It's raining twats: Frogstock Part 2   Leave a comment

So yeah, Simon and I are there playing the wrong records way into the night, and I start to wonder whether we’re just prolonging the organisational responsibility nightmare for Frog and the boys, who presumably wouldn’t mind a bit of kip when everyone’s fucked off off their land. Turns out I’m wrong because the Frogmeister himself turns up soon enough, pissed off his complete nut (and he appeared to be one of those people whose latent poshness is exacerbated by alcohol, because he was ever so terribly polite) and he actually wants us to keep playing to keep his punters happy, drum ‘n’ bass or no drum ‘n’ bass. Charmlessly, we refuse, because we’re all horrendously old cunts and we have to look after kiddies in the hideous morning, so we mosey back to our tents for some shuteye. That’s the plan anyway.
Unfortunately whilst I’ve been out seeking people’s attention some foolhead has stumbled into my tent, or rather Sam’s brand new £100 tent, shearing off one of the poles, which has in turn gone through the canvas or nylon or whatever it is, and the tent is now lying flat and wet with dew. Wearily I seek out Frog’s brother (I think that’s what he is) and manage to get some gaffer tape off him, as almost 30% of emergencies in the world of rock and roll can be solved with the use of this marvellous stuff. Sure enough, with the help of the magic gaffer, a small wet branch, and DJ Dolomite, the tent is more or less re-erected. It’s still completely fucked, but I might just be able to sleep in it. At this point it seems only appropriate to sit down and have a spliff, so that’s what we do. Then, while we are sat there chatting in front of our tents someone manages to stumble into the rear of mine, luckily not damaging it further in the process. However, it is now as abundantly clear to us as my tent is completely invisible to anyone else that my tent is now completely invisible. Basically it is one of those low-slung one-man affairs designed to reduce wind resistance and increase the sense that one is some rugged survivalist on the roof of the world somewhere, rather than a neurotic artist in a wealthy man’s garden. In addition to this it is dark purple in colour, in marked contrast to Simon and Donna’s silver XFM music biz freebie (I’m guessing), which is right next to it, possibly distracting the pissed-up teenage eye for just long enough to …whoops! We’re also under a tree, which makes the immediate vicinity extra dark. When the spliff-smoking is done and dusted, and as I crawl into my beleaguered sleeping-quarters, it occurs to me that I might do myself a favour by leaving my torch on, just in case the unthinkable happens and some spazzock blunders, y’know, into my tent. No sooner had this unthinkable thought been thunk, than Donna suggests the same exact plan of action. We then joke about how wouldn’t-it-be-terribly-funny if some cock-monkey fell on me in the night, only to enquire, as I struggled to draw breath, if I had any drum ‘n’ bass. Then we bed down for the night, and, ever so quickly, I crash out.
The next thing I know some fucking idiot has fallen on me, and then scarpered off quickly and silently into the darkness, probably slightly alarmed to be addressed as: “You…fucking… idiot!” They’d managed to land on my clenched fist, which was resting against my chest, and my thumb knuckle had been jammed hard against one of my ribs. It was pretty painful, almost as though I’d cracked a rib or something. From then on I managed only fitful sleep, as lying on the cold ground with chest injuries can be uncomfortable, and plus some other idiot (same idiot being really idiotic?) not only crashed into my tent yet again, but also took the time and the trouble, once I’d raised my confused head aloft to try and actively repel boarders, to reach down with their hand and feel the shape of my skull. “Oi!” I cried, in exasperation, but they didn’t seem to feel the need to explain themselves, or apologise.
Thereafter I lay awake listening to people a lot younger than I am having a lot more fun than I was. It’s not as though I expected teenage Norfolk to pipe down just because I was lying there with a chest injury, but you’d have thought that the youth of today would have a better way of pissing me off than playing Take That’s Back For Good on an acoustic, with feeling. Well, maybe not.
Eventually it got light, and although I felt like the living shit of death, I couldn’t take any more of the feeling that I was about to have the sky fall on my head (for it did appear that drunken teens were somehow evaporating and then condensing just above me all night), and I crawled out gingerly onto the wet grass. At this point I saw that someone had sprayed BBQ sauce (presumably half-inched from Pete’s Munchies) all over my tent. I have to admit that this did seem a bit much. In fact I wanted to leave the site immediately, because my eyes were all stuck together and I could tell that my face must have looked a greasy piece of veal, and I didn’t want to think about what would happen in terms of my expression if some kid yelled “Um!” at me and did a thumbs-up. I also had to get a large and heavy amount of records and general audio-visual equipment, plus sleeping bags and carrymats and totally fucked tents covered in BBQ sauce (I did think about leaving the fucker there) to get from Blo Norton to Thetford and I didn’t have any transport. Luckily, one of The Gimps, after one of Simon’s horrendously mind-scrambling herbal wake ‘n’ bakes, which made me paranoid just by looking at other people smoking it, was up for giving me a lift. I would have been grateful but I was feeling like a dog who’d been kicked too much, the word was that Gimps Matey drove like a maniac, and I’m the worst passenger in the world because I have a phobia about death. Fortunately Driver Gimp was excessively done-in by the grass and drove in the manner of my father, which was conservatively. They were also tremendously likeable and amusing people, and very similar to one another in a soft-spoken-London-geezer-ain’t-life-funny-innit sort of way, which made them seem even funnier. A protracted discussion about what tape to play, in which Female Friend Of The Gimps drew attention several times to her powers of veto where the Byrds option was concerned, and a challenging Fall Live tape was deemed unsuitable in the circumstances, eventually managed to make me smile, even if I remained entirely silent on the matter, and indeed throughout the journey. It didn’t matter though, because they knew what they were on about. I was still pleased to be dropped off in Thetford, however, even if there wasn’t another train for an hour and forty minutes.

And that’s about it really, apart from the next day I went to A&E and, after asking me whether it was more painful during inspiration etc they said I’d probably cracked the rib (they can’t tell by X-ray because cracks don’t show up) and it would take six weeks to heal. At this point my life kind of fell apart a bit because Sam really needed her tent to be able to work at festivals etc, and I really needed to be fit and well to look after Syd solo-style because, like Norfolk teenagers, he tends to jump on me a lot. I was also meant to be going on a short family holiday in Cornwall, which necessarily entailed a lot of hiking and smoking and drinking etc. I was also looking at quite a bit more tent action whilst visiting Sam at various festivals and blah and I was skint because I couldn’t lift vegetables and therefore couldn’t buy replacement tents and blah and blah and blah, etc.

Posted September 7, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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