|Sessiwn Fawr 2003|
Thanks to Just Jones for this report.
The Misadventures of Just Jones At Sesiwn Fawr.
Initially sceptical about going (I'm not the happiest of campers), I was persuaded to go along to this years bash at Dolgellau.
After the tickets were booked, I started to hear vicious rumours about Bob Geldof playing a set..... my scepticism grew radically!
Arrived early on the Friday, set-up camp, and headed to the festival site (5 minute walk; 10 with kids), got our wristbands, and checked the scene..... security was very apparent, as was a large police presence both outside, and inside.
Caught Sian James' set, before the dreaded Geldof.....
He appeared with full live band, and has obviously been Irished-up somewhere along the line "this is my roots" and all that jazz.....
They could play, but he can't sing for toffee; he drawled his way through a sluggish set, and attempted to say something yn Gymraeg between songs. This was greeted by silence (no-one knew what the fuck he was trying to say!); Sir Knob got annoyed, and said he'd "practised that for two weeks", which was greeted by mass jeers, and boos from the crowd.
It was painful, so much so that I had to walk away; as I walked, he did, indeed, go 'back to his roots', and broke into the traditional 'I Don't Like Mondays'..... hmm, away in the nick of time..... as more Boomtown Mice tunes followed.
The next day got off to a bad start for me; heavily searched, questioned, scanned with metal detectors; this took ages, as everything from my multiple earrings, pins, studs, belt buckle, jewellery, down to my New Rocks sent the detector into a digital frenzy. The security jobsworth wanted to know why I had a mini Swiss army knife in my pocket; "I'm an artist, I sharpen pencils and pluck my eyesbrows" was the reply. While this ensued, a large posse of plod and security gathered around a fat skinhead beer monster, who had been stabbed (or glassed?) in the arm. Eventually, he let me in.....
Intermittent showers meant I nipped in and out of the various covered areas.
Heading into the acoustic area (to see Dalta, a young Celtic band from the Liverpool area), I was horrified to see that Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP, was striding purposefully in my general direction. I couldn't let this pass, as a matter of principle.....
My first instinct was to approach him, and headbutt him in the face (sorry people, but THIS IS THE ONLY WAY to deal with racist fascist scum), but three paces behind, he had back-up, and I had the kids...
A more subtle Plan B quickly emerged: I thought "let's make him feel unwelcome in Wales in Welsh"; made certain that he could clearly see my Anhrefn "Dragon's Revenge" (Dragon eating St. George) t-shirt, made eye contact; "MOCHEN SAIS!" shouted someone called me, as we passed each other..... could the day get any worse?
After he left the site (fairly soon after), the Sun came out.....
Meic Stevens rocked the afternoon, starting his set with a full bottle of red, and "Rue Saint Michel", and things got better as I also had a full bottle of red, disguised as a bottle of Vimto (no glass allowed on site, though at the bar, they'd happily sell Vodka Ice in glass!).
Seems like I've just got one of those faces..... every time I returned from the campsite, the same jobsworth security took great pleasure in hassling me intensely, though he never found my stash.
Gallons of alcohol were consumed by most revellers, most of the time; a great big Welsh piss-up would be an accurate description.
On the Sunday, I was refused entry, as I had some vegetarian food for the kids (onsite, it was mostly murderburgers or chips). This time, it went above his head, as I kicked-off with some Scouse verbals. A short while later, his boss appeared, and escorted me, and the food through the security 'zone'.
Shooglenifty were excellent, and the fiddle player's "Diolch very much"es went down as storm.
While they played, and old woman in a wheelchair asked me to "roll a joint" (her only English it seemed), for her, as she passed me her stash (she had MS, a lump of hash, but couldn't roll them herself). I duly obliged, passed her the reefer, and her stash, then had to make myself scarce, as one of the security had seem me skinning-up, and had radioed for a posse to come and get me..... by which time, I was surprisingly, nowhere to be seen.
Never been particularly interested in the Saw Doctors, but they really can cut it live, and please a crowd, so hats-off to them.
A great place to "dysgu Cymraeg" (most people spoke Welsh, which was great, like being abroad!), and sample a different kind of festival. Tell me why I don't like Geldof.........
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