows, mojitos and tractors.

Niamh B said...

The Wayland Feast poem went down particularly well in the bog cottage, twas brilliant

apprentice said...

Sounds a great event. I love Billy Bragg, he gets better with age.
I'm a bit passed that amount of mud though, unless there's a garden and a hot shower involved

BarbaraS said...

Niamh B, EW, I will forever treasure me memories of the EP weekend. Despite the mud, I had a total ball!

Foxy Rachel, one of those writers in a comfy armchair was me - and the chaise longue was occupied by the bould EW!

Rachel F, it was bonkers and brilliant. I'm already thinking about next year's campaign.

N, 'twas amazing - just sorry I didn't see ye there!

Kay, oh heaven it was.

TFE, I hope to see your good self at a venue coming to me soon! ;)

A, I know what you mean, I'm on the cusp of being able to handle the mud without the home comforts... for how much longer though?

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Barbara, all this sounds as something nostalgic of Woodstock in '69, that mythic final mud enveloping the crowd...but wouldn't it be safer considering that Ireland is not one of the driest countries organise everything on asphalt?

Dick said...

Wow! What a weekend! Good to know that Billy is still angry, that Burroughs still gets read, that Madness still rule okay and that poetry on armchairs in the rain will gather an audience.

Time for all good poetic hearts and true who aren't already there to move to Ireland.

BarbaraS said...

Davide - you do have a point, but it wouldn't be the same, though it would be dryer!

Dick - sure we have the 'Land of saints & scholars' down to a fine art - *big grin*