After yesterday’s blazing sunshine, the near-continuous drizzle has come as a bit of a shock. Lunchtime open mic sessions at The Local got the last of the dry weather, with covers of Herman Dune and Ace of Base’s ‘The Sign’ alongside jazz and some godawful wailing from a man who seemed to have confused Americana with Bon Jovi.
In the Big Top tent, London’s Pete and the Pirates gave cause for the crowd to start telling their favourite pirate jokes, despite the indie-rockers looking about as seafaring as milk. Singer Tommy Sanders was unimpressed by a heckler’s suggestion that the band meet up with The Local stage’s similarly-named Peggy Sue and the Pirates – “Who is she anyway?” “My mum,” was the guitarist’s helpful suggestion.
After some tasty gravidlax from the Swedish food stall we wandered over to the relative calm of the Pavilion to check out comedian Josie Long, or as it turned out, the queue waiting to see Josie Long. The biggest draw of the weekend’s comedy line-up was standing outside chatting to a camera crew while those waiting to see her amusingly failed to notice her (as did we until she suddenly appeared next to us).
We headed back to the Garden stage for ex-Gorky Euros Childs, now well out of the shadow of his former band. With two albums released this year alone there’s plenty for the Welshman to draw on, and it’s a shame that he’s only got 45 minutes to play. Despite increasingly killjoy amounts of drizzle, Childs is on his usual charming, if rambling form. “We’re going to turn into the Pet Shop Boys now,” he announced brightly, “in the sense that we’re both playing synths, not that Neil Tennant had an organ.”
Childs’ myriad influences usually make for a jukebox of a set and today’s is just as varied. After a cover of The Sweet’s “Chop Chop” and the cheery swing of “My Country Girl”, only Childs could get away with the title track from his latest album “The Miracle Inn”, a 15-minute long suite with pauses between each section. “Don’t clap,” he warns. “Because it’s not finished. Or, you know, do. It’s not obligatory.” It would have been churlish and downright wrong not to.
Words: Kat Brown