Thursday, 18 August 2011


Now, when it comes to Festivals, it is very important to choose your pitch wisely!

Camping at Festivals

Camping at festivals is different
It’s not like when you’re on holiday
There are lots of things to consider
And maybe it’s better that way

You want to be near to the toilets
But the right distance is not easy to tell
You want to be close enough for night visits
But far enough away from the smell

If you are allowed to have a small fire
Of logs or a nice bar-b-q
You need space away from your tent
For too close really won’t do (Woooof)

Your neighbours are fairly important
It’s nice to be pitched next to the type
Who are happy to party in day-time
But are all nice and quiet at night

If showers and such are available
It’s good to be quite near them too
You can get clean and all freshened up
After you’ve been to the festival loo!

But one vital and prime consideration
Perhaps the most important by far
Is you must not be any great distance
From the wonderful festival Bar!

Thursday 4th August 2011
Kev picked me up at 12:30 and we set off to Langford to pack the caravan and festival gear into the Tonka Toy – Dianne made us a nice cuppa!

Chris arrived and with the van hitched up we set off to Cambridge, arriving on site in the middle of a torrential downpour we made camp and set about putting up the awning!

Awning Storming

We arived in the height of a gale
The wind was so fierce and strong
The rain beat down relentlessly
As we trundled our way along
Through muddy fields and rutted tracks
Until we found our special place
To park the cars and the caravan
With smiles upon our face

Not waiting for the storm to abate
We set about the task
Of constructing the awning
On the side of the van
Surely this storm wouldn’t last?
But the wind picked up
And the rain increased
To have waited would have surely been better

But time was passing all the while
So what if we got a bit wetter!
Now the object of a good groundsheet
Is to keep the inside of your tent nice and dry
Not so easy when it’s covered in wet mud
Or when the wind sends it sailing sky high!
And awnings that look oh so simple
When laid over a tubular frame
Can in fact be quite complicated
Requiring re-assembly again and again!

Eventually the legs and the roof parts
And the sides and the cross beams as well
Seemed to be all the right sizes together
There was only one way to tell
We stretched the awning right over the lot
And fixed it well to the sides of the van
If anyone can do this when stormbound
I think that we proved that we can!

And suddenly it all came together
The awning and groundsheet and ‘nest’
That’s the screened off bedroom inside
Where one of our party would rest
All was tied down neat and proper
Everything nicely pegged and secured
Tables and chairs in position
Not a thing overlooked or ignored

“We’ve done it” we cried “What a struggle”
“Stuff you” to the storm we did shout!
And of course the wind dropped right off
And the sun once again came on out
But where’s the fun in constructing
A campsite when all cosy and warm
It’s much more fun when against all the odds
You can do it during a storm!

Needless to say, after that was all done the sun came out and after a suitable snack on mini Cornish pasties and some beer from Chris and cider from me, Paul arrived and we set off, to the bar!

Thursday night was mainly tribute band night, we caught The Skynyrd Experience, Split Whiskers, The Pure Floyd Show, Ultimate Eagles and of course, The Hamsters but in between also managed to catch the amazing, Rebels of Rock on the introducing music stage & The Beautiful Sleazy & Alpha Road on stage 2.

During the night the caravan was visited by ‘Squirrels’ simulating the sound effects of a mega thunder storm, We know who you are and we shall have our revenge!

We also seemed to have gathered a plethora of Pauls for apart from Smiffy we also had:-

Paul V & Paul D

Friday 5th August 2011
Paul, ‘Smiffy’ roared away on his beast first thing in the morning.

Our Chris is a fantastic breakfast chef and we enjoyed the first of several excellent full English breakfasts before setting off to explore the festival site and the stalls, spending lots of money at the British Prog Society record stall (Amongst others).

We also found that we did not need to take any sort of revenge out on a certain person for the ‘Squirrel Incident’ as fate had played its own role!

Cake (Dedicated to you know who you are!)

If you’re ever at a festival
and someone offers you a cake
it’s probably wise to refuse it
unless it’s a well known make
like a supermarket’s own brand
or a Mr. Kippling too
but home made ones with added bits
can have some strange effects on you
your breathing may get faster
your heartbeat may go all erratic
you may feel like you are flying
even though you’re really static
you may feel you want to pass out
if you dare to close your eyes
but your pupils keep dilating
and much to your surprise
you cannot understand
you really cannot see
why you seem to have developed
such a strange allergy
and all the bands you wanted to catch
you have now gone and missed
so avoid the cake in the future
and just get nicely pissed.

