Posts Tagged ‘Staycation Live’

Staycation Live 2017

August 6, 2017

Alighting at Godalming Station, every one else seemed to have the same idea, as most of the train disembarked and headed for Staycation Live.

I noticed yesterday and today the Parish Church was closed. Always open. I hope not a change of regime and no longer open.

Nothing on the main stage, the bandstand, either running late or previous act had finished early.

I had no idea who was playing in the cloisters.

This only serves to empathise what I raised yesterday, the need for a playlist at each of the stages and something saying who is currently playing.

I headed for Cafe Mila for lunch.  Excellent marrow stuffed with mince served with rice. It said curried mince, but did not seem to be. Curried it would have ruined the mince.

On heading back, I was able to suss who was playing on the bandstand, but not in the cloisters.

Sometimes it is easy, for example solo guitarist or folk or blues, but not always possible, unless you know them, hence the need for a playlist and who is currently playing.

Ice cream off Dylan’s ice cream. Strange, it tasted different to  The Village. It could be a different batch but I suspect it was colder.

I went for a walk along the river, then back to Cafe Mila for afternoon tea and cakes.

Lunchtime, Cafe Mila was quiet, late afternoon very busy.

On return, back to the hog roast then a beer.

I was shocked by the amount of litter. People were throwing their rubbish on the ground, or leaving on the tables to get knocked on the ground.

This was not a problem yesterday, nor has it been a problem previous years.

One of the problems Stayctaion Live now has is the same problem Ambient Picnic had which then destroyed it, becoming too popular.

Today, there was too many people, and it lacked the atmosphere of Saturday.

Unusual for me, I left early, late afternoon as the last act was only just coming on.

Dark clouds, it was turning cooler, although no rain forecast, I did not wish to be caught in the rain.

  • PHOTOS Staycation Live 2017 (to be added)

At Staycation there is always reggae, usually lots, this time none, or at least none I noticed.

Wish list for next year

  • Steve Lawson
  • Jewelia
  • Imogen Heap
  • Charlotte Church

Steve Lawson played Guildford earlier this year. sadly I missed him.

Jewelia has played Staycation in the past. She has gone from strength to strength. I am surprised she has never been invited back.

Charlotte Church impossible? Saturday night she played a free gig in Liverpool. She had been pulled from where she was playing, as running two hours late. Not wishing to disappoint, she offered to perform for free if  a venue could be found.

What of food and drink?

The Little Beer Co, as last year, did an excellent job. A pity they are not at The Village rather than an outlet selling the output of a chemical factory.

The Little Cafe Co are relocating to Brighton. Who will provide the coffee? Of those I have recommended in the past, one no longer appears to exist, another has said no, too far, which only leaves The Hobo Co, if available.

Bedda, two Sicilian guys serving pasta are a must.

Staycation Live is  a weekend event, Saturday and Sunday, first weekend in August.


The Little Cafe Co

August 5, 2017

I came across The Little Cafe Co at Staycation Live.  An improvement as last year some ghastly franchise coffee van serving overpriced undrinkable coffee. I was pleased to see an effort had been made to invite a quality coffee truck.

At first I thought it was The Hobo Co and was about to say hello, but as I drew nearer, I saw it was not.

A row of syrups lined up is like raising a flag, we serve shit coffee.

Home made cakes.

I decided to try a cappuccino. It was not great but reasonable, I have had far worse.

Catering supply beans.

With decent beans, a skilled barissta, it would be serving great coffee.

Based in Guildford they intend to move to Brighton.

They will be in for a rude awaking, as Brighton is coffee mecca, with many wide and varied choice of high quality coffee.

If they do relocate to Brighton, back to square one for a choice of quality coffee truck for next year at Staycation Live.  Of those I have suggested in the past, The Hobo Co is the only one that may be available, as one no longer seems to exist, and the other is not interested too far away.

Staycation Live 2017

August 5, 2017

I usually look forward to Staycation Live, but today in two minds whether to go or not.

Last couple of years it has not been up to its usual high standards and it was forecast rain.

I set off with warm jacket, then changed to a light jacket, as it was quite warm, though the forecast was cool, with two periods of heavy rain.

At Guildford, I noticed heavy rain, Godalming, very heavy rain. It also turned cool, the temperature had dropped by several degrees.

No choice than to wait at Godalming Station until the rain stopped.

The next train pulled in, then blue sky started to appear.

When I arrived at the park by the River Wey I was surprised at the number of people.  They must have got soaked.

It then turned warm.

A few drops of rain, until the next heavy downpour.

