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Bestival 2010

Revenge of the Lawn were given the 10.00 am slot on the Bandstand. Unfortunately, the stewards did not open the gates till 10.15am. leaving the band to play to assorted Bestival staff and a cackle of Women Institute ladies, who lined up in ranks outside the WI tea and cake tent and jeered appropriately, as the band tried to encourage them to join in on a song.

Photos of the gig are very rare: photographers were either not awake at that hour or were too tired/hung-over to take photos. A big thank you therefore to Johann van Schispen from Rotterdam for sending in the gig photos.

Old punk rockers never die ...
... they do the sensible thing and become Revenge of the Lawn fans.

Here is such a fan. Let's call him Percival to protect his identity and embarrassment. Percival was kitted out in Revenge of the Lawn Green - trousers and jacket. His shirt was stencilled with the band's name. This picture also shows his liberal use of artificial lawn, both for side hangings and a false lawn beard. The false lawn beard is a touch of genius. All topped off with a wig found in a skip, for Percival is, of course, thinning on top as he is somewhat old. Here he is just before the band are about to play, with his breakfast drink: the band's very own absinthe.

It's 4 minutes past 10 and the band launch into the first song.

Dave Cheesybits, the band's usual bass player, is conspicuous by his absence, having been the victim of a nasty internecine knife attack early in August. Louis stepped in as a substitute and, despite going against his mother's advice the previous evening not to drink a bottle of spirits without diluting it, did just that and was consequently massively hung-over when it came to play. He did play an excellent bass though that morning, but slunk away very quickly back to his tent after.

The hangover is getting worse and Louis's head is slowly drooping lower and lower as the gig goes on ...

... but he perks up when the band start a bit of "Bawldy Baytinge".

The band love a bit of baldy baiting, as can be seen from the smiles all around. Even Louis's head has raised itself erect and revived to watch an old traditional English folk sport, sadly now forgotten and extinct. Extinct that is until Revenge of the Lawn read a book on old English folk customs and decided to try and resurrect the sadly neglected art of ramming plungers or any sticky thing on the head of a baldy. Fortunately for the band, they don't have to search far for a baldy: they have their very own one in the dome of Owen, the penny whistle, banjo, saxophone and harmonica player of the band. Here's Owen with two plungers already affixed and gearing up for the third one. The front plunger is a massive Red Stallion plunger, a rare heavy-duty plunger used in the chemical industry.

This ancient sport is supposed to represent the communal mocking of cuckolds like the traditional custom of skimmington. The plungers mimic the horns worn by cuckolds or the horns of the Devil, and the action of yanking around the baldy's head by holding onto the plungers represents the mocking of the Devil.

Images showing the horns on the Devil's head.
Baldy baiting symbolises the grasping of these and jerking the devil's head around.

[ABOVE] A baldy baiting session from a 17th century guide, just before it turns nasty for the baiter.
[LEFT] Baldy baiting in the 18th century,
using a large bell plunger.

The Revenge of the Lawn fan passes out.

The band claim it was because of the excitement of the band's performance.
Experts and everyone else agree that it was because he drank too much of the home-made gut-rot absinthe.

A Bestival-goer in surgeon fancy dress thought it would be an amusing joke
to pretend to attend to his comatose body.
A one-armed harlequin called Arlequino has now joined the band as their Green Man Announcer. He was present at the Bestival, but did not take up official duties on that day.

Advertising coupon distributed at the Bestival, mainly inserted in mesh of fences round the latrine areas.