Monday, June 25, 2007

Glasters in memory and on television...

Well, I will have to come back to add links and such.

My online community/study group just produced edition number 11 of our online magazine - carrying on though we lost our beloved teacher earlier this year. And I do mean 'teacher' (favourite writer) not guru or some bullshit.

I intend to graduate on the day I complete three years with this amazing gang of 'penfriends' by meeting up with a few of Belgium and The Netherlands.

Before that, I get a reunion with the Jabba The Hutt crew at a Star Wars 30 year anniversary gig in London...where the main puppeteers and sculptor get to meet up (and meet some other folks, too). They seem to think my family name is 'Philpot'. (sigh)

And just today, The Observer newspaper apparently gave a good review to those of us who have starved and struggled and all that, to get Circus recognised not as a dying medium, but as something perfectly suited to a culture burned out by virtual events who still love the sweat and involvement of a live gig. Nofit State Circus.

Speaking of which, I type this while watching Glastonbury on the tv (and, yes, it We should have known this particular year at Glasters might rain a can see Tim Adam, the tentmaster already beginning to worry about storm ropes...looks like a wet and muddy one)...I have been to either 2 out of three, or 1 out of three of the Festivals, both as a solo comedy juggler, and (often) as part of the NoFit State circus crew (either doing our show, or simply providing a tent/venue). I have done glorious sunny ones (selling juggling equipment in swimming trunks for the Oddballs) and muddy ones. I lived in the back of that van, and got on with Grommet (Lurch's lovely dog) really wellI used to finish with the circus and go to my second job (running the best pirate tequila stall with Rachel) but as it got more corporate they squeezed such enterprise out... First they banned the motorbikes, then they banned the dogs, then they banned the Travellers. Then they put up a fence, then they had to repel boarders. And if you think I resent 'them' I actually understand all their decisions. Still sad, though...
We did the Alice show, and crewed our tent as a cabaret venue 20 hours a day, too
My dog had to leave the room this evening when I cranked up The Who "Won't Get Fooled Again"

I ain't gonna do nostalgia though.

I almost never got to the big stage - a mile or three from where I work...bear in mind that the place is about half the size of Cardiff. On tv they don't seem to show the Cabaret/Circus/Theatre area. Bill Bailey apparently turned up (for instance) on the 2000 seater cabaret tent (where I used to spend a lot of time, watching everybody from Jerry Sadowitz (who may have actually managed to offend everyone) to The Bastard Son of Tommy Cooper. Also 'people from the telly and radio' - or Tony Allen (still one of my favourite stand-ups). They set off the fireworks during one of his sets, and half the tent stood up and left. He called the rest of us to the front and did an intimate when the others came back they had to sit at the back. heh. Glasters ain't an easy gig, and some stars die the death, while some other people rise to the occasion, and feel totally at home. I loved seeing John Martyn there, although he didn't make the 11 a.m. gig at the Jazz World stage. I dragged myself out of the pit to stand there saying "he won't get here for 11am" but then he stormed a 23:00 set in one of those small tents in the Avalon field. I usually go to the Acoustic Stage, the Jazz World Stage, the Avalon stages and the main Cabaret Tent...and then Green Field, and Avalon Field...ah sheeit don't get me started...I wanna jump in a vehicle and get there even for Sunday morning and the clean up regime...

But here I sit, with the dog, watching the wonderful Beth Ditto in the studio and on stage...from the comfort of my home base (all thanks to the Fabulous Julie!). I just got an email from Aaron (Hi Aaron, see you soon!) who Julie gave a hitch lift to a protest site about the Oil pipeline they are running through Wales (not just the Middle East, I assure you) - and it sounds like he'll come to crash next weekend...we started doing jobs (late in life) but we still like the 'roots life' kids...gotta keep shouting about things that offend you.

Like I say, I may come back and tidy up, but someone has to hold the line, and I trust the next generation. First The Who sang "My Generation" (we have all passed 60) and then they sang "The Kids Are Alright" and that's still true.

I just wish the tv people would show the rest of the festival - the comedy, the circus, the theatre, the guys who use to sell me Space Cake, the sculptors, the massage crew, the homeopaths, the drummers, the firestarters, the clowns, the spontaneous moments of kindness and generosity, etc. I had the most fun one year when the circus took a wheelbarrow to collect firewood, and we gave people lifts with their luggage, I wheeled our new boy up to the top field to see the stone circle, and he then took me on a wild ride back down the main drag in the same wheelbarrow! A really wild ride!

And while I am doing a media check, I noticed that Empire magazine decided to make collectors' editions by having 30 different covers, for the most popular Star Wars characters ever...and we (the Jabba team) came in at number 11 - although they seem to think my first name is 'Tony' (sigh). Perhaps I deserve a free copy for that...


The Purple Gooroo said...

I hadn't checked your blog in a few weeks..and *bang!* - two new posts!

You seem really busy at the moment--I hope to see around the MLA, even after your "graduation" in a few weeks.

I'm not sure I'll be able to make Amsterdam, but it would be cool to meet up some time.

I watched some of the Glasto footage as well and I saw most of The Who's set (even though I kept referring to them as "Daltrey & Townshend"--they still rocked, even when I noticed the song tempos got ever so slightly slower.

I would like to go sometime - but at £150 a ticket - I just don't know.

Nice one on the "Star Wars" reunion - I think Empire should hook you up with a freebie

Toby said...

Yeah, well, they may pay me to meet my mates at the Star Wars gig (tax man, self-employed, and all that) as I still have partial freelance status, in spite of the long hours, low pay, day job). The only freelance work I do at the moment is the Circus Forum gig, but I can't quite give it up, especially as the day job plan to retire me in less than 4 years time.

Well, I should say, the SW fans will pay me, as the organisers don't give me a fee, just pay the expenses and promise people will turn up...but you have to live in hope...

Either which way, I intend to meet the MLA gang, but I do try not to live on credit (promises, promises) - I've been poor but honest for 40 years, and don't want to change that now...

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