Sonic Rock 2005
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Friday September 9th (First band on 16:30)
- Space Ritual
- Ego Prime
- Arthur Brown
- Litmus
- Dr Hasbeen

Last Friday night I picked up a fellow list member
(Richard) on my way to Skegness.  We arrived much
later than we'd hoped after a painfully slow 6 hour
drive - and missed everything bar the end of the
Space
Ritual
set.

From what people said later
Arthur Brown and his
band turned in their usual high standard performance.  
Ego Prime were described variously as excellent or like
a metal band with Harvey Bainbridge on keyboards and
This year's Sonic Rock festival was held on a Lincolnshire farm on 10th September.  No
Hawkwind, but definitely some Friends & Relations: my most excellent buddy Rob Dreamworker
was there, wrote this, took the photos and sent the whole lot to me for your benefit.  Thanks Rob!:-)
The stage was in a marquee next to a pub (The Farm)
outside a village north of Skegness.  The bar was full of
space-rock folk and playing excellent loud music (the
landlords have excellent taste in music and just played
CD's over big speakers -  I remember hearing Here &
Now, Pink Fairies, Space Ritual).  Next door was the
disco area, the idea being that when the main acts
finished everyone would pile in there for some dance
music and for musicians to jam.  Behind that was a cafe
tent with indoor seating (useful later) serving great food
at very reasonable prices.  And opposite the bar was a
marquee with a big stage and Space Ritual going for it
full throttle.

I was just winding down from the drive and and
getting into the spirit of the festival as
Space Ritual
were beginning to really warm up.  Pete Pracownik
joined the band onstage, but before he could play a
note the PA fuses blew - Dave Anderson had spilled a
glass of coke into something non-trivial.

Back to the field with a torch for some exploration (it
was seriously dark there) and to move the car to a
place we could camp.  I've never put up a tent using
only car headlights before (amazing that I've got away
with it for so long), but it's harder than I had
imagined.  Quite pleased with the results, we headed
back to the jam sessions, the bar and the early morning.

It had started raining not long after we had put up the
tents.  And it rained pretty much constantly for the next
48 hours.

I had a decent night's kip, breakfast in the cafe and
bumped into some of the folks I'd been with the
previous night - they were in the bar already...¦no, make
that *still*.
Saturday September 10th (First band on 15:00)
- System 7
- Astralasia
- Here & Now
- Mister Quimby's Beard
- Earthling Society
- Bubbledubble
This place was nothing short of amazing.  Apart from the camping field being a bit of a nightmare (including a
car and a van already being stuck in the mud), the location was faultless.  The main stage area was great, with
loads of room for everyone.  Everywhere, including the bar, was extremely relaxed and steeped in the
atmosphere you would expect at a space-rock festival.  The toilets in the pub were bearing up (and continued
to do so throughout the weekend, despite the 50% reduction in seating capacity - I never tried the portable
ones on the campsite).  The whole scene was laid back and friendly, with band members sitting in the bar
with everyone else.  And the bar never closed.  Everything we needed apart from our beds was inside the
building and there was plenty of dry space in the marquee, so nowhere was particularly overcrowded.
Something was happening in the marquee, though - the
stage was being taken down.  The electrics had been
fixed during the night, but the incessant rain and the
position of the gaps in the top of the marquee meant
they couldn't keep the stage dry, so they decided to
move it all out.  I have to say that the organisers and
crew did a fantastic job of reorganising things so that
we didn't miss anything.  (Main stage to the disco
room, disco to one part of the bar, marquee into a
chillout zone).

I got my head down for another few hours, heading
not getting the prominence he deserves.  The Litmus set was apparently a blinder.

We picked up our wristbands (yellow cable ties actually) and drove into the camping field.  It was cornfield
stubble high enough to clean anything but the most stubborn stains off the bottom of the car.  At times the car
was almost floating on the bloody stuff.  The field was essentially in the middle of nowhere and the only lights
around were behind us.  The headlights lit the way ahead, but you could see little or nothing to either side or
behind.   We drove into a blind alley of cars and tents with nowhere to park and a major effort to get back out
again in the dark, so we abandoned the car and went for it.
back to the pub sometime just after 4 and caught the end of the Dr Hasbeen set.  I've been keen to see them
for a while now and wasn't disappointed.   
[NB According to http://www.sonicrock.com the Hasbeen's were
supposed to have played on the Friday; in fact they preceded Bubbledubble on the Saturday, instead]
Earthling Society featured surprise replacement for
their recently departed (at 5am) keyboard player: -
Harvey Bainbridge.  What I heard of their set was very
good.

Mister Quimby's Beard were nothing short of
stunning.  I haven't seen them since the first Hawkfest
when I thought they were OK, but Saturday night's
show was orders of magnitude better.

Here & Now totally rocked, but I always enjoy their
gigs.  
[Right: Steve Cassidy of Here & Now]

I nipped to the bar for a drink and ended up missing
Astralasia totally.

System Seven kicked off with Nik Turner on sax, but
he sat down at the end of the first number and
wandered off part way through the second.  I don't know if he came back because I wandered off myself.
By about 2am there were quite a few tents that had not weathered the wind and rain, and I went to sleep
worrying about how we'd get the car out. The field had deteriorated quite badly, despite some straw having
been laid down near the entrance to the field and there were more stuck vehicles.

A car struggling along the "road" between the tents and onto the higher, drier and so far untouched part of the
field behind our tents woke me up.  I saw it turn at the far corner of the field and come back down along the
adjacent field to join the farm track that led to the road.  The guy next door echoed my sentiments when he
commented that this new way out would soon suffer the same fate as the way we'd come in, so I woke
Richard and we started taking our tents down.  We were lucky to get out when we did because the bottleneck
at the top of the field was heavily rutted (across the direction of travel) and already starting to get chewed up.  
We got stuck only 1m from the track - now I know why traction control can be a good thing.

Driving into Skegness we were pulled over for a routine tax disk check - the timing and location so close to the
festival made us wonder.  My family saloon wouldn't normally stand out, but the light brown mud all over the
sides of it totally spoiled the camouflage !

All in all that was an excellent festival that was well worth the 12 hour round trip and the £30 ticket.  Nice one,
Colin and Dave.

Cheers.              Rob
And now for all the photos that I didn't fit into the narrative...once again, Rob Dreamworker took these
Above: Space Ritual   Right: Friday night jam
session inside the bar area.   Below: Joie, with Here
& Now
Right: Steve Hillage!  With a guitar in his hands!!  
But sadly no beard and flowing locks...  Below: Nik
Turner, guesting with System 7
Right: Keith Le Missile Bass of Here & Now.

Above: Miquette Giraudy -dunno if I've *ever* seen
a photo of her before...

Right: Steffy Sharpstrings of Here & Now

Below: John "The Ghost" Greves of Space Ritual
infamy, oh all right then, fame...