I need some more time to digest the experience of the last satsang extravaganza before posting any kind of definitive account.
Here in the meantime, however, is a group photograph from the last day.
We made two of six returnees of a party significantly smaller than last year’s. Received no set of stringent terms and conditions this time but basically abided by the original list just in case. No sense being banished for non-compliance.
We travelled down from Paddington to a major station in the southwest and followed instructions to find the minibus that would speed us to the now not-so-secret location. Things went surprisingly smoothly.
After cups of tea with UHT milk in the hotel room, the afternoon left us a bit of time to explore the pretty, undulating streets of the sunlit little town. Everywhere seemed unnaturally deserted, the pubs empty and most of the cafes closed. It was like one of those post-apocalyptic disaster movies when a handful of survivors strive to find each other (and ultimately procreate – the circle of life, yawn) in the aftermath of some kind of worldwide holocaust. Maybe the residents had been alerted to our arrival and gone into hiding. Because it’s like a ghost town whenever we venture out onto the streets, though the pubs are populated in the evenings and the allegedly best restaurant fully booked.
The locals we did encounter were preternaturally friendly and welcoming. Should you pick out some postcards from a rack, take them into a shop where a man called Bill shuffles through them, saying ‘I’ll just see if there’s any of Rodney’, you’re in Dave’s adopted hometown.
Later we bumped into some of the band members (Jonathan Lea and David Nolte) in a tea-room that stayed open till the unusually late hour of 8.30. Overjoyed to hear that my request for the weekend, ‘Milk Cow Blues’ had been rehearsed earlier. (I’d even taken the precaution of copying the lyrics out in magic marker on an A4 sheet should Dave not have them.)
So, to whet your appetite, here’s a setlist autographed by the band, though not everything on it was played. And a few that aren’t on it were.
Incidentally, just bought tickets to see Ray Davies at the Hop Farm Festival in Tunbridge Wells, hopefully, if we can get anywhere near the stage. Unbelievable that he’s second on the bill to Peter Gabriel. There’s no justice in the world. Wish he would play some more intimate gigs in England rather than put his fans through the all-day festival ordeal though. Still, I guess we have to take big brother where we can get him.