I am not the kind of person who enjoys the tenting life.
It is not the idea of camping and sleeping away from home that I am opposed to. Indeed I like camping when it has four walls, a bed, shower, coffee making facilities, wifi and a handy phone which allows you to summon someone bearing something lovely to eat. I especially like it when there is a large room to go to in the morning and something deliciously fried is served up to you.
I strongly feel that our ancestors would think we were mad to go back to living in tents …. With or without wandering sabre tooth tigers I think they would check into the nearest hotel if it was available. I also think they would come to love and embrace the concept of plumbing.
I did do tents when I was younger and I was attending festivals. While I cannot describe myself as over enthused about it, I did enjoy the whole festival experience. I may be a touch of a golden oldie these days but there was a time when I came dangerously close …. To being groovy.
Serendipity being the lovely sort that she is recently tossed me glimmer of a memory of when I was tolerably close to enjoy camping. Or to be more precise, when I went to festivals.
I logged on to the old Facebook thing a week or two ago to find I had been tagged in a post about a photoshoot. This is not uncommon and the decent thing to do as a Photographer is to take a look at what this friend has decided to nominate you and your camera for. There are times when this can be of considerable interest and some occasions when over enthusiastic friend has put you forward for something truly ghastly.
This particular post was intriguing for a number of reasons.
Whilst performing a brief examination of what was at hand I noted a number of mutual friends and a strong Antiques Quarter connection. Ginga Loli whose fashion business is Dread Funky is based in the Quarters very own The Vaults. It was further a delight to discover that each of her unique colourful and funky creations was created through upcycling clothes …. And as previously established I am very much an admirer of the unique and especially the upcycled. The photoshoot was specifically for clothing designed to be colourful, fun and with festival wear firmly in mind.
I made arrangements to meet Ginga Loli and found someone fabulously creative with a concept that was both magical and …. If a man of my age dare say this (forty …. In case you were interested …. But the beige content of my wardrobe suggests further advancement in years)…. Groovy.
It was a good turnout for the girls on the day of the shoot but a disastrous one for the boys. One chap turned up and sat around for a while before disappearing to destination unknown. All those wonderful male clothes were to be un shot due to a no show from the guys (or a brief show soon to vanish). I tried one of the gloriously long coats and ran around for a while to kill time as the girls changed. I love a long coat and I love one with great flowability.
Although it has to be admitted that even the girls looked like a weak showing initially … A dancer I really wanted to work with (and now have) came along to see what I am like during a shoot and was recruited to fashion some of the Dread Funky Fashion (she awesomely jumped into the breach and was fabulous). Dianne from The Vaults was recruited for doing some video and we were later joined by more of the ladies to wear these funky creations.
(We shall be reshooting for the men’s at some other point … Come on chaps … We cannot be beat in this!!!)
Despite the shaming of my fellow males … The girls just rocked it.
Purple, Aquatic and Red jump suits. Long flowy cloaks and coats and even Indian wear bounced around in the green woody areas. As the sun acknowledged it was about time to wind down for the day out came the cider and my usual no drinking rule while shooting was forgotten as the mind wound back to the festival life.
The ever creative and energetic Ginga a living memory of the wonderful characters one meets at festivals.
I must report that all of this left me no more inclination to sleep in a tent again than I had prior to the shoot. Or even to put a flower in my hair and go all earth child for a weekend. I no longer wish to stand in a field full of other people listening to music when I can happily put it on my stereo and choose the song I like and at what volume I wish to play it at.
Also .... Do I need to be surrounded by thousands to enjoy music ... And my slippers are no good in mud!!!!
That being said …. It gives me a nice comforting feeling to think that these clothes I have taken photographs of will spend the weekends making the bright young ones with flowers in the hair look amazing. There will be photos of them taken by friends that will go into albums for memories. Many years from now when their wardrobe begins to turn to beige they will look back and see these bright vibrant colours and remember the happy times.
This is me some nights during the summer. I shall take my evening sherry before slipping between the sheets at nine o clock and think back to those fun times ... When life in festival world had only just begun to get interesting.... When the evening was just beginning and the weekend was about to get ..... Groovy!!!
Peace out ya’ll and stick a flower in your hair.