Rocky Benderskum with crops NOT shops at The Retreat Animal Rescue Vegan Sanctuary
A big shout out to the Crops not Shops Tribe I’d tag you all but I’m a benderskum and that’s way too complicamated for me so instead have a pome xx
Crops not shops:
I want to introduce these folks they really are the tops
A proper growing community they call it Crops Not Shops
They’ve been around in Essex helping people grow
For food is a right for all of us something you should know
In gardens, allotments and a nursery and now down on an animal farm
Though not where they breed the animals for food these are safe from harm
The place near Ashford in deepest Kent is a place that’s hard to beat
A wonderful Animal Sanctuary beginning with Retreat
I went along to give advice? That’s all I have the strength to give
I loved the way the animals are and how they get to live
The poly tunnel frame put up by a valiant bunch of workers
While I sat down and watched because trust I’m a proper shirker
If my body wasn’t so broken I know I could be handy
But this is the body that I’ve got so sitting down is dandy
So all I can do is sit and watch and try to give advice
I’d be helping if I had different one you needn’t ask me twice
So all I can do is write this stuff and watch the world go by
As the poly tunnel is constructed under the bright blue sky
The farm itself is brilliant the staff were all amazing
It’s lush to see happy animals wandering around and grazing
They have a thrift shop and a café with vegan friendly food
I never mentioned my cannibal diet as it seemed a little rude
I know that I will go back down to help whenever I can
I’ll probably grab a plate or two of that lovely vegan scran
The farm is very popular as its one of those special places
When some of the visitors find its vegan food the looks upon their faces
One thing I really liked to hear was none of the food is ever wasted
Because they have pigs to eat the scraps but never themselves to be tasted
Now back to the tribe and the growing of crops when the poly tunnel is built
Organic vegetables and maybe fruit filled up to the hilt
And a biogas digester but I’m not really sure what that is
I was told but it went right over my head
its ok I can give it a miss…
For I’m a simple benderskum and there are some things I know
One of them is Crops not Shops is a thing that is bound to grow
Who is Rocky ? Ethical Vegan AF, Ex-tramp, Ex-teacher, Ex-tremely inappropriate Scribbler of scribbles and writer of similar
Anarchist Geriactivist who once stood for Parliament..
Rocky, a supporter of the cause, joined the crops NOT shops crew at The Retreat Animal Sanctuary all weekend to lift spirits and entertain us all while we greased poles, banged nuts and rode around in tractors and diggers looking like we knew what we were doing…
Thankfully we did and the muck piles some touching 10 metres into the sky, 18 metre squared plot land was leveled, poly-tunnel frame erected and the irrigation trenches cut
So where have we got to ?
The frame and channels are done, water storage tank are on site and ready, the poly tunnel cover is on, though needs door frames around the front and final securing to be done, drainage needs setting back into the tunnel and plant in our crops for 26/9 event.
Biogas chamber is marked out and the prints are being finalised to build the biogas digester engine which will be feed from manure and convert into natural gas to power the chalets heating and hot water, as well as a by product of 200 Litres of liquid organic fertiliser
crops NOT shops are now raising funding for completion of the Retreat Sanctuary site. We have had amazing response from our seed search and have heirloom organic seeds for planting over winter crops at the site, now we need to get the Retreat base humming.
So what do we need funding for now ?
– We need to plant heirloom fruit trees, around 12 for the fruiting area
– We need a power inverter and lithium battery to be funded to hook up 10 ready to go solar panels that we have to start generating power for The Retreat and drive gas and water pumps.
– We need some irrigation arms to link to the tunnel tanks and overhead water storage tanks and a computer controlled timer to regulate watering cycles day and night to keep all crops in prime health
– We need to build a 12 foot fence to protect the whole site from Chickens, too ensure the crops get to maturity without being ransacked by the chickens, you may laugh but it is not just a poultry affair, last chicken invasion cleaned out a complete crop of rainbow corn in 25 minutes…..
