creation, life, my shit

618 miles – Lost and Found at Solfest

After 2 days of head ache trying to hire a car, which is usually straight forward and CHEAP, we gave up. They hiked the prices up for bank holiday, the capitalist cunts. My manager told me to get on the fucking train or i was going to miss the gig tonight. It worked out well as it gave me SEVEN hours to work on the set on my way up. But it cost a ridiculous 147 quid, fucking ouch.

After gliding past the beautiful Lake District i got off the train in a tiny village called Aspatria. In the darkness a car rumbled up to me. Through the misty headlights a ginger beard reached out and shook my hand.

“Flaps! Chris. I met you at The Pizza Club in Carlisle a few years ago.”

We sped through the dark country lanes, a ginger baby piped up from the back seat, and started chatting away. He clearly had better social skills than me.

We pulled into the backstage area of the fest and there was a geezer who looked familiar stood outside my window on his phone..

“Flaps?”

“Oui” i replied.

He hugged me and passed me the phone.

“Alright sexy tits?” said my manager.

“Squeeky Cheeks!”

“Aye, good timing. All good?”

“Yeah, safe. Arrived in good shape. Chat later.”

“Safe.”

Damian welcomed me and walked me round the back stage and various smiley faces hugged me and then i was whisked off to a little field where i squeezed my half-a-man tent up.

I headed down to the Lost and Found stage where i was to be playing later. Paul Hartnoll rocked it hard with his new stuff followed by some Orbital classics, including the sublime ‘Belfast’. Great set, i was starting to get a bit nervous as i knew i was on about and hour after him…

I headed back stage and slumped into a big comfy chair where more smiley people offered me plenty of goodies. Tea was all that was required so i was plyed with it, and then i found myself side stage ready to go. I was about to throne myself with the sheep hat which i normally sell as a day job. But bottled it last minute.

So weird without a band to hide behind…. but this is how it is for now… Flaps centre stage……

I kicked off with The Untouchables theme tune, and very slowly built to a stompin bouncy set. The crowd were shaking their arses. Half way thru a geezer with one leg drove his huge disability scooter in and parted the crowd and pulled up real close to the stage. He sat there bopping his head grinning from lug to lug for the rest of the set.

I finished up with ‘A Series of Fuck Offs’, my Sleaford Mods Remix, followed by The English National Anthem which nearly got me lynched before slamming in the re-rub i done of the Sex Pistol’s ‘God Save The Queen’. All good. Slipped off stage and there was a roar of approval. You know the Score.. Quimcore!

I spent the rest of night mosying about and chatting to random people. Josephina Ballerina was a familiar face and we hung out. The smiley legend Monk gave me a bear hug and there were lots more friendly faces.

Went to check The Skints out. Weren’t sure. Then outside the tent i seen some guy on the floor foaming at the mouth. He was lying against the fence and was struggling. I called a steward over and she looked completely freaked out and ran off to find help. I went off and bought some water, when i got back there were now 2 stewards standing about 3 metres away from the collapsed guy, shining a torch on him. I crouched down and give the poor fucker some water and walked off luckily bumping into some medics and pointing them in that direction.

I ended up in Loungevity, the worlds largest Chill Out tent. With the more sofas than DFS. I chilled and chatted and danced and despite being completely on my own felt quite relaxed. This was peculiar. I was socialising. Shit! The very thing i’m famous for not being very good at! What the fecks goin on here? I dont know if it was Solfest, or The North… whichever, i loved interacting with these folk. A welcomed stranger in a strange land.

I slipped off to my half-man tent about 6am with a hot chocolate and dreamed of weird naked skinny bald cats crawling into my tent. hundreds of them. All veiny and pink. Filling my tent. With me underneath them all. Arrrgh!!!!!!

I climbed out of my hobbit hole about midday. I planned heading home today. But the sun was belting. The tunes were throbbing. The vibe was buzzing and I was feeling good. In the Healing Fields i got chatting to some cool ladies from North Wales. We spoke for ages about energy and potions. They told me they had seen my set and loved it and they told me in welsh i was BRetthau Fflap, two Fs coz one f is a V in welsh. A fast repetitive drum from the tent next door was starting to get on my tits.

“What the hells that racquet?” i asked.

“Shamanic drumming, it sends you somewhere. Its amazing.”

“Really? Not sure i could deal with that. Could you ask them to keep it down a bit?”

Shortly after the drumming stopped and a little round red lady with blonde hair joined us. She wrinknled at the eyes and had a tiny smile.

“You have been depleted.” she sqeeked, “Someone has taken energy from you, and you were unable to get it back. I can help you restore to your old self with out hurting or affecting the person who has wronged you. An Energy Retrieval.”

Woah. That struck a chord.

“Ok. I’m in. Just gonna run for a pee, back in 5.” I said.

A huge head dress of Black feathers brushed back over her head exposing her beady eyes as she emerged from the smokey tent. Was this the same person?

