The Bearded Theory Festival


I forgot to post this last week – the other weekend I went to the Bearded Theory festival. It's a small, relaxed event, held about thirty miles from where I'm staying. Joh spotted the festival and demanded I go with her. She'd been attracted by an eclectic line-up, which ranged from New Model Army to the Cheeky Girls via Senser.

A lot of the bands were heritage acts, some of whom did better than
others (Musicians! write songs you can still sing in your
forties!) The Wonder Stuff were as good as I'd hoped, but the biggest surprise of the weekend was Senser. I missed seeing them around the time of Stacked Up
and had low expectations fifteen years later. They performed an amazing
gig, which included a couple of bars from Milkshake finding their way
into Switch, and a great cover of Mama Said Knock You Out, LL Cool J's comeback song. (There's a recording of them doing the cover here).


There were the usual festival shenanigans, although elf ears and silly hats were refreshingly rare. We saw some frightening toilets. We lazed around in the afternoon listening to music in the distance. We heard political ska music – I've never seen the point of that. Has there been any recorded case of a fascist changing their mind after seeing a ska band in the afternoon?

I tried to explain to Joh that bad hats are a valid reason for disliking a band. I had a minor festival disaster, in that I only packed two books, and had pretty much finished them both on the Saturday. A tour of the event's stalls produced nothing to read.

At a festival you can never be sure who your next door neighbours will be. Camping behind us, for instance, was a man from the North-East, whose only tone of voice was an aggressive shout, whatever he said. But even more unnerving was the neighbour in the van next door. While Joh was preparing a supper of super-noodle sandwiches, I looked up to see:


I know clowns are people too, and need time off like the rest of us, but it's still disturbing when you find one living next door.

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