So after taking an extra day off after Glastonbury due to one of my best friends dad’s passing away me and Mrs Fay headed up to Springwood Crematoruim in south Liverpool on Wednesday. The occasion was the funeral of one of my best friends dads passing away. As you might know from reading previous blogs whilst blogging I lost my nan then dad and also my mum way back in 2006 so sadly out of all the lads I hang around with am some what an death expert when it comes to bereavement. Today was all about my mate Joel. Due to circumstances we did try to arrange a drink before I bolted off to Glastonbury but we couldn’t so at first opportunity on Monday night we hooked up for the England game though turning up feeling rather “Scatty” we managed a chat before I had to hit the land of sleep as soon as the match finished.
Now moving onto Wednesday and onto the day of the funeral and me and Mrs Fay headed up to Springwood Crem and as a very close group of friends who have known each other for around 25 years (And plus in some cases) many of us had turned up joking about how we would all end up here and the songs going into the crem wont be a sedate Neil Diamond song but Tecehnotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam” or “Insanity” by Oceanic but hopefully them days are long ahead of us being in our forties. So we all entered into the crem and the service started and I was passed an order of service and straight away on the front was a picture of Joel’s dad who I knew as “Joe” My lip wobbled and I thought well it’s only a brief bit of emotion and that would be the height of it. Moving into the service and one of Joel’s dad’s granddaughters ( Siobhan Smith ) who is scouse but now resides in Canada got up for a eulogy. Now I have to be honest that was me gone. I started crying for how brave she was for delivering this speech and for the such kinds words she was saying but also for everyone on the front row of the crem wether it be Wife, sons, daughters or any other family member of the Lawlers. All my mates were sitting around me and I have never shown such emotion in front of them. I am not sure even at at my own parents funeral ? I don’t know as I put myself in a trance for my dads funeral. Maybe it was an after effect of the week I had just had in Glastonbury but in reality it was just me being what I call ” A soft shite” but you know what I am now approaching mid 40’s and despite being called “Big Fay” underneath the very tough exterior is a man with a massive heart, it just sometimes might not come across that way and I was feeling the pain of the loss that was being presented to all those in front of me. Just about holding myself together for the rest of the service (A few tears again during You’ll Never Walk Alone) the congregation left the crem and I shook the vicar’s (Or whatever he was) hand and glanced at the picture of Joe on the way out and I was again in tears. I instantly thought of a Henry Priestman lyric as below.
“I cried today, for the first time since I don’t know when, something touched me its not easy to say I cried today. I watch the hurt, seen it time and time again, standing here, hope slipping away, I cried today”
Eventually after walking out into the sunlight of day I managed to wipe away the tears and pull myself together to become the “Fay” that everybody knows. Then Joel one of my best mates who’s dad’s funeral it was come up to me and we embraced and hug each other very tightly and we just started sobbing. It was a long embrace something I never thought was possible but it was the moment and it just happened and I apologises for the large tear that was sitting on the shoulder of your brand new Hugo Boss suit. I will be honest and say I have never felt a connection like that to a male before and hope never to have that grief again. Don’t worry folks the normal order of the universe was soon back in order as we headed for post funeral beers and we all became “Men again”
To cut a long story short we eventually ended up Lark Lane a haunt of Joel’s dad (He used to run The Albert and St Charles Social club back in the day) we had a half a bitter for him and had already had a lot more in his memory. But I want to admit I cried today for the first time since I don’t know when.
