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Camp Bestival – Friday – Arrival and Interview with Martin Fry of ABC

Usual ‘going on holiday’ bedlam of dropping dogs off at pet nanny, putting bins out, remembering what I’ve forgotten, shoe-horning teenager out of bed, last call to Pete to ask what he’s forgotten so I can bring it……and we’re off.

New games to play while camping:

1.  Find the tent on husband’s directions……’straight ahead through the entrance then turn left at the recycling point, the tent is next to the the flag with the pegasus flag’.  Pretty good eh?  Apart from he didn’t realise there was more one entrance and we came into a different one.   Three recycling points later, two grumpy ladies arrive at tent ready for next game.

2. Who trashed the tent?  One man, two children = totally trashed tent.  It’s a huge tent, there are 4 bedrooms and heaps of room in  the middle so why can’t 3 people just put some stuff away not just chuck it all over the tent.  Empty sleeping bag bags, clothes, food, crockery and cutlery just strewn everywhere.

3. Camping arithmetic. Five people require how many sleeping bags?  This isn’t difficult now, is it?  Obviously it is for someone who has two maths ‘A’ levels. 5 people = 5 sleeping bags, if you only bring 4 sleeping bags that the means one person is damned cold, Pete was damned cold on Friday night.

Games over next one is get ready for the trek to the actual festival. Good job I’m fit, I really felt for some friends of ours who had come with a camper van.  They thought they’d get there really early on Thursday morning to blag a good spot as they have 4 girls aged between 2 and 10.  They were even further away from us, the guys that arrived late on Friday ended up right next to the festival in the overflow field.  Average of 3 pounds lost over festival weekend with all the walking and dancing.

I checked into the Press Tent only to find that Martin Fry of ABC was doing interviews that afternoon, managed to get myself on the list after ITN, Sky News and FestEvents, honoured and very excited.  The other interviewers were much younger than me and I’m not sure they were even around when I was dancing to Martin in the 1980s.  I have all the albums and I know all the words and was sure that Cristina, my producer at BBC Oxford would be thrilled with such a coup.

The others went first and asked questions about the group, reforming, etc.  Martin seemed fairly relaxed although not very animated, so when it came to me I really wasn’t sure what to expect as I wanted to talk to him about food and children not music, so it could go two ways, fingers crossed.

Martin Fry is charming, a total gentleman, when I introduced myself and explained what I wanted to talk about he asked me if I was serious?  I thought, ‘uh oh, that’s it, I’m going to get kicked out’, but no, he was really happy about it.  His twins, now aged 20, were both at the festival, camping, and he explained that they’d travelled all over the world with him when he was touring and they’d eaten the local food.  Recently they’d been to Morocco and loved the tagines there and when they were little he’d had them trekking in Snowdonia.

One of his favourite foodie places is the coast close to La Rochelle, renowned for it’s oysters and he explained that they’d spent a lot of holidays there as there was great surfing too.  This was right up my street, we’ve been going to that area for the past 7 years because of the surfing and seafood and we’re going back on Sunday for 11 days.  So, I’m sitting on a sofa in the press tent at Camp Bestival chatting and laughing with my teenage hero about the best surf places around the West Coast of France.  Amazingly, it didn’t feel surreal, it felt complete natural, like having a laugh and chat with an old mate when you realised you’ve been going to the same places each year and never bumped into each other.  Martin Fry is a thoroughly lovely, charming chap.  It made my festival, thank you Martin.  He was also brilliant on stage later that evening too, and yes, I sung along very loudly cos I know all the words.

Big girl and husband basically camped out at the Comedy.  I was rather gutted that Milton Jones was on at the same time ABC were but no way was I missing ABC.  Milton Jones was brilliant, he dealt with a heckler with aplomb and I think I’m going to have to get tickets for his show at Aylesbury in December although I can’t imagine it’s going to be as good in a theatre as it was for them sitting just in front of him in the marquee.  Big girl caught him later in the Big Top along with Jack Whitehall – I tried to get an interview as he’s her idol but he wasn’t doing interviews and his tour manager wasn’t answering his phone but it still made her weekend.


Martin Fry of ABC