It's Laila K from Sonic Boom Six! Follow my adventures as I document my life in the band and on the road. I will also be sharing all things musical (interviews with bands, reviews of gigs and festivals), health (innovative clean recipes), fitness (my road to getting abs and a booty), beauty (reviews and tips) and fashion related tings as well as all the fun things I get up to!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Boomtown Fair 2013 - The UK's Maddest City!

If there is a heaven and you want to go to the part of it where you truly get to let your hair down and party like it's 1999, then Boomtown is that place.

One weekend a year, a huge field near Winchester is converted into a bonkers town where anything goes. Fancy dress is definitely the order and this year didn't disappoint. We saw mermaids, Winnie the Pooh and even people dressed as Lego!

There's not a whiff of corporate-ness, Main Stage, headline-acts nonsense or lineups that read like the who's who of 'cool' bands to see. The collection of bands that play seem like they're there to provide a backdrop for this crazy town. There's so much more to this festival than just the bands that play.

We actually played the second ever Boomtown a few years back and the festival has come such a long way since then. It's grown massively yet managed to keep the vibe that it had back then and it's so great to see, in times when most festivals are finding it hard to compete with your Reading / Leeds / V Festivals, that Boomtown has gone from strength to strength and seems to be getting bigger and crazier. It's a brilliant festival, especially cause the sun was shining but it's when the sun sets that Boomtown really comes to life.

Me, Barney and Nick went down to play with Suicide Bid this year on the Devil's Kick stage at 10pm and I honestly had no idea what to expect but I knew we'd feel right at home sharing the stage with bands like Leftover Crack, The Restarts and The Creepshow. The reception that we got was mental for a band that are lucky to get together once a year to play a gig. We were not worthy and the crowd went mad for us! A personal highlight for me was getting the crowd involved in a mass batty wind!

After our set, and a dose of something slightly mind altering (it'd be rude not to!), we went for a wander around the town at night. THIS is what I'd been waiting to see. The atmosphere was electric, there were sound systems everywhere blasting out Ragga, Jungle, George Michael (!) We saw fire breathing mechanical dragons, people sword fighting with electricity. We went to a secret bar where we had to knock on the door of a phone box and tell the guy how we knew Charlie Brown! Once he was satisfied with the answer, off we went through this telephone box door into a basement of a club. We danced a bit, got a bit hot and moved on to see the main attraction where most people had flocked to as soon as the sun had gone down...

Without a doubt, one of the best things I've ever seen in my life is this huge metal spider, which goes by the name of Arcadia. If you've seen it before then you will know exactly what I mean! He resides slap bang in the middle of the festival and can be seen for miles around. This metal monstrosity / God is like nothing else. In the middle of it, sit a couple of DJs that know exactly what tunes will get the crowd (who are completely mesemerised by this thing) going. I could have stayed there all night just staring at this huge, metal, moving, glowing, fire emitting spider and been completely content.

I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone that came out and showed their support for Suicide Bid on Saturday night. We all had such a great night and there's talks underway of taking the Suicide Bid Collective on the road in the next few months and maybe even heading out to Germany for a few dates. The new album will be finished soon too.

Finally, big up to all the Boomtown crew. The love and passion that goes into making something that isn't a run of the mill, money driven, branded festival is difficult enough, especially in the current financial climate but Boomtown have not only done it again but they've managed to top what they do, year after year.

Laila x


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  2. Right I'm gonna do this in three parts, cos I'm an awkward bugger and spent ages writing it ;)

    Warning: POTENTIAL DEEP SUBJECT MATTER CONTAINED, but more importantly REALLY LONG POST. Apologies. Skip to the 5th last paragraph if you can't be bothered - starts with "Anyway, conscious this is…", if you can even be bothered with that ;)

    Anyway, it's early in the morning and thought I'd share a story with you guys about Boomtown. You have to read it to the end though otherwise it's a bit upsetting really lol. For the record, I'm completely over this incident now and am willing to talk about it until he cows come home… but everything's a learning experience even if it's a fucking shit one, and you can only try and be philosophical with life when trouble comes a knockin'.