RIP Joe Lawler 7th September 1936 to 20th June 2016
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So 6am and the alarm call for the attempt to get out of Glastonbury. On Sunday we had repositioned the car nearer the track to make it easier to get out but still had to push the car out once after it got stuck. We had also decanted some stuff down the car so were travelling lighter on Monday morning. I say lighter its still a 40 min walk to the car with the gear and the biggest tent of all. I picked my £600 worth of camera gear and had almost certainly decided it would be the last year I take it as (A) I had taken pictures of most the things. Very little changes year on year and (B) for those “moments” it is easier to get the phone out rather than a posh DSLR. So we were all packed up and headed to the car. We had a slight rest at half way by some bins before the main road and then as it was my turn with the massive tent I just got in the zone and powered on and made it to the car. All packed away and with just a slight push we got out of our spot and onto the road. It took about 25 mins to get out of the site and it was then free flowing traffic to the M5 and truly on our way home. I was tired and couldn’t be happier as I was expecting a nightmare getting out of the car park at 7am. I was even more happier as we approached the services for a chance to have some kind of wash rather than a baby wipes wash followed by a “Lynx shower” On autopilot I thought better bring my camera as I don’t want to leave it in the car. It was at that moment I got the sick stomach churning feeling that normally lasts for two second as you then find your phone in another pocket and not the normal one you have it in. I asked is my camera in the back of the car but I knew deep down that it was hanging on the metal post by some bins back in Glastonbury. Whilst gutting and still thinking it was gutting I consoled myself that its only a monetary value item and whilst I can no way near afford to piss £600 away (I only splashed out on it in the first place as it was money from when my dad died and I wanted something material rather than it just flitter away) there are worse things in life so onwards we go. I had my lovely wash and some breakfast and we headed back home. Helen who was with us was coming home later and was parked next to us and I text her and told her where the camera was and if she would ask a security guard as there might have been a chance it was handed in and I could claim it back via lost property. So well on the way home and trying hard not to think about the camera we got a text from Helen over three hours after muggins had left his camera. The Glastonbury gods where shining on me for not pissing on the land and leaving no trace by my camp site. The camera bag was still hanging on the metal post by the bins. By this time it was busy and Helen had to ask somebody could you please pass me that camera bag as my mate left it there over three hours ago and it was passed to her and the people who were around her had a last bit of that Glastonbury spirit as the miracle of Fay’s camera had taken place. OK you might call it luck. I personally don’t believe in God but I do believe in Karma. Had I found that camera I most probably would of took it home and contacted Glastonbury lost property with details to make sure that it deffo got back to its owner and also lifted a picture from the camera and started one of those social media campaigns you see rather tan risk a security guard. So back home for 2.30pm and it was only on Tuesday afternoon when I was handed the camera back that I truly believed the Glastonbury miracle of Fay’s camera.
So now I present just a few of pictures that were on the camera and pictures that will always raise a memory and remind me of what goes around come around. Do good stuff folks you will be rewarded.
See other posts on the right of this web page for links to full blogs governing Wednesday to Sunday a Glastonbury and click any picture for a larger image. One last Glastonbury review blog later in the week and I promise not to mention it again !!
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So Sunday morning and the going was getting tough. We headed of for a hike down to the car to take some stuff down to make the final slog on Monday easier. We took one tent down and were allowing Alan to make if a threesome in the tent with Mrs Fay. That’s sleeping arrangements before you think of anything else. Saving my swinging for my 50’s. Due the the difficulty getting around the site we had to ditch the planned performance of Gregory Porter and eventually mustered up enough energy to have a walk around the site and I decided to double up on the ciders to get me out of the trough I was in. Sadly the 48 cans of Desperados and 12 Koppaberg we brought down had been demolished by me and Alan. We made it to Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot on the other stage. We last seen them two years ago in the acoustic tent and it was nice they were on a bigger stage. As expected they did not disappoint with songs from all Heaton’s various guises from The Housemartins, The Beautiful South and up to his current duo with Jacqui. You always have a moment or two at Glastonbury and the beautifully sung “Caravan of love” had me, Alan and Mrs Fay reduced to tears. So I can add that to when I shed a tear at Lionel Richie in 2015.
It was then time for a walk around the site and we ended up in a bed we found on Wednesday night up in Glastonbury Latino. Only this time me and Alan were the only people in the bar. We stayed for two as we got ice with our cider and had a lovely couch to sit on. It was a nice break from the madness of the festival and recharge before the final Sunday night push. We got speaking to the bar staff and some bard had closed due to health and safety. Whilst sitting down “Heroes” by David Bowie came on so we waved our hands in the air and had our own Bowie tribute.
After a lie down in the tent it was time for a K cider (taking back to the early 90’s) and despite the conditions testing my patience we had found a staff shortcut from our tent which got us up to The Glade to see the Stereo MC’s. I had previously seen the band headline the glade in 2011 and this evenings performance was spot on and the stereo mc virgins amongst us were also very impressed with some amazing performances that got us all absorbed in. One last push up to West Holts to stumble across a cracking band called Freddie and the freeloaders but we had to leave early to get a speck for Earth Wind & Fire (Ewf) It was to be the final event of 2016 and as expected Ewf did not let us down with a disco, funk, jazz and a whole lot more uplifting performance. With some big hits that had the crowd going off every time it was “Fantasy” that I had my moment to but no tears this time just a big cheesy grin as I sucked up my last bit of Glastonbury 2016.
