Saturday, 31 May 2014
Drawing Live Music - Ireby Festival 2014
I absolutely love drawing live music. There something special about twinning the two activities. I generally bob about while I am drawing and, the more into it and mobile I am, the more alive the drawings become. I find this kind of sketching makes me feel at one with the music, in the same way that dancing does. It's pretty intense, but great fun!
John and I have friends up in the north of Cumbria and every year at this time, we pack our warm jumpers and my sketching kit and drive up to stay the weekend and go to the lovely Ireby Music Festival with our friends.
The whole thing takes place in the tiny village of Ireby. They use the village hall, the church and the tiny (and very old) chapel in the middle of a field, but they also create a main stage inside a big marque on the hill above the village, overlooking some pretty dramatic scenery (although this year we could mostly see rain and cloud).
I hate not being close enough to make out the detail, so I often go up to the front and sit on the floor right by the stage. Luckily Ireby is the sort of place you can do that. I often get to share my spot with young children, which is fun, because they are of course very interested in what I'm up to.
While I was working on these three of 'Stark', a little boy kept telling me the bits I had missed. He had to lean in and shout into my ear every time, so I could hear him above the music ('Aren't you going to put the star on?'... 'Don't forget his tatoo'... 'What about his earpiece?'...). Very cute, if a bit distracting.
To do these, I had to kneel in a narrow gap at the feet of the front row of the audience (fortunately I had my little camper's mat for my knees).
I was okay for a while, but by the time the next set got underway, I discovered I had lost all feeling in my feet and of course my legs were locked into position. Somebody took pity on me and found me a seat on the front row, although standing up to manoeuvre myself into it was interesting!
The Hut People were slightly bonkers. One played percussion from around the world, while the other played the accordion and demonstrated French Canadian foot percussion - a cross between very fast tap dancing and Irish dancing, complete with the high-kicks.
On Friday night and Saturday night everyone packs into the marque. I was on the floor at the front once again for The Bills, the final act of the festival. They were fabulous: a fusion of all sorts. I had a wonderful time, scribbling away and jiggling around like a thing possessed, but had to give up drawing at the end and join the boppers, before I got trampled. To be honest, I am just as happy jumping about, so that was the perfect end.
If you would like to see the rest of the drawings I did at the festival, as well as other sketches of music events, check out my new Live Music Sketchbook on the website.