Monday, 13 August 2007

Sheep Music...

A few weekends ago, a group of us provided the sound equipment for multiple tents at a festival in Wales called Sheep Music.

Aerial shot of a previous (dry) year

Living mainly on beer and little sleep...
This is what happened:

After a lengthy and tiring set-up on a sunny Thursday, mother nature stuck her oar in on Friday morning and put an end to the smooth running thus unleashing a preposterous amount of rain onto the festival site!
I heard a weather forecast and it was "Heavy rain all day with outbreaks of heavier rain" and oh, they were NOT wrong...

This bridge takes you over a very small stream to the main campsite

By Friday afternoon it looked like this!
The bridge was closed for safety reasons and the campsite evacuated.

The whole site became a disaster area, but carried on regardless.
We became a refuge zone, as the campsite site was cut off from the main site!!!

Mmm, an all too familiar festival scene

The ground was a little... squishy underfoot shall we say?

Anyhow, enough of ugly mud pictures and over to some handsome geezers! :]
The elite main stage crew from left to right:
Lewis = Stage Hand#1
Big Rich = Lighting Engineer
Mike = Stage Hand#2
Stu = FOH Engineer
Phil = Monitor Engineer
Andy = Sound Guru Advisor

In crew catering, I found an adorable German Shepard called 'Rocky'.
He was a large, hairy, gentle giant - more like a bear really :]

Main stage monitor position - My home for a few days

Our on-stage fridge; mostly stocked with healthy beer.

At the end of the 1st day, only one band actually played because of the weather situation, so it was time to crack open the cheese, biscuits and wine - Cor we're decadent!

There's nowt like an inflatable sheep with a rear orifice to provide some quality entertainment:]

Saturday morning, the first band of many and I got to put a new Yamaha M7CL digital mixing console through it's paces... Very impressive! Touchscreen + Motorised faders = Phwoar :]
It was also my 30th birthday - A great way to spend the big day...

The video crew even put up a special message for me on the screens!

The Silver Fox looking slightly unimpressed at Big Rich busting a move or two in audio airspace.

Nizlopi headlined Saturday night

After the mad rush and zero line check for Nizlopi, we all sat on the stage, boozed 'til 3am, did card tricks and had a right old laugh.
Esme (seen in the background) decorated me in UV paint, as you do, and everyone brought me cakes, wine, port, cheese and a Noah's ark puzzle book - Oh the irony!

Sunday morning - You know it's bad when a tractor has to be towed out of the mud!

Main stage tent mud on Sunday morning - A scraping was needed :[]

Big Rich bags himself a promotion from Lighting Engineer :0)
*I'm sooo dead when he reads this*

Health and safety shut down the dance tent on Sunday.
Spot one of our sub-bass speakers?!?!?

There it was, to the left of the chairs - This is what we pulled out!!! NOT GOOD.

The punter's toilets were starting to look pretty rank eh!
Do you not think Stu?

At the start of the festival I put my sunglasses on the spare channels on my mixing desk and they didn't move all weekend, so I just had to label them :)

Due to rapidly diminishing set-up time between bands, the stress levels were at an all time high on stage, so I made this sign, and as you can see, Mike put it into practice just nicely!

I was shouting out patch lines very hurriedly at times, so Lewis thought it was a good idea to write instructions in permanent marker on his hand LOL!
(Channel 9 Bass Guitar, Channel 10 Guitar, Channel 11 keyboard Left etc :)

OK, where the hell I'm going to plug that into?

The headline band on Sunday was Dreadzone!
We cracked a bottle of Jack Daniels and I partied *ahem* mixed the night away :]

Eww, Monday morning load out!
The horrified look on Stu's face while pulling cables out of the stinking mud

Crew pulling out cable protectors buried in the mud

I found this sign and couldn't resist the photo :)

Site Manager Gareth;
"Is that a wooden fork down your overall or are you just pleased to see the sound crew?"
It was just a wooden fork by the way :0)

Loading a 10-tonne truck full of muddy PA gear wasn't very fun :[
How's that tail-lift button finger Bee?

Festival Aftermath

1 week later a couple of us returned to the site and helped clear up

Hal trudging through the piles of now semi-dried mud

After cracking open a beer, we then set fire to the last muddy remains of Sheep Music 2007

Gareth (AKA 'Gary' :0) I think you have the wrong idea of what a Fire Point is!

So, there you have it - Another fabulous Sheep Music completed.
It really is a fantastic event put on by fantastic people and it just goes to show, that even in the face adversity, when peole pull together you can accomplish amazing things!
Tired, bruised, battered and dirty... I loved every minute of it!
[: 300-Cheers To Everyone Involved :]

A special thanks to:

Relentless Lewis!
For his hard work and staying up all night, soaking wet, looking after the equipment AND for his superb pig-sheep-bottom thing!?!

Magician Mike!
For learning so quickly and putting in a LOAD of hard work; plus supplying the crew with nuts and Jack Daniels :]

And a shout out to the other 'sound' crew:

Mr Waghorn and his resourcefulness

Wonderful engineer Bee and her wellies :0)

Joe and his boundless high spirits

And last, but very much not least, Sheriff - Keeping the site powered all weekend.
He's also the only person I've ever met who shares the same last name as me!!!

* FIN *

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Completely messing up cooking an omelette! Grrr, don't ask!
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Today's Top Tip:
House Owners: If you live below a flight path, fool airline passengers into thinking you have a swimming pool by painting a big blue square in your back garden.

Friday, 3 August 2007


I have been tagged by the lovely Canadian Celeste AKA Photogirl.

The name of the game is to list 8 random facts about yourself.
This is actually harder than it sounds without it being a boring list:

1. I'm a blue belt in Karate.

2. My middle name isn't Mildred.

3. I once skinny-dipped in a partially frozen lake because several friends bet me a pint of beer to do so!

4. A teacher once kicked me out of a high school French lesson for disturbing the whole class by 'passing wind' too frequently! Oh well...

5. My first kiss was in a garden shed with a girl called Nicky.

6. I once ate rabbit pooh because someone told me it was all right to do so!

7. My first car was a 1989 205 GR 1.4 litre.

8. I used to have long hair in dreadlocks!

There's photographic evidence of some of the above, but which??? :0)

I'm supposed to tag 8 people, but
I'm not going to this time as some of you have already done this and I'm a spoil sport, but please feel free to do the list if you should so desire...

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Waking up at 5:10am and not being able to get back to sleep!!! *YAWN*
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 5/10

Today's Top Tip:
Husbands: Keep your wives on their toes. Nail the housekeeping money to the ceiling! :[]