Sunday, June 03, 2007

FarnFest 2007.

What a great Saturday night. I went to FarnFest 2007 - the annual charity festival, held in the Kent village of Farnborough. Ian brought along his on stage alter ego "The ReV" and played with established local band Oxide; he was brought in as a last minute replacement for their normal singer, who had to attend a wedding (rock and roll - woo!) As always Ian did a brilliant job, and none of the audience of several hundred could believe it was his first time on stage with the band. John, the drummer of Ian's regular band Xenon even turned up - he's the guy above in the red and white shirt clutching the bottle of Newcastle Brown. Oxide headlined the Saturday evening slot and a great time was had by all. Click on any photo above for a much larger version.

You can view other photos from the evening on my Flickr site here. I have upgraded my account to Pro status (thanks to the current condition of the US Dollar, it only cost me a measly £12.95 to subscribe for a year). I can now upload and share virtually limitless numbers of my photographs. Do take a look and see what you think.


  1. Ow!
    Back, legs, knees...PAIN!
    Thanks for taking the piccy's, I'll maile you the fee I took so you can get a "ReV's eye view" of what it's like to be on stage.

  2. Here's my Blog's posting;

    Well I did it…
    It was different…
    It was…exciting.
    It was…sexy…
    It was…playing with another band!
    As I’ve noted previously I offered to help out an old Drummer friend of mind as a surrogate singer when their usual singer can’t make it and with only a weeks warning (typical drummer!) and 3 frantic practices OXIDE (see “myfriend’s”) were due to HEADLINE FarnFest 2007.

    Well what a venue.

    Lovely country pub (the road next-door is Strawberry Fields LOL!) outside on a 25 ft stage with professional lighting rig, 5K PA (Xenon’s own one is 400 watts!), PC controlled back projection screens, 3 smoke machines, 2 live feed video cameras, 10ft outdoor screen, the business!
    I was nervous about playing as although I was confident on PERFORMING I wasn’t sure of the songs/words as had very little time to rehearse but in the end I needn’t have worried, we all made our fluff’s, Basket Case was…amusing (totally the wrong key)! And Time like These was…interesting an extended version way!
    The less said about my singing on Whole Lotta Rosie the better…#Ahem#
    I do think the mistakes weren’t something Joe Punter really noticed (well I HOPE so!) as the energy and sense of sheer damn fun kept the band on a high plus I always think afew muck-up’s add to the general “rock n’ roll” feeling of a gig. I HATE seeing bands who play competently, note perfect etc but are static and just sound like a different version of the CD without the string effects. No life, no…SOUL! Without wishing to be mean spirited, the band before us was a good example, well rehearsed but to me dull as dishwater to watch, people might be tapping their toes but bet you they’ll remember us playing more...
    As for my personal post match round up, being brutally honest I think that the guitar was abit low in the mix at time’s (couldn’t hear it a lot in the second half, especially on the Muse stuff), the mixing up of the running order of the set at the end threw me completely as first they said we had 20 min’s then, 30. I didn’t know what we were doing song from song and was under the impression we were told to cut it short…then carry on…then short…then whatever we wanted. If I’d been more confident in the songs I wouldn’t have had a problem but a mixture of adreiline and confusion made me lose me footing I thought in the 2nd half abit (dunno why when I hate Football I use so many Football terms, anyhow…).
    In my mind I fell back on being a “Frontman” rather than singer but I think it worked; just know I could have sung a lot better, felt I was at home to “Mr.Growly-Shouty”!
    Some of the songs (Whole Lotta Rosie, Sweet Child’ and No Way Back) were my weakest but think it’s just down to lack of practice.
    Anyway this reads like I’m being really negative but I’m not, we did brilliantly and it’s rarer than rocking horse sh*t that I’ll say that in public. I loved the audience reaction (sorry anyone who was there for the slightly excessive audience participation singing towards the end but I thought due to the vibe I was getting and the fact it was done on the few songs I didn’t like/wasn’t sure of it helped me out!) really hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, I’m still buzzing! Shame Grant the usual singer wasn’t there, I feel abit guilty!

    The crowd feedback was extremely positive.
    No scrub that.
    It was fu*king amazing!!!!
    Better than sex and I do sex well! (Great line thanks for giving it to me Danni!)
    I had someone come up to me after the set (Hi Clive!)
    Still on a buzz 3 days later.
    About 300 people outside with another 50+ milling about the pub and front (oh and video screens through out the pub with us on them!)
    I’m abit funny about people saying how good a gig or whatever as it makes me uncomfortable…? Does that sound weird? Strange, I want the attention and acceptance but when I get it I just want to leg it! How very terribly British…but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    As we’ve never played LIVE together Steve the guitarist did say after “I have to confess, I was a bit nervous about what you were going to do on stage” but I did leave the inverted cross, the buckets of blood and the blow-up doll stuffed with pigs-guts and the chainsaw at home this time...
    What did he think I was gonna do VIOLATE him on stage???!…LOL!…actually…nah, I knew it was going to be mixed ages so had to keep it clean although I heard a lot of mutters when I said “I have along way to drive home…and I’m not talking about a Car”.
    Postcard humour will never die, I blame the fact I’ve been listening TONNES of “Round The Horne” a 60’s radio comedy show which is KING of (what were for BBC Radio at that time) incredible double-entendres and sexual innuendo:

    I must admit I was abit worried that as we’d not played before how we’d all react and gel together especially as it was such a big stage area but as of about 30 seconds into the first song I just thought BOLLOX as I have enough stage to roam I could get on and do my “thang” and only bother the rest of the band when I could see they were ok with that.
    Anyhow they got off lightly my most recent thing for some reason is to lick the face of Gary and Joe in Xenon as we’re playing, a great big dog-like wet face lick, get’s a great audience reaction (well a big “Blllluuurgh!”).
    I take my whole jumping about bit very seriously as its all part of the image of the band as much as the clothes the band wear on stage and the pedals/equipment they use. Dunno why but I’ve rarely come across another singer who moves about, dunno why anyone got any idea’s? Maybe cos there isn’t that many other people who just sing so have the freedom to move about.

    Must admit I always get a buzz from performing but Saturday’s gig has left me with some kinda rare buzz.

    The last Xenon gig was amazing (well it was for me anyhow) as I just let myself runaway and was the rare times when I thought my voice and performance was spot on at the same time but FarnFest was soooooooooooo cool. It’s what you work towards in a band, a proper stage, lights, PA etc and a captive inebriated audience instead of a grotty pub and an indiffent audience who’s idea of music is X-Factor and the latest Boy Band Greatest sHit’s package and for me it was just dropped in my lap.

  3. Hugh,

    Pics are great, looks like it was a brilliant day/evening. I just point and shoot my very basic, but extreamly easy to use, Vivitar (and hope for the best), so it's nice to see something a bit more professional.
    Ian's comments are getting longer and longer, think he needs to be doing his own blog soon.
    Hope things are good with you,