Half way through the evening, I get an attack of festivinifiniphobia — the irrational fear at a festival that you’ll run out of drink before the night is done.
I turn to my travelling companion: Will we wander in to Kenmare and shtock up on wine, just in case?
Tis all right, he says. I shtashed a shpare box of wine in the Beasht, by which he means the ancient camper van we’ve travelled in from Limerick, including a hair-raising Alton Towers-style lunge across Moll’s Gap, the passage through the mountains between Killarney and Kenmare with room for approximately no vehicles to pass.
We have the van, we have the dog, we have the wine, we have the attitude. We’re fucking hippies, apart from the tasty Hafners sausages that we use to prove that nobody else here is a hippie either.
We have a nice little barbecue set up beside the camper, and a sizeable stash of ethnic beer, cos, you know, it has better energies. Aternative Eastern beer.
This is Nomshtock, the nicest, most laid-back festival you will ever in your entire life attend. As my companion remarked, Have you ever been at a festival where you offer somebody a beer and he says, No thanks, I have one already? But thank you anyway.
Yeah. It’s that kind of thing.
I love this. I love the fact that I just heard some of the finest musicians I’ve ever heard, and I’ve never heard of them before, to my shame but that’s how it goes. The world is so full of talented, interesting people, there is no time.
I love the fact that all the acts are playing in a cow-shed. I loved this fella’s gig. Stuart Wilde. There was something about the syncopated style that reminded me of other musicians over the years, and when I bumped into him later, I asked him. There’s always a caveat with this sort of thing because musicians can often resent complete strangers comparing them to other musicians, but he suffers from no such insecurity.
Yeah, Stuart says. Jacques Brel was a huge influence on me.
Yeah, I say, and we settle into a chilled feshtival-shtyle nodfest, largely because I’m too drunk to engage in a detailed conversation about anything.
It’s all very chilled and laid back, in an old farmyard with people doing interesting people things and dogs doing the usual dog things, and maybe the other way round too for all I know.
Actually, everyone is playing in a cow-shed, which is kind of nice, including this bunch, Yearning Curve, who echo my sentiments precisely.
But the crowd that captivated me most of all, and I admit this was only a quick, one-night foray, were the twin sisters who call themselves Twin-Headed Wolf. (The girls explain that they are actually triplets but one of them is imaginary).
These people are special, I promise you.
These people will be headlining something very big before very long.
These girls are great. Trust me.
Anyway, as usual in festivals, and especially a Feshtival, the night goes on inexorably and eventually we end up taking bad pictures at a huge fire-pit while talking complete bollocks until eventually I get a sudden dose of sensibility and I say Fuck this.
Why? Is it because it’s all terrible? Jesus no. It’s because if I stay any longer I’ll start talking even more unutterable shite than I normally do, and at this hour of my life I’ve learned that it’s best to withdraw in good order.
It’s better to endure my travelling companion laughing at my pathetic attempts to climb into the luton above the driver’s cab, even though he realises full well that I might fall and break my leg in nine places.
But I don’t punch him, because it would interefere with the energies of this calm and peaceful place, and also because I’m far too drunk and I’d probably miss.
But it’s good to know that Ireland is still full of kind and decent and well-meaning young people. This sort of thing is as life-affirming as you can find.