Dedbeat Weekender 2002: Day TwoI eventually surfaced at around dinner time after several hours in a state of semi-consciousness. In an act of hideous perversity, Richard D. James was the first act in the Rephlex room. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that this was the idea of the Aphex Twin himself. He'd done it on purpose to fuck with our heads. And it worked.
After several joints to, er, wake ourselves up, we trudged off to see the old windowlicker. I found myself standing in th iddle of the room eating a Wall's Callipo (a lifesaver) while T Eljay bootlegged the laid-back ambient music with a small mic tucked in his hat. Then I realised the music was being played by Richard D James himself. There he was, stood behind his laptop as hes normally to be found these days. It was so low-key everyone around me seemed unsure whether it was him as well. However, in a way this was just right as my head was feeling rather fragile at that point. Then after an hour or so of nice sounds came the trademark noise. People now recognised who we were watching and began to liven up. The noise got louder and madder and more fucked-up. I found myself looking at visuals of Jimmy Saville and got rather frightened. I sat out the last half an hour and sipped booze like a girl.
We then decided that what we needed was to see women in bikinis. So my comrade and I went to find the eagerly-awaited pool party. We ended up in a room full of pool tables and T Eljay pointed out that we may have been tricked and that this may have been the pool party. Shit. After the longest and best game of pool of my life (I lost), we discovered the swimming pool. Yes, there were lots of people in the pool, no, they weren't women. They'd outsmarted us again, they knew that pervs like us would be watching them. Oh well, you can't have your cake and eat it.
After several hours of feeling incredibly paranoid that the other people in our caravan hated me, I realised that I needed something to get me out of this mental hole I had dug myself. And that meant more drugs. The combination of rum, vodka, speed and ecstasy and having the caravan to ourselves again lifted me and so we went to see Doug E Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew.
What a fantastic start to the set! Doug came on with a guitar and strummed a spoof folk song with hilarious lyrics. I didn't even realise that the bald guy with specs was Doug E Fresh himself. I always thought he was black! The set was excellent and they actually performed "The Show", during which I was transported back to being a kid. here I was in Great Yarmouth some fifteen years later with T Eljay, twisted beyond belief yet feeling seven years old again. We got our freak on and got some tapes from T Eljay's car, went back to the caravan, threw open the door, stood on some chairs and listened to "Strangeways, Here We Come" and some speeded up Indian music.
We returned to the Rephlex room at about 4am to find out who the special guest was. The next few hours, to be honest, are a bit of a blur. It was only the next day that someone told us it was Squarepusher. If it was him, he was very good. T Eljay and I found some massive empty water bottles and bongoed in a corner for several hours. Now this could have been a big mistake, but everyone seemed in the frame of mind as us and we recieved nothing but smiles. felt like a god. In fact I was a sweaty fool hitting a water bottle, but fuck reality.
The remaining few hours descended into a sort of "Carry On Being Fucked". Our caravan was invaded by two pricks who thought it was really funny to be obnoxious to their hosts, and so I went to a hotel with a girl I'd met while bongoing, only to be thrown out for not being a guest after finally getting into bed. I felt like the living embodiment of the term dead beat as I wandered back to the holiday park at about 10 in the morning.
The last thing T Eljay and I saw the next afternoon was a hip hop puppet show. A suitably surreal ending to a surreal holiday. Dedbeat 2002 surpassed our expectations. Great music, porn on the TV, friendly people. It proved that a festival can be organised efficiently without corporate sponsorship and heavy-handed security. Michael Eavis, take note. Bring on Dedbeat 2003.