Big plans for Saturday morning; needed to take the cars back to Dave’s permanent mooring so we could head straight home tomorrow afternoon, breakfast was to be had on the roof of the boat to make the campers in the adjacent field jealous of our cooking prowess and there was a run to be had with the Hash House Harriers. Maybe even get a few minutes to walk through the village. All this to be done by 11 so we can get some good spots for the final day.
In the event we were once again undone by booze, heat and late nights. We just about managed to have breakfast before rushing back to the field to find it twice as full as it had been at the same time the day before! Still we managed to find what was probably the best spot we had all weekend, just to the left of the sound tower and therefore almost dead centre of the stage. Because of the way the field slopes up as you head away from the stage we had a pretty good view except for the fact that people kept putting up high backed chairs in front of us.
Flags in the campsite in the morning showed that the wind has picked up a bit since yesterday. Maybe it will be a little cooler. Maybe pigs will fly! It has been stupidly hot so far.
Right, music. Saturday kicked of with comedian/singer Richard Digance that’s him with the bald head in the first photo of the stage. He did some really funny songs including an excellent recap of the last 1000 years of history which included a skit about Michelangelo set to the tune of “feelings” unfortunately none of the lyrics sites on the web seem to carry Richards lyrics otherwise I’d quote them. He also did a massive morris dance where everyone except us magically produced handkerchiefs and sang and danced along to “Little White Bull” and “Two Little Boys”, weird!
Giveway were the second act on Saturday. They are a group of 4 sisters from scotland who play traditional and contemporary inspired music. They were pretty good but I really can’t remember much of what they played. Writing this I’m finding it odd that I remember the first and second days much more clearly than the third.
After Giveway came the Bucket Boys (not these ones), Iain Matthews and The Strawbs. I must have been suffering a bit from the excessive heat then because I don’t remember what they played and didn’t get any pictures of them either. Here are some random crowd and people pictures I took around the same time though. There are some excellent flags on the field today, including one that appears to be a flying pig. Also a lot of excellent hats. A good hat appears to be an essential item for any serious Cropredy goer. Some are practical, some are smart, some are just plain wacky!
The higher up you go, the more families and people with dogs you find and little tented communities that spring up every morning and take themselves down in the evening. There is still a pretty good view of the stage from up here too.
Fairport Convention (again)
Finally what everyone had been waiting for, Fairport Convention came on stage about 20 minutes early. No one was ever sure why and some members of the band even appeared a little confused. There was a massive stream of people coming in just in time for this finale who missed the beginning. Anyway, didn’t bother us, we’d been in place since 11 and weren’t planning on leaving for another 3 hours or so!
The last set was prodigious, not only in its length but in the sheer number and variety of people on the stage. Pretty much everyone who was ever a part of Fairport was up there at some point and there were a number of special guests. They played for such a long time that they started to run out of songs and took requests from the crowd.
Don’t know who they are but the kids in the second photograph had the best view in the whole place! During the first part of Fairport’s set, Helen arrived all the way from London. She didn’t have a ticket but after talking to the nice people who for some reason were still running the ticket tent despite the fact that it was only a couple of hours from the end and had been sold out for a day, we got an armband to let her in for free!
Second to last song was Matty Groves. This caused lots of excitement and, when the screen lit up at the back of the stage with an animated version of the story using Lego the whole crowd erupted in simultaneous laughter applause and song! For those readers not familiar with the story/song I’m going to try to match the words with the pictures below.
A holiday, a holiday, and the first one of the year
Lord Donald’s wife came into the church, the gospel for to hear
And when the meeting it was done, she cast her eyes about
And there she saw little Matty Groves, walking in the crowd
“Come home with me, little Matty Groves, come home with me tonight
Come home with me, little Matty Groves, and sleep with me till light”
“Oh, I can’t come home, I won’t come home and sleep with you tonight
By the rings on your fingers I can tell you are my master’s wife”
“But if I am Lord Donald’s wife, Lord Donald’s not at home
He is out in the far cornfields bringing the yearlings home
And a servant who was standing by and hearing what was said
He swore Lord Donald he would know before the sun would set
And in his hurry to carry the news, he bent his breast and ran
And when he came to the broad millstream, he took off his shoes and he swam
Little Matty Groves, he lay down and took a little sleep
When he awoke, Lord Donald was standing at his feet
Saying “How do you like my feather bed and how do you like my sheets
How do you like my lady who lies in your arms asleep?”
“Oh, well I like your feather bed and well I like your sheets
But better I like your lady gay who lies in my arms asleep”
“Well, get up, get up,” Lord Donald cried, “get up as quick as you can
It’ll never be said in fair England that I slew a naked man”
“Oh, I can’t get up, I won’t get up, I can’t get up for my life
For you have two long beaten swords and I not a pocket knife”
“Well it’s true I have two beaten swords and they cost me deep in the purse
But you will have the better of them and I will have the worse
And you will strike the very first blow and strike it like a man
I will strike the very next blow and I’ll kill you if I can
So Matty struck the very first blow and he hurt Lord Donald sore
Lord Donald struck the very next blow and Matty struck no more
And then Lord Donald took his wife and he sat her on his knee
Saying “Who do you like the best of us, Matty Groves or me?”
And then up spoke his own dear wife, never heard to speak so free
“I’d rather a kiss from dead Matty’s lips than you or your finery
Lord Donald he jumped up and loudly he did bawl
He struck his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall
“A grave, a grave,” Lord Donald cried, “to put these lovers in
But bury my lady at the top for she was of noble kin
Meet on the Ledge
I seem to remember that there was some kind of pretence of them going off stage but we all knew that they wouldn’t because they hadn’t played Meet on the Ledge yet which is the iconic last song of Cropredy. They didn’t disappoint and everyone was singing along at the top of their voices.
And that was it. The end of 3 glorious days of excellent music, friendly people and beautiful weather. We were totally exhausted and just a little drunk but it had all been worth it. We walked back to the boat speculating on what it would be like when we come back next year and how to sell it to our friends so that they will all come along too.
There was nothing left to do now except get the boat home tomorrow…