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Ian Francis
Tuesday 25th August, 2009 Posted by Ian Francis

L&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.