Well that is Upton Jazz Festival done and dusted for another year and it was a significant improvement upon last year with a much more positive vibe throughout, I’m guessing the heavy shadow of Brexit loomed over the place, plus no real headliner act put the dampeners on that festival. But with the Temperance Seven and The Jive Aces headlining this year, the signs were much more positive of successful festival. I got some good priced accommodation on Bluebell Farm which was one and a half miles from Upton and the place was filled with character, though admittedly at night it did reminded be a little of the Landlord’s house from the Doctor Who episode Knock Knock. The house was converted from a barn and the rooms were small (this was stated on the website) and I mean small. I mistakenly thought my bathroom was a converted priest hole which would have been kind of cool, but sadly not. It was very cramped and the shower was a bit low-pressure, but the bed was nice and comfy and it was a quiet area so I got good nights rest each night. While I enjoyed virtually all the bands at the festival my favourites would have to be SwingZing, Keith Nichols festival Band, the Jive Aces, Moscow Drug Club and Alan Barnes.
A small selection of photos from the festival.
Sadly this year there was no Jam Session during the festival or after hours which was disappointing, well least not officially as Friday night a group possibly the Water Gypsies had a bit of a jam/rehearsal in the beer tent, apparently as some of the campers complained about noise… it’s music festival and your aren’t allowing people to have fun… tsh. Still I nearly had some after hours fun *insert Leslie Philips laugh*, the bar was good as ever and I was a little disappointed that the organisers hadn’t sorted any small acts to sit in the bar, the Washboard Resonators would be perfect act to sit in at the bar.
I managed to watch the first episode of the Doctor Who season finale at my digs which was good as it meant I didn’t have the episode ruined by spoilers on Facebook and Twitter. Well the pre-publicity had let down two twists, the former being the return of the Cybermen but watching the episode blind I would have twigged that it was going to be the Cybermen about 20 minutes in. The scenes in the infirmary were wonderfully creepy with the figures wrapped in surgical bandages shuffling around the 1940s style wards with their drips and the small keypads used to type out short messages. The moments of Bill trying to locate the source of the disembodied voice constantly repeating the ward “Pain” is disturbingly haunting as is the moment when it looks like that the Matron has upped pain medication only for Bill to find out she’d just turned down the volume on the speaker and the figure is silently typing away the word pain. Of course there is the janitor Mr Razor, the bizarre yet endearing man in the hospital who slowly becomes Bill’s only friend in the strange world. The story takes on a sinister turn we learn the population is dying and it becomes a fair more realistic reason as to the way the Cybermen were created then that depicted in the parallel world in Rise of the Cybermen, however had they need been in the trailers I wouldn’t have guessed that they were the original Cybermen from Mondas and then to have the Master turn up at the end of the episode could risk over-egging the pudding, then we have one of the greatest cliffhangers of all time. Moffat is certainly going out on a high, episode 12 can’t come along fast enough. If you enjoyed the story, I strongly suggest dipping into the Big Finish range of audio dramas and purchase Spare Parts which for this week is on special offer at 99p for download.
And finally I will end as I started with something from Upton
Washboard Resonators performing a well known Lonnie Donnigan classic