I may have felt a somewhat like Andy from Little Britain’s Lou & Andy but in reality the wheelchair was a godsend!

Especially the deluxe executive version!

The Clan kicked off stage 2 with some stomping R & B then I went off to see Neoronspoiler on the main stage (For a while) we caught Also Eden and the excellent Morpheus Rising on stage 2.

Then it was off to see The Smokin’ Hogs on the main stage, after which I took a break to rest and came back for Heather Finlay, John Ottway & his Big Band and the excellent Eddie & the Hot Rods, somehow we also managed to fit in the manic Kyrbgrinder on stage 2.

Saturday 6th August 2011
After yet another fine English breakfast courtesy of Chris and vowing today to take it very easy on the beer, today was a real Main-stage day kicking off in terrific style with Cherry Lee Mewis, somehow Fender led us astray and we were well on the way (Quite merry in fact) by 1pm.


Now Fender is a very special bear, and he takes Kevin everywhere
Motorcycle Rallies & Festivals, well Fender bear’s been to them all!

Now you could well be mistaken
And people often are
For thinking that old Fender bear
Is named after a guitar
But the story of his rescue
And subsequent adoption
Is by far a sadder tale
But Kevin had no option
Now Fender’s very proud
Although he does not gloat
He was saved from becoming
A fender on a boat!

Now even the caravan
Has become “Fender’s den”
He’s an eye for the ladies
But likes the company of men

He’s partial to a little smoke
He also likes to take a drink
What he and Hammy get up to sometimes
Would make a blind man blink!

Keep an eye on your bandanas
Don’t leave them lying anywhere
For it’s almost certain that they will
End up on Fender Bear!
Now Fender likes to rock out
To blues and metal too
You’ll find him in the mosh pit
If HE does not find you

For Fender likes to pose
For the camera he’s a model
Cherry, Chantel, Ebony Tower
He’s been pictured with them all
And if you’re very lucky
But only if you dare
You may get a picture of yourself
With the amazing Fender Bear!

The afternoon saw us, certainly me, catching, Ebony Tower, Stolen Earth, Swans in Flight, Panic Room, Chantel McGregor, Larry Miller and the Quireboys who also had Cherry guesting on one number, excellent.

The wonderful Ebony Tower

Chantel’s ‘Bunnies’

During a somewhat ‘merry’ late afternoon conversation and some wonderful comments and concepts from Chris and Kevin (After noting that we were actually not the eldest rock fans in the world), the following was ‘born’.

The Old Folk’s Home for Rockers

At the old folk’s home for rockers and freaks
You can stay for years or for just a few weeks
As long as you’ve been a rocker in your past
You can live with us for as long as you last!

Now to get in here you don’t need any qualification
We just give you a simple test of word association
Like, Judas…………………………………………………………………Priest
Or, Motor……………………………………………………………………Head
Maybe, Deep………………………………………………………………Purple
Or, The Grateful……………………………………………………….Dead

The loud music is on all night and all day
There’re guitars and drums for you to play
The drugs trolley always comes round at six
So there’s no need to miss your daily fix

Acid, speed, hash or coke
I tell you man this ain’t no joke
This really is the place to be
If you’re an old rock and roll retiree

Now in here food’s available throughout the day
You can eat in with mates or just take away
We’ve chips and burgers and some curries too
Or the alternative option, the vegetarian bean stew

The bar’s well stocked and what’s more it’s free
But if you don’t fancy alcohol you can try a herb tea
Settle back in a comfortable canvas camping chair
Drift off and just let the music take you there

There’s the annual outing to a great festival
We have a 52 seat coach to come take us all
It’s always great fun but here’s the crack
We only need a mini bus to take the survivors back

So if you think that you yourself do fit the bill
And you want to go on and on until
It’s time for that final great gig in the sky
Then come along, live with us, rock on ‘till you die.

Sunday 7th August 2011
Waking to yet another fine day and another splendid Chris breakfast offering the final day was well and truly kicked off with some stomping R & B from Sidewinder in stage 2 before another day primarily spent at the main stage with Final Conflict, Jebo, Crimes of Passion (While Chris & Kev rocked out to Ben Poole an amazing young blues guitarist), Credo, The John Young band, taking a meal break during Mr. So & So we were back for the absolutely mind blowing set from Mostly Autumn and then the awesome Caravan.