“What have you come as?” I asked

“I am the Raven. Enter.” she squeaked.
The Lady Mutant Shaman Raven laid me down and began to dance around the tent barking jibberish into the air. She picked up the drum and began to bang it all over the place and then finally directly over my head. Fast repetitive single bangs, four to the floor, probably about144bpm.  Then she started chanting again and calling people from all sides of the earth. The only line i made out was:

“And to the spirits of the South, and the Turkeys and the Whales and the Bears!”

Wtf. She then picked up a large chain of wooden beads and rattled them all over my body. And then sat me up. She made a funnel with her hand and blew through her beak onto my shoulders, arms, groin, knees, feet and finally head. Then she started to chat some more and then lied silently next to me.

We breathed. And waited.

“Yes” she said, to who I know not.

She stood and then hit the holy shit out of the drum one last time.

“Open your eyes when you are ready,” she said, “I have a message from your spirits. I can’t explain what it means, I can only tell you what they said and hope it means something to you. It is this, ‘For Success in your work, you must Paint, and Play with your ideas.'”

“Um, ok thanks, what did my spirits look like?” I asked

“I can only see my spirits, I evoked them and asked them to speak to yours, and this is what they told me to tell you. They also told me to say that you should take the form of The Porcupine.”

animal-cute-jawn-porcupine-favim-com-491057_large

“Right. Ok. Um”

I slipped a few quid into her pot and sat outside on a deck chair and started to put my big boots back on. She sat next to me and we chatted about the various meanings it could have. She told me to go eat something and relax. She said I may feel different in the coming days.

I went and bought a fat pizza and strolled back to my tent. I laid there with the flap open looking into the clouds, munching away.

A cold air sneaked up and bit my love handle. Eek. I opened my eyes. It was night. Soundsystems throbbed around me and the light of the full moon shone into my tent exposing my half uneaten pizza on my chest. My feet hung out of my tent. Checked the phone, 8.5 hours had passed and I hadn’t moved a muscle. Just completely conked out. What the fuck did that shamen do to me! I scoffed the remainder of my cold pizza and headed into the night. I felt amazing.

I floated all over the festival in my sheep hat. Met loads of people many of whom recognised me from the Sicknote days, and Beatherder and Thimbleberry and an unfeasible amount of people who remembered me from The Pizza Caf gig in Carlisle organized by the legend Pat Sav.

I headed to the open mic tent wear they sang an excellent rendition of Abba’s ‘Porterloo’ and a brilliant version of Madonna’s ‘Like A Pigeon’.

I scoffed more food, drank more tea and danced the night away, banging set from Gella and Jinx. Got chatting to oddballs and freaks and lovely folk. And a lovely young lady on a zimer frame with the voice of a peedo. Teetotality is the weirdest fuckin drug ive ever taken i can tell thee.

Sunday i headed out into another sunny day. Blagged my way onto the decks at a lovely little cafe called the Beatroute with thanks to a top chap called Niles. They were happy for a DJ to take care of the tunes and kept me watered with green tea as i spun an eclectic chilled set. About an hour and a half in I started kickin it up and a few people danced and many chilled outside and lots of people were coming over saying they were loving the tunes… nothing mental just lots of people chilling in the sun. One of the bar girls come over and was saying she was really enjoying the tunes. Nice vibes!

A 7ft dreadlock suddenly appeared behind me and started lecturing me on how i was playing the wrong songs and volume for the tent and what was I doing. He took hold of the master knob and cranked it down to bearly audible. I said my thanks to the people who let me play and headed out into the sun. A few geezers who had been blowing massive bubbles with the kids outside came over and they had been loving the tunes and recognised me from Thimblberry, the most legendary and debauched of all the festivals from a few years back.

Not long after i found The Cottage, which Tania the Mutant Fairy recommended to me last night as a good place to play a set. A welcoming cottage front door led into a tiny dark tent. Tosh the boss told me to get on and left me to it. I slammed out the tunes and a large lady span around the place sweating, totally having it. Luckily she left before she collapsed. A nice couple came in and had a bop for half hour, then left. Then i was playin to no one.. cant say i blamed them. On a sunny day like this who in their right mind would wanna be cramped up in a hot dark tent with a hobbit playing techno at them? Then a couple came in with a little podgy baby who seemed to be loving the tune. The dad held him stood on his lap and he danced for the rest of my set with a massive gummy grin, staring straight at me with his sparkling big blue eyes. Defo Flapsandwich’s youngest fan! Respek little man!

Back at Lost n Found i bounced until i could no more in particular loved the set from a Tim Toil. nice.

12 hour kip in my tiny tent. woke up to more blistering sun…..  The views of the mountains and sea blew my mind and i packed my shit up and just lay there. I went back stage and thanked Damian for one of my fave gigs of the year. An amazing festival, awesome stage, banging PA, lovely people, well looked after and I’m missing it already.

Massive respect to Lost & Found. See you all soon

Flaps.

Get the full set on CD here….

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