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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Secret Garden Party 2010: Sunday Review

Sunday at Secret Garden Party is a day for extreme silliness... mud wrestling, paint powder fights and doing the limbo. To the sounds of Savoir Adore, Horace Andy, Gabby Young and Other Animals and Mercury Rev.

Written by Amelia Gregory

gabby young by moon
Gabby Young by Moon.

Our Sunday got off to a sleepy start, as it did for most Secret Gardeners. Bypassing the cleverly marketed Hendrick’s gin carriage in favour of a cup of tea, I wended my way to the press tent to once more charge my damn crappy iphone, and caught the soulful electro sounds of Belleruche, rather erroneously described in the £5 brochure as “blissed out hip hop beats”.

SGP 2010-hendricksgin
This lovely artwork was displayed in the Hendrick’s train carriage. Apparently the artist is a woman based in the Truman Brewery but they couldn’t tell me who it was. Does anyone know? Photography by Amelia Gregory.

SGP 10-main arena by Amelia Gregory
SGP 2010-belleruche by Amelia Gregory
Belleruche by Stacie Swift
Belleruche by Stacie Swift.

It wasn’t long before I was distracted by the nefarious lure of mud wrestling over in the aptly named Collisillyeum. To start off proceedings a small semi naked boy was encouraged to wrestle a large slippery man in nowt but pants – thankfully it transpired that this was his dad otherwise the picture below might look extremely dodgy.

SGP 2010-collisillyeum by Amelia Gregory
SGP 10-mud fight by Amelia Gregory
SGP 2010-mudfight by Amelia Gregory
SGP 2010-mudfight by Amelia Gregory

After the couple had managed to drag mum into the mud it was time to pit some blonde ladies against a couple of brunettes before sending a load of curiously willing men into the arena, where many a bollock and boob was soon on display. Naturally my proximity to the action ensured both myself and my camera got well spattered in mud.

SGP 10-David Rodigan by Amelia Gregory
SGP 10-David Rodigan crowd by Amelia Gregory
SGP 10-David Rodigan crowd by Amelia Gregory
Dave-Rodigan-by-Louise-Sterling
David Rodigan by Louise Sterling.

Back at the main stage DJ David Rodigan was the surprise hit of Sunday afternoon. The 59 year old gave us a guided tour through the history of reggae with all the enthusiasm of an overexcited puppy whilst the crowd jumped around in reciprocal glee.

SGP 2010-savoir adore by Amelia Gregory
Andrea Peterson Savoir Adore
Andrea Peterson Savoir Adore
Savoir Adore by Andrea Peterson.

Savoir Adore hail from Brooklyn, and showed typically American enthusiasm for Secret Garden Party. “We’re so excited – this is the coolest place.” Wearing standard festival glittery eye make up (I blame Bat For Lashes – even the boys are covered in it these days) their gorgeous brand of melodic electronica was met by a laconic audience. “I know how tired you guys are…” opined singer Deidre Muro, “but I invite you to stand up.” She didn’t have much luck, but this shouldn’t be equated with any lack of enthusiasm.

SGP 2010-Horace Andy by Amelia Gregory
Horace Andy by Sine Skau
Horace Andy by Sine Skau.

Over in the main area it was time to subject my poor camera to another onslaught – this time a paint powder fight that bathed the happy dancers in a pastel fluoro glow before submerging them in the mellow beats of reggae supremo Horace Andy.

SGP 10-body paint by Amelia Gregory
SGP 10-clown powder by Amelia Gregory
SGP 10-paint powder by Amelia Gregory
SGP 10-paint powderfloor by Amelia Gregory
SGP 10-paint by Amelia Gregory
tim adey paint powder
Last photograph by Tim Adey.

Thanks to a tip off from my boyfriend I caught the fantastic Gabby Young and Other Animals playing to a small crowd at the Chai Wallah tent. Gabby was dressed in an amazing ruffled paper and lace concoction accessorised with coloured false hair pieces; a dream to photograph and illustrate. Together with banjo and brass she creates wonderful big band indie folk you can dance to. A real discovery.

SGP 2010-Gabby Young by Amelia Gregory
Gabby Young by Michelle Urvall Nyrén
Gabby Young by Michelle Urvall Nyrén.