To complete this site to perfection, we will need to raise a further £ 1,000.00 from the Community.
We need your support.
What you will be investing in is a fully automated fully functioning organic free food system for the animals, for the people and for The Retreat.
As a centre of the Ethical Vegan movement, the crop NOT shops project directly strengthens the Retreat’s long term self sustainability goals and takes pressure of the team there in using up donations for food and power which could otherwise be used on infastructure.
if you are able to help financially in investing in the project to get this site completed please do so using the below link:
These books are a must have insight into the anarchist scribbling of time and experience, from political activism, to rough sleeping, the big issue, journeys to the inner mind and all the stories interwoven by all.
take a look see..
Peaked your interest ?
Click on the below link and then look for the crops NOT shops logo, that will take you to the Facebook page then post a comment to order (Beware if you read to much, your ban will turn to mush…)..
Jamie on the volunteer crew knocked up a fantastic vegan Jamaican stew, which was then followed by second lunch and 4 ‘o’ clock whistle stop chasers…
one last candle to light at “Angels Rest” memorial garden and then down time, campsite gaffs and giggles into the night…
It’s not just funders and backers we need,.
We need volunteers. If you are ethically motivated for real system change, this vegan permaculture, anarchist RBE Network project may well be for you, get in touch with us and learn how to retake your freedom and rebuild your community for a better world.
Inspired by the Hemp Redemption Festival last weekend, held by the mind blowing band Mobius Loop, who, may also be some of the nicest people on mother earth today and their super amazing song “Hemp Milk” we decided to sing along and not only make Hemp Milk,. but managed to “feed two birds with one seed” and also make Hemp Flour.
Now its your turn, so tune in to Mobious Loop and follow the step by step giude to the easiest seed milk recipe ever.
So lets get our Hemp Milk making kit together, we already had huge bag of organic hemp seeds kicking around the kitchen though if you don’t have any get some ordered in from Sophia at Hempden our home grown Hemp expert and hemp health pioneer pictured below:
Follow the photos below and you will have a lovely bottle of hemp milk and a bag of hemp flour for cookies too.
Apart from the amazing health benefits of Hemp products, another reason to move away from shop sold plant milk is to disconnect from the commercial earth raping corporate machine and to take a further step away from the unethical Companies, and or partners companies the drive products onto the market. Companies like Alpro that make amazing plant milks are also profiteering from animal abuse and unethical other line products.
Don’t be a part of it, close the door on corporate shenanigans, engage in the hemp redemption and FREE THE SEED !!
crops NOT shops – reshaping communities – LOCKDOWN SPECIAL
Throughout our work in Networking RBE (resource based economy), a huge foundation of system change lies in what we eat, where we get it, how to ensure it is in permanent supply, and, costs as little financially as possible.
When it comes to Food, the values are built around:
Chemical and cruelty free
Community Support Network
It’s all very well talking about it, or looking at stand alone sites, no matter how community focused, how though to make this relevant and available to you the subscriber, reader, researcher, interested party or just web surfer ?
Networking RBE ideology successfully lies in getting the above in its entirety, and engaging with the community on the ground.
As people open the door to ethical reclaim community action programs, the question that always needs to be answered is: What is an RBE Network ? Check out the links below for a more info on the peoples movement for a genuine system change:
Enter Chay Godfree, community activist, vegan, earth warrior behind the crops NOT shops movement based out of Southend. Chay is well know in the Southend Area for his free food / meals nettle soup distribution group and the Know your Roots festival events, well know for great music, alternative lifestyle and ethical living choices.
crops NOT Shops is a guerrilla gardening project that is made up of a fast growing community of people stepping away from the unsatisfactory and unreliable retail food supply supermarket cash removal machines to taking control of their own living spaces, food and diet, by investing in growing and managing their own food supply.