Hog roast off Milford Meat Roaster.  Quite generous portions, tasty.

A cappuccino off The Little Cafe Co. It was reasonable. At least not the awful coffee of last year. Based in Guildford, but intend to relocate to Brighton. They are in for a  rude awakening.

I was pleased to see The Little Beer Co as they did an excellent job last year organising the drinks. I wondered were they still around as no stall at the Guildford farmers market.

Various food stalls, including Thai, vegetation, and of course Dylan’s ice cream.

Later, after a visit to Cafe Mila to escape the rain, I had sweetcorn based snack off the vegetarian stall. A little bland. maybe add peas and chickpeas to the sweetcorn.

Violinist Mike Dennis was excellent, at least what little I saw. Looped violin for first number, then ruined it with rap. It was though impressive in the thunder and lightning.

It was then to Cafe Mila before I got soaked to the skin, which meant I missed the rest of his set.

A cappuccino. Not great.

Cafe Mila no longer use Bristo, catering supply coffee, which is a step in the right direction. Though Cupsmith is not much better. I tried a couple of weeks ago. Not good. It could have been the beans or or lack of a barista. They now have their barista back, today was his first day. Coffee still not great. Having got their barista back, they now need to buy in quality coffee beans.

On return I caught the last of a blues group  Mule Train in the Cloisters. They were good, the cloisters packed.

Last act on the main stage otherwise known as the bandstand La Inédita. Interesting fusion of Latin American, without the brass section,  vocals, or percussion, mixed with a little reggae.

I missed the end. It was catch a train, a couple of minutes to catch the next train, hope it was not late. But, at Guildford, for some perverse reason pulled up way down the platform. Had the next train not been late, I would have missed it.

Organisation good but at times leaves much to be desired. It is irritating little things, that could easily be put right. Lack of a running playlist at each of the stages, a sign saying who is on, lack of coordination between the two stages. It would be helpful if the programme said a little more on each of the bands, links to more information, a twitter address for example.

Usually I pick up loads of albums. I did not see anything on sale. That may be I was not in the right place at the right time.

Staycation Live is  a weekend event, Saturday and Sunday, first weekend in August.  On a Saturday it continues at various venues in Godalming.

Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

August 9, 2016
Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

Pizza off the pizza truck Sole Luna at Staycation Live in Godalming.

I designed my own.

Excellent pizza cooked in a wood-fired  oven. On a par with Home Slice in Covent Garden.

Expensive, but that is due to high pitch fee of £600 for the weekend, which then gets passed on as high priced pizza. Which in turn leads to lack of custom, and they do not come again.

Far better model. Charge a reasonable pitch fee, charge no more than a fiver for the pizza. Once pitch fee covered, 10% of additional sales is donated to Staycation Live.

Hopefully Sole Luna will be back next year, but that is going to depend upon intelligent pitch pricing.

I recommended Sole Luna try the street food market every Wednesday in Winchester (they would be the best stall there) and Godalming Food Festival (an annual event first Saturday in July).

Staycation Live 2016

August 8, 2016
Staycation Live 2016 Sunday

Staycation Live 2016 Sunday

A hot sunny day, little fluffy white clouds.

Train to Guildford, then almost an hour wait for train to Godalming. Sunday service.

Excellent cappuccino off FCB coffee kiosk.

The Peas

The Peas

As I arrived,  The Peas, a two piece set were playing. They were good.

Next on a rock group, Spotlight Cannibal. What I heard, not good, and I wandered off in search of food.

Pizza off the pizza truck Sole Luna. I designed my own. Excellent pizza cooked in a wood-fired  oven. On a par with Home Slice in Covent Garden.

Expensive, but that is due to high pitch fee of £600 for the weekend, which then gets passed on as high priced pizza. Which in turn leads to lack of custom, and they do not come again.

Far better model. Charge a reasonable pitch fee, charge no more than a fiver for the pizza. Once pitch fee covered, 10% of additional sales is donated to Staycation Live.

A cappuccino off the coffee truck Cafe2U. Not good, and I poured it in the flower bed. Hopefully no long term damage done. It was too hot, but that was not the problem. At a guess, poor quality coffee beans.

Sadly yet another example of franchise scam. The guys running the van were keen. Dump the franchise, go and work somewhere like Harris + Hoole or an indy coffee shops, ie not the chains, learn all you can about coffee working alongside a skilled barista, then set up your own operation, be it coffee shop or coffee truck, but do not fall for the franchise scam.