We stayed for the majority of headliners Mercury Rev, most notable for their well practiced stadium posturing. Ours was a quick midnight drive back to London but I hear at times there were dire queues to get both in and out of Secret Garden Party.

SGP 2010-Mercury Rev by Amelia Gregory
SGP 2010-Mercury Rev by Amelia Gregory
SGP 2010-Mercury Rev by Amelia Gregory
Mercury Rev by Mags James
Mercury Rev by Mags James. Animal hood by Merrimaking.

All in all this was another vintage year from the one festival that refuses to bow to corporate Festival Republic pressure. Long may it remain thus, for this is one grown up’s party that deserves to continue in perpetuity. I shall leave you with my remaining selection of Sunday’s highlights.

SGP 2010-theatre by Amelia Gregory
Interactive games in the theatre tent.

SGP 10-best costume by Amelia Gregory
Best costume of the entire weekend? Even he had no idea what it was supposed to be.

SGP 10-leigh bowery by Amelia Gregory
Make up inspired by Leigh Bowery.

SGP 2010-limbo by Amelia Gregory
Doing the limbo in a feather boa.

SGP 2010-rollers by Amelia Gregory
A man in bikini, fat suit and rollers. Why of course!

SGP 10-wild thing art by Amelia Gregory
Art in the woods.

SGP lovers Tim Adey
Loved up, photography by Tim Adey.

sgp wheelchair race tim adey
Wheelchair disaster. Photography by Tim Adey.

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6 Responses to “Secret Garden Party 2010: Sunday Review”

  1. I’m Gabby Young’s stylist, her outfit was made by amazing designer Kumiko Tani- check her out http://www.kumiko-tani.com/ Beautiful illustrations!

  2. Jemima Broadbridge says:

    I really love the illustrations of Gabby Younge in her fabulous dress by Moon and Michelle Urvall Nyren. I see what you mean about Gabby’s outfit being made for drawing. it is a confection of lines and texture that would tempt any artist.

    I also love the colour effects you’ve generated in your iphone shots…the Hipstamatic app gives your images a lovely polaroid style patina with a nostalgic glow.

    The portrait of David Roddigan is spot on as well. I kept on wondering at the w’e why his name sounded so familiar, until I remembered that I was once invited on to his radio show at Kiss FM in 1999 to talk about reggae, while working at Rough Guide, publicising the Rough Guide to Reggae. I was yabbering away on air about Blood and Fire records and David – lovely though he is – just turned to me and said words I will never forget, “Less is more Jemima”…..ahem! i was nervous and he calmed me down..and I learned something about radio.

    I have to say that I wandered off during Mercury Rev’s headlining set on the Sunday evening because I sensed that their performance was more about lighting and gesture than substance. I don’t think that they were a good choice as a finishing headline act. The crowd in front of the main stage grew a bit patchy at this point which may have been an indication of the fact that people were more interested in what was going on elsewhere…and the wobbly bridge had not been closed because the crowds were not exactly storming it to be be there for Mercury Rev.

    So, I went off to investigate and stumbled across an amazing cockney drum and bass band on the stage carved into the side of a tree near the main stage. The crowd in front of it was jumping up and down with excitement and every man with his dog on a string was joining in. After that I wandered into the Living Room to catch another lively acoustic set from a Rockabilly band, finding it hard to tear myself away to go home.

    I had a discussion with my friend Billy on Sunday night as we were leaving the site. We both decided that the one thing missing from SGP was a trance dance stage – or at least some trance DJ’s playing in one of the dance tents. It’s as if the organizers have deliberately decided to eliminate trance from their schedule, which is a shame as there would undoubtedly have been people there who would have enjoyed it.

    That said, the festival really did offer something for everyone…and I had an amazing time! So no complaints from me.

  3. Amelia says:

    Hi Jemima
    thanks for the comment – be great to hear other people’s favourite bits of SGP too, feel free to post your special moments here! x

  4. louis weinstock says:

    wowsers. this is a very beautifully composed blog. X

  5. Amelia says:

    thankyou Louis, I’m glad you enjoyed it x

  6. Mabel says:

    What was the name of the Cockney Drum and Bass band you mentioned Jemima? Thanks! Mabel x

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