I awoke at 5am this morning, new song lyrics working their way through my system, so here I am blogging at an unfeasibly early hour. The muse is with me as I'm still coming down from the weekend, which saw the new Telling the Bees line up play a late night set at Wood festival, just down the road from Oxford.
Wood is what they call a boutique festival, homespun and folkie. Only a thousand or so tickets, two small stages, no sound systems, extraordinary food, plenty of workshops, hundreds of children, no deranged crazies with eyes like cupcakes, lovely relaxed vibe. I suppose where once families would go to the seaside, or caravaning, for their summer holidays, now they go to a festival. It seemed like half of alternative Oxford had upped sticks and decamped down to Braziers Park.
All the time I was there, two red kites traced lazy helixes in the sky. Chiff chaffs chorused in the hedges and (at the risk of sounding preposterously bucolic) I was woken by the bleating of lambs in the next field along. You don't get that at Glastonbury (all photos by Nomi).
The first festival of the season is like waking up from winter. Packing is a nightmare: I'm not yet on autopilot. But once there, the festival vibe tickles your fuzzy bits. You slow down and remember what's important in life. Drinking tea and watching the world go by is more than enough.
They're not just an escape from the humdrum. Something important happens at festivals.
And though I say it myself, Telling the Bees played a blinder. I can't begin to tell you what a joy it is to see people up on their feet dancing, smiling, singing along to your words. It's humbling. Everything seems worthwhile.