After living in Millbrook for more than six years it seemed only right to finally make the effort and climb the north face of Maker Lane to see what the festival has to offer. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy a festival atmosphere; last time I was amongst such things was in 1997 at Reading for WOMAD.
Mrs The Millbrooker and I dutifully paid our reduced locals-rate entrance fee of £8 each for the evening; it was nice to see young Doug Reid on ticket selling duties having recovered from his visit to Derriford after falling off his skateboard whilst being dim in the extreme (posts passim).
We were quickly swept up and into a rented studio in the main Maker building itself by Helen and Rob who kindly plied us with a spot of red wine before we explored the small and intimate site.
We found the bar very quickly and enjoyed a pint of especially brewed "Maker Sunshine Festival Ale" - scrummy stuff. Sadly the weather was anything but sunshiney: a grey mizzle surrounded the site and many revellers were cheerfully clad in welly-boots and thick coats. What the hell - would they let a little traditional Cornish weather get them down? Certainly not.
We were only able to stay for one act 'coz we had to be up at the crack of sparrow-fart on Saturday for an early train to Bath for a visit to mum-in-law.
The one act we saw was "Three Daft Monkeys", pictured above. They're a 3 piece (hardly surprising really, considering the name) comprising bass, fiddle and twelve string guitar, with the guitarist also stomping on a bass drum pedal. They make a joyous noise and had the welly-clad hoards bopping merrily with an infectious good humour and repartee.
Musically, they're something of a one-trick pony, however; every song begins with a plaintive violin riff before quickly and suddenly breaking into the classic 120 beats a minute 4/4 time which kept most of the audience bouncing up and down. Three Daft Monkeys are obviously a talented bunch and I hope they had simply tailored a set to fit an audience which required something to dance to rather than actually not having any other form of tune in their repertoire.
Verdict on Maker Festival - more please! I enjoyed myself so much that next year, unless we're across the water in France, I want a full weekend ticket and I'll be spending as much time there as possible. Rock on, peace and love, far out man, gravy booby.