Mission Statement and Introduction:
The project has been running just a couple of months but has already unifyied 800 active community members and is growing by the day. They have just started their 14th community site since January 2020, there is a vibrant seed, seedling, knowledge and work team sharing group that are also establishing contacts with other similar and related groups such as “Food Communities” , “Foraging UK” and “Grow Cheshunt”
Let’s take a look at some of what’s been happening on the ground:
Growing from the seed to sharing the seedlings is a foundation step. Getting as many people in the group to start seeds early in the season “under glass” allows for a strong supply of ground ready seedlings for planting as the garden spaces, wast lands areas and allotments are made ready to then get them all in the ground.
The more sites that are well stocked with seedlings means the more fully planted community sites, and the more fully planted community sites means more overages in each site, which in turns means surplus can become free food to be made available throughout the community .
By linking similar ethical permaculture and sustainability groups up and down the country, there is the foundation of a whole new food chain system, that can grow, bring together, unite and sustain communities free from monetarist, retail slavery, simply by just engaging in growing food.
Want to join ?
Want to set up your own sister group driving the change in your area ?
The more free food available in the community also means less cash clogging up checkout registers in your supermarkets. In line with the obvious we can take from this being that food, power, fuel, shelter are the core components to life that tie us to work , school, education, taxation slavery has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be,.
Going back as far as the English Civil war , the Diggers and the Levellers, self sustainability movements that draw authority from their own community and its needs have been targeted, legislated against and undermined to keep the population in the money game.
Food is the foundation of the freedom movement and being able to feed ourselves challenges the need for us to trade our divine human energy, our life force for material Monetarism , unfit Governments and complex social control that has us jumping through hoops for fines, taxes, bills, loans , fees and all other punitive unnecessary paper admin charges to burn out hard grafted income on. All of these ridiculous “controls” are over and above the basics of common law needed to run a safe , fair country and we should rightfully reject them.
Does anyone get excited over a parking ticket ? or a bank charge for bounced DD ? no… so check this link below and get up to speed on why we should adhere only to Common law, and at all times, question Government and know our rights to do so:
Most recently, media headlines have run with the same story over and over through Brexit and into the Covid-19 situation, a story of supposed degenerate greed and hoarding of supplies in supermarkets, food, toilet paper, you name it leaving shortages on the shelves and an absolute immediate need for the Government to legislate the Coronavirus Act. or that’s the story anyway. a story that has people turning against each other, watching reporting judging each other over what ? Toilet rolls….
What I see is that during the shortages, port information and French port delays were not being reported in the UK. though they were in France (why is that ?) The UK Government agreed a trade extension in late February for goods and transports to free up supply blockages and delays, this again was reported in the French press but not the UK press (why is that ?)..
We hit Brexit in January, traffic through the ports slowed and failed to complete their journeys, port delays, Dover and Calais were on full stop from January 16th doe to port blockages even and still we are experiencing delays into mid May. Perishables were not making their delivery window, and, permit transport papers were not stamped. Highways England were tasked with managing the back log of traffic through the ports on this side of the channel. Yet the British press reported the reason for shelves running bare was due to pandemic hoarding and greed, seriously ?, How many times did you see that same photo of the overweight guy with two trolleys of toilet roll at Costco be used in the papers up and down the country ?
The Government cannot be trusted manage retail food supply for the people.
The explosion, up and down the country, through January and February of interest in home Growing, community food action groups and self sustainability movements has also flagged on the Government radar and the Coronavirus Act of March 23rd which now specifically targets the food supply chain with powers of control, and inspection.
Sections 25 – 29 of the act now makes anyone involved in the raising or the sharing of food supply to others, a target for inspection.
Reading the legislation and understanding the important of our community freedoms to support each other over and above being forced to accept a retail option not only makes common sense, it makes for a common good, a foundation of Unity among people to come together .
Let’s take one last look on how progress is going on the sites at crops NOT shops, the next step is to get involved and start working on your own.
