Coming back

On the first day of the festival I was given a sachet of what I assumed was moisturiser. “That’ll be lovely after a heavy night dancing,” said the smiling man. This morning I rose from my hot tent, staggered into the sunshine, and found the packet in my pocket. “Perfect,” I thought, as I squeezed the lot into my hand and spread it generously all over my tired face. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. Yes, it would have been lovely after a heavy night’s dancing, had it been moisturiser. It was bloody deep heat. The girls were rubbing it into their legs. In the heat of the morning sun I was crying, laughing and wet wiping my poor burning leaking face. Good God. Deep heat hungover face rub fun. I’m not sure if I recommend it. But it definitely woke me up. After the revelation and expectation shift I grew used to the pain. After about ten minutes Mike asked “Would you do it again?” “Yes, on balance, I think I would. It’s quite pleasant now.” “But that’s because you forget about pain as soon as it’s stopped,” says Tristan.

And that’s what I’ve been doing. Forgetting about pain. I’m coming back to the world on a train now. I have a new hat and a new skin. I feel totally refreshed, filthy, and in need of a good scraping, a square meal and a proper night’s sleep. I’ll probably fit them all in this evening.

I’ve learnt a lot about funky dirty bass and break beat this weekend in a field. It wouldn’t be my specialist subject on mastermind. But it would be Tanya’s and Louise’s, and we were slaves to their passion. I never even looked at a program. They had it all planned out and we mostly just followed them into various tents and danced until the music stopped, with occasional breaks for fresh air and water.

I now have a fairly good idea of what I like and what I don’t from the options presented to me. Opiuo did a fantastic set on Saturday night. It was so good I completely overheated and had to go outside and find water. But we were dancing right at the front, surrounded by teenagers, in the mosh pit. Krafty Kuts were also superb, as were the Stanton Warriors and JFB. I know nothing about this so I’m only noting the DJs that forced my tired body to dance and smile. I tend to listen to more contemplative lyrical music by habit so whenever I step into that world I feel underqualified. But there is definitely an undeniable skill in making a huge party out of remixing and recontexting other people’s music. I used to poo-poo the whole enterprise of remixing. “Make something new!” But then think of Hallelujah. Leonard’s original is not a pleasant listen. Lyrically fantastical as always. Musically less so. I prefer both the Jeff Buckley version and the KD Lang. And this weekend I’ve heard a few songs I adore turned into really big happy dance numbers. It’s joyful. Like seeing a very dear friend suddenly showing up dressed as a fairy in a tutu, and forcing you to dance.

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Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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