    I was at Boomtown 2010, and it looked great, serious potential. First night though there were some pretty large scale organised tent burglaries going on - lads literally swooping in, grabbing anything of worth (knowing where to look, even through some poor chap's jeans as me lies passed out in them). Any resistance by a groggy awakener was met with immediate in-your-face threat of violence.

    After some slight shook feelings in the morning, lending round money to cover those who'd been robbed (Police presence was minimal and unfortunately did not anticipate the scale of this crime until is was too late). Checked out as much of the site as possible, met an old mate - partied hard even detouring for that giant fold out mobile stage, as a mere curiosity as I headed back to my tent to resupply, the night was looking to be a long one..

    First sign something's a bit off-key, the odd bloke walking from tent to tent and peering in - now it;'s within the realms of possibility that he might actually know all the people in the tents and be on some kind of search mission. Probably not, but a cursory glance around reveals no security in sight. Oh well, back to priority number 1 - get my stuff and then find some kind of official to mention this to on my return.

    Jump a guide rope and I'm in my campsite - darkness means it takes a couple seconds to work out which is n
    my tent, but then I still couldn't as my mental map of the site didn't have a bunch of lads shouting orders at each other about tents in some kind of shorthand.. "This one a 2 33, messy but sweeties aplenty" whilst unashamedly opening up someone's tent in my group and surveying the inside with a flashlight.

  3. "Oi"

    No response, but slightly just shuffling shouting from the vicinity

    "Oi what are you doing in my mate's tent?"

    I don't know how many of you know the feeling I'm about to describe... a slow, troubling realisation. Mr. Flashlight is now out of the tent and with the beam now aimed at my eyes, wearing a hood and cap to evade the slightly baltic conditions I shielded myself from the glare enough to look him in the eyes. Not only was I not particularly placated upon seeing this chap's screwface (scrawny lad but some already raggedy countenance contorted in an unsettling grimace) - but more importantly (and in hindsight... *Oh wonderful hindsight.*.. perhaps obviously) was now surrounded by 5 more blokes, and as the sinking feeling manifested in a rather melodramatic sigh, 4 more miscellaneous characters poked their heads out from within/behind tents.

    Didn't take a huge leap of logic to determine what was going to happen here, but for the record - when there's a bunch of fairly organised, ballsy thieves running around in a veritable goldmine of wallets belonging to slumped, unconscious drunkenly slumbering bodies inside unzipped rents... Add to which the fact that there is now (still not particularly visible but apparently increased police and security particular) they've come back fir round two. Despite all of this, as you have slightly raise a wry smile to to optimism of youth I got a decent right jab to his face and was so ... pleasantly surprised by the fact that this guy had no idea about fighting or boxing, but then another alarm bell goes off.

    Lets see what I can remember, - not a black out,a white out and a strange smell of metal, I think I remember thiking ..... 'that goes with the sound of whatever just happened'. Replay that sound - metallic contact, air swoop, a strange ding followed by a sound a bit like when you snap a pencil from slowly increasing the pressure.

    To my good fortune, and probably their fear of having actually done something 'a bit serious', they were all gone by the time I woke up, feeling pretty spritely actually - phone, keys, wallet still intact. What a bunch of c**ts, but lets go back to my tent, get my things and meet my campsite crew. As this had all happened in the small space just behind our tents, I stumbled over a hillock into our site where everyone was sitting around and chatting

    "Alright guys' I remarked as I headed closer, only then realising my right hand was covered in really dark blood. Heads turned my way with a variety of (hindsight you bastard, works both ways) unforgettable faces. Jaw drops, half-eaten pot noodles (and some brought-along vegetarian curry, you hippies) drop to the floor, much commotion ensued - I could understand something was wrong but high-level speculations or even basic evidence-based reasoning was temporarily out-of-service. To the medical tent we go, someone's crying, sorry J-M.