I also caught Tom Sutcliffe on the Introducing Music stage who was very good.

We did try to watch / listen to The Enid, we made ourselves sit through the first part of their set which in places was quite interesting, but, I’m sorry to say, I have never been a big Enid fan and only like very few selected pieces by them, for me they have progressed so far away from rock music but not 100% into classical (There is lots of classical music I love) that I have to admit, they bored me & the fellowship rigid so we wandered off (With what seemed like 100’s of other people) down to stage 2 to catch some of Mister Pink before retiring to the caravan to play some Caravan nice and loud and get that good feeling back.

All in all, a brilliant festival, great facilities, hot showers, clean toilets, food varied and not too pricey, great fun, great music, old friends met and new ones made (Jo, Tim & Sally, the other Jo, the Langford Crew, Willy, The Morpheus Rising guys, Keith, Sally Newhouse (The photographers), Fender the Bear…..Ah, sweet memories, not forgetting of course, playing, ‘Where’s Willy’!

Where’s Willy?

Has anyone seen Willy?
Oh where can Willy be?
Was he last seen with you?
Or was he seen with me?

You say you’ve not seen Willy
Don’t be such a dunce
Our Willy’s omnipresent
He’s everywhere at once

Getting photographed with Willy
Is really quite the rage
Either at the bar
Or outside the main stage

Now Willy likes his cider
And he’s got a magic bottle
It always seems to be half full
Even when he goes at it full throttle!

Every festival that ever was
And all still yet to be
Somehow wouldn’t seem complete
Without the presence of Willy

Now Willy says he’s Jesus
And that not a lot of people know
But who are we to doubt his word
And say it isn’t so?

‘cos Willy’s omnipresent
He’s everywhere at once
And if you say you’ve not seen Willy, well
You’re just a bunch of …… People who obviously haven’t yet had that pleasure!

Here’s Willy!

Monday 8th August 2011
Another fine day and time to pack everything up and go! No early English breakfast today as supplies had run out, however, we did stop at a nice little roadside café at Wimpole for a splendid Full English and big mug of tea, all too soon we were home and our festival was done. Ah well, until the next time.

Acknowledgements etc. Photographs courtesy of Kevin Blacket, Jo Hundy & Grant Meaby. All poems im this blog Copyright Grant Meaby August 2011.

Kev, Chantel & Fender

Kev, Dave (The wonderful Festival organiser), The Ebony Tower Girls & Fender

Sweet dreams one and all and cool runnings until the next time, from me & Fender!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Raw Carrots And Muesli Band

The authorised history / completely unauthorised mythology of the Raw Carrots and Muesli Band.

What started as one of those drunken “Wouldn’t it be a great idea to start a band” conversations way back
in 197-too-far-to-remember-clearly (OK it was early in 1978) quickly spread from the Foundry Arms in Poole, Dorset as far as The Bricklayers Arms in Poole, Dorset and then, remarkably, to The Rising Sun in Reading even taking in obscure parts of Bournemouth along the way!

Brainchild of Ledger & Grunt, the hunt was on for band personnel who could actually play an instrument (Better than we could at that time) and a name for the band, well in fact, we didn’t have to do much searching at all, once ‘The word’ was out everything sort of came to us, but spontaneity was what we were all about anyway.

Having lived on a diet of raw carrots and muesli for a week in order to clear their systems of all impurities before a very spiritual visit to Avebury, the name, The Raw Carrots and Muesli Band became sort of obvious and of course very, very ‘catchy’.

We were the worlds first, and possibly only, Macrobiotic Acid Punk band, fusing elements of extremely badly played Space Rock / Jazz Rock with the raw energy and excitement of Punk with a fluctuating line up that always led to a somewhat unusual but often exiting experience for anyone bothered to listen and of course for the band themselves!

The full line up was:-

Ledger Bald - Guitar (Pretty good guitar) and vocals

Grunt Normal - Guitar / Bass (Appalling guitar but passable bass!)

Fozzie - Bass / Drums (When awake!)

Poot the Viking - Guitar (Actually very good guitar!)

Pog & Liz Satsuma – Backing vocals, spacey screams.

