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I Sent My Dad & Uncle To Review Torquay’s Grinagog Festival 2017!

The festival experience from the view point of a diabetic taxi driver and a balding man from Surrey.

The “Evil Overlord” aka Chris (HTF’s Editor) decided it would be a good idea to send his Dad and Uncle Nigel to the inaugural Grinagog Festival in Torquay. The purpose, to have a look around, take some photos and review the bands. Fine, as long as my duff legs, heart and pancreas can stand the strain (this is Dad by the way) and Nigel can learn to use the camera he’s just been given, no chance. But the biggest problem was reviewing the bands, which he only told us about at the end of the festival.

Anyway, here’s the start of our 20,000 word review. Well 1,747 actually. I only went for the photos so think yourselves lucky it’s not just pictures. Enjoy, and any complaints should be sent to Chris at HTF.

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

Brought two cameras with me (BTW This is Uncle Nigel), both crap, but one crapper than the other, so had to borrow an old DSLR from my nephew Curtis Maximus Vidler (no relation to the man in Gladiator). My 12 year old nephew obliged even though he didn’t really get much say in the matter.

Ready to go…. Ray, Marie (Mum), me and my son Nyle crammed in Rays Taxi and off we went. Car park was empty but I didn’t mind, I’m a VIP and I’m going to make sure everyone knows it. I was expecting a butler or someone to drive us into the festival and supply us our own room and bathroom facilities to freshen up but got none of that , no one met us and we had to walk up to the ticket box to collect our own passes, The guest list was gigantic, had so many names. The girl in the box had to get someone to help her to find our names 4 pages on an A3 sheet, there we were. Got my pass, stuck it on my arm and off we went. Lots of hippy types wearing flowery clothes and stupid hats and some normal people like me.

After picking up our press passes, not AAA by the way, bloody cheapskate magazine, we went for a stroll around Torre Abbey and I do remember hearing some music, I think. I’ll check with Nigel, I’m only here for the photos. Nigel tells me there was a discotheque in the Barn with music by Billy Bragg and the 3 Degrees amongst others, we didn’t stay as it was a bit highbrow for us.

Here’s a pic.

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Grinagog

Source: Ray Hines

You have to either wear a kilt or be in a wheel chair to get in this way.

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

After climbing the hill up to the ERC, or as they like to call it now, the RICC, we arrived at another discotheque. Early again, a man called Jar, I think, was still trying to find his walkman in a pile of boxes.

Jah Shaka

Source: Ray Hines

We didn’t stay, he looked busy.

Anyway, we heard music from across the way and decided it was time to try the cameras with some real bands. Nigel was up first with a splendid try to take some pics of The Fritz, we think, if it’s not, blame the programme. Anyway here’s Nigels attempt.

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

A little overexposed and the band hasn’t turned up yet, stupid boy. Here’s mine, not much better but at least there’s someone on stage. Don’t know if it’s the band though.

AGK

Source: Ray Hines

We then had to stroll back down to Torre Abbey Land where we found The Live Work Unit trying to hide behind a pot plant. (If it’s not them blame the programme)

Live Work Unit

Source: Ray Hines

Someone told me that if the lighting is crap change it to mono. I couldn’t do mono so tried black and white instead.

Anyway, on we went and came across this lady in the Chapel. I don’t think she was praying or singing and I didn’t see a Walkman or Gramophone so she couldn’t have been a Disc Jockey.

Grinagog

Source: Ray Hines

I’m making no comment on this, I think the picture says it all….

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

The Veggie Tent

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

The contents of the Veggie Tent.

Nigel: Can I have a sausage please? (Not unless it’s Linda McCartney’s :p – Chris x)

We spent a lot of time just going from place to place practicing taking photos in the dark, without a flash or in Nigels case, a clue. This was after all, practice night.

We did come across yet another Discotheque, but in a tent. They must have had a huge extension lead. And a very helpful guy who had his own onboard lights.

Grinagog

Source: Ray Hines

Practice night was over as it was gone 9 o’clock and we had to be home for our medication and Horlicks. We didn’t stay for the late night Disco.


Saturday started off very early, about 2:30pm after lunch and more medication for the aching feet and legs. Anyway, a lot going on today and many bands to take photos of, including Heck (more on them later). We started off in The Spanish Barn (why is it called the Spanish Barn? I didn’t see any castanets or flamingo dancing) A great little quartet called Record Street were playing a mix of Skiffle and Boyzone covers, this is another guess as we can’t remember.

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Record Street

Source: Nigel Campbell

Ray didn’t get all four as he’s no good at taking pictures unlike me who now has become some type of expert photographic picture taker. What’s this button do?

John Row Story Teller

Source: Ray Hines

We did come across John Row Story Teller in the Chapel; I liked him and wished I’d stayed longer.

