It's been quite a year so far; I celebrated a fantastic 50th birthday party in February at which I played drums in a band on stage for the first time to a warm crowd of friends and family. And latterly I've spent most of the summer weekends enjoying my first ever music festival season.
"What?" I hear you say. "What have you been doing with the past thirty odd summers if you ain't been going to music festivals and behaving like any 'normal' human being?"
It's not like I've spent them doing nothing in the summer. The truth is I've spent most summers doing other summery stuff which has been completely non-music related. I ain't been to prison all this time either in case you're thinking.
Anyway, this blog and a couple more to come are about my experiences attending my first summer of festivals, a season in which I lost my Glastonbury virginity; life will never be the same.
And it's at Glastonbury that we start.
My good friend John Fairhurst asked me mid June "What you doing at the end of June kidda?" "Nowt", I said. "Wanna come to Glastonbury?" "Are you kidding me?" That's generally how the conversation went.
Two weeks later I'm loitering in the wings of a sunny Hell stage on the first night of the festival in front of 2000 fans who've been gagging for the festival to start for a day or so. They're all here to see the John Fairhurst band featuring John, Toby Murray on drums and Justin Kool on bass.
The hell stage has a notoriety about it which is to be expected judging by its name.
I'm nervous as hell and I ain't even performing, just taking photos. The music starts and the nerves turn to adrenaline and next thing I'm out on stage mixing it up with the band and the crowd but I'm trying to remain discreet, not get in the way and looking for the shots that will do the band justice. I have to try to remain disconnected but it's difficult because I dig the heavy blues sound and can't help getting into the groove.
There's lots of space which is a relief and I try and make the most of this luxury. There are good lights, good smoke and loads of atmosphere; the crowd look amazing. The band hits it's stride from the off and I'm there with them in that moment. It was a magical experience and one I won't forget.
There were other great performances from the band at the fantastic Glade stage (perhaps a better performance overall), and other stages over the week long festival.
It was a terrific experience and one I'm intending to repeat next year. It's not important when you get there, only that you get there, wherever there is.
Part two - Maverick Festival with the Clubhouse Crowd (coming soon)