OK, I admit it! I'm not a big fan of music festivals. Especially the smaller ones full of shit bands with only one or two interesting acts. They're full of people who don't particularly like music but just wanna dress up like clowns on a weekend and pretend that they're really groovy maaaan and dance to any old pile of shite that takes to the stage. They're also full of middle class kids called Lydia, over priced fast food stalls and beer that tastes like piss. They usually attract poor weather to boot. Welcome to Wynchwwood Festival 2014 then.
I wasn't interested in this at all especially after viewing the line up and considering that it would cost 40 quid for just a few hours. However, a good friend of mine insisted on taking me out for the night and it was an offer I just couldn't refuse. Friday night? Stranglers? Free?....Oh, go on then!
So, after a 2 hours or so drive through rush hour traffic we eventually arrived at Cheltenham Racecourse where this particular event was taking place. First impressions? Exactly what I expected - see first paragraph. Positives though, plenty of reasonably clean and working toilets...I still have nightmares about some of the ones I've experienced at festivals in days gone by. Also, the event seemed to have attracted a reasonable amount of people.
We arrived at the festival a couple of hours before The Stranglers were due on stage so we had time to kill. First port of call was to check out the stage where I found Shazzer & Beebop amongst others preparing to strut their funky stuff to the muzak of 80's disco band THE REAL THING! Or were they a 70's band? Can't remember. Anyway, it was good to meet some familiar faces and as we strolled around the site looking for a beer tent I kept chatting to anyone who was wearing a Stranglers T shirt. Its great to meet fellow fans, to talk about the old days and realise that you have a shared history. Stranglers fans are never strangers are they? Whilst exploring the area I heard someone shout "SPOONER!!!" - turned out to be another bunch of familiar faces including Chaka Khan and Nick Pryde (Noiseannoys on here) and others from the Wonky Bus crew. How nice to see you all!
After all that back slapping with the usual suspects it was time for a pint. FOUR POUNDS FUCKING FIFTY PENCE FOR A PINT OF FUCKING BASTARD HEINEKEN!!! OUT-FUCKING-RAGEOUS! IMHO.
This is an event that claims to be the best family festival in the UK. Or summat like that. Well, it wasn't just the beer that was over priced and I'm sure it would cost a small fortune to take a family to a festival like Wynchwood for 3 days. It's just a money making scam by greedy bastards who just ruin the spirit of a festival, again... imho.
Showtime eventually came and The Stranglers being the cutting edge band that they are treated us to a set almost completely made up of singles from the Mk1 era. I'm struggling to remember any track apart from 'Relentless' that wasn't post 1990..Ah yes! 'Norfolk Coast' was in there too.. 'Go Buddy Go' was a highlight and 'Thrown Away' definitely wasn't. I just can't stand the comedy act that comes with the latter, all that daft dancing. AND!..AND!..it's not even a fucking DISCO record? Doesn't even resemble anything that Chic, Earth Wind & Fire or Kool & The Gang ever recorded. Not that I'm an expert on disco I might add...ahem.
I suppose, on the whole The Stranglers delivered a set which, as safe as it was, suited this crowd perfectly. Observing the audience however I had the feeling that most hadn't a clue about who they were listening to or their music anyway. No point in someone like me criticising the set list either as I know the score regarding festival sets. The important thing is that The Stranglers entertained a new audience and the delivered the goods once again and received a warm response from the crowd at the end of their show. I guess everyone was a winner - which is what it's all about.
See ya next year Wynchwood!
btw. Whatever happened to that drummer in the band? Ya know..Jet wotshisname? Anyone remember him? Big bloke with a beard,grows tomatoes and makes his own furniture...? Oh, come on! You must know who I'm on about surely?