Saturday, 17 May 2008

Rocket Festival, Saturday

We completed our Friday night with a 0200 Main Stage rendezvous with an Italian gypsy band called Circus Abusivo, easily the best thing on the MS since the festival began (from what I'm told - I spent most of Friday interviewing people, editing the interviews and sending them to my old work, BBC Radio Bristol) then completed our night's revelling with a bounce around to Village Disco in naff Ozzie form in Cantina Galactica. "Nellie The Elephant" and Rod Stewart were on the playlist, you couldn't fault it really. We got back to the van some time after three, after stopping at a stall for chocolate and churros. When in Spain...

Later that same day, we emerged after a reasonably decent amount of sleep and headed straight for the healing field where I had a shiatsu massage from a lovely chap called Alan, with whom
we'd got chatting the day before. He's lived in Spain since the eighties, when he joined the hippie exodus fleeing the horrors of Thatcher's Britain. He did a great job, I've had hardly a twinge from my dodgy right arm ever since.

Much of Saturday daytime was spent ambling around the site in that time-honoured festival way, but we did stop off in the Lux tent to watch an improv band comprising Clyde, the ukele-playing
frontman, a harmonising woman with a puppet, an Italian playing a drum and Barry The Box, busily bashing away, as he had during a gap in the music at Cantina Galactica on Thursday night. What they lacked in preparation they made up with enthusiasm and the gambit of giving the audience three bottles of home-made wine to share (providing someone had a corkscrew - Theo did) guaranteed them a rousing reception. They did their last number among their spectators, with the grand finale involving everyone spinning on the spot then collapsing into a group hug.
We greatly enjoyed Lazy Habits, a white UK hiphop crew in Cantina Galactica and willingly received one of the free CDs they gave out from the stage (this habit of bribing the audience is something I would tend to encourage...there was a lot of it going on at the Rocket). After that, a fabulously costumed drum'n'bass rendition of the Wife Of Bath's tale by the Eat Prunes Collective in the Lux tent caught our attention - quality stuff.

Possibly the most enjoyable Main Stage act came next - Rrradio Gee, a self-styled pikey band who got the early evening crowd madly a-jigging to their fast-paced Irish folk-rock. I was so hot after all that jumping around, I opted to take a free shower when the water-spraying fire engine came by to damp down the dust in the main arena. If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine myself at Glastonbury.

A Bristol band, Zen Hussies were next and they were most enjoyable with their mixture of ska and swing (they finished their set with a Christmas song set in Melksham - suitably random).
After that, it was back to Sheena to get into fancy dress. The theme was space, so we fashioned some alien costumes out of tin foil, empty water bottles, starry glitter and UK forces issue light sticks, which were included when we bought our van. The effect was pretty decent, we thought and it certainly got some heads turning when we went back onto the site some time after 11pm.
It was noticeably busier as loads of Spaniards had arrived, as predicted by the festival regulars.
We enjoyed the Spanish band, Muchachito Bombero Infuerno, the first act I've seen to include an artist working on a painting as part of the gig (mind you, the set went on so long, Coldcut, who were on next, were an hour late starting) and we loved Beardyman, the champion beatboxer, who played to a packed Dance Tent.

Other highlights included attempting to reunite a guy called Rob with a Swedish girl called Lena - he'd met her in Malaga a couple of days earlier and had come to the Rocket with the express intention of tracking her down. We asked for an announcement to go out over the PA, but we still don't know if he found her.

We also met Kerine and Andy, attracted initially attracted by the excellence of their fancy dress as we all stopped at a stall for food. They gave us a flyer for an "alternative living" campsite on the Costa del Sol, which seemed like a good place for us to go and hide our damaged van for a while, so we resolved to give it a try.

The other great part about Saturday night was simply hanging out with Fran and Pete, our mates from the Grenada campsite and other buddies they'd collected, including Ayesha, who'd travelled to the festival from London alone after splitting up with her boyfriend a couple of weeks earlier. It was Fran's birthday, so much toasting involving Jack Daniels and coke went on - and what a place for a party! We caught a couple of songs from Coldcut before calling it a night sometime towards 5am.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kate and Theo,

    Thanks for the plug and glad you enjoyed the gig (hope you like the CD too).

    It would be great to see any other photos from the gig.

    Come and say hello to us at or

    Best wishes,