We played first up in the late afternoon sun.
Tim and I had travelled over together, talking old times and catching up. We have all this history. He had been the drummer that replaced Caroline in the earliest days of the band and then re-joined in the nineties and he knows as much about the Spines as anybody. We told stories there and back.
He played really well – sitting in for Malky even though we’d only managed one rehearsal. I decided at the last minute to start with Foreign Agent to sort of welcome the festival-goes and ease into things then straight into Punch and the intense set we played in Newtown – we went rocking.
By the time I got out the Gretsch everyone was feeling good and I pulled out a few stops on guitar. I’ve been playing the Telecaster mostly of late and it was great to get that big Beastgirl sound again. My solos in the big ballads towards the end (Lily and I and The Ghost of Del Rey) were something special.
Hannah sang lead vocals on Your Body Stays for the first time – we’ve been working on it and she did a fine job. It’s a big story song I’ve been singing at the end of every gig for 35 years so it was a pleasure to just shut up and play my guitar through the anguished verses then sing hard in the refrains.
Les and Tim had an engine room going in the rhythm section. Great sound on stage and we played edgy and wild.
The All Seeing Hand came on later that night and they put on an incredible performance. I’ve never seen or heard anything quite like it. Visually they had something of the feel of early Genesis especially the horror elements. Throat singing, killer drums and Alphabethead. Really different.
I didn’t get too carried away with the partying this year but I did have a big night with Neil, John and Steve on the guitars the Saturday night.
In my tent I studied a book of old songs I’d been working on in 2012 – words and chords I’d forgotten.
Then on the last morning there was a little gathering by the pool and I played a croaky set of acoustic songs. Hannah, Vanessa and Lisa Tomlins helped me out with some of the singing. Weathered Lines, Some of the Joy, the Storm, Be With Me, Say Why You Ache, Frida and then Stop Forever – it was quite emotional and V and Lisa shed some tears.
On the way home Tim told me a story about how when he was with Annie Crummer he left a Walkman with a demo of Weathered Lines in the kitchen. He said when he came home she was cooking and singing along to it.
When it ended she started it again and sang it to perfection.