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Star wars in Arundel

August 22, 2012

It is rather embarrassing when you go into your new local pub and that nice lady decorator says “Hi Henry” to a charming young chap whom I did not recognise. More so when he says, “I am not Henry, and I told you that last night”. He is, as I think the girls say, “easy on the eye”, but I suspect she has done herself no favours by mistaking him for someone else. Perhaps she should have raised her eyes above his waistline?

We took in the Arundel Festival once again, which is splendid fun, but sometimes struggles to define its identity. Arundel is a quintessentially old English town with much 17th century architecture set against the splendour of a Roman Catholic cathedral and of course the well known landmark Arundel Castle, the seat of the Duke of Norfolk. The festival offers a wide range of art, drama and music including world music, jazz, rock, soul and even some hip hop, but I failed to see where this chap fitted in.

Star wars or land of the fairies?

We watched a band called the Amalgamation who were playing on the Jubilee Stage in late afternoon. These comprised a bunch of old rockers who were all the wrong side of 50 and the wrong side of talented but they did their best and “entertained” us with their idiosyncratic versions of major rock hits. Amongst the artists to be butchered by them were The Beatles, John Lennon, Pink Floyd and Thin Lizzy. Perhaps Fat Lizzy would have been a better name for the group? Or maybe “50 shades of grey?” White hair must be in fashion in that strata of rock society. The application of Grecian 2000 had clearly been a concept that has passed these boys, these old boys, by.

That nice lady decorators answer, under the influence of several glasses of Pinot Grigio to their announcement that they were about to attempt their own version of Robbie Williams “Angels” was “are you sure?” Later on towards the end of their set with the sun, which had made a late appearance after a grey start, setting directly behind the stage and shining into they eyes of the audience, the singer shouted excitedly “anyone want any Status Quo?” Following a resounding response from the crowd of “no!” He announced that they were going to do some anyway. “Rocking All Over The World” may perhaps have been referring to rocking chairs? It was however great fun so I guess they achieved their aim of entertaining the crowd, albeit perhaps not in the way they intended.

After they had finished we were threatened with an evening of Northern Soul, so, not being a huge fan of Wigan’s finest musical moments we adjourned for a swift one at The White Hart where we encountered “Henry” or whatever his real name is.

I did meet a chap who has a house in Spain and now lives in Arundel (perhaps his name was Henry as well?) Who can clearly benefit from opening an account with Currencies Direct to transfer monies between sterling and euros, so the evening was very fruitful and must be considered as part of my working week.

And so The Tempest approaches. Friday evening is earmarked for a visit by the favourite aunt of that nice lady decorator especially to witness some Shakespeare in the castle grounds. It matters not a jot that it is her only aunt, she would be a favorite in any event. Winter clothing will be required and more than likely, according to some dire weather forecasts, some industrial strength umbrellas. we can only hope.

Chris France

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