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        Now here's a new event that Paula and I attended a few days ago,
        back during the weekend of the 15th, 16th and 17th of July,
        2005, to be exact. To be fair, it wasn't exactly her first time
        at this particular music festival, it having been on her
        calendar for many years now.

        Selling the flat that Paula had owned in Guildford had proved to
        be a blessing for us; this was proved when her close friend,
        Sylv, offered us her place in which to stay in. So we took up
        the offer and headed down to Guildford on the Friday, mid-
        morning. Parental birthday duties were also called for too, so
        on our arrival in Surrey we headed across to Ockley, where we
        met her parents for lunch at a local pub there.

        Fast forward a few hours and, after a pre-arranged meeting up
        with friends, we picked up our tickets, got these exchanged for
        weekend wristbands and went into Guilfest 2005.

        Those of you who are familiar with the Glastonbury festival,
        held here in UK and other music festivals across Europe will
        know what kind of festival Guilfest is. It started out as a
        mainly Blues one-day show, expanding to three days and turning
        into a general rock music festival as time went on.

        There were a lot of bands on offer playing sets at Guilfest;
        most of these were not too well-known to me but there were some
        acts there that I had heard of before so this wasn't too bad.

        The first band that we got to hear rather than see (although we
        originally wanted to see them) were 'The Proclaimers'. They
        sounded as good as ever though. Hailing all the way from
        Scotland, they first came to prominence (for me) back in the
        eighties with their top singles 'Letter from America' and 'I'm 
        Gonna Be (500 Miles)'. This was the first I'd heard of them for
        a long time - and it was great to hear them again, all these
        years later, and live too!

        Finally, we got our tickets exchanged for wristbands, covering
        the entire weekend, and went in via the main entrance. The first
        thing that got to me was the smell. No, not just any old smell.
        Yes, the infamous (and usually only smelt in Amsterdam) pungent
        whiffs of the old waccy-baccy was to be had, being sold quite
        openly. Nevertheless, we passed all of this by and walked deeper
        into the festival proper.

        On the main stage, most of the bands who we'd heard of had
        already played. After having shared some food there with
        friends, we made a move over to the Uncut tent (sponsored by the
        mag of the same name) where we saw a set by a group called
        'Hothouse Flowers'. It gradually got dark as the set progressed
        but was still very enjoyable. This group was followed up by
        other unknown bands, who managed to sound quite decent, though I
        doubt I'll be checking any of their stuff out personally.

        Friday turned into Saturday and we were back at Guilfest again
        around lunchtime. To be honest, on this particular day there
        were no bands that we could recall from the list that we either
        wanted to see or hear - but we kept going. This was also
        punctuated by a wander around the stalls by Paula and me, where
        I bought a couple of new shirts. One was an Atari shirt - in a
        dark green background with white familiar logo. It looks good,
        so you may well see me wearing it at future parties. Another
        shirt was a general one in a similar colour, different design on
        the front. Paul Weller was headlining the acts on the main stage
        that night, so we saw a bit of him and some others, before
        heading home for the night.

        Sunday started bright and early, at around 1 pm or so, with the
        both of us heading for the main stage, finding somewhere to sit
        quite easily and watching what was, for us, the best day for
        acts we knew and had heard a fair bit about before.

        The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain were up first; from what
        we'd heard of them they were good, so we caught the very last of
        their set (I think). They were followed by the excellent 60's
        band, 'The Zombies' - who played their familiar hits to us. They
        played a great set - probably the best one we'd heard all
        weekend. Other acts followed - Chas 'n' Dave, Marillion, Lulu & 
        Daniel Bedingfield. You're forgiven if you've not heard of the
        last guy; he hails from New Zealand and appears to be one of the
        latest things to be rolled out for the pre-teen music market.
        Headlining this Sunday evening were Status Quo, with a rather
        poor show, to be honest. For some reason you really had to be a
        die-hard fan of them to know the songs they played, as they
        didn't play many of their big hits. As a result, people tended
        to make a move home earlier on during their set.

        Looking back on the weekend, it passed us by in a slightly hazy
        fashion. This was down to the fact that, with not having to
        drive at all that weekend we were able to have a fair bit of
        wine :) Nevertheless, the weekend was quite enjoyable and I'd
        certainly like to visit future Guilfest music festivals in the
        years coming by.
                                            Felice for Alive, 2005-11-06
Alive 11