UNITY is COMMUNITY
The message of Unity, is the message Chay Godfree has been putting out there ever since I met him on the festival circuit, but unlike politicians, of every party, on the stand who “call for unity”, with false promises, lies and then back track with a gaggle of cameras and the tabloid press re printing the story ,. Chay’s unity is through community action. he bends his back, he offers food, knowledge and his time, he knocks on doors and he asks us to join him, to bring us all together and literally build a better world.
This is our opportunity to be involved in a movement for change that is meaningful. it only begins with growing your own food,. where it leads depends on how you embrace it..
photographs and video footage have been submitted from all corners of the crops NOT shops group and we all hope you will share this post as far and wide as you can, as well as connect with the group to support your self and your community for a better world.
VEGAN KITCHEN – I think i’m cooking Japanese, I think i’m cooking Japanese I really think so
I’m cooking Japanese, I think I’m cooking Japanese , I really think so…
so here we are, one of those rainy nights, kids and dogs sprawled out all over the place and kids asking when dinner is , when dinner is , when dinner is… A Jumanji movie is standing in as a surrogate parent whilst we whip up a little Japaneses special…
Fancied a Wagamamas, but alas they don’t deliver and hey who can afford it anyway so a good old rummage in the magic cupboard provides all the ingredients for a kick-ass Japanese meal…
Its more than Sushi , you see…
First up is the rice,.
We Recommend you use Sushi Rice or at least a risotto rice, after all you want it thick and you want it sticky.
Wash your rice 5 times until water runs clear then cover with water , a one inch top, heat and then put a lid on the pan. Switch off the gas and allows to steam for 15-20 minutes under its own heat..
For rolling you need a rolling mat and also Nori sheets, you need the right kind of seaweed so pick up a pack or Sushi Nori Sheets. Nice and thick and perfect for rolling sushi, you can also use thinner snacking seaweed sheets if you dont have the sushi sheets or are using up whatever in the back of your cupboard for ingredients, though you will have to work a bit harder to get it looking crisp and neat if you use the latter.
By now your sushi rice should be nice and cool, if not , go have a cup of tea and read a book for a bit until its cooled off then when ready cover your Nori sheet with a layer of your sushi rice and flatten it evenly and gently with the back of a large plastic paddle or wooden spoon.
Next up sprinkle black sesame seeds as evenly as possible over the sushi rice and layer your main vegan filler ingredients across one length of the Nori sheet in a straight line, usually towards the top of the roll so that it centers in the fold as you turn it over (as shown below) and slice the roll at two centimetre lengths with a super sharp mother fucker of a killer knife so it slices straight through without losing the shape.
Avocado, Cucumbers, Pickled Ginger (Sushi Ginger) , Carrots and even broccolli are great filler ingredients.
Variations with Full Nori Sheet….
All Done… Now for the dips, Soy sauce, Tamari Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce make great dips, and if you have time make up the spicy sushi sauce by mixing Veganaise, Sriracha sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil.
The rest is all in the presentation,. lay out the sushi and dips and grab those chop sticks.
Once you have stuffed your self with Sushi its time to get up and go make Ramen. Should have done that before you sat down with the sushi right ? lol
Ramen, a healthy filling Japanese soup,. lots of ingredients, go into this in a two stage process, so make sure you have everything on the list below before you get started
6 garlic cloves
Pickled sushi ginger, couple of good spoons
3 tbsp organic miso paste
1 tbsp neri goma (white sesame paste) or tahini
Half box button mushrooms split into 2 for section 1 and 2
1 large teaspoon of vegan stock
1tbsp of pickled lemon grass
6 tbsp soy sauce
2 packs of firm tofu, cut into chunky cubes
2 tbsp cornflour ground rice powder
2 packs udin noodles
2 head of pak choi deleafed and split down middle
spring onions, only the green sections
A couple of scrunched up snacking seaweed nori sheets
Bag of beansprouts
Carrot sliced thin
A bit of salt
pan 1 _ chop the garlic, then put it in a saucepan with the ginger, miso, tahini, mushrooms, stock and soy. Pan fry it all for 5 mins. Strain off into a bowl and clean the pan for the noodles
Frying Pan – fry the chunks of tofu with ground rice powder until golden brown, texture like sun
oops oh yes forgot to say you need ground rice flour to get the crispy breadcrumb type look on the tofu..
