Big Boots & Buckets of Beer

The sun has been shining & festival season is underway so daughter & I set off for Slam-dunk a punk rock festival set in the grounds of Hatfield House. This year we went early as two of our favourite bands were playing the same venue a couple of days before so it was a ‘no brainer’ for us.

Youmeatsix were celebrating the tenth anniversary of an album supported by The Hunna. The tickets were worth it for these bands alone but on the evening a range of other bands had been added to the line up which was a bonus.

We spent the day in-between having a very chilled day in London revisiting Camden but this time travelling via a canal boat to Little Venice another corner of the city we had never been too.

The key thing I learned was not to try juggling an ice cream cone but thanks my newly acquired skills miraculously the ice cream did not land on the floor.

Saturday came & we headed for the arena & spent the day sipping cool beer & absorbing the atmosphere. The music was amazing & we discovered a few new bands in the process. I decided to be brave & wear my doc’s for the day which were amazingly comfortable making the hours breaking them in around the house worthwhile.

No sooner had I returned home but it was time to pack all the kit & head to Derby for Download. My shift buddy & I decided to travel together & this made the journey fun & all was going well until we discovered she had left her tent poles at home! Eventually a solution was found and we settled into festival life which was certainly challenging as if felt like our campsite was at the bottom of a runway so sleep was in short supply.

I love rock music and so this festival had much to offer however one aspect that does disappoint is the fact that some of the headline slots are still dominated by the bands of yesteryear. While I accept this is just my point of view ( probably a minority view judging by the initial response to it when I was brave enough to voice it aloud after being asked) but why are these bands allowed to hog the lime light? My problem is not that they aren’t talented people but rather some haven’t released any new music for many years & the narrative & stage performances haven’t moved on either. Therefore they are perpetuating in some cases very mysogynistic ideology & for me I would much rather go listen to the newer bands like the ones featured in the photos with a much more inclusive message & approach in general.

The highlights of the festival for me were Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes ,Biffy Clyro & Wargasm who were amazing but equally entertaining were those bands tucked away in the tents dotted across the site who are patiently awaiting their chance to shine on the big stages such as Boston Manor, The Hara & Meet Me @the Alter.

The surprise find was Bimini on the recommend of our camping neighbours who was best mates with the drummer.

All too soon it was time to pack up the gear & head for home which proved interesting as I had to charge my electric car at a service station which proved a bit more time consuming than I would have preferred. The UK service stations do really do need to step up their game when it comes to providing adequate charging facilities. Two is not enough given the increase in EV’s & the time it takes to recharge.

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