The South West Rocks

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Apparently there was some other music festival on this weekend. Somewhere in neighbouring Somerset, it probably won’t last they never do. Too muddy and of no interest to the serious rocker ,you see.

Meanwhile in sunny Cornwall we attended the Kaiser Chiefs sessions at the Eden Project. The headliners were hugely impressive with their brand of in front of the beat driving rock. My daughter and friend Eva had a fabulous experience near the front finally getting to see a proper all out rock band. They were n’t so keen on the spumes of beer that landed on them frequently, but hey that is festival life and they have started to get acquainted with it. And festival it truly was even though in a mini format. Other highlights included Tom Tom Club (pictured tiny Tina Weymouth or gold fish woman as we now know her), Deep Valley (two Californian drum and guitar rock chicks) and the truly talented Cosmo Jarvis and band.

The previous weekend was spent at it has to be said windy and sometimes wet Oceanfest. Further down the bill there were some Laurel Canyon period influenced bands who bought a West Coast sensibility to the occasion. If you like this stuff (and I do) watch out for Cardiff’s Zervas and Pepper , Woolacombe’s own Peter Bruntnall and Canyon Ryde. The kids enjoyed headliners Bastille.

Two fab weekends spent in the best company of good mate Mark and his lovely daughter Eva.

I think Somerset just had some old guys playing…

Lovely Laura

I found Laura Marling this week.It’s a long time since I discovered a musician who so completely full-fills a need that I did n’t even know was there.

January Blues


We spent yesterday evening in the charming company of Michael Roach at Bideford school. The Blues have been a staple on mine since teenage years and I had come to think of myself as grounded in the basics of blues history. Michael delightfully laid bare my ignorance by a series of insights, participation and stories between numbers. He had some quite radically different takes on the Blues. The music is essentially ‘party music’ which Virginian  slaves grooved to on their European instruments in the few moments they were not working. The way he plays the blues and sings it is hard not to agree with this analysis.

Earlier in the day Croyde hosted a 2-4 foot swell groomed by off shore winds all the way from Siberia. Two hours under blue sky’s and negative temperatures were more than enough for me but the session was certainly well worth the agony of changing into my wet wetsuit in the wind scoured car park.

Today I was determined to get a brief skate in but I did not get beyond the car park stage on this particular venture. I  starred with Mike into B Bowl as fine snow slowly deposited a slippery film onto the concrete. All was not lost as I had a good catch up with my mate and semi committed myself to some skate trips subject to a successful mid week session. XC Going California.

Stumped by the weather,we drove to Challacoombe in the dugs of Exmoor and I spectated whilst my daughter and her friend trudged up snowy hills and slid down them on a body board and plastic sledge. Eventually they clambered back into the car cold, wet and very tired then we went and did the same thing again down a steeper field. They will sleep well tonight.

The staff photographer seemed really pleased with the ‘work’ he had produced of a wiry tree against a skyline.All I can say is that he will keep trying.

7.5 ft at 15 sec on Tuesday with off shores. In before work at the point methinks.


Kate Bush.The superlative singer song writer of my generation.I’ll have this song embedded in my head as I travel to Croyde for a chilly early morning surf tomorrow.

Deep mid-winter is here in all here her frozen majesty this evening.