Boil the noodles 5 mins, then drain and add new water, add all the veg and add the pan 1 cooked mix. Thrown in a ginger top up , the Lemon grass a spoon and some mayo curry spice, simmer for ten mins and done
don’t thrown the stump of the Pak Choi out, leave a couple of very small leaves and put in a rumkin with water and the leaves will grow through again and can be used for another meal later on
That’s all there is to it,. Eat lots and let it dribble all down your beard or chest or whatever
Music Matters: The 25th Annual FRIEND Festival – New Age Revivial ? They never stopped
Since the Battle of the Beanfield; the unrelenting harassment of the peace convoy under Heseltine’s sneering gaze; the end of Beetle Mania (that’s VW not John Lennon btw); Glastonbury pushing up prices to £16.50, (working class rip off) and putting in barriers along with the waning of the spirit of Stonehenge, as the Police, having infiltrated the anarchists to death and since turned their attention to Animal Rights; festivals have totally dropped off my happy list.
Once Joyous celebrations, free folk gatherings, it was all over. One after the other they had been poisoned by rampant profiteering and state infiltration of what seemed like forever.
New festivals have popped up over the decades, oh yes never ending dates on bill boards, with ever rising ticket prices, backed by junk food demons peddling animal abuse in a bun, endless beer tents and irrelevant stage acts where the performers have nothing to say of any value whatsoever, are role models for exploitation objectification and violence, and obviously the endless cascading “profits before people”
It is not just about “Music Matters”, I’d completely ignored the scene, though raised an eyebrow of interest when Morrissey’s refused to finally go back and decline playing Glastonbury in 2015, over ethics.
Morrissey had already had a run in with Glastonbury in 2011 where he was reported to have released the below press statement:
“In 2011, I played Glastonbury and attempted to sing the song Meat Is Murder. Behind me, a screen that usually shows the many evils of factory farming remained blank. I was told that Michael Eavis (owner of the festival site) had stopped the screening of the film because it wasn’t indicative of how his dairy farm operated. He didn’t quite understand that the poor souls in the actual film did not want to be there in the first place. Michael Eavis also went on to justify banning the film by saying it would <upset> younger people.Like most animal haters, Michael appears to be one of those people who love dead animals, yet hate live ones. How is this sane, or logical, or possible?”
Glastonbury 2015, brought in pointless and talentless rapper Kayne West to headline the festival to fill the gap and justify the ticket sale price. Kayne West also has in an interest in fashion, specifically, Astrakhan (the fur of an unborn lamb). Yes, a foetus. The sheep is slaughtered, and the unborn lamb is ripped from her womb, its coat still curly and unformed.
Liz Jones (Mail on Sunday) reviewing Kayne West 2012 Paris fashion collection, was reported as stating ‘No imagination, no morals’: a damning verdict on Kanye West’s ‘ghastly’ fur-filled Paris show. (Did you also know that lambswool is most commonly taken from the backs of just slaughtered lambs? What did you think they did: used a little pink comb?)
The “Cult” of Glastonbury really sums up the problem with our Festival Scene, overpriced ,outrageous and unapologetically unethical and I am sure a great driver for a growing population of ethical aware people who simply do not want to be associated personally with pre-packed, don’t give a damn, show me the money, shrink wrapped Corporate Satanism.
The Dalai Lama (Heavily criticized for disrespecting the morals of the Buddhist order yet claiming some sort of headship over it, and participating in supporting violence by eating meat), was also in attendance at the 2015 Glastonbury festival. Unlike most Buddhist monks, who don’t eat meat because they believe it’s wrong to murder and commodify the bodies of any sentient being, the Dalai Lama is not vegan , not even vegetarian, yet despite this still try’s to maintain a media image of being a “sage” of sorts but really is nothing more than “sage and onion” stuffing for other suffering. That some frazzled maniac at the Festival attempted to start a chant when His Holiness walked out on stage. “One Dalai Lama! There’s only one Dalai Lama! One Dalai Laaaaama!” No-one joined in, Say’s it all…..
