George Terry’s guide to winning at festivals

Glastonbury, festival guide

Some idiots enjoying Glastonbury

As festival season is nearly upon us (LOL) it feels like a good time to put together some tips on getting the most out of having fun in a field.

I have been to and/or played at pretty much every festival the UK has to offer except dance festivals, metal festivals and Latitude because I’m not a twat. So I’m the best person in the whole entire world to make this list and that is an absolute fact*.

Now that’s established, here’s what you should take/do/act at festivals, be it Glastonbury, Green Man, or even (whisper) Reading. It’s the definitive list, yeah? All other lists that say e.g. ‘take baby wipes’ or ‘drink water’ are for ninnies. So…

  1. Drink water. Yeah, I’ve just thought that through. Let’s say that on Sunday at Glastonbury this year, for *reasons* I breakfasted on cider and it DID NOT END WELL.

  2. Don’t take anti-poo pills. In fact, turn pooing into a competitive sport! The person who does the most festival poos is crowned shit-Lord-Kazoo at the end. Runner up is Fart Lady Fanny Pants. There is no turd place.

  3. Talking of the toilet: ladies, feel free to wipe the seat. Before you sit down like. It makes life so much better and reduces the chance of peeing on your shorts.

  4. Only arseholes piss on the seat.

  5. If you must crouch, it is MUCH better to balance with your hand on the back of the stall than to grip under the door.

  6. Only attempt to use a she-pee if you are wearing a skirt and no knickers. This applies to gentleman and ladies.

  7. Pissing in crowds is unacceptable.

  8. Unless you are super desperate.

  9. Pooing in crowds is not okay. 

    Bloody Katrin

    Bloody Katrin

  10. Never buy any food from a rat stall no matter how late it is or how tiddly you are. Never.

  11. Try to eat some food that isn’t yellow. Salad in e.g. a falafel wrap counts as a non-yellow dish.

  12. You can not take too many pairs of socks. How many pairs of socks do you think you need? Double that, and you still won’t have enough.

  13. People that take flags to carry around are idiots.

  14. It is useful to use idiots with flags as a guide to where you are in the crowd but check with the person carrying the flag that they aren’t about to surge to the front during Happy before you text your pals with your location.

  15. Accept that texts won’t go through and have a rock-solid back up plan for meeting, like in the old days.

  16. Don’t be envious of people swanning around with backstage passes. Backstage is well boring.

  17. If you do get a backstage pass it is only useful for utilising the backstage toilets. They’ll still be minging, mind. But the queues will be shorter.

  18. Air bed. AIR BED. 

    Philly without an air bed

    Philly sans air bed

  19. Wellies are really uncomfortable. You need to take them because this is England (or Scotland or Wales) but have an alternative such as your least good trainers to wear if possible.

  20. Malibu. Seriously. No matter how wet/cold you are, it is impossible not to feel the sunshine if you’re drinking Malibu.

  21. Umbrellas are really bloody annoying for everyone else. They should only be used as a parasol and then only when stationary.

  22. Philly enjoying milk

    Philly with milk

    After day one, everyone feels absolutely awful. Be as nice as you possibly can be. Yes, even to the idiot doing diablo.

  23. Katrin has taken to writing my phone number in Tippex on the back of her festival phone in case she loses it. This is a really good idea, although when she showed it to me I pretended it was a stupid one because I am a bad friend.

  24. Don’t, under any circumstances, call your parents. Trust me on this.

  25. Take something bright to wear so your friends can find you if you’ve lost yourself. This year, I’ve been wearing a jumper that is best described as ‘the Big Bird’. It is a thing of wonder and delight and acts like a homing beacon to e.g. Katrin.

  26. You should take Katrin with you, if possible. She’s generally got a Swiss Army knife and all kinds of useful shit.

  27. But do not leave Katrin alone in your tent. She will poo in it.

  28. Acceptable tent activities: the alphabet game, cards, having a small, private wee.

  29. Unacceptable tent activities: acoustic guitar, pooing.

  30. Blur are always a good idea. Yes, I know, I KNOW, Damon Albarn, Alex James. You’ll still have a good time. Promise.

  31. Don’t go to Reading.

Have I missed anything out? Doesn’t feel likely but if you think of any others feel free to holler.

Bye.

George xxx

Glastonbury, festival friends

Me and some festival friends

*May not be a fact

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What happened at the bus stop

Friday, 8pm. A bus stop in Brixton.

George has so far this evening enjoyed three craft ales: she is lubed up but by no means langered, and is on the phone to Will.

Enter, stage right, a villain. The villain is an older gentlemen with white curling hair, a Barbour jacket and a flat cap. In some ways he looks a little like Terry Terry but he is not Terry Terry, he is a villain.

George, chatting lightly on the phone, attempts to board a bus. The villain, purposefully and with full intent and malice, elbows her in the boob (right).

George: Woah!

Villain (sneering): Yeah, woah.

Will (on the phone): What’s happened?

George: An old man just elbowed me in the boob.

Will: What?

George (louder, with intent to shame): An old man just elbowed me in the boob!

The villain leans forward and says, sotto voice: I may be old darlin’, but you look like a gorilla. And I’m going to have you killed.

