Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 25/08/2012

World Turned Upside Down*

You go away for a few hours and when you return the end of the world has happened… well almost, for some reason I can’t connect to the internet properly with my laptop.. see I said it was the end of the world (it will be if I don’t get this blog posted).

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve been going to Reading Festival for more years than I can care to remember (I don’t need to try and remember, the festival organisers have kindly printed the lineups of various festival years which are displayed over the various bars dotted about the site; I know I wasn’t at the 1972 or 1976 but I was definitely attended the 1989 festival) and I don’t ever remember a day going as quickly as yesterday’s did. Admittedly we weren’t queuing at the entrance at mid-day waiting to gain access to the site before the acts had even started to play, but neither did we saunter in towards the end – I guess the old addage, “Time Flies when you’re having fun” was never more applicable.

Highlights? Well, that is difficult to say, I could go for the obvious.. the headline act on the main stage The Cure, who played a 2 hour set covering most if not all of their hits but then I also enjoyed my first time seeing The Hives. An established band, I don’t know why I haven’t seen them before, they made their way out on to the smaller (just) NME stage dressed very formally in top hat and tails, all looking very dapper – they even managed two songs dressed like pengiuns before the heat got too much for most of them.. great showmen (persons). Then there was a new band I wanted to catch, Alt-J on the very small Festival Republic stage. They’re obviously the band of the moment as there wasn’t any breathing space in or around the marquee let alone room to move. Lots of “The Kids” were holding their hands up in the air to make a triangle shape, which it transpires is Apple Mac inspired and is what you get if you press Alt and J at the same time.. kids today (in my day, you simply shouted out song titles to gain the bands attention).

* Hardly earth shaking, loosing broadband connectivity, it’s nothing compared to the plight of The Diggers as chronicled in one of my favourite songs Billy Bragg sang – it’s not actually one of his song – being written by Leon Rosselson in 1974. I studied Socio-Economic History at school and as part of the Agricultural and Industrial revolution we covered the Diggers, as well as the Tolpuddle Martyrs which is probably why I like the song so much.



  1. In 1983/4 I produced a single for a band called “Gilt Edge and the Blue Chips”. I used Eddie Hardin’s studio for the sessions. I used my old mate Clem Cattini on drums plus others, and I booked Billy Bragg to play lead guitar. On the day everyone turned up except Billy! Frantically I rang him and said where are you and he said, there must be some mistake Mark, I’m getting married today!!
    Fortunately, I managed to get an excellent guitarist to stand in and all went well.
    The best thing about the whole episode was that I did the final mix at John Lennon’s studio in his house in Surrey -is Tattenhurst Park? – the old memory ain’t what it used to be, the house that Ringo bought off him. That was cool, I remember sitting behind the house kit and giving at whack, and thinking of all the stuff that had gone on here before!
    Memories eh!
    Love the waterfall BTW.

  2. Reblogged this on missleesbitsandpieces.

  3. This is realy lovely !

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