HawkFest 2003 - Part 3
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Sunday arrived with a two-hour thunderstorm to enliven proceedings.  It was a slow, drawn-out one, and the
rain was not unwelcome, as it freshened things up after the sultry weather we'd had on the Saturday.  
Eventually the rain stopped, the clouds cleared up and the sun came out.  I decided I'd had enough of driving
and so we remained on site all day, thus managing to catch more bands than we had on the previous 2 days.  
Many of these were on the Barn Stage, but our first port of call was the Tent stage, to collect our free CD's,
which were being given to the first 500 ticket-buyers.  Plenty of people had irritated the band and management
by asking them "where's my free CD?" at every opportunity, and they had only arrived onsite the previous
evening, through no fault of anyone connected with the band.  The free CD is a sampler of the forthcoming
HawkFest 2002 album, which features not only Hawkwind but many of the other bands who played at last
year's Fest.  Each ticket for this year's HawkFest was numbered, and as luck would have it, my ticket was
number 1...(I bought it as soon as they went on sale).  The young lady who was giving the free CD's out
thought I ought to get an additional prize for being Number One, but this didn't happen :-)
We wandered around the site some more, meeting and chatting to more people, including Richard Chadwick,
whom I thanked for signing my guestbook.  (His entry was one of 41 which have inexplicably vanished, and
my web host provider declines to restore them...)   I asked Richard if he had enjoyed the previous eveningâ
€™s set and he said yes, and that he always preferred playing out of doors and the tent had provided a great
compromise, with everyone being under cover but having the feeling of being outdoors.  Greetings to others
we met, such as Tim Belfield, who was wearing T-shirts printed from my site, Wilfried and Anke, and Maxine
Wesley, all of whom we passed some pleasant time with.... Another person we met was an interesting bloke
called Jim Mountjoy, the artist who'd done the original designs for the Sonic Attack and Choose Your Masques
album covers.  Jim was showing an amazing little traction engine, but it was in the camping field and not the
main field.  He also showed us some excellent and hitherto unseen artwork he had done for Hawkwind, and I
expressed an interest in hosting it here on Starfarer's Hawkwind Page.  (Jim, if you're reading this, email me!)
I said hi to Keef Barton and congratulated him on his part in the proceedings the night before. As ever, Keith
was charm personified, and I thought he may well have been the best guest that played onstage with
Hawkwind.  After this we headed over to the barn and caught Mr. Quimby's Beard playing their 2nd set of the
weekend - excellent stuff, nothing new in their sound as compared to last year (or even Friday evening) but it's
a great sound.  Tom Byrne and Michael Blackman were pacing up and down awaiting their slot in the Barn as
Alien Dream - Tom in particular seemed to be experiencing that butterflies sensation, but they came on and did
well.
Above: Tom shows off his band badge.
Right: Alien Dream on stage
The crowd for their set numbered about 30, which
was a pity - they deserved more.  Assassins of
Silence followed, and this struck me as a tall order â
€“ a Hawkwind tribute band playing a day after
Hawkwind themselves - but they acquitted
themselves well, especially given that it was the debut
for 2 members of the band; guitarist / vocalist Kevin
Perry and the Canadian gent on sax, whose name I
didn't catch.  We chatted to them before their set and
surreptitiously ogled Kat, their lovely dancer :-)

Staying on site all day, we ate (at last) at the
vegetarian café, the Vegan one being just being too
outré for my taste.  I had a Thai Green Curry - it
was OK, and well done to all those involved with the
catering.  I would guess that unlike us, most of the
attendees had stayed onsite all weekend, and so the
two cafés had probably served a couple of
thousand meals between them.  As we came out of
the café I saw Tom Byrne's elder son playing the
drumkit that
had been set up in the open air nearby.  
This young man took part in the drum workshop last
Below: Assassins of Silence
email from Skull, who says: "...noted your response to Tom Byrne's son playing my son's drumkit at the
festie.  You might be interested to know that Richard Chadwick came over & gave my son a impromptu demo
& lesson, he even showed us how to tune up the drumkit!
"  Other bands we caught were Stereo Vaccine, who
were an Orbital-ish synth duo, pretty good, and  Only One Mammal, who were more of a conventional rock
band compared to most of the spacey acts on over the course of the three days.  It was very refreshing to
hear their great guitar sound, a Gibson SG driving a Vox AC30 by the sound of it!  This was Only One
Mammal’s 2nd set of the festival, but we'd missed the first one on Friday (Saturday?) in the Tent....  
Tribe of Cro were the last act we caught in the barn that night, and they were the same as last year,
interesting spacey indie rock, but I thought playing out of doors suited them better than being in a barn!  We
met Dutchwind while Tribe of Cro were playing; four tall and enthusiastic fans who'd come from Holland,
who were very friendly blokes.  Their names are Pierre, Frank, Frank, and (I forget the 4th of the quartet)
and this time I successfully avoided standing behind them during Tribe of Cro's set!

Drunk In Public were headlining the tent on Sunday and I caught some of their set from outside the canvas,
but it's not really my cup of tea.  Tarantism were on later in the barn, being (I think) the last band to play, but
I was feeling quite out of it by this time and so did not catch them at all...spending all day wandering around
and generally being on your feet is tiring for an old man like me (I'm older than I look, Sam - I remember
whining to someone about wanting to lie down on the grass!) so I did the sensible thing for once and headed
back to my tent...

Barn Stage
Tattoo Artist
Monday 11th August.  We woke to a repeat of Sunday's weather -rain- and locked showers, so my shower
consisted of standing about barechested in the rain, which was OK actually.  The campsite thinned out pretty
fast and we got offsite at about 11.00am (sooner than last year) to begin the long journey home.  Everyone
agreed this year had been at least as good as last year's fest, with better facilities and bands, if a little less
intimacy caused by the higher numbers in attendance - which is a good thing: Hawkwind deserve to make
money from putting on such a wonderful event.  Thanks to those who organised it and worked so hard to
keep everything ticking over.  Not everything that was meant to happen did happen (where were the
cocktails?!)** and some things that did happen were a surprise, but it was a feat of organisation.  I will single
out Kris, Tone and Colin Allen (who seemed to be everywhere) by name, partly because I don't know the
names of the many others who doubtless contributed to the great success of the Fest.  Thanks too, of
course, to all who played.  The standard was generally higher than last year, and while I did not make a
particularly good fist of seeing all the bands who played, those I missed were reported as generally having
been very good.  My apologies to anyone I've not mentioned, and I'm looking forward to doing it all again
next year...

A last word of appreciation goes to the blokes who provided the security for the event.  Although a
frightening looking bunch, they did a great job of keeping everyone smiling and preventing anything from
getting out of hand (like the people with the unreasonably loud sound system).  I talked to one of these lads
on the Monday morning and he told me they are actually members of Millennium 200, a local bike club...  
They were a big part of why this was such a great weekend, and were so good that nobody noticed they
were there!

**Salutation MCC ran the 2 bars and tell me they were too swamped to be able to do the cocktails :-)
HawkFest 2003 - Part 1      HawkFest 2003 - Part 2      HawkFest 2003 - Part 3
Below: Matthew Byrne @ the drum workshop
year, but has made amazing progress since then; he's absolutely good enough to have played on either of the
stages.  A number of younger kids stood around, as impressed as I was... And on this subject, I've had an