The 4th SoL party in 2010, was in my opinion, the year when the festival really came of age. In spite of the downpour at the end of the previous event, which dampened the clothing but not the spirit of the festival goers, who braved the pouring rain to watch French group Deadicace play a wonderful electric set with Barry Melton once again in residence, we were back and raring to go with another wonderful line up. The main change this year was that there was no Grateful Dead tribute band but that man Barry Melton was back once again and this time he had David and Linda Laflamme from It's a Beautiful Day with him - only the fourth time they had performed in the UK - the last time being almost 40 years ago. Also returning this year was Nigel Mazlyn Jones and Buick 6 - both of whom had been here in 2008.
I arrived on site at about 11:30 on the Friday with the sun shining and people starting to arrive. I had had my plans completely upset the night before when instead of getting home about 7pm, I didn't get home till about 1:30 in the morning so that morning had been a bit of a mad dash to get everything I needed into the car, pop in to Asda for supplies and finally get on the road to Hawkhurst. I set about running in power cables and sorting out the control area while some willing volunteers set about repositioning the stage which had been set up wrongly (again)! Jay arrived with the sound equipment and we were soon on our way.
Last year because we were running late there was a queue of people wanting to do the open mic session, this year because we were ready on time no one turned up (except for one person who said he wanted to perform but didn't have a guitar!). So the DJ's kept playing until it was time for the first band who were an acoutic duo called Nightshades who ran through a set of original songs with a few covers thrown in. I was busy else where while they were on but they sounded good from what I heard/saw.
I found this year's SoL to be the least stressful of them all - I don't know if I finally stopped stressing with 3 sucessful events behind us or if I was busy with my project so it took my mind off thinking about what could go wrong. The project in question was making a movie of the festival - SoL the Movie. I had bought myself some cheap video camcoders and an Apple Mac editing system with the money I had got for my Birthday and Christmas and was keen to put together a video of the weekend. This wasn't going to be like the videos Neil records of everyone's set every year it was going to be a document of the event as a whole. As such I had contacted both Barry Melton and Nigel Mazlyn Jones and asked if they would mind letting me film an interview with them and both had agreed.
So I had camped just behind the control area and had split one of the electric feeds going to the stage so that I could have power in my car which meant that I could have a little fridge to keep the milk cold, a kettle to make my tea and coffee with and a light so I could see what I was doing. It also meant that I had somewhere to charge my equipment batteries up and using a couple of hay bales that marked the path I set up a makeshift studio and it was here that I interviewed Barry Melton that afternoon
Barry chatted about kissing the Blarney Stone, his previous appearances at SoL and the current tour with IABD. He also waxed lyrical about the Kent Countryside and his love of England before I had to go off and get the next band on. He asked if it was ok to stay in the seat in my "studio" for a while and I said it was so he stayed for about an hour! Although the Nightshades had finished the next band weren't here yet. Thankfully they arrived before too long and were soon on the stage. The Higher State were one of the suprises of the weekend - apparently they had contacted us and asked if they could play so we had agreed and everyone was glad we had. They played a wonderful set of high energy pscyhedelic pop which went down very well and the number of people who said they wanted them to come back again was staggering
Work in Progress!
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