Monday, 2 July 2012

VILLAGE GREEN 2012

What a fantastic day at the Green!!!

This event is fast becoming THE cultural bonanza of the year. Southend is really putting itself on the map for all the right reasons with this amazing event, and it's all FREE!!

Set in the beautiful Chalkwell Park, with the majestic Hall in the middle and views over the Estuary, it's a lovely location. I've had stalls in the Market Place at previous Village Greens, and while I always have a great day, it's frustrating to miss out on all the fun going on! So this year was a year off for Matt ArtPix Inc.!!
I was determined to see and enjoy as much as I could!

With a bamboozling mix of things to see, where do you start?! Included was music, film, poetry, comedy, cabaret, film, theatre, games, stalls, dance.......... phew............!

Over on the impressively big main stage, we enjoyed a fabulous set from THE CORRESPONDENTS. A beguiling mixture of 20s jazz, electro, dubstep and even a hint of 90s jungle (a nice touch sir, something us older chaps appreciated!!). Singer Mr Bruce, part Victorian dandy part Harold Lloyd gave a hugely entertaining performance of impressive dancing with witty and sharp songs. He managed to get a rather chilled out crowd off the floor and dancing like crazy. Top man!

Carrying on with the music we were treated to a stonking set from local legend WILKO JOHNSON.
I particularly wanted to see him as I've never seen him perform live before. I wasn't disappointed, as his personality exudes with every song. His trademark wild stare, machine-gun guitar attack and shuffle along the stage were all there! Special mention must go to band member NORMAN WATT-ROY, the coolest bass player EVER! Absolute legend and what a player. Check out his CV on Wiki!

After that JAKE SHILLINGFORD looked a little pedestrian, but still a big deal to get him down here to play.

One particular delight of VILLAGE GREEN is that all tribes are mixed in together, young and old, very young and very old! Everyone just really enjoying themselves, and mixing together.
Another delight is the sheer range of activities, so we couldn't resist popping over to the Cycle in Cinema to settle back on the deckchairs and watch some classic Tom & Jerry cartoons!!!

Had a wander around the Market Place, seeing a few familiar faces, to marvel at the goodies on show! Watched the dancers in the Tea Dance tent, had a sausage roll in the Birdwood Café, a classic bitter at the beer tent and ending up watching the splendid GILDED LILI VARIETY SHOW.
And what a show!!! All hosted by local lovely LILI LA SCALA, it was a fantastic hour of songs, tricks and surreal moments. Note to self: Don't sit at the front again.... I was hauled up on stage by Lili as she performed Abba classic Money, Money, Money. I had to rip up some money and throw it over her, all in front of LOADS of people!!!!

Our final port of call was at the Global Village stage to catch a bit of THE FAMOUS POTATOES, whose set was unfortunately cut short, what a shame.
But as the sun set and we picked our way through the debris we didn't really want to go home.

But what a brilliant day we had, can't wait until next year.........


Canvey Island Allstars strut their stuff on the impressive Village Green Stage.

More strutting of stuff in the Tea Dance tent!

At the Set Stage, a few of the Southend Shakespeare Company are in the picture.

Fortunately the beer tents didn't have this problem!
The brilliant THE CORRESPONDENTS.

The crowd starts to move, check out those shapes!

Pooch Party! These rascals decided to have their own party, complete with cider and convenient tree!

Some artwork on show, literally off the back of a lorry!

We popped into the cinema for some much needed Tom & Jerry cartoons!
The enigmatic wild-eyed WILKO JOHNSON!

Coolest bass player ever: NORMAN WATT-ROY!

The Railway Hotel crew, complete with young fan and collapsed dad!

Jake Shillingford, in full rock star pose.

The lovely LILI LA SCALA!

The loopy Lisa Lottie, hula-hoop tomfoolery!

Mike Raffone (geddit?), doing his hilarious Conductor routine.

The superb Sam Wills doing his balloon on head trick!

The Famous Potatoes, before being cut off mid-set.

Sunset and debris at the park, a fine way to finish!

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