George, bold and unafraid: You! Are a moron.

George boards the bus and rides it gaily home. If he’d said she looked like an orang-outang she may have taken his threat more seriously.

George does not look like a gorilla. The man was a fool.

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Sir David Attenborough interview. I don’t make this stuff up.

Remember a little while ago when I interviewed Sir David Attenborough at seconds’ notice and asked him about dogs, despite dogs not featuring at all in his new show? Do you? Here is a reminder.

And here is the published article, as it appears on RadioTimes.com. They said it’s “really fun”. I’m choosing to see that as a good thing.

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A dog’s life

My friend and former band mate Ang sent me a story written from a dog’s perspective today. It reminded me that I once wrote a character dialogue from Sam’s point of view for a fiction writing class.

The class leader did not get it, even though I read it out in Sam’s voice. In fact, she thought my character dialogue was based on someone with different educational needs.

I suspect she was a cat fan.

Here is Sam’s story.

Hewo! Hewo! It’s good to see you, oh yes it is, yes it is! How has your day been? My day has been good, yes!

I had a banana for breakfast! A banana! Though I didn’t peel it myself. If I could peel bananas I would eat nothing but bananas forever. Maybe apart from meat, I like meat too. Mmm…meat. I also like carrots and apple cores and gravy and crisps and, well, there are lots of things I like.

After my banana I went to the park. The park! I love the park. In the park I went running. I love running. I went running around the swings, I went running around the slide and I went running over to my friends who I saw on the park and we all ran together! It was so much fun.

After the park, I saw a cat! Stupid cat. I saw the cat but I pretended I did not see the cat because cats are stupid and they do not always run away when you chase them and some cats have claws. Stupid cats.

And when I got home I had a light sleep. And the sleep was good because in my sleep I was running! I was running and I was chasing and in my dream I saw a cat but it was a good dream because the cat ran away! I was so excited I twitched all over even though I was asleep which is a good trick.

But I only had a light sleep because I had to keep half an ear out for bad people and bad cats because that is my job. Defender, yes!

And after my sleep, you came home, yes! I heard you coming because I had half an ear out and I’m ever so good, yes I am. Oh yes I am.

And I’m so pleased to see you! Now you’re home everything is brilliant because I like you and you like me and that is good, yes!

We play now? I have lots of toys.

Sam and midget hand

Sam says, “Hewo!”

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When George met Dave: how I ended up unexpectedly interviewing Sir David Attenborough, Ronnie Corbett and Anthony Head

A TV launch event, 10am. George weirds about considering a breakfast cava as her request for interview time with Jarvis Cocker has been turned down, so she has nothing to do but get morning level squiffy and enjoy the screenings.

A TV PR with whom George once spent a very fun evening drinking at another event approaches and, after exchanging pleasantries, mutters, furtively, “Do you want time with Attenborough?”
“Are you serious? Yes. Yes! I haven’t prepared any questions though.”
“That’s okay. You need to follow me. Now.”

George is hustled into a lift, taken to the top floor and enters a white room. The only people present are Jarvis Cocker, Charlie Higson, four PR people and Sir David Attenborough, who is being interviewed on camera by Sky.

George asks the PR, “Can I have time with Jarvis?” thinking that she will make use of the time that Sir David is otherwise engaged.
“No,” says the PR emphatically. “You cannot have time with Jarvis.”
“Can I show Jarvis a picture of Philly Terry wearing Pulp merchandise knickers that say ‘Are You Sure?’”
“Only you can decide that,” says the PR.

Then George is rushed to a white sofa and Sir David is brought over for an interview that George has had no time to prepare for and has not seen a single episode of the show for which he is promoting the second series.
“So, David,” says George, confidently, and just remembering to switch on her dictaphone, “What’s your favourite breed of dog?”

A short while later, George is recovering in a lower room with a milkshake when the PR approaches again.
“Thanks for setting that up, it was amazing. Happy Birthday by the way.”
“No problem. I hear you are a fan of Ronnie Corbett. Do you want time with Corbett?”
“Of course! I love The Two Ronnies. Err, I haven’t prepared any questions though.”
“That’s no problem. Let me find Corbett.”

The PR talks into his phone, then turns to George, sadly.
“I’m sorry, Corbett has left the building. He wasn’t here long.”
“Was he only here for a short time?” asks George, and she and the PR fall about laughing at George’s razor wit.

The PR’s phone rings and he turns to her, excitedly. “I was misinformed, Corbett is still here. He has been spotted downstairs by an owl. Follow me.”

George runs downstairs and is briefed by the PR in the manner of a West Wing corridor chat. “Ronnie is about to leave the building. You have minutes with him. Minutes.”
“Understood,” says George and racks her brains for Two Ronnies questions.

The interview is not going well. Ronnie does not know quite what to make of George and seems a bit put out that George presumes he is deaf even though he is, most definitely, a bit deaf. George desperately decides to pull out all the stops and goes in for the killer interview question.
“Ronnie. Tell me about your dog.”
“Well,” says Ronnie, “He’s a rescue Lurcher/Schnauzer cross.”
“So, a skinny dog with a beard?” asks George, and suddenly everything goes a lot better.

