Food, as you might have guessed is my main passion in life, but this is closely followed by my love of music. What better way to combine the two than a music festival, with a taste for good grub.
The Green Man festival (yes, I know, this is my third Green Man post, and I’m sorry if I’m getting boring, but there was so much more to my time there than just cooking for the crew) ticked both the boxes for me and I thought I’d just share a few of my musical and gastronomic highlights from the weekend. With so much to choose from it was hard to know what to eat; chorizo, smoked produce, Goan fish curry, falafel, Italian…mostly we ended up choosing from the stall that was closest to whichever stage we were at!
I felt truly spoilt to be awarded the festival ‘off’ and so I had the privilege of whiling away my time eating great food and listening to some amazing music…certainly a few drinks also passed my lips…you really can’t top a hot brandy chai on a chilly Sunday evening, particularly when accompanied by some amazing electroswing from the up and coming band The Correspondents.
Another Sunday highlight was the roast dinner my sister and I had promised ourselves, from Harefields Bakery and Roast. Owned and run by Davey Chambers, last seen on The Great British Bake Off, who assured us of the quality and provenance of the grub they serve. We weren’t disappointed as we tucked into a massive plate of gammon, roasties and fresh veg, washed down with a glass or two of red wine as we watched Laura Marling, who held as rapt with her beautifully haunting voice and melodies. A strong follow-up to the bass heavy, Mercury music prize nominated, James Blake, one of my personal favourites of the weekend
With the heat of the sun on Friday we consumed plenty of ice cream and icy cold smoothies whilst lazing on the grass by the Green Man pub stage where we took in a great performance by The Ramshackle Union Band and nibbled on olives, dolmades and preserved garlic…phew I’m sure we reeked by the time we moved over to the far out stage for Admiral Fallow and Lia Ices. The highlight of Friday night for me was Bellowhead. I’m a great lover of rousing folk and a bit of sea shanty thanks to my acting and shanty singing step-father Brian. They didn’t disappoint one bit and there was a great deal of jigging about done by all.
A quick trip to the fantastic Thali cafe followed for a post band snack (which they very kindly gave me for free as crew caterer…the owner said “well if you feed them, we’ll feed you” …they’ve always been a favourite of mine and now I know why. Not only are the thalis fantastic, they are just bloody lovely people) before heading back to Chai Wallahs for more dancing, this time to Featurecast and Don Headicutz. My memories are vague about when I returned to my tent, I think I went round in a circle for a while, but suffice it to say I didn’t feel too well on Saturday morning.
Social interaction skills eluded me the next morning as I donned dark glasses to head to the main stage to watch the angelic voiced Lisa Jen Brown and 9Bach. Perhaps not quite enough to blow the cobwebs away, but a lovely start all the same. It was only a beef and onion pie, with lashings of gravy from pieminister, that made me feel slightly human again, as I headed off for a bit of Chailo Sim at the far out stage. A perfect set, by a perfect band. Ropey as I felt, there wasn’t much that could top that mornings music.
Later we returned to the far out stage for a sadly disappointing Polar bear and some jerk chicken.
I wasn’t ready for spicy and it nearly killed me off, nice as it was, while Polar Bear failed to hit the spot either. The highlight of Saturday for the teens was Noah and the Whale and Fleet Foxes…i’m not a massive fan of either but both were good. I only made it through a small part of the Fleet Foxes before lack of sleep the previous night caught up with me and my tent and blow up bed called…
Of course Sunday was a different matter and following our lovely Sunday dinner….our main stage encampment moved up to Chai Wallahs yet again for the sublime Submotion Orchestra (another massive hit with all of us), followed by far out stage headliner Gruff Rhys. Poor Aidan, determined to stay up for the fireworks slept curled under a blanket, until it was time for the burning of the Green Man.
At half past midnight there was just enough time to stop off at the tea and toast wagon, a Green Man institution, for a tomato, basil and mozzarella toastie…the perfect end to the best festival weekend.