Queen's Park Festival
I got up stupidly early yesterday morning and was out of the house and on the road to Stansted within 20 minutes- I normally get up early and hang around for ages when I'm journeying but but decided to just get up and go.
I marvelled at how cheap it was to get from Prestwick to Glasgow and from Glasgow to Queen's Park where the festival was. It was hot in London and cold in Glasgow- and deserted too, because both Celtic and Rangers were playing.
The streets resounded to the cacophony of the day's busking bagpipers tuning up- one on every corner!
So audience at the festival was few and far between. Mary Kathleen Burke played first- she has a lovely strong country voice and a set of country flavoured songs. She's a big Richard Thompson fan, and managed to attract a crowd by inviting everyone in who peered in the flaps of the tent. There were pushchairs and dogs (I've decided to write some songs specifically to attract dogs to empty festival tents in the hope that their owners will follow!).
I was interested to watch the way she picked her guitar- this is how I learn, by watching other people; she is very versatile as a guitarist. At the end of her set she rushed off to do her radio show and it was my turn.
I was nervous because my guitar wasn't there, but it materialised just before I had to borrow Lorna's (kindly brokered by Tam Balloch, the organiser) and I too played to dogs, pushchairs, two little girls and a man in a kilt who told me he was a hippy. Actually, I loved it- I could see out through the door from the stage and I sang to a child in the distance doing cartwheels (how free, free, free!) and a few birds too. far away, the people with drums down the hill were attracting the sparse crowds; uphill (yes, that was another factor) us ladies in the acoustic tent only had our melodies and our smiles to entertain with.
We did our best; Lorna Brooks has beautiful melodies and a voice that reminds me of Rita Coolidge. She played some songs that made me wish it was me that had written them! They were like sculptures of chords and melodies, and very fluidly put together. Her mum was there, smiling along.
Martin came (he'd been minding the guitar) and we went for a cut-price curry from the Shimla Pink stall in the Glass House, a wonderful building full of plants, reptiles, amphibians and birds. I saw a mynah bird. 'That sort of bird can talk', I told Martin. A little girl over heard me, and asked her mother if the frogs could talk too. We left just as a flock of belly dancers appeared in gold-pleated costumes, bellies wobbling in anticipation.
The evening streets were flooded with Rangers fans celebrating their triumph with large flags and loud voices who had attracted a stern and bustling following of the Glasgae Polis.
This morning, I flew back from Glasgow Airport, surely the only airport in the world with a Greggs in the departure lounge!
I was browsing the underwear in La Senza, and a creepy man was bellowing to his mate in the entrance on his mobile.
'Ah sed to 'er, you can't stop all the girls from looking at me!'.
I think I was supposed to look at him at that point but I went to Greggs and bought a pasty instead.
(I didn't really, but you get the idea!)