Home again

BSP at green manL&H at green man

A little aching and fuzzy-headed today after a lovely few days in the Usk valley for Green Man festival. For the first time in three years we got a consistent view of the mountains around us, and barely a drop of drizzle until Monday morning. Our filmtent stuff went really well on the whole; very lively kids matinees, an attentive crowd for The Moon and the Sledgehammer, nice shambolic Sugarfoot boogying and a queue right across the field for British Sea Power, who did not disappoint. So exciting to be sat in a tent rammed with people watching a beautiful old movie with a great live band. A word also for Paul Shallcross, who accompanied silent comedy on Sunday morning and went down a treat. I had forgotten how brutal and hilarious Laurel and Hardy were in their pre-talkie days, and if hordes of children went on a destructive rampage that day it was probably our fault.

Of course we weren’t the only attraction of the weekend. Some of our highlights included –

> Beyond the Wizards Sleeve dj set, with lots of songs you’d never expect on a dancefloor and film-nerd visuals;
> Joe Boyd and Robyn Hitchcock in the lit tent (especially Boyd’s description of The Move live and Jac Holtzman’s subsequent ill-fated visit to the Mecca Ballroom in Edgbaston);
> seeing all sorts of people we haven’t seen for ages, many now with babies;
> The Dirty Three, with magnificent stage patter from Mr Warren Ellis;
> winning the Ashes;
> Equally good patter from David Thomas (Pere Ubu), looking and drinking a lot like Orson Welles;
> a bunch of very funny lads from Neath;
> swimming under a waterfall on the way home (I didn’t actually do this, but mrs 7inch said it was amazing);
> discovering the Nutrageous chocolate bar on the way home (who needs waterfalls?)

As you can tell from the pretty much universal acclaim on the GM forum, this was the year the festival came into its own. Not just decent weather but a great lineup, improved layout, reasonably priced booze, good stuff for kids and the overall attention to detail was terrific (eg, fresh loo-roll in the toilets on Monday morning). It also felt like a Welsh festival to me and not just a bunch of urbanites with a scenic backdrop like some events. All in all a rare pleasure.

2 Responses to “Home again”

  1. Fabulous festival. My two children were introduced to the world of Abbott & Costello and Buster Keaton, and the looks of pure joy on their faces and the sound of their hysterical laughter was worth the price of the tickets alone. Thank you SO much!

  2. oops – I meant Laurel & Hardy (of course) ! Obviously I’m still a little worn out. : )


Leave a Reply to Cath

Click here to cancel reply.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


"An incredible mix of film and music for all ages." - The Times
"A treasure trove of a festival" – Sight and Sound
"Magnificently eclectic" – Time Out
"This festival is really like no other, with an incredible line-up of amazing screenings and events for grown-ups and kids alike." - Anorak
"Joyously inventive" - Guardian
"Britain’s most exciting and innovative film festival" – Lonely Planet
"Like the perfect mixtape…you’re not quite sure how or why the selection works, but that is what makes it so magical" – Electric Sheep
"It's like being shown really cool stuff by a good friend who thinks you might like to see it." - Audience member
"Flatpack has gained a well deserved reputation as an innovative film festival with an imaginative output" – Film Four
"I came away totally inspired, both by Birmingham and by Flatpack. One of the best festivals I’ve ever been to." - Ken Freedman, WFMU
"The festival feels like an essential component in Birmingham’s cultural life, bringing new talent and the city itself to light." - The Quietus
"The best programming on the planet." - Canadian curator Kier-la Janisse
"Independent, quirky, intelligent, innovative, amusing and relaxed - nothing else like it." - Audience member