Sunday, 5 July 2009

East Barnet festival: Barnet rocks

I have enjoyed getting to know Barnet, since I got involved in the trades council and community campaigning. Before that I could have been living anywhere, because all I knew of the borough was the shops on Watling Avenue and the walk to Colindale tube station. Living in London can be like that, if you have come from outside as I have (I am a maid of Kent, though more like a matron these days).

Today I went to the East Barnet festival. I gather the Festival gets better each year, and I certainly enjoyed it. It was an eclectic event with a rowdy funfair towering beside the more fete-like small stages, stalls and sideshows. I ate curried goat, followed by a strawberry tea, washed down with cider, and met the unfeasibly posh Deputy Lieutenant of Barnet. Having now looked up what this office is, I can understand where the poshness comes into it. If you want to know too read this.

I visited Oak Hill Park back in chilly February, taking some leaflets to someone to deliver; it was nice then as well. Today after helping out at the Unison stall, and talking to some residents about Future Shape (I restate what I have found from the start: there is no public appetite for Barnet council's mass outsourcing plan) I went and enjoyed the music.

The good-natured crowd on the hill thoroughly enjoyed the brilliantly named Schweet Azz who did cover versions of rock standards very well - they played two Thin Lizzy songs which gets them my vote. They play the Builders Arms (New Barnet?) in August.

Then after a fair pause for setting up came the Edgar Broughton Band. This venerable band have been in the business (on and off) for 40 years. Wikipedia says:
The band started their career as a blues group under the name of The Edgar Broughton Blues Band, playing to a dedicated but limited following in the region around their hometown of Warwick. ...the band began to lean towards the emerging psychedelic movement, dropping the 'Blues' from their name as well as their music...
On today's showing, and despite having the same initials, I don't think East Barnet will ever be ready for Edgar Broughton. My friend said they were too 'trendy' for her, I think that should have been 'progressive'.

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