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Isle Of Wight UP!!!

Helen Saint - UK

Friday

Tickets to Ryde!

After literally falling out of bed at 6am, no sooner had I finished drinking my coffee, Val and Mum (Chris) were banging on the door all hyped up to start our journey to the Isle of Wight. I'm not very good with mornings as you can tell, but I soon regained all my senses thanks to the in-car gig presented by Val AKA DJ Mouse, mixing between Radio 2 and BA tapes. It made lively listening for the other drivers along the motorways though at that time of the morning most of the men were shaving as they went along on their way to work. Many others were gawping at the 'TROOBIES & BADDIES ON TOUR' banner at the back of Val's car!

Reaching Southampton by 9am, (whoops three hours too early for the ferry!) we stopped for breakfast, baked beans all round, - we tried not to think of the repercussions later on in the car or in our small hotel room!

After picking up Anne AKA BadOggy in Southampton, I say 'after' I actually mean going up and down the same road four times or was it six, visiting the same roundabout, taking wrong turnings and heading back to London, we did eventually find Anne and set off up the 'by now familiar road' to board the
ferry.

Val's charm worked, as we were allowed to board the ferry an hour early -well we think the charm worked as our 0-60 sprint to the ferry doors put our promised place in no doubt! With cars and lorries jam packing the car deck it took some time squeezing ourselves out of the car to reach the bar. The top deck looked a good option for a sun bathe plus it had the addedbonus of life rafts readily to hand! Haven't been on a boat for many years. I was waiting to turn alien green but luckily the Solent was being friendly that day, the sun was shining and the reality of our four-day break suddenly sunk in. On our way we passed a buoy with the name 'SPANKER' written on its side, our minds immediately thought of a certain monkey who would be strutting his stuff on the Sunday at the festival!

(well what else were 5 women supposed to do?) and a belly filled with fish and chips we headed to the beach for a lazy afternoon in the sun. I'm not one for paddling, but the sand and the sea were irresistible. 5 pairs of shoes and socks came off, but were soon to be put back on just as quick when we realised that we were dipping our toes in the sewage outlet! The 'Beach Picture' - (you know the one with Keith, Bryan, and Mickey posing in a circle on the beach?) was re-enacted by myself, Mum and Val, until the pong of sewage set off several alarm bells in our heads.

After the visit to the beach Paula kindly invited us to her house, convenient as it took us past more shops and one shop of a certain kind selling items that would put a smile on a man's face! Enough of that, once at Paula's it was hard to stop corks flying out of wine bottles including one, which Oggy kept for herself, yes a 1.5 litre bottle of white wine finished within a few hours. Val and Paula shared a few bottles with myself and Mum enjoying being teetotal for the evening (wise move on our part as during the night in the hotel room Oggy spent more time greeting Huey down the toilet and we all lost sleep because of it.)

We spent about 7 hours or more at Paula's - oops it was only supposed to be a couple of hours! I'm sure Paula's neighbours will be giving her strange looks from now on as the amount of different topics of conversation there were ranged from dead budgies to colonic irrigation, all of which reduced us to tears of laughter.

Leaving Paula's at well gone midnight, loaded with directions on how to get back to our hotel, when the heaven's opened! With ten minutes of walking round in circles and still no hotel in sight, Oggy decided she was going to flag down a cab. So leaping out into the middle of the road to stop one she made the oncoming cabby nearly have a heart attack. The skid marks are probably still there from where he had to stop so quickly. We declined the lift, persevering with the hotel hunt we decided to head in the direction the cab had gone, only to see it take the next left and 20 yards up the road pulled into the hotel car park!! We thought that we couldn't laugh any more after the night we'd just had, but seeing Val trying to climb up what looked like the 'north face of the Eiger' onto the top of the bunk bed had us in hysterics. I'm not used tosuch early mornings and action packed days so I was more than ready for sleep. But no sooner had I shut my eyes than the couple in the next room decided to have an argument that spilled into the street right under our window. Then poor Oggie began the first of her visits to the loo probably regretting her final words before she slept that she didn't suffer from hangovers!

Saturday

Doped, Dazed or Drunk!!

So with very little sleep had by all, several coffees were needed to boost us into action for the day ahead. Oggy, though a bit pale, decided to join us for breakfast, she still swears it was something she ate! More shopping came next, as well as ordering some flowers for Paula for her hospitality the previous night. We then set off to find a taxi for a 12pm arrival at the Festival site.Our plan for Saturday was to do a 'stake out' of the festival ground so that we could prepare for BA on the Sunday. It makes us sound like hardened criminals finding an escape but it takes military precision you know to have the best time ever!!
After wandering around the stalls and weaving in and out of dozing, dazed or drunken people we decided to find a shady place near the front barrier. With Val and Oggy joining the dozing part of the crowd of a few hundred people, mum and myself took our place at the barrier on the far left of the stage just in time to see a singer with hair like Leo Sayer. We were trying towork out how the bloke could manage to sleep without waking up with one side all-flat. Bad hair day extraordinaire! A few good bands equally matched awfully bad ones but otherwise we enjoyed ourselves, despite seeing the quite frightening sights of crowd surfing during Iggy Pop's set and listening to his encouragement of it!