It may be fine for “flexitarians” to turn a blind eye to the backdrop of the festival site at Glastonbury, to crowd the field, and raise choruses of “oh Jeremy Corbyn” when JC used the Festival as a PR event for the Labour Party. JC “for the many” turned a blind eye to Michael Eavis questionable morals affecting the lives and freedoms of the “many” hidden out of sight as he played for political support from the “crowd” with yet another great speech of his.
For others who have a better moral compass, we seek a Festival with out the dark shadow of greed.
Why so much on Glastonbury in the post ? Well, the founder of F.R.I.E.N.D Festival Mark Eaton used to work Glastonbury Festival, distancing himself from it in the 80’s when those fences started going up and the ticket prices started going up too.. Glastonbury was once everything that was right with festivals, now it is everything that is wrong.
Glastonbury is out, as well as “priced out”, the site of an Animal Prison camp can never be a “happy home” no matter how loud the bands play or how fast the beer flows.
F.R.I.E.N.D. is in, the bands are still loud , the beer flows and the animals, all actually rescued form farm slavery, are free form abuse and commodification to live out their lives in peace, no one gets hurt , turn up the Bass Mark for the 25th annual F.R.I.E.N.D. Festival.
Let’s do this yeah !
One last thought for the Animal Prison Camps of Glastonbury, was some video footage sent over to FISHINABOX by one of the mind blowing bands that played F.R.I.E.N.D festival, a must see band called MOBIUS LOOP .
The band stopped by a dairy farm, just a regular farm, on the way back from the festival to film the below footage and add this comment to their story feed:
“This is how dairy is made in the UK. Babies separated from mothers so that a mother’s milk can be sold for profit. Even on organic dairy farms babies are separated 24-48 hours after birth. Complex mammals like cows have strong instincts to protect and nurse their young. All mother cows and their young end up in the slaughter house after forced pregnancies and births that always result in separation. #dairyisscary There is no need to fund this treatment of sentient beings when we can support our local British Hemp farmers and make nutritious hemp milk. A mother’s milk is made for her baby. We sing AHIMSA to all beings and their babies.”
Music Matters so let’s Get to F.R.I.E.N.D.. who’s on the playlist for 2019 ? With the exception of The Balsall Heathens, who were a late addition, to the playlist, the below is the full Festival playlist , check it out and see who’s who..
We rolled up through the main gate, greeted old faces not seen for years, and worked our way up across the fields. A sense of nostalgia reminiscent off the old peace Convoy free festivals of the 80’s, painted vehicles, a mish-mash of tents flags, and people wandering between.
The story of F.R.I.E.N.D. farm goes back to the mid 80’s,. originally the festival as a memorial day for Gari Allen, a great friend of Mark Eaton’s. One of Gari’s friends, Aileen (who attended the 25th Annual Festival), made a memorial stone to remember Gari’s life and achievement for the animals, and this was laid at F.R.I.E.N.D. Farm animal Sanctuary.
As Marks commitments took over in running F.R.I.E.N.D. he decided to enlarge the event to grow into a music festival, to bring joy peace and the party to the farm. Originally the dates coincided with The equinox but Mark moved the festival into July to avoid clashes with Stonehenge and also to get into better weather.
Mark didn’t make F.R.I.E.N.D Festival exclusively a Vegan festival, non-vegans are not restricted from attending in any way and bands would come from all cultures and backgrounds not always from the Vegan community.
So many of the musicians would comment about the rescue work going on at F.R.I.E.N.D whilst they were there, and Mark noticed they would ask to come back year after year due to amazing atmosphere at the festival .
