In all it was a superb experience, with it’s high and low points throughout the long and arduous journey to the festival.
It was about 16th June 2009 when the email came into me. We had to keep it quiet as contracts hadn’t been exchanged, but we’d been offered the festival slot on Saturday – a 2pm slot so not too shabby!
Have you ever tried keeping massively important news quiet for 6 weeks when other bands around you are announcing their festival plans? – it’s not easy, but we did it.
On August 1st it was announced – Manning were playing RoSfest… and the bitterness and backbiting started. A certain member of a certain band told a very good friend of mine (who the certain band member wasn’t aware was a good friend of mine) “they’re only getting RoSfest because Kris is in the CRS”. Well, actually, by that point I’d quit the CRS so a rethink on the bitchy and jealous comments would be in order?
So in October along comes the god of guitar himself, Chris Catling… he loves the music and boy can he shred that piece of wood!. We auditioned quite a few to get him – including the mandatory “I haven’t read the advert” people who thought we were making loads of money at it.
Keyboard players are harder to find, but eventually after a couple of false starts and some time wasters we found Tim.
Phew – problems one and two solved. Now for problem three – visas. Now we were told that you couldn’t get a visa if you had a criminal record, and I was told that having a court date pending could cause problems too. Thanks to those lovely people at South Yorkshire Police I had a court date pending… they said I was using my mobile phone whilst driving, and I wasn’t (and was eventually found not guilty, but that’s another story).
Thankfully – honesty on my application paid off and on the London visit to take our passports in and get our visas the words “I’m pleased to tell you your application has been accepted” were wonderful (although then having to sort out a flute player for whom the form was even more bewildering than it was for me – not so good)… and the chemists round the corner? well £30 odd for computer access is criminal!
April arrived and the build up was good… we did a full day rehearsal just before and felt great about it. We were ready.
Now onto the festival – and judging by the photos you’ll see we had fun (you can read about each day further back in my blog).