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Old 12th August 2011, 05:27 PM
Only Me Only Me is offline
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Default Cropredy Review

A last minute decision, the night before, for me and Loraine to go. Never actually been to a festival before but as we live on the edge of Hylands Park, Chelmsford (V-Festival) we know all about crowds, traffic and festival-goers!!!!

Left home about 11:00am, 3 hour drive. Road closed near to festival site for construction works so followed the signs around the back lanes. As we got nearer we expected to see queues of traffic, hundreds of people walking but nothing, nothing at all. Found a sign saying car park so drove in. Confirmed to the guy on the gate that this was the festival so parked up. About 30 cars in the car park. This is gonna be a weird one methinks!

Me an Loraine walking down the road to the entrance - didn't see a single person. Still didn't believe we were in the right place. Rang Marg to meet us at the gate. As we walked in we were amazed to see thousand of people, hundreds of camper vans and tents, flags and banners everywhere. Thought then we were late and had no chance of getting to the front. Got wrist-banded up and Marg escorted us to the usual Loonie stronghold - right up the front. Loads of people on the grass but no-one down front. The stage is at the bottom of a long slope so even sitting down anywhere you could get a good view-point but being Loonies you have to get up close!

First up at 4:00pm was Fairport Accoustic. Now this is not the music I am used to. Loads of people around us now cheering and singing along but nothing that was familiar to us. Anyway, we stuck it out. Jo Brown joined them on stage for their last number. As I said, not my sort of music but ok to listen to.
Next was Katriona and Jamie. All self-penned stuff where each song sounds the same if you are not used to the music. Katriona - nice looker, nice voice. Overall they were not that bad.
Blair Dunlop next. Young 19-year old with self-penned songs but some quite funny chat in between.

At this point we were wondering how UB40 were going to fit in. Everything so far was folkie and accoustic - no fingers in the ear stuff though.

Bob Harris introduced the next act - Home Service. The crowd went wild and our little group of Loonies felt out of place not knowing who they were. A bit more life in these guys though with electric guitars, drums, keyboards and brass. They played folk type songs in a progressive rock style with long introductions of who wrote each song, when and why. I quite liked these guys. Still wondering how the headline act switching to full-blown Reggae will impact the crowd though.

Next was Hayseed Dixie. A four-piece US Bluegrass band. The music was typical banjo/madolin/accoustic guitars stuff but their stage performance was great. Some recognisable songs now but not heard them done this way before. How about Bohemian Rhapsody - full version - Bluegrass stylee sung in under a 2 minutes!
Looking around the place was full. Thousand of faces everywhere. People young, old and very old. Anyone and everyone with no fashions sense at all was there. We Loonies felt quite normal for a change

So, at 9:30pm UB40 took to the stage. How many of the audience would dissapear to the beer tent?
Usual intro to build up the tension and excitement then straight into a cut of the extended catalogue of numbers they have for their live gigs. Here I Am, Cherry Oh, Homely, Rat, RRW, Cream Puff, Food for Thought, Easy Snappin and loads more.
We were having a right old time now, this is what we had come for. Daring to look behind I saw an amazing site. Jimmy reckons about 18,000 people there, could have been more. The whole area was covered with peeps and those nearest to us were singing along. What an atmosphere, what a show.
Norman, still amazing us with his dances, Earl with his Reggae Music, Jimmy lying low at the back, Duncan ever more confident, Robin actually getting the song running order right Astro - cool man, Martin and Lawrence - all over the stage and then the new Sax player. He looks a bit like BT's younger brother.

Sadly it was drawing to a close but the call for an encore was loud and they were back again with Madam Medussa. The show closed with Can't Help Falling ...........

These Festival Goers do love to talk and the good words they had to say about UB40 were so nice to hear. For many it was their first UB live experience.

Hung around a bit - no stewards trying to get rid of us so that the constructions crews can get in to dismantle the stage this time.
Managed to meet up with Helena and Luci - Poor Luci, suffering with her leg ---------> See photos an Facebook. Had a word with most of the band. Had a chat with Amy, Matt and Jamie. Quick word with Taz and Moo and then we had to leave.

Got back to the car to find the car park gate locked. Managed to squeeze the car out of the pedestrian exit, 3 hour drive then home.

Had a great day out with great friends and great music. The whole thing was so laid back, cool and friendly. Had some new musical experiences as well. Thanks to everyone who made it a great day.
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Old 12th August 2011, 05:35 PM
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great Read OM

wish id been there though


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Old 12th August 2011, 05:35 PM
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nice one rich
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Old 12th August 2011, 05:40 PM
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A great review, glad you ALL enjoyed the gig. Thanks for taking the time to write it ,well worth the wait.
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Old 12th August 2011, 05:57 PM
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Did we meet OM ??


cropready is one of the most well run festivals we've ever played. A really nice atmosphere. security were laid back, they weren't even needed. Just unpretentious people off all ages. Incredibly laid back, and they didn't make you camp 3 miles down the road. It was all in one place. great food available too. And the warmth from the audience was lovely to play to.

band really enjoyed it too.
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Old 12th August 2011, 06:14 PM
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Oh what a great read - thank you Only Me...I felt it ....Oh hope UB's took a video of the crowds from the sage - sounds brilliant!!!


and MADAME MEDUSA was played ..... !!!!
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Old 12th August 2011, 06:15 PM
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Great read Richard, laughing at the idea of you and Loraine thinking you were at the wrong place. Why was there a private car park just for you ?
looking forward to meeting up at the fest
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Old 12th August 2011, 06:18 PM
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great read

i would love to have gone

any london gigs?
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Old 12th August 2011, 06:23 PM
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Great review Richard. See you at the fest mate
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Old 12th August 2011, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB40 View Post
Did we meet OM ??


cropready is one of the most well run festivals we've ever played. A really nice atmosphere. security were laid back, they weren't even needed. Just unpretentious people off all ages. Incredibly laid back, and they didn't make you camp 3 miles down the road. It was all in one place. great food available too. And the warmth from the audience was lovely to play to.

band really enjoyed it too.
Jim, We met in passing. We arrived backstage a bit late (with Marg and Karen). You were in the cabin talking with Tony as I had a quick word with Duncan and Astro. We didn't get a chance to speak though.

I was amazed at the festival organisation and that includes how the fans had organised themselves as well. First festival we've been to so can't compare but really impressed. As you say everyone was so laid back and they were all there for the same single reason - to have a great time. Brilliant day.
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