Staycation Live Music 2012

Staycation Live Music Festival

Staycation Live Music Festival

Autumn Red

Autumn Red

Spotlight Cannibal

Spotlight Cannibal

Karina Vismar

Karina Vismar

Tree House Fire

Tree House Fire

Royal Gala

Royal Gala

Sian Sanderson

Sian Sanderson

Will and the people

Will and the people

Last week I spent the afternoon in Godalming and saw posters for Staycation, a free music festival by the river. The following day the afternoon in Farnham and learnt of a live music festival at the William Cobbett.

Which to go to? Last year at Cobstock III the William Cobbett had a hog roast (which this year it lacked) and music, I had never before been to a music festival in Godalming, and so Godalming it was.

Train to Guildford, walking along the River Wey to The Keystone for lunch, then bus to Godalming.

Lunch at The Keystone was a mistake. There was food at the festival, but I was not to know this. Long wait for a bus.

On arrival in Godalming I walked along the River Wey, followed the music and found the festival down by the river.

The music I heard sounded good. I caught the last of Autumn Red. They were great. A good start. Their début album Dead Fools Gold, released January 2011, was not available at Staycation Live.

There was long change overs between acts, and so I had a wander around. Lots of food stalls.

Very English, very middle class English. People with picnics, rugs on the ground, kids, parents, elderly, lots of dogs. Maybe they all thought it was Glyndebourne.

The main stage was the bandstand. At the far end cloisters, and here I found acoustic stage and artwork.

Playing in the cloisters, Spotlight Cannibal, an incredible Blues duo. If you had not seen, you would think the guy on vocals and acoustic guitar was Black and much older. The other guy played electric guitar.

I then bounced between the two stages, chatted to people, and only caught the tale end of most of the acts.

Back in the cloisters, I caught Karina Vismara, singing The Kinks classic Waterloo Sunset. Part way through, I have forgot the words, backing vocals came to her rescue. She played what she said was one of her old numbers which was fantastic, a new number which was not so good, then another of her own which was excellent.

Her CD comes in a handmade denim pouch. Interesting but totally impractical.

She told me she had been instrumental in setting up an arts collective in Guildford and they were responsible for the music in the cloisters.

Back at the bandstand, Tree House Fire, an excellent reggae band. Live, they are better than their album Rocket!.

Back to the cloisters, a picture of Karina Vismara with her handmade denim pouches.

Back to the bandstand, I caught Royal Gala just setting up. Think of a cut-down salsa band and you get the idea.

Back in the cloisters, I caught Sian Sanderson. Vocals and acoustic guitar with a guy on guitar. She kindly gave me two copies of her excellent album Write Your Wrongs.

Back at the bandstand Will and the People, reggae with other stuff mixed in. I learnt that they were very popular in The Netherlands.

The hog roast was excellent, as was the sausage.

Figures were being made out of willow.

At eight o’ clock or a little after, music in the park ended, to be continued in various pubs in the town, different pubs having a different theme.

I picked up loads of CDs. These were on sale at a fiver each. This is a sensible price. Sell at fiver each and you sell a lot, sell at a tenner and you sell hardly any. Sian Sanderson kindly gave me a couple of her CDs.

What shocked me was that almost everyone who played said find us on facebook. No, no, no. Facebook is a walled garden, you have to sell your digital soul to gain entry.

Not a single one mentioned bandcamp, Sian Sanderson being the noticeable exception. Some were aware of bandcamp, some were not.

If you wish to be taken seriously, if you value those who love your music, then bandcamp is a must, as is a twitter account. Everything else you can forget.

The day was made possible by TST Live and Godalming Town Council.

Godalming Town Council are to be congratulated for having the vision to host a live music festival and I contrast them with Guildford.

Ambient Picnic was an excellent free festival in Shalford Park in Guildford. It was the event of the Guildford Summer Festival. The council killed it off. Now, there is nothing worth going to at the Guildford Summer Festival.

A World Music Festival, Hampshire Welcomes the World, was held in Farnborough. It was co-organised by the West End Centre in Aldershot, only they failed to publicise the event. Their twitter account is used to tweet moronic drivel, rather than something useful like What’s On.

Aldershot had a music festival in the town centre. Zilch publicity and it finished at four in the afternoon!

I do not know who booked the acts, but they did an excellent job. Usually there will be one or two good acts and the rest rubbish, Everything I saw was excellent, hence coming away with loads of CDs.

Looking ahead to next year I recommend Shadowboxer, Stewart Warwick aka Jacob’s Stories and Steve Lawson and Lobelia.

Excellent job done by the sound engineers!

Unlike the London 2012 Olympic Games which has been tainted by the obscenity of corporate sponsorship, which begs the question whose Games?, no corporate sponsorship, no Coca-Cola, no McDonald’s. Nor was there awful stainless steel burger vans.

It could not have been a better day, warm, hazy sun, light breeze.

I walked to the station, only to find long wait for a train, as only every hour. I went off for a walk, chatted to a Sottish lass Mari (who had been sold dodgy cigarettes by a pub), then back to the station.

London train to Guildford, then Reading train, then walk home.

I arrived home late night, very very tired.

Synchronicty: On Saturday I saw Karina Vismar sing Waterloo Sunset at Staycation Live; Sunday morning working in the garden, I popped in the house, switched on the radio and Waterloo Sunset was the choice being played on on Desert Island Discs; Sunday night at the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony Ray Davies sang Waterloo Sunset!

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4 Responses to “Staycation Live Music 2012”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Very poor use of internet and social media.

    Find us on facebook!

    Fine if you have a unique name, not so good if it means a trawl through a long list of possibilities.

    I was able to find because I had seen perform and knew what they looked like, and knew what latest album looked like. But still time consuming and a waste of time.

    The blunderbuss approach: Put on as many social networks sites as can find. A waste of time. An effort to maintain and keep up to date, net result any one site of no value as not updated. Few for example mention they were at Staycation Live.

    Too many had kludgy downloads and media players.

    Bandcamp is an absolute must, as is twitter, wordpress is useful for a blog.

    Amazon, iTunes, myspace, spotify et al a total waste of space. They rip off the artist, rip of the fans.

    Soundcloud is useful for individual tracks and work in progress, but not albums.

    A few seconds sample of tracks is to insult those who may like your music. It says we want your money, buy our music, attend our gigs, but we do not trust you. Not a good way to build a rapport, especially if some time in the future you wish to draw on fan base and use crowd sourcing, community supported music, to fund a new album.

    https://keithpp.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/using-internet-and-social-media/

  2. keithpp Says:

    At least one band was listening. Will and the People now have an account on bandcamp, though as yet, nothing to download.

    http://willandthepeople.bandcamp.com/

  3. TST Says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Keith. We booked the bands. Any chance you could email us your wondefull photos. We have lots of video footage of the day but not many pics as of yet.
    Kind Regards
    TSTx

  4. keithpp Says:

    More pics
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4016670408490.163418.1033255116&type=3&l=b2d2e94120

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