Photo Gallery (Then).

Grunt and Ledger


Pog and Poot

Liz Satsuma

We had a total of 4 original songs, Raw Carrots & Muesli (A finger in the ear folky introduction song), the spacey Hawkwind / Gong style, Do Not Adjust Your Mind There Is A Fault With Reality, the Acid Punk classic, White Triangle Anarchy and the pure punk masterpiece written by Ledger, I Was A Teenage Spelling Mistack and one instrumental, Avebury Variations written by Poot.

We could also play our own unique versions of Hawkwind’s Master of the Universe and Gong’s Master-builder, each of which we could stretch from a minimum of half an hour to days if necessary!

The old set list etc.
If anyone saw any of the Hawkwind tours in the eighties where they wore white Lab’ coats covered in graffiti, well we were there first and they almost certainly nicked the idea off us, probably after being knocked out by our stunning performance at one of the late seventies Stonehenge Festivals.

I think it’s fair to say that there was never ever any one time that the whole band line up ever played together in public however, like all good bands with such diverse and talented members, duo’s, three pieces, four and even five piece variations did play a number of gigs, at least two Stonehenge festivals, one, if not two ‘End of the World’ parties and most memorably a Hells Angel party in Bristol where our payment was to walk away afterwards, very drunk etc. with our equipment but only if they liked us! Needless to say the 2.5 hour version of Master of the Universe did the trick and we survived, complete with our equipment intact to play another day!

I do not believe that any recording of our exploits still exists unless of course anyone has any dusty tapes still hidden away in a loft somewhere, likewise photographs are probably now faded or have been eaten by mice!
Will there ever be a Raw Carrots and Muesli Band reunion?
Emphatically not, well perhaps, maybe, probably not but there is nothing in the Omniverse that’s impossible.

Photo Gallery - Now:

Grant and Ledger De La Bald

The Lyrics

Raw Carrots & Muesli (Ledger & Grunt)

Raw carrots and muesli
Have been good to me
They keep me clean and regular
And healthy as can be
Not for me this stodgy fodder
That gums you up and makes you fat
No sausages beans and mash
Sticky buns and all that trash
Just raw carrots & muesli

Do not Adjust Your Mind There Is a Fault with Reality (Grunt)

Look around see what you find
Things unreal and material slime
People who know nothing
And just don’t want to know
Do not adjust your mind
There is a fault with reality

A plastic world of plastic people
Material gods and metal temples
Science takes us to the beyond
Where only a few can understand
Do not adjust your mind
There is a fault with reality

The path we tread is not only wrong
It’s sick and ill and it wont last long
We must adjust all that will not follow
Turn them on to the new tomorrow
Do not adjust your mind
There is a fault with reality

White Triangle Anarchy (Grunt & Ledger)

White triangle anarchy
It’s what we need for you and me
You don’t have to fight
You don’t have to die
Just run away and get high

Change your mind
It’s what we find
If you don’t fit in
Sit with a grin
On your face
It’s no disgrace
Change to suit
White triangle anarchy

Politics can be fun
Till they try to change it with a gun
Just turn your back and run, run, run
Don’t be afraid to be mislead
Suss it all out in your head
Together for white triangle anarchy

If it don’t hurt do it
If it don’t hurt do it
It’s white triangle anarchy.

I Was A Teenage Spelling Mistack (Ledger De La Bald)

I was a teenage spelling mistack,
They sent me away but I come back
My name is Jake but they call me Jack
Cos I was a teenage spelling mistack

It's the second verse. it's me again
My doctor says I got no brain
I had a job but they didn't like me
So now I'm gravelling social-secure-I-tee-ayy

When I got no money I dance in the rain
When I got money I adjust my brain
I leap around and I look inside
With Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

And I was a teenage spelling mistack
They sent me away but I came back
My name is Jake but they call me Jack
Cos I was a teenage spelling mistack!

Perhaps now you will understand why there can be no reunion of RCAMB, the world simply isn't ready!

What of us now?

Well, I'm still me! Ledger De La Bald is an international author and performace poet (Check him out on Youtube or better still hunt down his book, "Hunting the Great White Prawn"), Poot is a senior lecturer at a very well known Theatre & Performing Arts school, as to the others, they may have faded from view but not from our memories.

Until the next time, cool running’s one and all!