Andrew Abbott's Blog

Sunday, 31 August 2014

All aboard for a trip back to boyhood.

Gainsborough Model Railway Society Open Day.

The original plan for the bank holiday weekend was the Fake Festival on the Saturday and Grimsthorpe Festival on the Monday. In fact if I’d had my way we would have taken in Tabbyfest in Swinderby on the Sunday too but this was vetoed by the powers that be. In fact not only was the Monday forecast awful, the day started dismal to say the least so we were looking for some indoor entertainment.

I’d seen adverts for Gainsborough Model Railway open days before and fancied it so off we went. The publicity said it was easy to find but I was glad I set up the sat nav as it was tucked away in the back streets near Tesco, not that we know Gainsborough very well. What we weren’t prepared for was the sheer scale (did you see what I did there?) of the model railway. The model trains are about twice the size of my old Hornby set and represented several generations of modeller’s efforts and very impressive it was too.

The theme of the layout is Kings Cross to the now defunct Leeds Central Station and the representation of Kings Cross was breathtaking in its attention to detail. There was even a workman tackling a bit of miniature welding by the line side, blue flashes emitting from his welding arc.

It’s easy to be a bit sniffy about grown men playing trains, but there’s no doubting the tremendous skill involved in constructing not only the many lines but the locomotives and rolling stock too but make no mistake about it a lot of the modellers were living the dream alright and woe betide the poor new member, operating the turntable for the first time getting the sequence wrong. He heard all about where he was going wrong from the stationmaster, or was it the fat controller?

Festival Fever invades Hykeham – Even if it is a fake.

North Hykeham Fake Festival.

U2 Coldplay and Oasis, all under one marquee roof, well it had to be not quite right didn’t it? It was made quite clear on the advertising that these were tribute bands but there were nevertheless a large gathering last Saturday night down by the river in Hykeham to see the Lincolnshire instalment of the fake festival which has been on tour throughout the country. You pay for your ticket and get a full afternoon and evening of music, first from local bands and then the aforementioned imposters. It’s different rosters at the different venues and your ticket not only gets you into the local gig but also gains entrance to a three day festival where all the groups that have taken part perform. This takes place in Sherwood Forest and you get camping thrown in, all for the original entrance fee.

We can’t go as we’re in Spain but I wouldn’t have minded some more of this. I wondered how I would take to it all as I had seen the best the business has to offer at Glastonbury but it was all great fun kicked off by U2, one of my favourites from a while back, and they gave a pretty good approximation of the real thing including Bono style shades and The Edge’s woolly hat. They could play a bit too and rattled off the Irish combo’s repertoire.

Next up were Coldplay who had arrived from performing in Holland. I wondered why these musicians were content to play other bands stuff when, presumably they were capable of playing original music. However if they can make a living copying others rather than playing the pub circuit at weekends and parties and grafting in a factory or office during the week then fair pay to them. They were to my deafened ears the weaker of the acts but it was pointed out if I’d viewed from further back rather then forcing my way up front with the kids, it’s the Glastonbury effect, I might have been able to appreciate the nuances of the tunes.

There was no way Stewart and I were standing back whilst Oasis were on and they’d certainly saved the best till last as they not only sounded but looked completely authentic too and the lead singer had definitely, not maybe, done his homework on Liam Gallagher’s persona, rocking the night away with the crowd roaring out the words to all of those so well known hits. Yes we were mad for it alright.