There was also a natural progression in their thinking and lifestyle towards animal agriculture as they became more ethically engaged with the world around them.
Mark is clear though with all participants and attendees, to avoid any confusion about what people can bring with them regardless of their personal ethics, “This is vegan festival, please fully respect these principles by not bringing any meat, eggs or dairy onsite.”
As Mark says “you actually don’t really need any activism or workshops at a music festival, we have the rescue animals here on site, people can connect directly with the animals, make there own conclusions and make the right choices.”
Mark had invited people to paint signs for recycling, showers, paint up the toilet blocks, and a general all out color fest of activity and creative expression, artwork sporadically started to grow around the site.
As we parked almost on top of it at first, we got the a job to help directing people to the showers, a portable water shower and palette station at the back of the field. Showers were easy to use quick and clean. Toilet blocks where all biodegradable, using sawdust, wood chip and paper no plastic boxes or chemical poisoning that is so familiar at commercial festivals. The whole festival the toilet blocks were clean accessible and well maintained.
Graffitti Bill Boards popped up around the site and mind bending amazing artwork began to form fast on them.
Another massive plus at F.R.I.E.N.D festival was the food and rotating Menu’s. There is only Vegan food at the festival as anything else would be a sickening insult right to the animals that live there, rescued from factory farming and safe from commodification and violence in their forever home..
so the food…..
Damn….. AMAZEBALLS !!
“Vish” and Chips / Vegan Burgers, spicy / plain “V”Cheese you name it all the options / Asian Tofu Noodles / Curries / black beans / bean dishes all rotating so you had the sense of a festival menu.
There was also a range of desserts with a tea and cake tent which seemed to be open day and night which worked massively for everybody !!!! The Tea tent also run a Merchandise stall for T- Shirts, Hoodies, hell i’m sitting in one of the t-shirts now writing up this article, and all manner of absolutely stunning jewelry.
There was also some fund raising clothes rails with a range of amazing vintage clothing and a donations box, everyone appeared to put in decent donations for clothes they took a shine too, the money of course goes straight to the animals so the good feeling in supporting positive steps for the animals clearly had kicked into the crowd en mass.
“Moth3r” perform in the Marquee tent.. beats… rhymes… sublime….
A look at some of the bands playing the Marquee Tent – The Marching Skaletons / Niall from Ten Bags / Public Speech
The Marquee tent housed the “Razorback Inn” where the beer taps ran day and night.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, renditions of “Pick a bail of Cotton” performed earlier that evening by one of the bands called the Faux Pas, who ran a set of hypnotically catchy numbers earlier that evening, started to form and raise in volume again in the late night crowd, ….”Jump down turnaround, pick a bale of cotton, gotta jump down, turnaround, pick a bale a day etc….”
relaxing at the bar with the slowly quietening crowd , guitars came out again and the tunes started again and lingered way into the early hours and over into the dawn mists and the magic of dew forming in the early light. The rising sun finally bought the revelries to a close and we drifted off to a few hours slumber before the stage opened again for the next days set.
The Marching Skaletons , “ska” as in Two tone rock steady rhythms, These guys popped up all over the festival on the 2nd day, pressing beats and hypnotic rhythms as ska versions of Spiderman, Krartwerk’s The Model and and endless string of classics rolling out.
Niall heads up the folk punk group the Ten Bags, One of the fantastic things about F.R.I.E.N.D is the impromptu nature of how some of the acts fit together, Niall jumped into a gap in the running list to give us some spoken world poetry, gritty life insights such as “banned from the tesco” and “the mosley observation” a welcome set of renditions
Public Speech had the night spot, though every band has there own style the mix of rock and running rap lyrics between melodic flavours reminded me of the heavy rock band “Senser” who used to dominate main stage in the late 80’s and early 90’s , loud high energy, delivered.
The Ten Bags – Folk punk troubadours from the middle of England banged out a fantastic set of own tracks interspersed with some great covers, CRASS, Exploited and the Pogues a real Anarcho-Celtic-Punk fest as they rampaged through folk tradition!
