After some meandering and 40 trips to the toilet in an hour we went off to battle aliens on a far away distant planet and found Elvis. He was in a port-a-loo that whole time... Who knew... Anyway, tangents... ssssssake man! So we went for a tea break by the tents and were keen to find out if our friend who had to leave early got home safe so we chilled there for a while and sank some beers. Later we decided we had to have a shot on the Ferris Wheel and it was totally epic... After the wheel we took a walk and found Sharleen, our aforementioned Pixie friend and we attempted the Maze in the dark which was actually seriously difficult once you go in and get yourself stuck haha! We managed to make it out alive though and I got me some White Russian at the Coco-Cabana bar behind the psychedelic Voltan Temple. We chilled out there for a while then went to watch Bombskare who had literally every single person at Eden in a semi-skank bob n weave manoeuvre which seemed to spill out of the main arena, and even people waiting for chips and pints and looking around the boutique stalls were still doing it! I found myself still going long after the Ska had ended... but before I go there... Let me just say that Bombskare were were the absolute cream of the Eden scene and everybody was loving it. Just people laughing and dancing everywhere you looked, even the people working the stalls were all dancing to them! There was a truly righteous moment though, in amongst all that groove, when a highlight within a highlight occurred like some inceptional conception of sheer gallusness...
And that, was when Rory McLeod joined Bombskare on Harmonica to perform the Ska version of his original song “Love Like A Rock” from his 1988 album “Footsteps & Heart Beats”. That was quite a special moment for a lot of people but to see how humbled the band were to have him as a special guest up there with them and to hear him perform live in the flesh was a really amazing and truly defining moment. Their final closing set at the very end of the Sunday night's main stage bill left everyone with a near permanent smile. We managed to scurry over to catch a little of our friend Damo's band 'Jam on Planet Love' in the Vishnu Lounge but we were wet and freezing cold, starving and some guy sat beside me with a spliff that was like Long John Silver's widden leg and kept blazing so much smoke on me... These days I am weak as shit in the lungal region and was forced to retire to grab some air, my inhalers and some food before the stalls closed but it felt like a nice cap on the night to be able to finally catch a friend performing after missing several other friends' bands including missing Josephine Sillars and The Manic Pixie Dreams (which had my actual flatmates playing in Vishnu Lounge on the Saturday) and 'The Well Happy Band' who I actually played with but haven't seen in a couple years. So I was gutted I missed them all but I will make a point of catching up with everyone and getting out to see as much of your live shows as I can cram into 2019 coz I am back on the case, like Columbo, except you can understand what I am saying, sometimes, and I don't smoke... Yeah... maybe Columbo was a bad example, but you know what I mean.
This was a very last minute festival for me, so I had no plans to be there, but got a chance of a last minute ticket and decided to make it as random as possible, no program, just turn up and meet people and see what happens. It was a beautifully bizarre, righteously epic and paralytically unctuous experience wrapped in a paradoxical paradigm of expression poured from the souls of some of the best people I have ever known in my life. There were many friends who I wish so much had made it this far in life to witness it alongside us, but alas, such is life. We remain though, and continue to push for the most awesome new experiences that life can exude in our general direction. The land of opportunity is a fortuitous and fruitful fortress like some mental jungle which lies dormant until the day you realize it was always there, inside your own thoughts, your own perspectives and only ever appears to you when you finally admit to yourself that you accept it as rightfully yours. That it is well earned and deserved. One world, one life, one love.
Even in duality and in synchronicity, the opposite only exists so that the most amazing positivism can exist in harmony with it and vice-versa. Yin Yang. One can not exist without the other. You need the bad experiences or you will never have appreciation of value in the good ones. It is the distance between them that gifts you with understanding and knowledge. It is when you live through them that you gain experience, and when you combine all you have experienced and all you have learned and apply that to yourself and live in accordance with those ideals, that you finally realize wisdom or contentment and joy.
You can't just go looking for happiness like some item in a shop, you can't buy love somewhere or travel to it physically. It is you. The whole time, it was there, right there within you all your life. It is only when others help you realize it that you experience it at first, but once you finally understand it is something you generate by yourself and share externally with others, and that you do have something to share with people that you can really live the life you feel you have always wanted to. The only thing stopping you, is you. Be fucking good to each other, and to yourself, coz we only get one shot at this.
I would like to personally thank “Her Rajesty” - Jay Coleman & “Man-At-Arms” Ben-Jitsu Escobar for general camaraderie and awesomeness :) Also I have to thank Stevie Powers, Martin Windebank and Lee McGilvray without whom I would have missed that post, the tags and lost that last chance ticket, but youz are awesome and it all just fell into place. I leaped at the opportunity, flung stuff in the car, grabbed some good friends and fled the scene like Ricky Bobby's Dad in Talladega Nights... and like the man said...
“If you ain't first, you're last.”
Photography credits to Jay Coleman