It was a Friday night visit this year as Captain Dave had judged the bands to be better than Saturday night's and what a good call it turned out to be! I had been working nights so arrived in the morning and grabbed a few hours sleep. Thank God for strong coffee!
Clear blue skies and a lovely warm evening greeted us as we arrived in Keswick on the X5 bus. As usual I was the only person to actually pay a fare, it's good to see the taxes on my hard earned wages are being put to good use. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person on Whitbarrow that actually works these day :/
For anyone who hasn't been, the Beer Festival is housed in a massive marquee in the Rugby Club's grounds with a stunning view towards Skiddaw and Blencathra.There are 200 beers plus maybe 30 ciders and lagers on tap; you get a free glass on entry and buy as many tickets as you think you can sup through and "no" I'm not saying how many I bought!
With the weather being so good everyone was outside on the grass so the first band up "The Two-ers" didn't really stand much of a chance. They were a two-piece lad and lass combo who played and sang some really fine covers. Chris asked the stewards if they would dismantle the marquee so she could see them from the outside area but the dreaded words "health and safety" were muttered and consequently we were left to just listen to them although I did catch a glimpse of them every time I went inside for refill ;)
Numerous halves later the second band came on who were called The Moogs and from the Nerth East layke. They played the usual rock and pop covers with a bit of the Jam thrown in. They did a particularly good version of The Foo Fighter "The Pretender" which brought lots of people into the marquee and seemed to kick everything into life (as you would expect).
Friday night always seems better than Saturday night maybe because it doesn't opens until five so you don't get the "I've been drinking all day and I've got shit for brains" louts in. Everyone just seems content to have a few drinks and enjoy the occasion.
By this time the Good Captain had found a particularly nice brew called Summer Wine at 6% which eventually took it's toll I'm afraid. To say he was a bit wobbly on his feet at the end of the night would be an understatement but at least he managed to keep on finding his way too and from the bogs God Bless him.
The last band on were a 70's/80's soul, funk tribute band called Earth Wind For Hire and were without doubt the most entertaining band they have had on at the Festival. A guest appearance by the great man himself (would any "do" be complete without one!) and then the "second coming"" of Wacko Jacko turned the night into a quite memorable and fun occasion. As the song goes -
Don't blame it on the sunshine
Don't blame it on the moonlight
Don't blame it on the good times
Blame it on the boogie !!
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