The Free Radicals

The Free Radicals

I heard from outside the cloisters, what sounded like Irish music. I found The Free Radicals who  were excellent. Towards the end the music was Middle Eastern. A pity they have not recorded anything, or if they had, not available. If they do or have, then please release on bandcamp.



Soundation, an excellent reggae band played last year, and were back by popular acclaim. Neil will be familiar to many playing in Guildford High Street and of late in North Street near Harris + Hoole. They had an album for sale, but cleared off. I caught up with Neil as he was carting away his gear. I said I would pick up a copy off him when I see him next in Guildford.

Frank the Cat signing Under the Covers

Frank the Cat signing Under the Covers

Frank the Cat were amazing. Funk, R&B from 1960s and onward. Think Earth, Wind and Fire and you get the idea: lead singer, backing vocals, brass and rhythm section, percussion. I picked up a couple of copies of their album Under the Covers.

With the exception of the reggae band Jeramiah Ferrari Sunday was far better musically than Saturday. What a difference it makes, good musicians with good materiel.  I used to come away with a pile of CDs, not anymore, albeit I would have had more, if anything recorded.

Coordination between the two stages, cloisters and bandstand none existent. Easy enough to resolve.

Pin a play list up at the side of the stage.

The bands need to do a better job of making their merchandise available, have a little table at the front, sign and chat. If on bandcamp, direct people there, make it better known. After all, it was established as a meeting place for fans and artists, and both get a good deal.

A pitch fee of £600 for the weekend is too high. It forces up prices, custom drops off. have a lower pitch fee, lower prices, and when pitch fee recovered a levy of 10% donated to Staycation.

The food and drink, emphasis on local, independent and quality.

Where lies the balance?

The pizza van not local, on the other hand very high quality.

The cocktail van rubbish, and did they really have to have their moronic music blasting out. We are there to hear the bands on the stage, not their poor taste in music.

The Little Beer Corporation did an excellent job. All the more so as not something they have done before.

But please, not a stall selling drink from an industrial complex.

The coffee truck, there is far better locally. Invite  the  Vintage Pop Up Tea Room found in Gostrey Meadow in Farnham on a Saturday during the summer.  Or The HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean.

Dylan ice cream an excellent choice. Quality and local.

I do not know the criteria for picking the music, but last couple of years standards have slipped.

There needs to be hashtags for twitter. Suggest

Shame on the organisers, starting a rumour that Roger Taylor, drummer with Queen, was playing with his own band.

Nevertheless, a great festival, always fantastic atmosphere and the organisers do an excellent job.

Staycation Live 2016

August 6, 2016
Staycation Live 2016

Staycation Live 2016 Saturday

A lovely day, clear blue sky a few fluffy white clouds, hot.

I arrived around one o’clock Nothing on the main stage, whether I had missed anything, I do not know.

A wander around. More food stalls, most not good.

Pleased to see Dylan ice cream, The Little Beer Company had two stands (not something they have done before). But why rubbish coffee? There are plenty of indie coffee vans serving quality coffee.

In the cloisters, a guy who could not sing or play a guitar. I have come across better in a karaoke bar.

Free Recovery

Free Recovery

Back to the main stage. A heavy metal band, Free Recovery, loud noise and distortion.

Time to go into Godalming, grab something to eat and fruit and vegetables.

I looked in Changing Perceptions. Nothing worth having.

Cafe Mila, was not very good last time I ate there, but the roll with lentils and salad was excellent.

Back to Staycation Live.

Jeramiah Ferrari

Jeramiah Ferrari

I caught the end of a reggae act Jeramiah Ferrari. They were good. I even bought a couple of copies of their album Jeramiah Ferrari.

They can be found on bandcamp, but clueless in its use. make entire album available, not one track.

Back to Cafe Mila for afternoon tea and a cake.

On my return, Ushti Baba, a hillbilly act gone bonkers. No idea who they were, until I checked later. They were dreadful.

Jenna and the G's

Jenna and the G’s

They were followed by a pop act, Jenna and the G’s. OK, but nothing worth going out of your way for.

Whilst they were I had roast pork off Thee Milford Meat Roaster, It was excellent, tasty and succulent. Washed down with a  pint off The Little Beer Corporation stall, though a guest ale, not one of their own. A very dark beer, but not stout.

Between acts, The Scarlet Vixen, an exotic dance act, were excellent.



One good idea, putting group merchandise in front of the stage.

As usual, programmes like gold dust. Why not pin up the running order by the stage?

Lack of coordination between the two stages.

Let us hope Sunday is better.