We were quite glad to leave when we did at about 7ish, as the majority of
the crowd were either drunk or high. It would have been nice to see
Starsailor and Paul Weller but we had a better offer of entertainment
elsewhere - Tina, Caz and Spanky!! We had to walk about a mile into
Newport's town centre, trying to remember directions that our cab driver
ining the dozing part of the crowd of a few hundred

After the repeat squeeze back into the car, we set off on the last leg of the journey to find our hotel which was in Ryde on the eastern side of the IOW. Mum had forgotten the map so it took a while to find 'The Hotel'. Yes hyphenated!!! Because I thought we'd entered a time machine and gone back to the 1930's. The d├ęcor was nothing to be desired as well as the strange owners, and a poor dog that looked as if he'd been there since the 1930's. It all made our arrival a bit dispiriting. If we thought the owners were strange then they must have thought that four women sharing a room of 3 metres x 4 metres was even stranger. The room may seem big on paper but when it also housed an en-suite of 1.5metre x 1.5 metres it left little room for a bunk bed and a double bed plus a heaped pile of luggage.

We all met up with Paula, the one and only BAD fan of the IOW, about an hour later.

could prepare for BA on the Sunday. It makes us sound like hardened criminals finding an escape but it takes military precision you know to have the best time ever!!
After wandering around the stalls and weaving in and out of dozing, dazed or drunken people we decided to find a shady place near the front barrier. With Val and Oggy joining the dozing part of the crowd of a few hundred people, mum and myself took our place at the barrier on the far left of the stage just in time to see a singer with hair like Leo Sayer. We were trying to work out how the bloke could manage to sleep without waking up with one side all-flat. Bad hair day extraordinaire! A few good bands equally matched awfully bad ones but otherwise we enjoyed ourselves, despite seeing the quite frightening sights of crowd surfing during Iggy Pop's set and listening to his encouragement of it!

We were quite glad to leave when we did at about 7ish, as the majority of the crowd were either drunk or high. It would have been nice to see Starsailor and Paul Weller but we had a better offer of entertainment elsewhere - Tina, Caz and Spanky!! We had to walk about a mile into Newport's town centre, trying to remember directions that our cab driver Eddy who had taken us to the Festival that morning had given us - and we eventually found the pub they were drinking dry!. Dying of hunger by this point, Val, Mum and myself ordered some food and fought for the toilet after holding on for most of the day, as we didn't fancy finding out what the smell was before we left the Festival as images of sewage running down the field away from the portaloos kept us away.

After greeting the merry bunch of Troobies we tucked into our food and drink (no alcohol for Oggy, Mum and me, as Val was having enough for all four of us!) Our sides were already aching from Friday nights' laughter as once again the dead budgie joke did the rounds. We swapped horror stories
about our accommodation, with Caz and Tina having Mrs Tweedy from Chicken Run as their landlord winning the day!

By this time it was 11.30pm and the tales of murders and muggings, which Paula decided to tell us were the latest craze in Newport, suddenly became more realistic. Our tables and chairs were whipped away from under us and with Caz and Tina long gone, we thought it about time we called 'our Eddy' tocome and save us and take us back to our humble hovel! 20 minutes later
our chariot arrived, I was looking forward to some sleep - 48 hours being awake is a personal best for me, but how could I sleep with so much adrenaline awaiting the Big Day!!

Sunday

Bashed, Battered, and Bruised (But All Worth It!!!)

No Sunday morning lie-in or breakfast in bed, the four of us was woken suddenly at 6.45am by a muffled mobile trying to ring under a pile of luggage on the floor. With one eye open Mum located the phone and launched it up to Val who was still slumbering in Base Camp on Mount Everest's summit. Wondering who would actually call at that early hour we soon found out that Ade was just letting us know he was just about to board the ferry from Southampton! Cheers Ade!!! Oh well once awake we decided to make it an early start, so we showered, breakfasted and got the supermarket shopping underway! Yes shopping again, but this was for essentials likechocolate, sun cream and cakes to last us the day!!We arrived at the Festival gates at 11am and joined the rest of theTroobies and Baddies champing at the bit to get the race underway to thefront barrier. Found out that most of our shopping had to go to waste, into the bin in fact, as no drinks in bottles, cans, or cartons could go in the site!!!!! This was because Iggy Pop decided to flout the rules the previous day throwing glass and plastic ferry from Southfull! Thanks Iggy!!

