Anyway. Where were we? Oh right, sorry, we finished with Wrinkly Joe saying it wasn’t even three o’clock yet.
Well, that was the run-in to the only really cheesy moment of the Midlands Music Festival. The only truly questionable moment when you begin to doubt your commitment to liberal western values but we’ll come to that in a minute.
Allison Moorer is a truly fine artist with a solid repertoire of work, and we remained in the tent to hear some of this. We enjoyed it and were rewarded, what’s more, by a bearded, hairded, coateded, exciteded mad person bounding on stage in support of his current squeeze.
Who the fuck is that? demanded Wrinkly Joe.
Dunno, I replied. Is it Paddy Lynch?
You’re right. It’s Paddy Lynch.
It wasn’t. It was Steve Earle.
The last time, sadly, that we saw Steve Earle alive. Tragic.
For some reason, they must have got the running order askew, and not for the only time considering Steve Earle’s premature demise, due to unintended high-velocity bullet-wounding. I don’t know how this happened, but we found ourselves, after Allison Moorer, at a bit of a loose end.
What’ll we do?
Dunno? Who’s on the other stage?
Nyeah, mmnnhh, nyaeaeahh, hnnmmmm. Jim Lauderdale?
Never heard of the fucker. Look?
We wander down to the main stage and there’s Jim, in your standard head-to-toe C&W jumpsuit. In purple and with a collar.
I look at Wrinkly Joe. Wrinkly Joe glances back at me.
Jim launches into his set and before you can say bleeurrrggghhh! he’s got our attention.
He’s singing, but neither Joe nor my good hungover self can control our autonomic systems and we find ourselves vomiting uncontrollably as Jim croons Don’t make me come over there and love you.
Beer tent? Joe manages between heaves.
Ngngngyungnh, I concur.
Aimee Mann was wonderful. Wrinkly Joe nearly lost his reason, being in the very presence of Aimee. I took a few pics with my dodgy camera, and that seemed to calm him down a bit, but it’s very hard to calm a bald man with a bad injury to his scalp. It’s never easy.
Calm down Joe.
After Aimee, we wander over to the other stage to hear Richard Thompson. Do you know Richard Thompson? Hard to describe if you don’t, but people old enough to recall Fairport Convention will remember this guy. You see, single-handedly, Richard Thompson is the living proof that English people possess soul, and he’s also the best guitarist I have ever been in the presence of, including, I regret to say, Captain Purplehead, though old PH comes close. Richard Thompson sounds like he’s playing twelve guitars all at the same time time, except he isn’t. He’s holding only one. What a motherfucker of a player.
That’s when the confusion clicks in. Just as I’m getting into the groove that Thompson is laying down, Wrinkly Joe nudges me.
Time for the killin’ he murmurs.
What the fuck, I demand I thought you was doin’ the shooting, motherfucker?
Exactly what kind of language be that what you be speakin, motherfucker? Wrinkly Joe demanded, and not without justification, I have to concede, in fairness to him. In all fairity.
Sorry, Joe, I placate.
Look, Joe says, the Waterboys are on in five minutes. Didn’t we agree to take those motherfuckers out?
We did, I agree. And damn right too. Weren’t we the motherfuckers that took out Charlie Landsborough and Kenny Rodgers this time last year, Allah be praised?
Allah? Joe demands.
Ah, I say, it just sounded a bit better. More edgy, y’know?
As you know from earlier posts, the whole thing was a disaster. We didn’t kill the Waterboys, but we did somehow manage to shoot Steve Earle. Shit. That was never the plan. Shee-it!
Nyaash fuck. Get over it. Kris Kristofferson can’t sing. He can’t play guitar either but no matter: he’s fucking great. The man has all these people in the palm of his hand, and what’s more they have him in the palm of theirs: the power of a hatful of great songs. Don’t underestimate it.
Fuck, says Kris. Even the songs they don’t know, they still sing along with.
He’s a poet, we chant. He’s a picker. He’s a prophet, he’s a pusher. He’s a pilgrim and a preacher and a problem when he’s stoned. He’s a walkin’ contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Takin’ every wrong direction on his lonely way back home.
How did he open my letters?
Don’t underestimate playing to an Irish audience.
Kris shakes his head in wonder and strolls off the stage. He can’t believe the adoration and he’s doing well, let me tell you. At seventy, Kris still has every single solitary woman out there listening to that great gig hot and bothered and wanting to have his motherfuckin babies. Kris gives hope to us ordinary folk. Bless him.
That’s when the confusion occurs.
Joe and I have a pact of death involving the annihilation of the Waterboys, though it isn’t to be. How did the slots get changed? How? Surely the festival’s Assassin Liaison Officer should have contacted us? Surely? Yes?
Hi there. Look, there’s been a small change of plan. the Waterboys are playing later, and we thought you might want to shoot Steve Earle instead.
Eh, there’s no need for that sort of language.
I’m putting the phone down now.
OK. Time to climb the castle. Wish me luck.