That was that and a final energy sapping walk home through the mud via my traditional last nights chips one way home and I was in bed asleep in the tent for 12am. Up early at 6am for an eventful journey home (see tomorrow’s blog) Glastonbuty may I again thank you for another truly wonderful year. Another big up to the grandparents who without there help these trips of a million memories would not be possible and the added bonus of the front living room being decorated. Back tomorrow for a final review and then some pictures later on in the week.
Yep it’s time to go the pub for the match. This party is never ending.
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So Saturday and whilst feeling shite it was a much better state than I thought I would be in a much worse state than I was. Reliving the night before one of the young 18 year old lads was telling us on how he face timed his dad live from Carl Cox ! With more heavy rain early morning the site was very muddy and walking the toilets for my morning dump there were small rivers in flow. We headed up to the wood for a nice chill out and some rare phone signal and some breakfast which was early today at about 14:00
I had dedicated Saturday as camera day and I got it out the lockup. I headed up to the circus and theatre fields for some random sights. As I was wearing my glitter ball bucket had I bumped into two girls made up of glass pieces in their costume. They amazed at the detail of my hat and the Glastonbury sign on it. But as I told the lovely lady I did much prefer her some shapes glitter ball bra.
We ended up going up some tower that we hadn’t seen before and got a different view of Glastonbury and the camera nerd in me was having fun. I managed to drag myself to see the full set of Madness and it was then back to the tent via a bar to get ready for the evening.
Sporting a red glitter moustache and nothing on for Saturday night we had the aim of making it into Shangri La for some late night action via some bars before the rush happens and you have to queue. We caught A Guy Called Gerald set but couldn’t see Gerald and sounded like a CD was on ? After finishing with the classic and long and new version of “Voodoo Ray” we caught a bit of Carl Cox but it was filling up and we then left The Glade.
The Bandstand was next and we caught The Destroyers again and then headed up to a bar playing some Dub Reggae I’m Williams Green at this point I was so comfy on a bench that we never did make the after hours but in time so another failure. Maybe next year.
Then a very long and tired walk home made longer as we attempted to go to places but it was so busy that I bailed for home and time for my crisps and chocolate supper and once again melted into my bed.
One final push needed for Sunday and then Monday might even be pushing a car out of a muddy field but let’s enjoy the last day before we endure that nightmare
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So the festival started and the fun can begin. After a hike to the car it’s was time for a breakfast drink and one of my five a day in the shape of a can of Koppaberg. First up musically it was Hobo Jones & The Junkyard dogs who had the Avalon crowd bouncing away and were also very funny as well. I follow another Neil Fay on Twitter and he had said to me to go and see them but they were on the list anyway. Great (Neil Fay’s) minds think alike.
Next up we plodded up to see Craig Charles play some choons and quality choons he played. The weather didn’t know what to do with me having various layers on at times depending on the rain. Deffo the muddiest Glastonbury I have encountered. Still managed not to have fallen over but is that tempting fate. Anyway there was only so much boogying I could do in a purple poncho in the rain. It was 3:30 in the afternoon and I was already smashed ! It’s a marathon not a sprint I told myself.
Next up Canada’s finest The Lumineers. We managed to get 3 from the front so my fat face would have deffo been on the TV. A great festival feel band The Lumineers didn’t disappoint and as they finished we just followed the crowd and thinking the route was a new found shortcut. I was asked for a wristband and got a “Sorry mate its hospitality” the other 3 in the gang were through though and I have bunked in harder places than this. Needless to say I made hospitality. Nothing special though the toilets were portakabins but there was no free ale or anything. I decided it was time to have breakfast and at 18:30 plumped for some chips !!
So ZZTop were the first band to bite the dust and it was just too much effort to get to them and we headed back to base camp so that we could get ready for the day and also have some more of my five a day ciders. Armed with my disco paint and KLF top hat with built in flashing blue light I trudged up to West Holts with the flag to grab a good spec for the evening. Roisin Murphy was belting her tracks out and as I walked up I noticed she had a KLF tshirt on. Perfect synchronicity and off to Mu Mu land we went. Wasn’t sure if she would do any Moloko songs but there was a subtle version of “Sing it back” which had the crowd in harmonies. As the gang (And a few more) come and met me as I had the Tyskie flag it was time for Underworld and what a magic experience it was. The evening was becoming a blur by then but I can’t wait to watch the set back next week when I have post Glastonbury blues to cheer myself up.