I sent Nigel off to find the little festival oddities, here’s what he found…

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

Some Frenchman talking about a hole in the grass

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

I clean my kitchen floor with one of these.

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

My god your head is big.. We don’t sell kebabs that big”

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

This girl wanted to tell us she didn’t talk shit.

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

I suppose you have to have a palm tree, we are in Torquay the English Riviera

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

Some scruffy bloke teaching young kids how to graffiti on council owned walls as part of a apprenticeship awareness program

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

I think this chap had had enough already as he was doing his best to hide behind the drum, either that or he was stuffing something into the drum to hide from his wife

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

This chap spent more time tuning up his ding a ling machine than playing to us. Though sweet music when he got going

That’s all of Nigels messing about so who did we see?

Here’s what we saw, mainly on the MOSH Stage, with some not too bad photos.

Our apologies to any band members we haven’t included. It’s nothing personal I just picked the best photos. Also apologies if I have got your music genre wrong, I was taking photos not listening I’m afraid.

We started the day with The Dreamer Within on the MOSH Stage in the Arena. If I remember correctly they were a Shadows tribute band, and very good they were too.

The Dreamer Within

Source: Ray Hines

Next up was Someday I, I already knew these guys and knew they were good, and they were.

Someday I

Source: Ray Hines

Followed by COPE, I think they were a bit like The Sugar Babes. I might be wrong though.

Cope

Source: Ray Hines

I didn’t bother to see The Grove Street Families as they didn’t turn up. So it was straight on to 70’s Glam Rock tribute band Departed.

They get 2 pics as I liked the light shining through his hair. It’s a photography thing.

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Departed

Source: Ray Hines

Departed

Source: Ray Hines

After having to photograph a bunch of ugly hairy guys the next group were a joy to behold, and listen to I might add. It’s Evarose.

Evarose

Source: Ray Hines

Evarose

Source: Ray Hines

Evarose

Source: Ray Hines

Sorry girls but I couldn’t do anything with the photos of the other 2.

The next band up was the laid back Country/Folk quartet Heck. We had been looking forward to sitting back and enjoying their dulcet tones and we weren’t going to be disappointed. But we had to wait whilst the stage was prepared so we popped into the HTF Magazine Stage to catch Moriaty. Glad we did, what a great sound, and a great photo op as well.

Moriaty

Source: Ray Hines

Here’s one of Nigel’s, good composition but crap focus. Typical of anything that moved from Nigel I’m afraid.

But we couldn’t stay as Heck awaited. Us togs had been warned not to go into the photographers pit as it might unnerve the band and might be dangerous. We all obeyed the instructions being the pros that we weren’t. Anyway the band struck up the first chord and two of the band flew over our heads into the crowd. Guitars and mic stands included. All us togs did the only thing we could and dived into the pit. What a set, madness ensued.

Heck

Source: Ray Hines

Heck

Source: Ray Hines

Heck

Source: Ray Hines

Heck

Source: Ray Hines

That’s the end of the photos for Saturday as I can’t find the ones of Hacktivist, sorry guys. We did pop in to see Rat Boy before we left but didn’t stay as I don’t think he turned up. Nigel got this photo of someone on the stage but I don’t think it was him as he wasn’t wearing a cape or mask, and didn’t look anything like the others from the MARVEL/DC label, pity.

Grinagog

Source: Nigel Campbell

Again we didn’t stay for the late night Disco, time for bed.


Sunday arrives and the whole festival just feels different, it’s more laid back with that other bit of Glastonbury vibe. The first band? We saw was the Big Buzzard Gospel Chorus, I think.

Grinagog

Source: Ray Hines

Followed by Joanna Cooke in the Chapel.

Joanne Cooke

Source: Ray Hines

After all this excitement it was back up the hill to the HTF Magazine Stage in the RICC. Sit back, relax with a cup of tea and listen to the very entertaining Son of Dave. Great laidback fun for a Sunday afternoon. I wonder if Dave himself would have been any good?

Son Of Dave

Source: Ray Hines

Dave’s son was followed by Arni of The Vaccines in experimental solo mode. Interesting if not my thing. Anyway, here’s a pic.

Arni

Source: Ray Hines

There was still a lot going on around the festival, including a Roller Disco up in the RICC. After Saturdays exertions it was always going to be a lazy Sunday so we just wandered around catching bits here and there. We ended the day where we started, in The Spanish Barn where I had to suffer some jazz before the day ended with the band being joined by the choir for a great ending to the weekend.

Grinagog

Source: Ray Hines

So what’s the verdict? A great weekend with something for everyone, maybe too much variety. A few tweaks and it will be good to go again next year. Well done the organisers and Torbay Council for getting something right.

There is of course a PS….

I told you that Heck were good guys, well here’s the lead singer with Chris’s mum. I was forced to include it.

Heck

Source: Ray Hines

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