Panic Button

Monday night we went to the B-Theatre organised event, Panic Button. Simon Day, the curator, had given a bunch of his performing artist mates four weeks to produce something rough to show in the Sunflower lounge. So we had a performance of Mayfly running in parallel with a video showing how it’s done, we had some girls running twine around the room in a wedding dress, and an unrehearsed pair of performers being given a script by iPod. Simon dressed up in a suit decorated with toast.

Simon toast suit

Drinks in the Green Room

This evening we went to meet up with the three jewellers we’ve commissioned work from for Treasured. Katie and I met with Mikaela, Louise and John in the Green Room, a favourite haunt in the Arcadian. Sam came along too, who is one of our two performers for the show.

I got very excited earlier today as John sent me a picture of his piece, which is designed for the head. Louise also brought her’s along in the back of her mini, so I went outside in the drizzle to have a look. It’s fantastic and I’d quite like a version of it for myself, but perhaps a bit too amazing to wear around the bull ring, or down to the market to buy some veg. Katie and I decided not to transport it back on the 47 bus tonight.

Mikaela is going to lend us her mannequins that I’ve had my eye on. They are beautifully shabby, bald female models, currently with their legs in different places to the rest of them. I don’t know if we’ll end up using them in the show, but it will be nice to have them around the place anyway. I think they may need names if they’re here to stay.

Apart from that we sat around drinking some wine and getting to know each other. It’s strange as I’ve been communicating with them all about the jewellery for over a month, and it’s always been easy and friendly, but this is the first time I have learnt about them personally. Usually we work in such close proximity to collaborators that I feel I know them better than I do.

Can’t wait to recieve the pieces at the end of this week.

Greenbelt

Friday

I gave up trying to get any work done at work after the third time the power went at work, and worked at home all afternoon. This made it easy to take the train to Cheltenham. I was anticipating having to wait for ages at the station for the bio-diesel shuttle service. Instead I did a bit of a double-take when Paul turned up in a huge VW estate (normally he drives a 2CV called Margot). I can’t remember seeing any bands.

Saturday

My left hand hurts like hell, but I didn’t do anything to it! Well, I guess I must’ve done something, maybe the keyboard at home doesn’t like me. I spend the rest of the festival trying to get by with one hand; it’s surprising which things are easier and which are harder than you’d expect. The festival gets off to a slow start and we have to abandon three separate events due to overcrowding… There just isn’t enough on if you don’t like Daniel Beddingfield.

Sunday

Well, things are really looking up now. It’s a beautiful day and Greenbelt is humming. The site feels about twice the size as last year. In fact it’s more like two sites. Firstly there’s the concrete zone (my name, not theirs) full of closed betting shops and statues of horses, then there’s the hippy zone full of vegan food shops and marques located in the middle of the racecourse. We went to a talk by Jon McGregor (in the hippy zone) talking about how he spent three years writing his second novel. The only reason they didn’t hastle him to finish it sooner was because Bloomsbury are loaded thanks to Harry Potter. It was worth the wait though because it’s been Booker long-listed.

The bands in the evening were great, too. First up there was the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. The funniest bit was when five of them all played the same baby-sized guitar (that’s all a ukulele is, really).

King Creosote (organ-heavy, Scottish freak folk) had a much smaller crowd to deal with but carried it off with their psychedelic folk music.

I couldn’t tell about anybody else (the crowd were doing a good impression of the terracotta army) but I loved My Morning Jacket. I supposed I had a slight advantage having listened to their incredible recent album, Z, but the live show was to the album what, say the Stones are to the Beatles. There was hair everywhere, scary roadies running onto stage and extended twin guitar solos. Unfortunately we had to leave before the end to do Mayfly, but it went well.

Monday

The highlight of a wet Monday was catching the end of Chicken Run. After the outdoor screening, it was announced that “to answer your questions, here is Nick Park”. The best bit was that they’d got the children to submit questions. One girl asked “what’s your favourite song?” and this even littler boy asked “what’s your favourite dinosaur?”