9 June 2009

And what a lovely night it was.

TVC’s 15th anniversary celebs, plus Oz’s birthday bash, all set to a stunning backdrop of the thundering night sea, just down the coast from an ancient Roman fort proved to be a joyous celebration of wonderful music and friendly peeps. Who needs Thailand when they've got Birchington?

We had just taken delivery of our brand new speakers finished at 3am by Charles that very morning, so it was a rather hectic start to the day.The weather was predicted hot, hot, hot and everything seemed on course for a corker. We had a stunning site by the sea, handy for lowering the temperature a few degrees, especially for the Dumb Fucks amongst us. By midday the thermometer was climbing and they began to talk of it being the hottest bank holiday weekend for 25 years. By 6 that evening it was still roasting hot, the temperature refusing to cool down bymore than a few degrees. They had also started predicting rain or a thunderstorm that night which didn’t seem too hopeful, but we thought we’d probably be alright. Ha, the beauty of innocence.

Late loading up, one of the children had stored the keys out on top of a table in the now darkened garden. Luckily they were found pretty quickly, and we set off in convoy, down the now dusk drenched lanes of deepest, darkest Kent. A scary moment when we nearly drove onto the farmers back lawn was narrowly avoided and we were soon in position, with the waves crashing on the shoreline a few feet in front of us.

By 10 the marquee was erect. Not one of our favourite jobs to do in the dark, but we’re getting dab hands at it now, and Adam turned up just in time to lend us his skills. By 11 the rig was up and running in all it’s new and pristine glory, sounding spectacular. And the heat! Even at night it only cooled by a few degrees meaning no need for coats or fires, with most people only wearing skimpy tee shirts all night. And Emma Lush in hot pants. And what a lovely night it was. Lots of old faces, Polly and Derek and cohorts, down from the smoke. Eldad sporting a new haircut.

Scotty, Dee and Laura celebrating her results. Teapot and Sarah. Sunday Sarah, not seen for nearly 2 years. Gary and Shelly the absinthe crew. Lindsey, Lovely Lisa, Megan and all the Ben lot on top form and out in force. Gary Purple now in a white ambulance and wreathed in big smiles. Chris and Nadia and the Splendid lot. Jim managing to go a whole night without a kerfuffle. Steve and Sari who we met in Amsterdam. Big Kev, little Lori and Steve not seen for over a year. The atmos was friendly and warm, the sounds were kicking. Spotted looning on the dancefloor; Chas and Sue, Clive and Twiggy (cheers for the champers C!). Earl Grey and Jane avec amis. Crisp and Terri, Ollie and friends, Mia (you don’t get many of those to the pound), Paul and Jess celebrating their aniversery, and all looking for their marbles.

So a beautifully warm August night, combined with meltingly hot musical combinations, along with the bladder on the stick memorial awards annual outing can only mean one thing; enjoyment on a large scale. And no cars on the dance floor either! So, come that early morning hour, when it hasn’t been light long, and all the people who’ve been either, stumbling around in the darkness and have just come to, or the others who’ve been standing around gossiping, taking the piss and honing their stories, all decide to look for more beer, etc, because they haven’t got their cars to hide in, are instead driven onto the dance floor, where all hell breaks loose. It was fucking rammed beneath the ripped flaps of the love tent, with very many sticky, sweaty, slipped faces held heavenwards for supplication. Worshipping.

The down side of all this of course was in having to deal with her maj’s boys for most of the night. Naughty Charles has insisted on making our equipment louder and louder over the years, and this year we obviously disturbed a lot more people. We reassured da boys at various points through the night that, yes, the volume would go down. That, yes, it would stay down. And that no, their arses weren’t that lardy. With the environmental health officer pleadingly reiterating to us that “We’d be surprised at the sort of music” he listened to we lost patience with them. Especially after they tricked us into handing one of our own over to take it all on the stiff upper lip if it all came on top, where-upon they would be back to seize the equipment, we didn’t feel the need to be friendly any more. Luckily for them though and the whole of Thanet, nature had other far more convincing ways of ending the racket.

It rained. Sorry, did I say rained? It fucking pissed down. Torrentially. All day. Luckily Nick had come out of her absinthe induced power nap to realise that we had let Xmas cycle home without getting him to pack the whole van up first. So consequently as the clouds started to gather overhead and it actually started to turn pitch black, our addled heads finally realised that if we didn’t get everything packed up pronto, we would be stuck here till it finished raining, getting absolutely sodden. So just before the hard house DJ was due to take over the helm the plug was pulled and everything was loaded up in record slow time. 

Just as the brand new, not even been treated speakers were put on the truck the heavens opened, and Charles’ last words to us rang in our ears. “Don’t get them wet”. Oh well, such is life. Suffice to say that the next couple of hours were a complete nightmare and involved cars getting stuck in muddy ruts, thunder and lightening with people screaming, and children all falling over in the mud like rows of skittles. Jenny fell face first into a stagnant bog and came out stinking like you wouldn’t believe and still smiling, and that was the only thing that kept me going through the rain lashed hell of the next hour or so until we made our escape. Never again.