Rose, our friend Dan, and I have spent the week recovering from the rigours of last weekend. And what rigours they were! It was awesome. We had an excellent time.
So on Friday morning Rose and I drove over the hill to Wainui. It's such a strange closed-in place, Wainui, especially with low-lying cloud. I was a bit worried about putting up the tent, what with it raining and me being hungover and all. Richard Bryant's show at Robert's opened the night before (go and check it out!).
As it turned out though, putting up the tent was fine. The rain cleared up at that stage. However, inflating the air bed was a different matter. The pump for it is powered by a car cigarette lighter, and we discovered that ours didn't work. That's fine, we told each other. We'll just wait for Dan to show up after work and use his.
So, we started in on the rum and wandered around the site and checked out a few bands. The rain started in earnest when we were watching Quarks. It was a great demonstration of spontaneous self-organisation. The rain started and the umbrellas over the stage weren't cutting it, so people from the audience stood around him on the stage holding a sheet of plastic over him and his equipment as he played his set. Kropotkin would be proud. (Actually, I doubt that.)
After that, things started to get messy. Dan showed up and we inflated our mattress, and managed to get it completely soaked. I slid down a muddy bank, and Rose and Dan stood around and laughed at me. Bands got shifted around cos of the rain, so we just wandered around at random, sticking around for stuff that appealed and wandering off if it didn't. I much preferred that to running around according to a schedule. Got lost, got found, got lost again.
I would've thought things would be grim with bad weather, but they weren't at all.
Then we crashed. Ye gods, sleeping on the ground. At about 3 or 4 in the morning it gets really cold. Really really cold. Haven't done that since my 20s.
Then, the next day, the weather cleared up, and everything was glorious. Sitting on the grass smoking and drinking and watching someone play against a backdrop of bush-covered hills. Extremely very pleasant.
And that night was even messier than the first. That's the night I ended up in the first aid tent after being picked up out of the bushes near the lagoon. Being unable to give my name, I went down on the (very long) sick list as 'Lagoon Boy'. That's when I lost my phone. It's all Rose's fault, but let's not go into that.
Of all the various acts we saw, I really liked the single person ones the most. I found the bands a bit boring. But the single people! Sexy Merlin with his drums and Cartoon with his drums were an interesting comparison. However, easily my favourite act wasn't on any of the main stages but in the Renegade Room: Bow Arrow. We chatted to him afterwards. He's an amazing guy. I won't tell you his story. Go check it out for yourself. Download the album, and go see him play if you ever get the chance.
Anyway, here are some photos:
Here's a couple of another highlight, Kirin J Callinan:
Oh, it's somewhat unrelated but speaking of downloading albums, check out the very excellent Andy Hummel's album.