One last post midnight effort and it was time to hike up and get lost in The Greenfields field to find some tent to see the mighty Destroyers. As ever the sound of Balkan mega folk rock never fails to get you dancing and that was that though with energy levels at minus 20 I still had to walk home. Once again the feeling of sinking into my blow up mattress brought near orgasmic joy and taking my wellies off with like a multi climax.
All the way through the blog and no mention of the referendum. We had a few drunken debates on it but I will leave it there as I am in the greatest place on earth. Somewhere were you feel fenced away from society in a land filled with fun, freedom and no responsibilities (Thanks To the grandparents who make this all possible) and I will digest all that has gone on with this shite country and system when I get home.
Mud levels back to danger levels and toilets have been fine so far. A quieter day 4 planned ha ha ha as if !!
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So day two and suffering from a slight hangover due to the excesses of the night before it was the long walk back to the car to pick some gear up. Coming back with the trolleys was horrendous but we must go through these Glastonbury trials and it’s all about peaks and troughs.
After a few beers to cool down after the effort we headed up to a new area of Glastonbury called The Wood. En route I grabbed my sausage barm for breakfast (It was 3:45) and we had a lovely cold cider from the bar located in the wood. A beautiful little place and well worth the visit and the added bonus of the best 4G signal on my phone.
People are always speaking of rumours about people who are playing secret sets so we started one off that Will Smith is going to appear during Earth Wind & Fire. So if your in site and hear that it’s bollocks as some scouse twats made it up.
Heading out at night a kind young gentlemen dressed in some fetching ladies attire was offering festival wanks for a fiver. As I would past him I said I’ve only got £3 and his reply was for £3 I will bring you near but you have to finish yourself off. I politely declined the offer.
Had a lovely time chilling in Stummerville and met an old work mate who’s losing his Glastonbury virginity this year. Needless to say he has already fell in love with the place. A stumble down the hill to the West Holts bar and Mrs Fay wasn’t far from arriving. Truly knackered we had a pint and then a band called Tiguana Sound Machine came in a mixture of dance beats but with a brass section overlaid on top. The sound of a euphonium blasting away had us up dancing again but it was the last bits of energy I had left evaporating into the night air.
Mrs Fay turned up around midnight and I done the gentlemanly thing and carried her rucksack back to the tent. With spare time at a minimum when we landed on Wednesday I didn’t have time to blow up my deluxe double mattress. But tonight I did. I laid down and melted into it raising a smile on my face and I drifted off to recharge the batteries. This was of course after my Biscuit Boost supper. So two days of fun and experiences and it’s the real thing starting on Friday and Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs first up. Bring it on.
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So we headed off from Liverpool at 6:15 am all excited and we were off to the utopia that is Glastonbury. Just as we headed off we read the do not travel to the festival warning. We thought fuck it and get down on the M5 near Glastonbury and make a call then. A few hours later and well down the M5 we made the decision to go for it. Several hours later and the 18 year olds in our group had decided to walk the last 10 miles. We were moving that slow that I got out and walked to the pub, have a piss and a lovely pint of Estrella and they still hadn’t caught me up. The locals despite it being a pain in the arse for them were offering the houses for toilet use. Next up some familiar faces passed us my twin niece and nephew. There coach driver had done his hours waiting and everybody had to walk. We took some of their stuff off them and they only had five miles to walk. 14 hours after setting off from Liverpool we were in the car park. Now when you arrive in good time the hike with all the stuff is a twat of a walk. This evening after that journey down the thought of the walk was heartbreaking. We decided on just one run so me and Alan were to share a tent. 90 mins later and base camp was set up and the hiss of the Desperados opening was heard.
We ventured out about 9:45 as the light was fading and we caught the traditional Wednesday night fireworks. We headed up to the Glastonbury hill and turned around at the top to see the multicoloured ribbon tower in the evening dark and the rest of the site twinkling away. It made all the effort of the day worthwhile and the beautiful sight and the feeling of being home was magical.
Coming down the hill involved some downhill mud skiing and we ventured into a few tents from a drink and to find some random boogie points. One tent had the delightful sounds of “Pump up the jam” by Technotronic though dancing on the muddy dance floor was tough with my wellies sinking into the mud turning me into a statue. I christened the dance floor “Le dancèfloor de la chocolat” not sure why it was French but hey ho.
We managed one more tent, dance and bevvy before a long muddy drunken walk home and a stop off for the normal Glastonbury supper of a biscuit boost and I fell into my tent for 3:15am to cuddle up to Alan as Mrs Fay arrives on site tomorrow. Great to be back at Glastonbury and had such a laugh already and it hasn’t even started yet.
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