With a lighter load to carry and our wristbands checked, the race was on! Most of the barrier soon filled with Bryan and Keith fans and it was a wonderful sight! Only another 8 hours to wait until the guys came on, with plenty more bands to endure first. It was absolutely sweltering, to say the least - who needs foreign holidays to top up your tan when the IOW's got it all?

Of the thousands at the Festival on the Sunday, the Troobies and Baddies were the only ones permanently chained to their sacred position ready for the ideal camera shot or the hope of catching a glimpse of Keith's smile or even a wiggle!!

The bands kept rolling, with the well-known bands entering the scene at about 4pm, which is when most of the crowd were standing or trying to stand (!) from the amount of alcohol consumed! Being bashed, battered and bruised for the next 5 hours didn't look or feel much fun. Surviving the antics fans of bands like Hell is for Heroes and Darkness made you feel as if you should have written your Will before coming - even at the age of 24. A big thank you to Oggy and Ade who defended us little 'uns from the torrent of arms and legs of the crowd surfers and pushers-in who were jostling for their 5 mins of fame.

Feeling like I'd been pulled through a hedge backwards, the last minutes to showdown ticked away. Mickey's drum kit, which we had been staring at all day pushed to the far side of the stage, was wheeled into position. The chrome backing set was assembled, and the guitars were being checked and tuned. Best of all we'd managed to find and keep our prime spot right in front of Keith, the mighty man himself! What more can a girl want!

Preparing for the big moment, Val had bought Ade a pink inflatable guitarat Ryde on Friday, so with this inflated and a banner with "I Got Fed Up Waiting 4 U Keith, I Got My Own Geetar!!!" written on a roll of my old wallpaper, the boys bounced onto the stage.

Wearing black T-shirts, jeans, and sporting new haircuts since we'd seen them at Bristol, the boys gave an excellent performance, joking and larking about a majority of the time. We noticed Bryan mouth "Jimmy" to Keith and wondering what he meant, Keith walked to the right hand side of the stage and started to caress his guitar in true Jimmy Hendrix fashion!

'Can't stop this thing we started' was stopped eventually by Steve, despite myself and Mums' 'Stop Stop Stop!' banner being frantically waved around, which had been spotted too late by the dudes at Bristol and we'd hoped they would react to here! Keith, obviously enjoying himself, decided to make his guitar squeal with delight, playing with an empty bottle he'd found on the stage! ultimate podium. As soon as Keith had made the leap, Bryan decided to join him, both sitting giggling and laughing like school boys, or as Mum thought Andy Pandy and Teddy with their legs swinging along to their strumming guitars.

Keith noticed Ade's banner and pink guitar, chuckling before jumping back onto the stage from the 'podium'. With the last few minutes of the shows' 11pm curfew ebbing away Bryan decides to greet the front row, we urged Keith to do the same, but it did not work as well as it had done for us at Antwerp in March 2003 when he came right to the edge of the stage to tease us! As the boys left the stage, fireworks soon whizzed and banged in the night sky. What a perfect way to end the day!

Later the Troobies and Baddies met at the back of the stage to see if we could catch a glimpse of the boys as they left, but alas after being booted out of a set of gates we were told they were all gone. Standing around taking photos of each other as a final farewell Val decided she was going to stand in the middle of the road to take a special group photo, only to be beeped out of the way by a speeding blacked out Land Rover to which she had no hesitation telling the driver to "go forth and multiply". Afterwards Ade told us that he had noticed Bryan and a passenger being driven out at the top end of the road where we had been standing, in a blacked out Land Rover! Whoops!!

Eventually we managed to get a taxi back to Ryde leaving the others to board ferries and report to Mrs Tweedies' office!! Didn't get much sleep that night either as the downloads of our photos taken of the gig had us rolling on the floor with laughter, except for Oggy who didn't have any problem sleeping off her excitement by the snores that emanated from the bottom bunk.

Monday

Drained, Dreary, and ready to Drop

Oh well, it all had to end sometime! All packed and ready to go, we bid farewell to Paula who had come to see us off, and were on our way back to Newport to catch the ferry. Feeling drained from our first festival experience, we thought we'd left the infamous portaloos behind at the site, but low and behold we were joined by the foul smelling culprits in the same ferry! Nice!! Oggy was dropped off at Southampton to make her way back to Cornwall leaving the rest of us to travel back home to Kent.

We've got some brilliant memories to look back on and it was well worth getting the bruises to prove it!! According to some Baddies/Troobies that have experienced a good few gigs, this was
certainly a show to remember

Next Bryan pointed to something at the front of the stage, looking puzzled for a moment, Keith suddenly realised two raised speakers would make theultimate poampton!

Cheers