    Still feeling fairly compus mentus - in the moment. Explained what I thought was a fairly coherent story to the bossman of the facility, everyone seemed happy with that. Face was now starting to feel a bit warm, but any involuntary attempt to touch it was politely dashed away by a nurse. There was also a not-so-secret clandestine ad hoc operation to remove any mirrors from the premises too lol. Fair enough though as I found out later. Got a ride to the hospital from the head medic, got to Winchester hospital eventually.

  4. Still feeling actually ok, an ache is starting to set in but nothing acute. My best mate there came with me, had an interesting chat while waiting for x-ray results (still hadn't really seen my face at this point). Then the nurse busts in. Big lad, honest to a fault. Shows me a mirror. By this time it's shocking but had had enough time to realistically gauge worst case scenarios and it was better than that, plus I was treating the fact I could see to be a fairly good sign. Nurse nods knowingly... "How many pints then? Shots too? Maybe some pills?" ... Well, not to spoil his fun too much I admitted having half a pint 3 hours prior, 2nd of the day. But on the scale of "Friday nights round ere that's pretty conservative" he says, I think it's pretty conservative all round really, that's why I was going back to my tent to get some Captain Morgans.

    Anyway, conscious this is turning into a proper police statement level of detail so I'll wrap it up - Winchester couldn't deal with the scale of injury there so was moved to Southampton General, where I was finally told that from being hit in the right side of the head with what appeared to be a sawn off scaffolding pole I'd fractured my jaw (zygoma) in several places, eye socket (orbital) and a couple of other more minor bones with even stranger names. Many comparisons made to the elephant man (RIP), and a unique 6 week experience of being stared at by every single person that cross my path. Bit of an eye opener that whole thing.

    After those 6 weeks I was operated on my a fantastic team at St. Georges (Max Fax dept.) and although I was literally sh*tting bricks about the small chance of losing sight in my eye, I've made a fairly miraculous recovery since. Can't breathe through my right nostril, and have some nerve damage so I can't feel a few teeth and a tiny bit of my upper lip but seriously - I'm f*cking lucky. Also have a metal plate in my face for all those Terminator jokes that I think I'm probably over now :) They were all terrible.

    Anyway there was a point to this story- myself and my best mate were in contact with the Boomtown guys alot for the next few months. The festival itself was great, and they messed up on security. I saw for myself the gruelling work that went into it and the minimal profit margins that came from it. What happened to me also wasn't the worst thing that occurred that year either, someone had a heart attack a couple of sites away from us the following night. So, considering it was billed as a Reggae/Dub festival with vibes to match, I don't begrudge them. But it goes further than that, they took a huge amount on board from out suggestions and obviously local police, and the following year (2012) was a resounding success (my best mate kept me informed). Not only that but this year (2013) is widely acclaimed by pretty much everyone I know who went as one of the best festivals ever.

    As for me, I'm over it now, I'm going this year coming for sure. Got stuck in when Leftover Crack played the Underworld the other week, mosh pit was a breeze ;)

    [Last one still to go... good work if anyone made it...]

  5. It's so important to keep your chin up when something like this happens, I ain't one to preach because I was in some dark places for awhile but luckily my mates are amazing, worked a few things out about what's really important, and I fired out the other side with a somewhat more peaceful outlook on life, ironically. I'm lucky (unlucky some might say in the first place) but it's taught me thousands of things, opened the mind a bit, can't hurt.

    Realistically I'll never find those responsible, but karma is pragmatic too. If you live that life, if you're capable of killing someone (not trying to be overdramatic but, metal bar to the head at full force, doctor said it - not me) for a few tents worth of cash, drugs and booze, there's a very small number of places you're going to end up, in fact I can count them on one hand and they ain't good. Or PERHAPS he reformed, was born again and is actually offering the world a service... I'd still knock the guy flat out though, even if that was the case. I'm forgiving to a point.

    This was a bit of an insomniac log, but actually it's good to write it all down somewhere, even if nobody reads it ;)


    PS. You lot saved Download festival for us, couldn't have asked for a better ending haha, cheers.

    PPS. Hope to catch you lot at Boomtown 2014. Safe

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