Posts Tagged ‘Tree House Fire’

Staycation Live Music 2014

August 2, 2014
Staycation Live 2014

Staycation Live 2014

The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers

The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers

Andy accompanying Jewelia

Andy accompanying Jewelia

Jewelia acoustic set

Jewelia acoustic set

Jewelia acoustic set

Jewelia acoustic set

New Rising

New Rising

Tree House Fire

Tree House Fire

Three factors determine a good music festival: the weather, the food and the music.

Staycation Live manages all three: lovely sunny day, good food, excellent music.

River Wey

River Wey

But let’s add a couple more: lovely location in the park by the river and it is free.

It was forecast rain, early afternoon, dark clouds, a heavy downpour, then the sun came out.

I arrived around one o’clock, it started at midday, so I missed Spotlight Cannibal on the bandstand and Telephone Road in the cloisters. There were not a lot of people, but then it was threatening rain.

As I arrived, Morris Men, reason enough to wander into the town. The reason Morris Men, to keep the noise level down, so as to not disturb a wedding in the Parish Church. These were Morris Men with attitude, Dark Morris, The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers. The music was good, as were they.

When people dress in traditional costume, play traditional music, I always find it dire. On the other hand, add a contemporary mix, and it is usually quite good, and that was true of The Box Hill Bedlam Morris Dancers.

I bumped into a friendly face from The Tumbledown Dick campaign. We both agreed, councillors in Aldershot and Farnborough retards. Godalming hosts a free music festival, wonderful atmosphere, good food. In Farnborough, councillors destroy c 1720s Tumbledown Dick for a drive-thru McDonald’s.

I wandered over to the cloisters which was an acoustic stage. Telephone Pole had just finished, and Jewelia was setting up. Jewelia was good, very good, backed by Andy on acoustic guitar. Mainly her own stuff, excellent rendition of You Know How I Feel, Nina Simone classic.

It was a pity the second half of her set was being drowned out by bells from the church. Then if that was not enough, the wedding party decided to muscle their way into the cloisters.

One has heard of people gate crashing a wedding, but a wedding gate crashing a music festival. They made themselves very unpopular. A pity they did not show the same consideration as had been shown to them.

Back to the bandstand where New Rising were playing. They did an excellent blues number.

Followed by an Argentinian group Silvestre y la Naranja. They were pretty dire. Time to to wander into the town.

afternoon tea at Café Mila

afternoon tea at Café Mila

Afternoon tea at Café Mila.

Sadly I missed whoever was splaying in the acoustic stage, and they had finished by five o’clock.

The timings between the two stages needed to have been better synched, ideally one is playing whist the other has change over.

Tree House Fire a rock-reggae fusion. At times brilliant, most of the time good, occasionally dire. They have a new album out, but not released until Monday. They played Staycation Live 2012.

The final act, Smoky Bastards, were unbelievably bad, it was almost as though a parody of a bad act.

Last year, everyone was selling CDs at a fiver. A fiver and people will part with their money and not think twice, make it a tenner and people will think twice. Last year bands were shifting their CDs, today those selling at a tenner were not.

Knowledge of bandcamp finally seems to be sinking into the conciousness of musicians, and yet perversely they are still not using. Announcing a new album on iTunes is crazy, anounce it on bandcamp. And to direct people to spotify it total insanity.

Two years ago, excellent food, then last year stainless steel burger vans, commercial tea and beer tents. Notice seem to have been taken, as no one was happy, this year back to local food and drink, Sail Bar with real ales, a hog roast, local Thai and vegetarian curries, and Dylan’s ice cream. A pity though the local butcher with his hog roast was not there.

Suggestions for next year:

  • local butcher with hog roast
  • Curries from Home
  • HoBo Co
  • Jimmy Bean
  • Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage in Guildford

Last act finished at 7-30, allowing daylight to clear up.

This is Godalming, no litter anywhere.

Staycation Live continues through the night in various pubs in the town, then back in the park on Sunday, midday until around eight o’clock.


August 15, 2012
Rocket! - Tree House Fire

Rocket! – Tree House Fire

Rocket! by reggae group Tree House Fire.

A fusion of ska, reggae and pop, Tree House Fire played at Staycation Live 2012 in Godalming.

Live, better than Rocket!.

Staycation Live Music 2012

August 11, 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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