MOBIUS LOOP,. These guys are on another level that we all need to evolve to, i’m actually just going to post their mission mantra to describe their stage set –
“We are married by our love of philosophical songwriting; channeling each lyric, melody, rhythm & harmony & weaving them into the tapestry of our union which is sanctified by the co-creation of our journey.”
If you achieve anything this year in the line of Creative pursuit, you MUST get to see this band live.
From monk punk to panto punk; from retro funk to garage junk; from pirate-sing-along to jazz metal; from a cult classic to a classic cultists here’s Chalice. a Christian band out to save your souls through rock n roll. Choppy chops and thrashing beats of Raymond Chinzano, smooth, meandering bass lines of Thomas “T Bone” Wheeler and the mathy licks in among syncopated, cutting guitar stabs from Benedict Quetzal. Then there’s Cede Von Taylor leading the line from the front with raspy, accusatory and confrontational vocals. They also do exorcisms !!
Rites of HADDA – Anarcho, pagan, gothic, psychedelic Witchpunk band from London. Born from a weekly jam session in a London squat and have released 3 eps; Samhain Ritual #1 (Live At The Gunners), From The Blow and the recent 7 track Witchpunk. Headed up by the enigmatic and hypnotically entrancing “Wilderness Wasp Howl” who presents on stage in a spinning swaying colourfest vibrating “forest” of organza, there really is nothing quite like this.
Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Wierdos – “The Go To festival band for the moment” (BBC introducing Hereford and Worcester) After several years wowing audiences across the UK and EU music scene, playing rapturous festival sets at Boomtown, Nozstock, Y Not, and Tramlines, and then recording their second album with highly respected producer Gavin Monaghan (The Destroyers, The Editors, Robert Plant), the Sexy Weirdos are now gaining international acclaim for their third album “European English ” (available on Bandcamp, Spotify and I Tunes).
Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary is located on a beautiful 10 acre site in rural Kent. The rescue was established in 1994 and have given sanctuary to upward of 2000 animals in the following 25 years.
F.R.I.E.N.D currently have approximately 200 non human animal residents including pigs, goats, sheep, cows, hens, ducks, geese, turkeys and more.
At F.R.I.E.N.D. the animals are the number 1 priority. The Rescue is a large 10 acre site and the music is contained centrally away from the animals who are free-roaming as much as possible.
They are able to keep a very comfortable distance throughout the weekend and remain in very peaceful areas of the sanctuary with little impact on their day to day business. The volunteers see FRIEND as the animals’ home first and foremost, and a space for the musical festival second and we manage the event with their well-being prioritised at all times.
Financial donations are spent on food, bedding, essential equipment and veterinary bills. We are a no kill sanctuary, we re-home a small amount of companion animals but most of the animals that live here stay with us until the day they die.
Unlike the bin and trash city big commercial festivals , recycling was key at F.R.I.E.N.D, recycle stations were everywhere, tea cups were returned to the wash stations, by the end of the festival there was only one , yes ONE black sack of non recyclable waste from the entire festival, such a massive contrast from the post Glastonbury scenes you see of what looks like a landfill site of debris left on the festival fields…
Not only is F.R.I.E.N.D. a relaxed safe family friendly event, the whole festival management and the crowd takes on a level of responsibility about the environment that I haven’t even seen in the greenest of gatherings around town.
These are people who care about how they party, and that is why this festival gets my best festival UK vote for 2019. These are the kind of festivals we want for the future, Eco friendly , ethical , great music, great atmosphere , family age and well managed through out.
Get to F.R.I.E.N.D for 2020 , to hell with the big sell out corporation , steel fenced, plastic chemical toilet, landfill site big money festivals that masquerade as a good time in “Brexit Britain’s” consumer selfie society.
Make exploitation history and have a great time doing it.
Photographers: Rachel ARA / Sharon Lee Tucker / Andie Kumafaro / Dan Pope