You may wonder what a jazz/klezmer outfit like Eastern Straynote is doing playing at a folk festival. And as the rain came down on my drive from Norwich to north Derbyshire I was wondering the same. The last time I came to Stainsby was with The Crimson Muses back in 2007. It had been a very wet spring and early summer and had been raining solidly for 48 hours prior to my arrival. The whole place was a quagmire and pitching a tent was an impossibility. Fortunately all my children had found other places to be so my partner and I put the back seats down and slept in the back of the car. Calf deep mud didn't quite spoil the weekend, mostly because it actually stopped raining, but it was a close thing.
It had been dry for weeks leading up to Stainsby Festival this year but a couple of rainy days was enough to bring on the mud. Slippery but not deep enough to steal your boots. The Straynotes played on Friday evening and lifted any qualing spirits in the way they know best. Our own spirits had been lifted by seeing Gary Rudd's band, The Lost Padres, playing on the main stage immediately prior to our appearance in 'The Space'.
I had to leave early the next morning to catch up with work back home but took a couple of snaps before I went. It is a small but strange event, somewhere between a beer festival and a hippy reunion. Andy thinks this may reflect the proximity of the beautiful countryside to the M1 which can be seen cutting through the valley. The two food vans in the other pic would tend to back this up: the classic greasy spoon next to the authentic (food cooked by a real Tibetan) ethnic eatery. Neither could provide me with a cup of tea so early in the day, however.