Thursday, 26 June 2014

Mallyfest - Mind Your Plums

Last year, Mally Powell died - he was only 48, the son of a local farmer, Fred Powell (who also died a few months ago) and front man of rock bands called Zip Zip Undo Me and Super Pumped.
On Saturday, Baskerville Hall was taken over for twelve hours of music - over twenty bands on three stages - including Zip Zip Undo Me and Superpumped, for a festival organised in his honour.
I hadn't realised just how big Baskerville Hall is though I knew they used to hold raves there. At the back of the Victorian house there's a built-on disco area (and swimming pool) - one of the stages, and a bar, were there. Further back again a hall with a big stage had been built, with a bar at the back of the hall, and the third stage was outside in the garden.
The weather was glorious, and the views of the Black Mountains were stunning. Under an awning there were food stalls and a couple of craft stalls - one young lady selling soaps and tshirts was wearing an impressive white wolf mask.
There were wood-fired pizzas, and the queue for that lengthened over the evening, the Falafel stall that comes to the Thursday market (Mark had some of those, and they were served with the best tzatziki I've ever tasted, even in Greece), Shepherds ice cream van (the toffee and honeycomb flavour was very fine) tea and cakes by Johnny Kramer (his wife Katherine was performing in the afternoon) and the XOX organics van, with another ice cream seller, on a tricycle with an umbrella, at the far end.
In the bars, the real ales were Guilty, brewed specially for the occasion by Jones the Brewers (light and hoppy - Mark made the brewer very happy by saying it reminded him of Jaipur from Thornbridge despite only being 3.8%), and Hobgoblin. Guilty was named after one of Mally's songs. Trust us to arrive and find that the first people we talk to are the brewers!
There were lots of red Mallyfest tshirts around, with the picture of Mally looking like Che Guevara, and I wore my new I Love Hay-on-Wye tshirt which Addymans are selling in aid of St Michael's Hospice.

Me and the Young Man relaxing, with falafels. Picture by Emanation Smith

The lawns were like a huge family picnic, with children running around and climbing the ruin of the Cedar of Lebanon which fell in the storms last year, and there was a lovely friendly, happy atmosphere.
And you could just wander from stage to stage for the music, or chill out on the grass. We liked Kung Fu Vicars, and local musicians Dirty Ray and Malcolm Scott-Wilson were amongst the players on the outside stage (Malcolm's wife was selling ear-rings - as Mrs. Duck's Shiny Things - and can be found at
I hadn't realised that Emanation, who I know from Stitch and Bitch, had been an original member of Zip Zip Undo Me, so it was quite exciting to see her up on stage with the rest, shaking a tambourine. It was a pity that she left the band before some of the songs they performed were written, so she only knew the words to a couple of them, and it had been over twenty years ago, and the other lady on stage was about a foot taller than her, so they couldn't really share a mic! But the band agreed that it was important that she should be there, up on stage. The most famous song seemed to be Mind Your Plums, and the band had us all singing along by the end.
We had to leave fairly early, but Em said later that she'd been there until 2.30am!

It really was a great afternoon and evening out - the bands were very generous with their time, and there was a lot of hard work behind the scenes, which raised quite a bit of money for the Stables Project at Pen-yr-Hoel chapel in Llanigon, where Mally and his father Fred are buried.

1 comment:

DellaPrioryWood said...

Lovely photo of you and the young man! Great blog post as ever :)