Staycation Live 2015

August 2, 2015
Staycation Live 2015

Staycation Live 2015

Staycation Live on Saturday was a disappointment, not up to its usual high standards. Last night, I had second thoughts whether or not to go today, but decided give it a go.

I was lucky to catch the train to Guildford. I had in mind one time,1248,  when I arrived at the station, it was 1244, four minutes earlier.

At Guildford a long wait for a train to Godalming, almost an hour. Dysfunctional Sunday train service. More people on the station than I see in the week, apart from rush hour, and yet hardly any trains running and the trains that are running, are packed.

With almost an hour to wait, I killed time by chatting to Shaun running the FCB coffee kiosk on Platform 2. Excellent cappuccino.

My train was Platform 2, therefore it was hop on the train.

Usually, only me and a few other people alight at Godalming. Not today. The hordes piled off, all heading to Staycation Live.

No one playing, I had missed the first act, and so I had a wander around.



I was disappointed to find the Thai and veggie stalls had exactly the same offerings as the day before.

As I had the veggie offering yesterday, I tried the Thai. noodles, I asked could I have rice as well, they added rice, and for good measure, two tiny crispy spring rolls. It was nicer than what I had off the veggie stall on Saturday. I was horrified though it was served in a polystyrene box and with plastic spoon.

Godalming Town Council must tighten up on its environmental standards and bring Staycation Live into line with other festivals where they have much higher environmental standards.

Card boxes and wooden forks are now mainstream, These must be minimum standards for Staycation Live, not plastic, and absolutely no way polystyrene.

Captain Flapcap

Captain Flapcap

Captain Flapcap were a strange mix of boring monotonous beat and instrumental, which surprisingly worked. They only thought to bring 20 CDs, which were snapped up within a minute. They need to be on bandcamp.

cappuccino and zinger at Cafe Mila

cappuccino and zinger at Cafe Mila

So hot. Time for a zinger at Cafe Mila. I had not intended to be long. But I was offered a coffee, to seek my view. It was ok, but not in the same league as what I had had earlier at FCB Artisan Coffee at Guildford Station.

Neil heading up Soundation

Neil heading up Soundation

Neil plays in the High Street in Guildford, a little below Guildford House, or of late, near Harris + Hoole in North Street. It was good therefore to see him heading up his reggae band Soundation I missed the first part of his set being longer at Cafe Mila than I had intended.

Laila Pell

Laila Pell

I had looked periodically in the cloisters. each time I walked straight back out, it was that bad. Laila Pell was the exception, and sadly I missed part of her set. She was on acoustic guitar, then changed to keyboards. She was good, someone with talent, singing mainly her own songs.

I then went up to the church for cream teas. They had sold out of scones. I think they had only down 20, or was it more, I cannot remember, but not many, and clearly not enough. They ran out last year, though then found a hidden store. But why so few? And serving tea in polystyrene cups to save on washing up!



I listened  to the last act Leatherat sat outside the church. They made a pig’s ear of Whisky in the Jar. Irish jig, sea shanties, meets heavy metal. A raucous noise. They were dreadful.

Yesterday, Staycation Live continued in various venues around Godalming. This evening the Red Lion.

More people than yesterday, but still the park clean and tidy.

Woody Wonders Twig-Pencils

Woody Wonders Twig-Pencils

On leaving, I bought a pencil off Woody Wonders Twig-Pencils.

I could have stayed another hour, as it had been a lovely sunny day and was still warm and sunny, indeed I was tempted to stay, but a train at 1856, if I stayed another hour, it would be starting to get cool, and at the back of my mind was the chaos of last night, delayed trains.

Train was three minutes late, only about ten minutes wait for my train at Guildford, then about the same for a bus.

Gretchen Peters was playing Holy Trinity in Guildford this evening. I could have gone, but forgot all about it on my way home. Plus, I lacked the programme and did not know what time it started. I checked as I was writing the programme, it does not state the time.

Today was better than Saturday, but not as good as previous years.

The cloisters was handled by the Boiler Room in Guildford. The Boiler Room is a music venue. Why then the acts so bad? Not exactly a good advertisement for the Boiler Room as a music venue.

One year a recording studio in Guildford handled the cloisters.

I suggest next year, ask the West End Centre in Aldershot to handle the cloisters, as they have a proven track record as a music venue.

I do no know why the main stage was so poor this year, as same organiser, and usually they find very good acts.

I was asked to make a few suggestions, so here goes:

For the cloisters, I can find better playing on the streets in Guildford (a lot of rubbish too).

On Friday Faldie was playing in the High Street in Guildford. He is an absolute must for Staycation Live.

