Sunday 3 October 2010


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Mugs, of course (I don't believe I wrote that ! I mean Sugs; still looking very fit, as did all the group despite their advancing years - just goes to show how having fun can keep you youthful.)


I shall write this post when I find the notes I made whilst on holiday in September (in Italy, of course)!!! Perhaps they are with the down-loaded recipe for South African Bobotie, which was featured on Lorraine Kelly's morning show a few days ago, 'cos I can't find that either.

JANUARY 5th - NOTES FOUND !!! (Plus recipe)

Here are some of my photos from the night that I've (i.e. John, husband and technical amanager) posted to Flickr. I must confess that my photos of the groups are not my best - it's very difficult to take good photos whilst being pushed and shoved and 'slightly' tipsy. And I should also mention that the first group to play were the famous Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel and they were pretty darn good. To call them a 'warm-up' group would be an insult. They could have played all evening and we would still have had a good time. Towards the end of their set, Sugs came onto the stage and played with them and you could feel the frienship and admiration that the two groups have for each other.

MADNESS...What can I say? They were always brilliant in their hay day and they're just as good now. Even better, actually, in a live performance.

With their distinctive sound, catchy lyrics and unique 'Madness' dance - sharp and robotic - it is impossible not to feel happy, happy, happy when their music is playing. So, when someone at Mitzi's funeral in April said that Madness were playing at the Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza in August, the responsive was immediate - loads of us wanted to go.

So, loads of us went and we weren't disappointed. It was the best evening of 2010 for me.

Here are some photos of some of us having our picnic. Please note that it was a beautiful evening, not a rain drop in sight, although it chucked it down for days before and days after. It's always been a lovely evening everytime we've been to the Extravagaza. Co-incidence, good luck or divine will?

Here's the scene:

The Abbey, the 1st Christian church built in the UK and now in ruins, with it's extensive grounds of trees, large grassy area and lake, is positioned slap-bang in the middle of Glastonbury (funky, mystical, hippy Somerset town with the famous Tor close by).

The Extraveganza should not be confused with the enormous Glastonbury Festival, which takes place on acres of farmland several miles from the town earlier in the summer and usually with vasts seas of mud.

The Abbey Extravaganza is big enough for me, thank you very much. The grounds can accomodate thousands of guests and although I don't generally like crowds I always feel totally at home and safe.

The Extravaganza takes place each year on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday and offers a variety of musical genres.

We've already seen Van Morrison, Corin Bailey-Ray, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Nigel Kennedy play there in previous years.

But the crowd for Madness was the largest yet: the place was teeming with Madness look-abouts, people dressed in full evening gear, people dressed in fancy dress, people wearing hardly anything at all (come on Hana and Erica - you know exactly who I mean), and a handful of very sensible people, like me, wearing warm clothing as protection against the cold of a typical summer evening (sunny or not).

The enormous stage is positioned at the bottom of a gentle slope which is jam-packed with people tucking into their picnics (some on rugs on the ground, some with table-clothed tables and chairs)/dancing/queuing for the toilets/crammed in a row after row in front of the stage/running around (usually the children) and 'budding photographers' like me pushing their way to the front (which is no mean feat) to take some photos. (I did try to blag my way into the photographers area right at the front but to no avail.)

Hopefully, my photos will give you a flavour of the Extravaganza and that all too often elusive just plain happy-to-be-alive and happy-to-be-there experience.

John, of course, recorded most of the show and you can see and hear Madness at their best on his daftnotstupid You Tube site . And if you're reading this, my friend Web Sherrif, he got permission from the group to do just that.

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