Later, George and her excellent friend Cat Collins are given a last minute interview with Anthony Head. He brings up dogs without being asked. He is an excellent man.

Post script: Sir David Attenborough’s favourite dog is a Labrador, the same breed as Sammy Sammy No Balls. George did not show Sir David a picture of Sam. She is, at all times, a professional journalist.

What Jarvis didn't see

What Jarvis didn’t see

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A true and accurate report of what happened when Bez met Philly Terry

The place: Shangri-La, Glastonbury festival.
The time: Party o’clock (around 3am), Saturday morning
The scene: The Glastonbury gang: me and Philly Terry, Katrin Geilhausen – formerly of The Schla La Las, Will, Nat and various others are dancing in the Acid Lounge. The air is hot, the music is banging and the drinks are flowing, except Nat’s freshly-bought cocktail which goes flying as I am performing a particularly vigorous mashed potato.

Soon, a weary but cheery break-out gang of me, Philly Terry and Katrin, head out, deciding to make our way back to camp Terry before the sun comes up.
We walk past Bez’s Acid House where two years previously, I tell the girls, I had seen Bez ‘performing’ (shouting “808 Staaaaate” and trying to get scantily clad girls onstage). But, alas, no Bez is performing tonight and we continue on our way through Shangri-La.
Suddenly, the crowd parts and, there in front of me, just an arm’s breadth away is Bez!
He is dancing, well, moving up and down, well, swaying on the path.
“Bez! Bez! Alright mate, Bez!” I say, as though Bez is my dear old chum who I haven’t seen for a while.
“Urrrggghh,” says Bez and pulls me in to kiss his dry, leathery, cheek.
“Bez, mate,” I say, “I’m a huge fan of your work. I love what you’ve done with the Acid House.”
“Urrrgggh,” says Bez, and his head nods appreciatively, or possibly spasms.
The conversational ball is back in my court and I’m unsure where to go with it as I don’t know what Bez just said or if Bez can see me any more.
Suddenly, inspiration strikes, “Bez, have you met Philly Terry?”
Philly Terry has met many of my friends this weekend and been a hit with all, how could Bez fail to fall for her charms?
“Urggggh!” says Bez, and pulls Philly Terry in for a kiss of his dry, leathery, cheek.
I’m on a roll and Bez will soon be our best festival pal! He loves us!
“Katrin,” I ask, deciding to go for the same trick twice. “Have you met Bez?”
Katrin wrinkles her nose and shakes her head dismissively. Katrin does not want to meet Bez.
There is a short pause, which I quickly cover with conversational prowess, “Bez mate, we’ll be back tomorrow, see you then.”
And I clap Bez on the shoulder and we stagger off to find our tent.

We never returned to Bez’s Acid House.

Bez could have been our friend.

Bez could have been our friend.

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A (short) Winter’s Tale

I must have written notes for a Terry blog when I was squiffy on Cointreau at Terry Towers because I’d forgotten about them until now.

As it’s past Twelfth Night, and as I can’t remember much more (Cointreau), here they are in their nude form. Enjoy!

• “You know Mike Stevens, who I work with,” says Terry.
“No, Dad,” I reply, honestly.
“No, you wouldn’t know him,” says Terry, and launches into a long story about Mike’s holiday request for 1 January, a national holiday.
Terry winds up by telling me, “He spends all his money in the brass shop anyway.”
“The where, Dad?” I ask, innocently.
“The knocking shop,” says Terry. “You know, Mr Magoos, in Birkenhead”.

• Terry is considering a holiday in New York, so I ask him what he wants to see – what really says “New York” to Terry.
“Macy’s, the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge,” he says, after much prompting.
“Not the Statue of Liberty, Dad?” I ask, surprised.
“No, that’s French, why would I want to see that?” Terry replies.

• I craft a dog nappy from a carrier bag before taking Sammy Sammy No Balls for a festive stroll. Sam doesn’t seem to mind.

• I dress Sam in Philly’s bra and knickers. All Terrys find this hilarious other than Philly who flies into a Christmas rage just because her bra is now muddy (or worse. Sam is a notorious pissy paws).

• Parish carol service. Terry has many talents but music is not one of them. He is, in fact, tone deaf. I have a strident and tuneful voice and Terry is confident I am singing the right notes, so sings along with me, in falsetto.

• I ask Mrs Terry if I can open a bottle of Pouilly-Fume from Terry’s wine cellar (garage) or if she’s saving it for something special.
“Oh no, Sweetheart,’” says Mrs T. “The celebrations start now you’re home.” Mrs Terry then makes me wrap my own gift, in front of her, on Christmas Day.

• “What’s your favourite vegetable, Dad?”
“Garlic.”
“You can’t have garlic, Dad”.
“Alright, onion.”
“You can’t have onion, Dad. It’s cheating.”
“OK, chilli.”

Hold onto your hats for the next exciting installment, when I’ll probably write about Easter* in July!

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Christmas Day in Terry Towers.

*Except I won’t write about Easter as Terry and Mrs Terry are going on a bloody cruise.

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