29 July 2009

The F word


F**k, f**k, f**kity f**k.

In a blatent rip off homage to the wondrously funny Tim Minchin, I could pontificate on the use of asterisks to hide letters in f**k.

Whether you print the missing letters or not, f**k still says f**k. It's what you say in your head when you see it written. It's hiding in plain site. There can't be a man or woman alive who doesn't know the true offensive nature of f**k.

So I'll type it, as offensive as it is to me.


Yep, it's the end of July, which for residents of my little corner of the world can mean only one thing, The Cambridge Folk Festival is upon us once again.

Gates open at 12 tomorrow, which means at 12:01 MY pub will be full of cocks festival goers, clogging the place up with beards and the smell of damp cardigans. Grumbling about the lack of real ales and a variety of ciders. True, MY pub doesn't hold a great selection of ales, but it is just a suburban Green King eatery, so there isn't much call for that sort of thing the other 51 weeks of the year.

Now before you accuse me of being narrow minded, I don't have a problem with Folk music per se. I don't really have a problem with any genres of music (except jazz). If it's got a good tune, or I can sing along then I'll listen to anything - it doesn't have to be pigeon holed into a genre. It just so happens that there are more guitar led grungy tunes that I can relate to than fiddly folky ones.

My ipod favourites playlist contains music from ABC to The Zutons, and everything inbetween. There's pop, goth, emo, rap, drum and bass, classical, metal, folk, blues, soul, and lots and lots of guitars. If I want something with a bit of a fiddle, you can't beat a bit of Gogol Bordello, although they would claim their music is gypsy-punk rather than folk. I'd rather listen to a bit of Simon and Garfunkel than Scouting for Girls anyday.

What truly offends me is the folk lifestyle. To every weirdy beardy who calls me a heathen for not 'getting' folk, I ask - "Did you get Kasabians latest CD? What do you think of Jamie Ts recent single? Will you be buying his album?"


Thought not. And nor will I be in the slightest bit interested in the majority of the performers at The Festival. Each to their own. I will not criticise your musical tastes, as I am not familiar with a lot of the acts who are performing, but I do know quite a few. Some of them I have even seen live, and bought music by. There are also those that I've seen on TV, whether it be Jools Holland or the Culture Show, and I just don't really like them. Wouldn't say they were shit, just does nothing for me.

So don't come round my manor, parking your camper van that's painted in flowers, and smells of something distinctly organic outside my gaffe, and "tut" at me for living so close but not taking advantage of such a "wonderful opportunity" on my doorstep.

Don't frown at me because I won't give up the table that I am hogging to myself to you and your bearded brethren just so you can warm yourselves up around a communal cup of coffee. I've been at work all day, and am enjoying a quiet, contemplative pint. If you are cold and wet, don't go fucking camping.

And stop moaning at the checkout people at Tescos Express when they run out of cider and portable barbecues. It's a local shop for local people. People who can't drive to the big Tesco rely on it for everyday provisions, so it's not going to be cleared of useful produce just so you can keep yourselves in Scrumpy and Linda McCartney sausages.

You can enjoy a type of music, or even several types of music without it becoming your raison d'etre, and then disapproving of anyone else who doen't share your touchy feely, new age olde worlde sensibilities

I did go once, many years ago and just on a sneaked under the fence day ticket. My resounding memory is of bokey warm cider. I'm not a big cider fan anyway, but this was pretty rank .

'Warm with real apple chunks' was it's alleged selling point.

If you've ever done a bit of sick in your mouth, but managed to hold it and re-swallow it, that's the experience you're looking at.

Body temperature, sweet and acidic, and little bits of food in it. Yum.

So I won't be going, but if you are, why not pass the time by playing a little game of 'I-spy at the Folk Festival'

  • Man in an Australian cork hat 1pt
  • 20 Men in straw hats 2pts
  • Dog on a string 3pts
  • Drunk person passed out on his own 2pts
  • Someone wearing a Folk Festival 2008 t-shirt 3pts
  • Someone wearing a pre 1972 t-shirt 10pts
  • 10 people with leather waistcoats 5pts
  • Skull on a stick 10pts
  • Woman dressed as a fairy 15pts
  • Child in spider-man face paint 3pts
  • Grown adult in spider-man face paint 15pts
  • Spider-man 100pts
  • Gandalf (or lookalike) 10pts
  • A waist length beard 5pts
  • A naked child with no sun protection (if sunny) 5pts
  • A clothed child with far too much sun protection (if cloudy) 5pts
  • A man with his 'lucky tankard' on a string round his neck 2pts
  • A woman who really should be wearing a bra under that top 3pts
  • Someone playing a penny whistle 3pts
  • Someone playing bongos on their own 5pts
  • Mark (Lard) Riley 5pts
  • Billy Bragg 20pts
  • Mike Harding 25pts
  • Slippymark 1,000,000 pts
So I'm stocked up on essentials for a weekend of seige mentality. All that's left for me to do is sprinkle some broken glass on the road outside the house, and I'm all ready for another F**k Festival.

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