Friday the 13th, and we packed up early to head for London.
The main reason for our trip? A chance to see Frank Turner headlining Wembley Arena. The reason for the earliness? Dinosaurs! Specifically, an opportunity to go the Natural History Museum while we were in the area anyway.
We rocked up (see what I did there…?) at the museum in the early afternoon, expecting it to be busy but perhaps not queue-for-30-minutes-to-get-in-to-the-dinosaur-exhibit busy. Never mind: we’re British; we can queue with the best of them – and it was totally worth the wait. We spent hours wandering through throngs of people, taking in skeletons and fossils, birds and beasts preserved for posterity, and even the building itself, which is an impressive maze of exhibits and ornately decorated with all sorts of cool panels. The more modern Darwin Centre was really interesting too, with lots of interactive displays and stuff for kids (and big kids like me) to play with.
On to the big gig: I won’t ramble on about how awesome I think Frank Turner is – I’ve already done that many a time on this here blog – but I will say this: if anyone deserves to sell out a Wembley show, it is Frank. The man works hard, I tells ya.
Hubby and I were seated up in the rafters where we could hear the crowd almost as much as the band – and it was seriously the biggest sing-along I have ever heard. Almost every person knew almost every word to almost every song. And as much as I would have loved to have been jumping about down in the pit, hearing that from where we were was pretty fucking cool.
Support from Beans on Toast, Dan le Sac & Scroobious Pip and Billy Bragg was all good too – even if Beans on Toast did only manage to finish one song (he was charming enough to get away with it)!
The morning after, and the journey back was broken up only by a brief stop in Reading for an over-due catch up with our good friends Hayley and Mel over tea and hot cross buns. Which was nice.
A short stop at home, and we were off again – this time over to Cheltenham to catch some of the Trees on Fire Spring Fling mini festival at The Frog and Fiddle. By this point I was a bit too tired to really pay attention to band names (getting old, see… and the cider may not have helped), so I can’t really point out my highlight sets other than Andy Oliveri and Ben Marwood, both of whom I’ve seen and met before (yep, favouritism, I admit it). There was a ska-type band that I liked early-ish in the afternoon, and the last band we saw (Arcane Roots, I think) were excellent – hard, heavy and dynamic.
Didn’t have a camera with me, but here’s DominicMeason’s photos of the event.
And then just like that it was Sunday, which I probably should have spent resting but decided instead to try to dig over some of my garden, and then fell asleep at just the right point to prevent me from sleeping at a sensible bed time.
I may have nearly fallen asleep at my desk today, but it was totally worth it. It’s been a hell of a weekend.