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My summer has been one full of festivals and gigs, which is pretty much standard for me. Well there was OFF! at the Thekla who’s show was so intense, that I ended up in the BRI with chest pains. Luckily, I’d just pulled some muscles in my rib cage – it hurt for quite a while though. I went to Standon Calling, Reading and Bestival (I got given free tickets to all three of these festivals!) I don’t usually do Reading, but who could turn down a free ticket to see Pulp, Fucked Up, White Denim, Saul Williams, Warpaint, Little Roy and OFF! again? Not me. Even if it did mean that I had to put up with monsoon style rain.

I celebrated my 29th birthday at Bestival – I should probably thank Rob da Bank for organising the world’s biggest birthday party; I mean, it was a bit over the top him inviting 40,000 random strangers! This meant I got to enjoy Bjork, on my Birthday, cue lots of wet dream moments of me fantasizing about her jumping out of a huge birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday Mr President to me! This did not happen, for obvious reasons, but she was still stunning and had by far one of the most interesting costumes of the weekend (she kind of looked like a cross between a mushroom and a male Ballet Dancer). It was really surreal, as she was backed up by a 22 piece, all female chior, two synth players and a drummer. There were many highlights from that weekend including, PJ Harvey, The Cure, 65 Days of Static doing a film soundtrack, Mogwai, Kate Tempest’s poetry set in the woods, Max Tundra, Health, King Creosote and Jon Hopkins and Public Enemy. I found myself crying so many tears of joy, you see I am a complete softy.

On my return from Bestival, I enjoyed the warmth of Sarabeth Tucek, who just has got something about her voice which just sounded and felt so warm; I guess a bit like Jesse Sykes’ style of americana. Beautifully penned songs which were nearly ruined by a couple talking. Talking whilst the act is playing is a sure fire way to piss me off, luckily the sound engineer managed to tell them to shut up before I decided to stitch their lips together! I also enjoyed the vocal theatrics of Treefight for Sunlight, who are able to pull off a cover of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Hieghts and make it look easy. It’s a hard song for a female to sing, let alone a male vocalist but he absolutely hammered it.

I spent a weekend with my parents in Plymouth for a post-birthday celebration, where I enjoyed the vocal talents of Port Issac’s Fisherman’s Friends – sea shanties with humorous banter. I also enjoyed the lovable mad Swedish pop of I’m from Barcelona, an ASDA smart price version of the Flaming lips, with ticker tape and huge balloons bouncing around the place, so much fun. And Kill it Kid, who yet again astonished me with powerful vocals.

We also had Brisfest, which was possibly the last fest of the year for me. I spent most of the weekend enjoying myself in the hardcore tent, fully embracing the testosterone. The main stages didn’t really have anything that embraced the alternative people, not even any indie, so on the Saturday night I did slope off to see Factory Floor at the Arnolfini – which took me a fair while to calm down from, because boy did I see some hallucinations!

Then I enjoyed the Wombats at the Colston Hall, where I had a comical moment with a group of teenagers. They were desperate to take memento from me, so I ended up giving strands of my hair! They started of for asking for my T shirt, then a wristband and then a sock…you can guess what the answers to all of those were cant you, a big fat no! When they asked for a sock that’s when I thought they were seriously deluded – who would want a mangy horrible sweaty sock?

Right so coming up in October, it gets quite exciting, with Dub Trio, Crazy Arm, Anna Calvi, Royal Republic, Teeth, Theme Park, Islands festival, Zun Zun egui’s album launch, Real estate, Wilco, Ghost poet, Baxter Dury, The Horrors, Silver Apples, Austere, Sons And Daughters among many others. See you there!