Beautiful Daze

Been trying to think about how to sum up Beautiful Days and I’m not quite sure where to start. I first went to the festival 2 years ago as part of Gaz Brookfield’s band and while I was there I played a few of my own songs outside Mark Goodman’s much-missed Magpie Music tent. The police came and stopped us but to be honest we were creating a bit of a squish in the thoroughfare so they were right to do so (and anyway, we’d run out of ‘hits’). Ben, Chris and I also got our names down for one of the open mic slots on John Bownas’ much-missed Bandstand.

The following year a friend of mine Dan Caruso had to cancel his Bandstand gig and he kindly put Ben and I forward to replace him. This time we had twenty minutes and during the gig we made a video for my song ‘Departures’. Magpie Music had to put up with us again on the Thursday night, this time unplugged obvs.

It was therefore, of course, a massive surprise to be asked to bring my band to the mainstage only six months later, but once I’d stopped panting heavily, and had checked over the email again and again, I happily agreed to it.

There are so many people to thank for helping us to get to that stage – literally – but it really is mainly down to all of you who have supported me over the last couple of years by coming to gigs and buying albums and clothing – looking out over the crowd on Sunday was like looking through my T-shirt designs folder on my PC. There was even a Why? shirt from 25 years ago!

Thanks to my band for being ace, Darren for all your work as LeonardTech and to Les Carter for the nostalgic fun.

Thanks to Gaz for letting half of us play with you and for suggesting folk come back the next day.

HUGE thanks to the kids that helped out in Es Tut Mir Leid. Your artwork and dancing was perfect, and your smiles and bubbliness were super contagious. Auctioneering skills were second to none too!

Thank you Graham Parker for taking it upon yourself to organise loads of German signs and for teaming up with Russ Torr and Rob Conch Plant for Double Denim Fun.

Thanks also to Richard Kingston for making the birds fly around the stage. Hopefully they weren’t too off-putting. On a related note, apologies to the lighting guy/photographers for giving you a massive white screen to deal with.

Thanks to everyone who helped by giving out stickers with a special mention to Kait who helped me on Saturday night when I realised I had a couple hundred left over!

Massive thanks to all the stage crew and to Stephanie, Amy and co for making us feel so welcome and relaxed backstage. It’s such an important job, but one that often goes uncredited.

Lastly thank you to all at DMF and camp Levellers for taking a punt on a relatively unknown band and letting us loose on the big one.

See you next year, possibly not as a performer, but certainly as an enjoyer.

Here are the kids doing their thing…