A quality coffee van is an absolute must, and a noticeable absence. Whether they would be available but try Jimmy Bean or HoBo Co.

For food, Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage in Guildford and Curries from Home.

Staycation Live 2015

August 1, 2015
local wildlife

local wildlife

I timed it that I would arrive at Guildford Station, just in time to catch a train to Godalming.  The train was cancelled. Rather than wait for the next train, I decided to walk along the River Wey, through the town  and pick up the bus to Godalming.

It was then a walk along the River Wey to the park by the river, main stage the bandstand and the cloisters an acoustic set (at least that was the set up last year).



Scintilas  was playing. They were not good.

A stroll to the cloisters. Kids playing they were dire.

It was then a wander around to see what there was, picking up a programme on the way.

Fencing in one corner. A beer tent, but why Carlsberg? C’mon, no excuse at a local festival for serving rubbish when there are local beers available. But yes, they did also have real ales. A motley slection of food, including a hog roast, vegitaran and Thai.

Riot Act

Riot Act

Riot Act were unbelievably bad.

Time to check out the cloisters.

Marcus Coyne was something like an hour or more late. Not good.

tea and cake

tea and cake

Having already had something to eat, I decided to wander to Cafe Mila and have afternoon tea.

Future Dub Project

Future Dub Project

On return, Future Dub Project the best so far.I caught their last two numbers, a pity I missed earlier stuff, they then played two more.  It was annoying church bells were downing them out.

Long delay until the next act. That was  a feature of the day, long delays between acts, the delay longer than their performances. Only four acts on the band stand, I guess it was to pad it out, else it would have been over by four o’clock.

Time for another wander around. The cloisters was already packing up.

I was curious one stall, pencils in coppiced wood.

Martin Harley

Martin Harley

The Martin Harley Band were in a league of their own. May as well missed the rest of the festival and come for the last act. They could play. That in itself a novelty. Folksy-hill-billy-blues. Very good blues and Martin Harley  an excellent blues guitarist.

CD a tenner, I was offered three for twenty quid.  I bought three, Grow Your Own, Drum Roll for Somersaults and  Mojo Fix.

The Martin Harley Band  seemed to be the only act actually selling CDs. Not that the others would have been worth buying if they had.

I was curious if on bandcamp. Used to be but no longer. Why not, I did not discover.

Staycation Live is an excellent live music event, at least has been in the past. Today was a grave disappointment, not up to the standard of past years. With the exception of The Martin Harley Band it was not worth attending.

Food needs to be improved. Invite the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage in Guildford,  Curries From Home and the local butcher who does the excellent hog roast during Godalming Food Festival

Last year Jewelia played in the cloisters. I was very surprised she had not been invited back to play the main stage. A great loss to Staycation Live she was not invited back.

I saw I had plenty of time to visit Waitrose, catch a bus at nearly eight o’clock, only I did not wish to wait that long, best go to the station and catch a train.

Fate intervened, and interesting conversation with a couple. Would Jeremy Corbyn be a good leader? We decided yes, as progressive policies and a genuine alternative to the Tories.  We chatted for about an hour

I had no idea what time the trains as had arrived by bus.

A train 2010, I would have missed but delayed, showing 2013, if I hurried across, I would make it. It never turned up. Showing delayed. No information, no announcements, other than to state the blindingly obvious, train delayed.

Queries were made, but got nowhere.

Eventually a train turned up at 2134.

Fifteen minute wait at Guildford for next train at 2200.

Whilst waiting for the trains, one lady told everyone, register as Labour Party supporter, vote Jeremy Corbyn, nationalise the railways.

More or less same conversion as earlier. We need Jeremy Corby, we need progressive radical policies.

If you want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, simply register as a Labour Party Supporter at a one off fee of £3 and you can vote.

Staycation Live is a two day event. Let’s hope Staycation Live Sunday better than Saturday.


August 17, 2014


Singer-songwriter Jewelia (Iulia Tache) from the magic land of Romania, has released this month Monsters her début EP.

Album cover very 1960s, as is the music, avant garde rock. Indeed you would have to go back to the 1960s to find anyone this good.

I came across Jewelia playing Staycation Live, a free music festival by the banks of the River Wey in Godalming. There her music was very different, acoustic, herself on keyboard, accompanied by Andy on acoustic guitar.

Highly recommended.

Young and Beautiful

August 2, 2014

Jewelia and Andy played an acoustic set at Staycation Live 2014.

Jewelia a very talented singer-songwriter. She has an album coming out soon. A pity it was not available at Staycation Live.